It’s impossible to count the number of people who have driven along Osceola Avenue and never noticed the entrance to one of Winter Park’s hidden gems. Tucked away on Lake Osceola, the Polasek Museum incorporates the home and studio of internationally acclaimed Czech sculptor Albin Polasek. Visitors who tour his home, galleries and beautiful sculpture gardens are prone to walk away with a heady dose of surprise and delight.
The tour comes highly recommended. To be able to like dig that deeply into the life and works of one artist is a fascinating experience. It’s rare to be able to focus on one single artist, and one of the many reasons the museum stands out worldwide as a cultural treasure. At the Polasek, the art and gardens illustrate the life and times of this important artist and changing exhibitions celebrate a wide range of “art that tells a story.”
While the museum isn’t easy to find, it’s well worth the effort. The museum has been able to overcome this obstacle to a large degree through signature events like Winter Park Paint Out, which will celebrate its 15th anniversary next year. The Annual Winter Park Paint Out is planned for April 23-29, 2023. Patrons come to enjoy art, artists come to create it, and the museum makes it all possible.
Twenty-three professionally-acclaimed plein air artists will paint at the Polasek Museum and at other locations throughout Winter Park and Orlando. Art lovers are invited to watch the artists at work and attend free painting demonstrations. Works will be on display as soon as they are completed and dropped off at the museum’s wet room. All artwork created during the week will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds going to support the Museum.
This program demonstrates nicely the synergies that Executive Director Debbie Komanski and her board have built between the museum, and the City of Winter Park and the arts community. Plein air artist Orit Reuben enjoys Paint Outs because they provide beautiful places to paint en plein air, while putting the artists in front of a community of collectors who are enthusiastic about the places in the paintings.
“Also, the camaraderie and friendships among the artists is pretty great and a paint out is like a big reunion. Winter Park is a gorgeous place to paint, with beautiful gardens, lakes and sunsets. It's pretty much a city inside a park,” said Reuben. “His sculptures are so well balanced and sensual in a classical sort of way. They’re really beautiful to paint.”