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Melvin and Burks Galleries


2019-2020 Gallery Schedule

Iceland and Ireland Through Students’ Eyes: Photography From The 2019 Study Abroad Trip

August 30 to September 13
During the month of May, Florida Southern students embarked on a study abroad trip to Iceland and Ireland. Photographs, taken by students and faculty alike in advanced and beginning digital photography courses taught by Elizabeth Hults and Sam Romero, document their travels and unique cultural encounters. The selected images were then edited, refined, and printed by the students for this fascinating exhibition.

Opening Reception:
Friday, August 30 at 7:00 PM

Pierre Henri Matisse: Sparks of Creativity

September 27 to November 1
Like his renowned grandfather Henri before him, Pierre Henri Matisse made art — and creativity — his life’s passion. The French-born Pierre moved to Florida in the 1960s, and, before his passing in July at 91 years old, he was excited to bring his adventurous and innovative work to the Polk Museum for the first time. Now, we honor him with an ever more timely retrospective exhibition. Ever the experimental artist, Pierre never settled on one style alone, although his unique voice and whimsical nature shine forth in each and every piece he created. This exhibition puts a spotlight on the artist’s irrepressible creative process, and visitors will see how Pierre and his art were inspired deeply by his grandfather and his legacy. One half of a two-site set of Pierre Henri Matisse exhibitions, this original Melvin Gallery show coincides with an exhibition of the artist’s narrative-based work at the nearby Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College.

Opening Reception:
Friday, September 27 at 7:00 PM

The Annual All-Student Exhibition

November 15 to December 13
Join us for a celebration of current work created by Florida Southern College art majors. This exhibition showcases the exceptional skills of our talented freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in all media. The breadth of the Department of Art and Art History is emphasized as we feature works in ceramics, painting, digital illustration, printmaking, and sculpture. The prestigious Florida Art Award is presented to a junior studio art major at the opening reception.

Opening Reception:
Friday, November 15 at 7:00 PM

Janet Siegel Rogers: The Mystery of Color

January 17 to February 21, 2020
In her encaustic paintings, Janet Siegel Rogers translates the aura of time and place into layers of oil paint suspended in beeswax. Through her subtle use of pulsating shifts between different color hues, Rogers explores the nuances of color, creating the illusion of movement as light shines through her works. Ethereal and contemplative, Rogers’ animated environments evoke her family’s experiences along the shimmering shores of Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, and more recently, South Florida. Inspired by the interactions between light and environment, Rogers' color-saturated interplay between a painting’s surface and its underlying layers invites viewers to meditate on light, mood, and the transience of our everyday experiences.

Opening Reception:
Friday, January 17 at 7:00 PM

Senior Graphic Design Thesis Exhibition

March 13 to 27, 2020
Each year, Florida Southern’s senior graphic design students are challenged to create a fictitious company; they are then responsible for creating its print and digital materials, products, and storefront displays in the Melvin Gallery as part of their thesis. At times humorous, clever, and surprising, the ideas presented by our students still maintain the professionalism needed to enter graphic design field. Awards are presented at the opening reception to our top three talented students.

Opening Reception:
Friday, March 13 at 7:00 PM

Studio Art Senior Thesis Exhibition

April 3 to 24, 2020
Our final student exhibition showcases artwork created by Florida Southern’s own senior studio art students. Each senior explores a unique central idea over the course of a year and creates a thematic body of work that conveys the technical and experiential nature of artist expression and creation. Their refreshing artistic approaches are celebrated at the opening reception, culminating with the presentation of the John R. Reuter Award.

Opening Reception:
Friday, April 3 at 7:00 PM

Annual Lakeland Art Guild Exhibition

May 8 to June 12, 2020
For over thirty years, the Melvin Art Gallery has partnered with the Lakeland Art Guild to host their annual spring exhibition. Founded in 1952, the Lakeland Art Guild is the oldest local community arts organization in Polk County. We are pleased to exhibit works created by local artists and to bring together the members of our community to recognize our homegrown talent. Join us at the opening for the announcement of awards given by select judges.

Opening Reception:
Friday, May 8 at 6:00 PM


The Melvin and Burks Galleries are the College’s academic art galleries, dedicated to supporting learning at Florida Southern College by providing opportunities for students and the public to think critically about work by internationally-recognized artists of both the past and the present.

It is the mission of the Galleries to foster stimulating experiences and dialogues about art that will inspire students not only to study art and its history but also to find creative inspiration for their own studio and graphic design work.

The Melvin and Burks Galleries bring a wide array of outstanding shows to Lakeland, exhibiting the work of established and visiting artists throughout the year as well as showcases of student work.

The Galleries are free and open to the general public. All are encouraged to attend gallery openings, artist talks, and related events.

Gallery Hours

Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
(when the College is in session.)


There is no admission charge for Melvin & Burks Galleries events. For more information, call 863.680.4743 x248.


Contact Information

Dr. H. Alexander Rich
Director of Galleries and Exhibitions
Executive Director, Polk Museum of Art
863.688.7743 x234

Diane Baires
Gallery Curator
863.688.4743 x248


association of academic museums and galleries