Saturday, June 16, 2012
I took the long drive to Lake Morton in Lakeland which is west of Orlando halfway to Tampa, I had never been to Lakeland before. It is a quaint little town of small bungalows and then gorgeous large homes around the lake. Boy scouts were charging for parking at a local church. I parked a mile away on a side street and walked to the lake. There were plenty of mobile food vendors and then 150 artists venting tents set up all around the lake. I wandered the art fair quickly searching for a sketch opportunity. A couple playing Medieval instruments performed and a crowd gathered. I didn't stop since I suspected they wouldn't perform for long. Sure enough, when I returned five minutes later, they had stopped.
The Mayfaire by the Lake art festival was pretty much what I expected from an outdoor art festival. Some of the art was bright and playful and some I just didn't fully appreciate. It was a beautiful sunny day for a fair. There was a stage set up outside a civic building. Young girls were dancing to the Disney Tarzan sound track. Parents and a small audience relaxed in lawn chairs. I finally decided to sketch this painted swan sculpture. The Lakeland skyline was painted on the swan and I could show the artist's tents in the background. More importantly, I was in the shade. By the time I finished sketching, vendors were starting to pack up.
Admission to the Polk Museum of Art was free that day. The museum was open for only one more hour when I got there. Security asked me to check my bag at the front desk and I was happy to loose the load. There was an exhibit called, Sketches & Steel. It showed the process of abstract sculptor Albert Paley. I took everything in at a glance, sketches, cardboard 3D studies and small iron studies for huge monolithic sculptures, some of them 100 feet high. There was a room of children's art that I rushed through. I was on a mission to Find a room of juicy paintings. 0n the second floor, there were photos of families and their possessions from photojournalist Peter Menzel's extraordinary 1995 work Material World: A Global Family Portrait. It makes for an eye opening book that shows what is truly important to people from different cultures all around the world. As I left the museum, I noticed an Art-O-Mat. This was a cigarette machine stuffed full of small art works. For $5 I was tempted to get an original piece of art, but I was too lazy to get a token in the gift shop.