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Melvin and Burks Galleries


2017-2018 Gallery Schedule

Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin Through Students’ Eyes: Photography and Artwork from the 2017 Study Abroad Trip

September 1 to 15
During the month of May, Florida Southern students embarked on a study-abroad trip to Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin. Led by Dr. Alex Rich and Professors Sarah Brewington and Eric Blackmore, our students immersed themselves in the cultures of these cities and were pushed to consider these hubs of the art world from art historical and photographic points-of-view. This mixed-media exhibition offers a collection of reflective student works created during and inspired by their travels and exciting new European experiences.

Opening Reception:
Friday, September 1 at 7:00 PM

Disruption and Conversation: Jerry N. Uelsmann, 50 Years in the Darkroom

September 22 to November 3
Following the Melvin Gallery’s first-ever spring Pop-Up exhibition, we are pleased to present a retrospective of Jerry N. Uelsmann’s fifty-year career. Long before the invention of Adobe Photoshop, Uelsmann created photomontages by exposing multiple film negatives onto a singular sheet of photo paper in the darkroom, opposing the prominent idea that the final image should be unaltered and composed entirely in-camera. His incomparable precision resulted in seamless, transformative dreamscapes that trick the eye into momentarily believing what is seen.

Opening Reception:
Friday, September 22 at 7:00 PM

Live Lecture with Jerry Uelsmann

Thursday, November 2 at 1:00 PM
Jerry Uelsmann, the renowned master of photomontage commonly known as the “Father of Photoshop,” will be giving a talk on his storied career, his art on display in the Melvin Gallery, and his 50-year process of manipulating photos in the darkroom entirely without computer technology. Q&A with the audience will follow the lecture. Free and open to the public. 

All-Student Exhibition

November 10 to December 8
Join us for a celebration of current work created by Florida Southern College art majors. This exhibition showcases the exceptional skills of our talented freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in all media. The breadth of the Department of Art and Art History is emphasized as we feature works in ceramics, painting, digital illustration, printmaking, and sculpture. The prestigious Florida Art Award is presented to a junior studio art major at the opening reception.

Opening Reception:
Friday, November 10 at 7:00 PM

Presences: New Work by Yolanda Sánchez

January 19 to February 23, 2018
Through colorful passages of fluttering brushstrokes, Yolanda Sánchez translates the sensory experiences and transience of nature onto canvas and paper. Inspired by her investigations of the underlying power of eastern philosophy and art, Sánchez’s diaphanous, gestural forms encourage the eye to twirl and rest with each mark, evoking her training in dance and calligraphy. Through Sánchez’s energetic use of line and color, viewers to this exhibition will discover their own moments of inspiration.

Opening Reception:
Friday, January 19 at 7:00 PM

Senior Graphic Design Thesis Exhibition

March 16 to 30, 2018
Each year, Florida Southern’s senior graphic design students are challenged to create a fictitious company; they are then responsible for creating its print and digital materials, products, and storefront displays in the Melvin Gallery as part of their thesis. At times humorous, clever, and surprising, the ideas presented by our students still maintain the professionalism needed to enter a graphic design field. Awards are presented at the opening reception to our top three talented students.

Opening Reception:
Friday, March 16 at 7:00 PM

Senior Studio Art Thesis Exhibition

April 6 to 27, 2018
Our final student exhibition showcases artwork created by Florida Southern College’s own senior studio art students. Each senior explores a unique central idea over the course of a year and creates a thematic body of work that conveys the technical and experiential nature of artistic expression and creation. These artists’ refreshing approaches are celebrated at the opening reception, culminating with the presentation of the John R. Reuter Award.

Opening Reception:
Friday, April 6 at 7:00 PM

Annual Lakeland Art Guild Spring Exhibition

May 11 to June 8, 2018
For over thirty years, the Melvin Art Gallery has partnered with the Lakeland Art Guild to host their annual spring exhibition. Founded in 1952, the Lakeland Art Guild is the oldest local community arts organization in Polk County. We are pleased to exhibit works created by local artists and to bring together the members of our community to recognize our homegrown talent. Join us at the opening for the announcement of awards given by select judges.

Opening Reception:
Friday, May 11 at 7:00 PM

The Melvin and Burks Galleries are the College’s academic art galleries, dedicated to supporting learning at Florida Southern College by providing opportunities for students and the public to think critically about work by internationally-recognized artists of both the past and the present.

It is the mission of the Galleries to foster stimulating experiences and dialogues about art that will inspire students not only to study art and its history but also to find creative inspiration for their own studio and graphic design work.

Operated by Florida Southern College’s Department of Art and Art History, the Melvin and Burks Galleries bring a wide array of  outstanding shows to Lakeland, exhibiting the work of established and visiting artists throughout the year as well as showcases of student work.

The Galleries are free and open to the general public. All are encouraged to attend gallery openings, artist talks, and related events.

Gallery Hours

Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
(when the College is in session.)


There is no admission charge for Melvin & Burks Galleries events. For more information, call 863.680.4743.


Contact Information

Dr. H. Alexander Rich
Director of Galleries and Exhibitions

Diane Baires
Gallery Curator

association of academic museums and galleries