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There are plenty of new things happening this month. Come check them out!
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Contemporary Visions of Frantz Zéphirin: Haitian Mystic


Zéphirin's art will be on display till April 16. If you haven't seen this vibrant exhibit, stop by today!

Image: The Visitors, Frantz Zéphirin

Polasek Welcomes New Board Members for 2017

The Polasek Museum named four new members to its Board of Directors for 2017: Mildred Graham, Chris Leary, Lawrence Lyman, and Nyma Whitmire. Mildred Graham is the Director of Advancement/Alumni Affairs at Florida A&M University College of Law; Chris Leary is a retired electrical engineer and current Polasek garden volunteer; Lawrence Lyman is Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations for Tactical Electronics Corporation; Nyma Whitmire is a community volunteer having served on other boards in the Orlando area.  Longtime board members Carolyn Bird and Judy Duda finished their final terms in 2016.

Come join us for this free family-friendly open house where visitors get the chance to explore the Mardi Gras traditions of the Haitian Creole culture through lectures, hands-on art activities, food, and music. Click the image above for more information.
The Quick Draw Competition is a plein air, or outdoor painting competition and is open to anyone who wishes to participate, amateurs and professionals, ages 16 and up.  This is a fast and fun event to watch and participate in! Click the image above to register today.
This February we are not only celebrating Valentine’s Day, but also Albin Polasek’s birthday on February 14, 1879. For his 138th birthday, one of the artist’s personal belongings “walked” home. I’m happy to share that we had two new donations this month; a walking cane belonging to Polasek, and a beautiful Czechoslovakian Shepard’s axe. Both of the objects were generously donated to the Museum by Ute Parma, whose husband Jiri, knew Albin Polasek.



Young Jiri and Albin were friends, as both had grown up in the small town of Frenstat, part of what is now the Czech Republic. Regular visitors to the museum may recall two similar axes already on display in the Artist’s bedroom. Shepard’s axes are one of the many folk arts/objects that Polasek choose to display and use. He took great pride in his Czechoslovakian heritage, and even through the American assimilation process over the years, he held onto many of the traditions and objects that embodied his Motherland. A Shepard's axe is both a decorative piece of art and a functional tool. It is both an axe that could be used as a light weapon, and a walking stick, which would have been used in the mountainous terrain of the Carpathian Mountains of Polasek’s childhood. The Shepard’s axe can be found throughout many countries and is also known as; in Slovak: “valaška,” Hungarian: “fokos,” Polish: depending on region – “ciupaga,” “rabanica,” “uobuszek,” “cekanka,” Czech: “valaška,” and in Romanian: “baltag.” It has symbolic historical and cultural connotations and is still used as a prop in many traditional dances, for example the odzemok. Many of our archival images of Albin Polasek that were taken in 1879-1950 (during the period before his stroke), show Polasek walking with the aid of a simple wooden walking stick or cane. He walked with a cane for most of his life, owing to a childhood injury which left him with a limp and prevented him from active military service. Polasek’s walking cane and the Shepard’s axe will both be added to the “Artist’s Bedroom” display. Please consider both the form and function of these two new treasures next time you visit! Thank you for Albin’s Birthday present, Ute!
Can you believe it’s already February? Here at the Polasek Museum, we have kicked off the year with a bang, and the months are already starting to move fast. Every month, we like to turn the spotlight on one of the many volunteers who deserve to be recognized. One such volunteer who has constantly given his time freely, through the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the New Year is Derek Toohey.



Derek started volunteering in the gallery in 2014, and has obtained close to 300 volunteer hours here as a docent. Originally a New Yorker, Derek now resides locally with his wife Klaudia and their daughter. Derek and Klaudia enjoy many different activities together, including traveling around the world, bicycling, hiking, skiing, and collecting art. Derek also dabbles in foreign language, practicing his German and French with some of our other volunteers. If you ever want an interesting and thought-provoking conversation, Derek is your man. In fact, his favorite thing about volunteering here is the interactions he has with every visitor and staff member. He has an extensive knowledge about the world and will strike up a conversation with anyone about any topic.

With such a warm heart and charming personality, Derek has been a great member of our team, welcoming all guests into Albin’s home with genuine kindness. For that and more, we thank you, Derek.

If you are interested in a docent-led tour of Albin Polasek’s Historic Home, stop by on Wednesday mornings for the “Derek Special.”

We would also love to hear from you! Please contact our volunteer coordinators to discuss our volunteer opportunities.

Erin Carter/Erin Offenback, Volunteer Coordinators and Visitor Services Administrators
The clerodendrum quadriloculare or Shooting Star is a beautiful tree-like shrub that flowers every winter. It is located by the Capen House. Come see it before these lovely blooms fade away!
Copyright © 2017 Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, All rights reserved.


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