Art is an act of self-expression. Whether a professional or gifted amateur, an artist's work represents a personal viewpoint and, either obviously or obliquely, the accumulation of life experiences. Two current exhibitions are good examples of the creative spirit manifested in diverse ways.
Lennie Bennett, Times art critic
"Have Lens Will Travel: Photographs by Tom Mack" represents the wide-ranging eye of the Lakeland-based photographer that is on view at the Polk Museum of Art, 800 E Palmetto St. in Lakeland, through Nov. 23. Shown is Iona Sheep Portal, taken on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. The Polk Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors and free for kids and students with ID. (It's free on Saturday for Smithsonian Museum Day). polkmuseumofart.org or (863) 688-7743.
A group show at the TECO Public Art Gallery features 31 artists ranging in age from 40 to 90 in "The Life Enrichment Center Group Exhibition." The Life Enrichment Center is a Tampa-based not-for-profit organization that offers opportunities to (mostly) seniors to learn or refine an art or activity, ranging from painting and memoir-writing to dance and tai chi. Shown is Helen Malnar's painting, Fishing Buddies. The show is curated by Dorothy Cowden, director of the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery at the University of Tampa. The TECO gallery, 702 N Franklin St., Tampa, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Free. (813) 767-1600.