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‘The Art of Film’ brings culture to Lakeland

By Derrick Jean-Baptiste

Over the past year and a half, Lakeland has exploded with opportunities for community involvement, dining experiences and entertainment options. Lakeland just launched the first ever ‘Art of Film’ showcase on Feb. 10 at the Polk Museum of Art.

In only a few short months, the Art of Film was organized by Florida Southern College’s Associate Professor of Digital Media William Allen, Assistant Professor of Communications Matthew Herbertz, and Assistant Professor of Art History Dr. Alexander Rich.

“The Art of Film” gives Lakeland residents a chance to take part in a forum for appreciating movies as an art form. With a Q&A session hosted by Allen and Herbertz following each screening, the showcase gives attendees a chance to decompress and discuss the film in a safe environment.


Herbertz and Allen during the Q&A portion of Art of Film.


“We got the ball rolling for this event extremely quickly,” Allen said. “Dr. Rich approached Herbertz and I. From there we created a plan with Mrs. Smith of the Polk Museum of Art. With that being done and our excitement kind of pushing us forward, everything fell into place.”

On its first showing, “The Art of Film” showcased Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film The City of Lost Children. The City of Lost Children is a French  new-wave film that is about a scientist in a surrealist society who kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process. 

The Mad Scientist and his helpers

The first showing was more successful than many Polk Museum of Art’s staff thought it would be.

“With the first event having over 40 people in attendance is a big win for the Polk Museum of Art,” Diana Smith, Lead Membership and Marketing manager at the Polk Museum of Art, said. “We try and ensure the Polk Museum of Art continues being the centerpiece of art in the greater Lakeland area, and with this new series I think we will have no problem with being that centerpiece of art.”

The Polk Museum of Art has been a Lakeland staple since 1966.  The museum’s creation is attributed to a push for a focus on art and science by the Polk County community. Since then the Polk Museum of Art has served as a major art hub for Polk County residents. Hosting many different forms of artwork from Polk County students’ showcases to pre-Columbus artifacts, the Polk Museum of Art is a hub for art appreciation in Polk County.

The new partnership between the Polk Museum of Arts and Florida Southern College allowed for the showcase’s development.  This is the first type of event of this kind that the two institutions have put on together.

With the partnership, the museum will be able to use the resources of FSC and other Lakeland area schools such as Southeastern Universtiy and Polk State College.

The next Art of Film Session will occur on March 14.

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