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Established and emerging photographers at FMoPA and new exhibits open at the Polk Museum

By Maggie Duffy, Times Staff Writer
Courtesy of FMoPA Henri Cartier-Bresson, Central Plaza, Havana, Cuba, 1963. Part of the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts' "Under the Cuban Sun" exhibition.

PHOTO OP: FOURTH FRIDAY AT FMOPA

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa is a great asset to the arts community. Not only do they show important works from established photographers, but they also give their members the opportunity to show and sell their work in a museum setting. The Photography Benefit Sale is on now, featuring the work of 54 local photographers. Friday is a great time to visit, when the museum extends hours and admission is pay as you choose for Fourth Friday, from 5-7 p.m. Also on display is "Under the Cuban Sun," an exhibition of photographs of Cuba from the perspectives of both residents and visitors, spanning from the 1930s through present day. Donít miss the opportunity to see this visual time line of Cubaís history, as the exhibit closes Dec. 31. 400 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. fmopa.org.

NOT MEMBERS ONLY: NEW EXHIBITS AT THE POLK MUSEUM OF ART

December brings two new exhibits to the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, and theyíll have a Members Reception to celebrate from 6-8:30 p.m. Friday. If youíre not a member, donít fret; you can still attend for $10 admission. 800 E Palmetto St. polkmuseumofart.org

"America/American" explores the concept of what makes a painting, or an artist, American. The fascinating idea is explored through pieces of American figurative art, mixed with pieces from the permanent collection. "In some ways, the first true American style was abstract expressionism," said Alex Rich, the museumís curator and director of galleries and exhibitions. "It was home-grown, different and had no ties to anything that came before. That was in the 1940s when Jackson Pollock began making his drip-style paintings."

Also opening is "Renoir: Les Etudes." You wonít find Pierre-Auguste Reniorís colorful impressionist paintings in this exhibition, but rather his late-in-life printmaking. The exhibition includes rarely-shown drypoints, etchings and lithographs of beaches and bathers and portraits of artists, including the one of Louis Valtat, pictured.

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