Monkey Business: Ruben Ubiera at Polk Museum of Art
Through 2016

For the first time in its 50-year history, the Polk Museum of Art partnered with accomplished Florida artist Ruben Ubiera to produce “Monkey Business,” an on-site, large-scale interior mural. Ubiera designed and created a unique mural measuring 16’ x 24’ onto one of the Museum’s most prominent walls. Ubiera has adopted the gorilla as an iconic power animal for the current state of street art. For him, street art was always that “10,000 lbs. gorilla in the room” when it came to art galleries and museums. Although street art has become accepted and celebrated in the public conscious, it remains largely overlooked by established galleries and museums. With “Monkey Business,” Ubiera depicts that gorilla finally at home in a respected art museum. As an homage to the community that made this project possible, Ubiera uses Polk County-related imagery to form the gorilla’s body.

Rebels with a Case
Through July 3

Rebels With a Cause presents outstanding selections of paintings, drawings and sculptures from The Huntsville Museum of Art’s recently acquired Sellars Collection of Art by American Women. This landmark holding celebrates the achievements of more than 250 talented female artists active between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. Many rebelled against the convention of their day by exhibiting alongside their male counterparts, receiving awards, and pioneering the way for those who would follow. Today, art historians are rediscovering their accomplishments and establishing their rightful place in the expanding narrative of American history.

Unmanned: Women Artists from the Permanent Collection
Through Aug. 27

As a complement to “Rebels with a Cause,” this exhibition of 15 works includes paintings, photography and mixed media. Artists include Miriam Schapiro, Alice Neel and Barbara Morgan.

The Overcoming: Works by Donna Petcoff Watson
Through July 30

Born in Bulgaria just before the onset of World War II, Donna Petcoff Watson’s life was met with all of the cultural, social and political discord of wartime. She was separated from her father for the first nine years of her life while her family feared the constant barrage of Nazi soldiers through her village. Later in life, other tragedies followed: the untimely deaths of her mother, father and daughter, and her battle to survive breast and lung cancer. Watson’s paintings are rooted in the belief that art can resolve and preserve the spirit. These paintings are not merely abstract compositions, but exercises in meditation and visual evidence of her steps toward coping and overcoming setbacks.


Learning to Be Me:  K- 2nd Grade Elementary Students Exhibition
Through Aug. 14

This exhibition highlights the artwork of Polk County’s elementary school students.


The Birthday Party
Saturday, June 18, 1 – 4 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend; $20 to enter cake decorating contest

The museum celebrates its 50th anniversary with a party and a cake decorating contest. Decorators compete in one of four divisions.



A fun, creative and open atmosphere for children ages 7-13 to develop their love and appreciation for the arts. Camp classes offer the freedom to explore artistic interests through creativity, medium and technique. More details here.

Session 1:     June 13 – 24

Session 2:     June 27 – July 8 (no classes July 4th)

Session 3:     July 11 – 22

Session 4:     July 25 – August 5


July 11-22

The City of Winter Haven and the Polk Museum of Art offer a two-week session exploring the arts. Students ages 7-13 will enjoy classes in drawing/painting, mixed art and creative writing. More details here.



Fabulous Felted Landscapes

Saturday, June 25, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Instructor: Vicky Luffman

Fee: $150 members; $175 nonmembers

Access Art: Making Art Accessible to People with Dementia

Thursday, June 16, 2 p.m.
Facilitator: Tinia Clark
Fee: Free (registration required)

This is an art-based social engagement program offering a fun and comfortable way for people affected by dementia to get out, get active and get connected with like individuals through creative expression. The group is intended for people with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. The caregiving family member or professional caregiver must stay on site.

Please contact Laura Putnam at 863-688-7743×288 or

“Access Art” is based on the MOMA Alzheimer’s Project and is a collaboration between Polk Museum of Art, Alzheimer’s Association – Florida Gulf Coast Chapter and Sidestreet Art Beat, Inc.


Family Art Workshops

Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-Noon
Cost: FREE for everyone

June 4- Polk Museum of Art

June 18- Bartow Public Library

Instructor: Glenda Santiago

Family Art Workshops provide a safe, fun environment for families to participate together in hands-on activities led by an art educator. Workshops are held at the Museum and at facilities in Polk County as a part of our ongoing community outreach efforts.

Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida, is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts in Central Florida. The Museum is one of the Top 10 art museums in the State of Florida, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the only art museum accredited by the American Association of Museums serving the 561,000 residents of Polk County. Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesdays – Saturdays; 1 – 5 p.m. Sundays; and closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is free for everyone year-round, thanks to the following organizations and individuals: Tuesdays, thanks to Southeastern University; Wednesdays, thanks to a Friend of the Community; Thursdays, thanks to our partnership with the Chao Foundation; Fridays; Saturdays, thanks to MIDFLORIDA; and Sundays, thanks to Clayton & Beverly Hollis. The Museum is fully accessible.