Polk State College’s Winter Haven Fine Arts Gallery has transformed into an experiential exhibition of changing colors and geometric shapes with the works of world-renowned artist Kenneth Treister, whose paintings of silk evoke emotions and leave lasting impressions on visitors.
For Treister, who has spent his life creating as an architect, sculptor, painter, photographer, author, and lecturer, the exhibit is all about the viewers and how they experience the art, he explains.
“This is not a show of individual paintings, but rather an exhibit in which the unity of the art creates one expression and attempts to make a strong impression on the viewers,” Treister said. “This isn’t about the artist, the different pieces, or the pieces as a collection of objects. This is about the experience.”
The exhibit is open to the public at the Polk State Winter Haven Fine Arts Gallery, 999 Ave. H N.E., Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through July 27.
Instead of individual labels on the paintings, the exhibit includes a single explanation at the front of the gallery to guide its visitors, who are encouraged to first view the paintings from the front center, then move to the left and right to experience changes in colors.
“The viewers become dancers,” Treister explained, “and through their movements, they become immersed in the artistic creation.”
The inspiration for his exhibit came from nature.
“The harmony derived from the continuity of color and light is the beauty we see in beautiful landscapes,” he illustrated. “For example, when you visit Bok Tower Gardens, it’s the totality of the garden – the flowers and the trees, together – that create the beauty you experience.”
“The viewers become dancers and through their movements, they become immersed in the artistic creation,” Treister explained.
Treister’s art studio was in Coconut Grove until 2001, when he moved to Winter Haven.
He has exhibited his art in galleries and fine art museums around the world, and sculpted Miami Beach’s world-famous Holocaust Memorial.
He received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Institute of Architects Miami and the Miami Center for Architecture and Design.
He has also authored a dozen books on art and architecture, and the University of Florida keeps an extensive collection of his photography – nearly 75,000 photos he has captured around the world.
Photos that Treister captured at the Miami City Ballet between 1989 and 1995 are also on display at the Polk State Winter Haven Fine Arts Gallery.
“Polk State College is incredibly honored to have Mr. Treister’s work and thought-provoking exhibit on display,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “This is a unique opportunity for our students, faculty, staff, and community members to experience the arts and we could not be more thrilled.”