Polk State College prides itself on providing affordable, flexible, and accessible quality higher education, including world-class instruction in the arts and experiential learning experiences such as the opportunity for students to showcase their work in the whole community.
Polk State visual arts students enjoyed sharing and selling their artwork at the Bandit Market in Winter Haven at the Ritz Theater, where hundreds of people browsed and purchased the works of artisans from across downtown. Florida in a market considered “not your grandma’s craft fair” – “where the cool kids shop.”
Polk State students Lillian Argueta, Paula Joglar and Ivan Ramos were joined by ceramics teacher Andrew Coombs and art teacher Holly Scoggins at the market, which was the first large-scale community event at which the arts program visuals has participated since the start of the pandemic.
“It’s important for students and young artists to get that kind of experience and exposure in the community, and we’re happy to be able to connect them to opportunities like this,” Scoggins said. “Students have expressed interest in registering for events like this in the future and it’s great to hear whether they are participating again with the College or registering independently. “
Joglar was thrilled when her painting titled birds of paradise sold at the start of the event.
“What inspired my work was the idea that a lot of artists don’t know how to do backgrounds, so I wanted to just focus on the backgrounds, without the subject and playing with the lighting. “, she explained.
She credited Professor Scoggins with not only guiding her inspiration, but also encouraging her to enroll in the arts program.
“Polk State is more affordable than other colleges…and has its own opportunities [being] really close to the community,” Joglar explained. “At a big college your work might not be noticeable, whereas at Polk State you can participate in opportunities like this – a community event where you can get your name out there and start doing something for yourself. -same.”
Argueta echoed that enthusiasm. She joined Polk State as a dual-enrollment student in 11th grade.
“I’ve been doing art since I was little, but professionally I started at Polk State. I took my first art class and fell in love,” she said. , I fell in love with painting when I took this course, but Polk State offers a multitude of courses that are all beneficial for an art student. I love working with all the teachers – they are all great and have something special they teach.
The students, encouraged by working alongside other artisans who have achieved successful careers through their art and opportunities like the bandit market, have provided some motivation for others interested in the arts and pursuing higher education.
“Having a love of art, and if you really put in the work, you can really be successful, especially once you get your training and degree,” Argueta said. “It’s a good career choice.
Polk State offers a seamless path to an associate of arts degree with a concentration in art that leads to bachelor’s degree programs at four-year universities. The College also offers many arts-specific scholarship opportunities. Committed and talented teachers guide students through every step of the process.
“The teachers are really dedicated to helping us find our future in the art world,” Joglar said. “I’m grateful for the opportunities Polk State has given me.”
More information about the arts at Polk State College is available online at www.polk.edu/the-arts. The next Bandit Market will take place on December 3 at the Ritz Theater.