Discover your "creative" self with programs focused on the arts and wellness

CONTACT: Erica Smith
Director of Marketing
(863) 734-1210
September 26, 2016
Arts and wellness programming at Bok Tower Gardens

Creativity BLOOMS at Bok Tower Gardens with an Exciting Lineup of Arts, Culture and Wellness Opportunities

LAKE WALES, Fla. – Keeping with the time-honored tradition of presenting arts, culture and wellness against a backdrop of beauty and serenity, Bok Tower Gardens presents a variety of creative opportunities for visitors.  Educational programs require advance tickets or reservations and most sessions will be held in the all-new Alexander Discovery Center (unless noted). Art Exhibitions are included with general admission.

For more information, reservations and to purchase tickets, visit


Digital Camera School & Photo Safari
Saturday, October 29, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
$100 per person
Learn more about digital cameras in this half-day photography basics course. Explore camera settings, essential techniques, and the fundamentals of composition. The class will walk the Gardens to photograph the beautiful grounds to learn how to take amazing photographs! Instructor Robbin Joachim has a tremendous passion for fine art photography, which she has developed over the past 25 years as a photographer.

Time for A Change Meditation Retreat
Saturday, November 12, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
$30 per person
Join Reiki Master and Sound Healer Kristen Tenpenny as she demonstrates how meditation can be fun and easy! All levels are welcome and encouraged to participate. Participants can treat themselves with tastes, sounds, smells, yoga postures, breathing exercises, guided visualization meditation, Q & A, walking meditation, and a sound healing grand finale. *Participants should bring a yoga mat, a journal and pen, and an open mind!

Learn how to be a Willow: Resilience for a Balanced Life Introduction
Wednesday, November 16, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
$10 per person
Join Kelley Andrews, Florida Southern College Assistant Dean of Wellness to explore stress reduction tips and tricks for people on the go. This introductory class will teach visitors how to track daily energy, emotions and provide simple breathwork practices shifting your inner state to one of peace and stillness… even in the midst of chaos.

Just Breathe: Resilience for a Balanced Life Workshop
Saturday, November 19, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
$30 per person
Kelley Andrews, Florida Southern College Assistant Dean of Wellness leads a two-hour intensive yet restorative yoga & breathwork workshop designed to teach balance for a more rewarding life. Gentle yoga postures coupled with simple breathing practices will bring body, mind, spirit and emotions into balance.

Friday, December 2, 4 p.m. to  6 p.m.
Included in general admission, free to members
Towering stands of old-growth longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) once covered over 90 million acres stretching from southern Virginia to eastern Texas. Today, the total acreage is about two million, with only about two thousand of that considered old growth.  LONGLEAF: THE HEART OF PINE is a cultural and natural history of the South's ancient primeval forest and how it might still be saved.

Singing Pines: Writing Stories that Sustain Us with Janisse Ray, author and naturalist
Saturday, December 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$125 per person, includes lunch from Blue Palmetto Café
Don’t miss this opportunity to study for a full day with distinguished writer Janisse Ray, author of many award-winning books, including Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her workshops, she builds in plenty of time all day for you to be writing, and intersperses the writing with mini-lectures, brainstorming, handouts, sharing sessions, and small-group interactions. Participants will leave inspired to spend time at their desk, working toward dreams, armed with new ideas and contacts.

Yoga Kick-Off with Instructor Tracy Wynter
Saturday, January 14, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$20 per person
This weekend event kicks off several weeks of yoga programming and will serve as an introduction to the program and instructor Tracy Wynter. Experience the healing power of yoga surrounded in the serenity of the gardens.

Weekly Yoga Classes with Tracy Wynter
Tuesday evenings, January 10 through April 25 at 5:30 p.m.
Oval Lawn (indoor location available in the event of inclement weather)
$10 per person/class, $32 per person/four classes,
$60 per person/eight classes
Reservations required

Join instructor Tracy Wynter for an all level series of hour long yoga classes in the Gardens. Classes begin with a brief centering and evolve into a flow of movement and meditation. Comfortable outdoor dress recommended. Bring your own exercise mat and personal supplies.

Meet the Artist Reception: Douglas David “Wish You Were Here”
Friday, January 20, 6 pm. To 8 p.m., Visitor Center
$15 per person
Meet artist Douglas David at a special reception celebrating his art exhibition and workshop. Learn more about the inspiration behind his Florida favorites. Refreshments will be provided.

Landscape Oil Painting Weekend Workshop
Saturday and Sunday, January 21-22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$225 per student
Under the instruction of master artist Douglas David, the class will cover the basic principles of oil painting with regard to landscape painting. Painting out-of-doors, en plein air will be a major focus of the study after the basics are covered. Discussions and lectures on composition, massing, building form, light and shadow, developing atmospheric distance and depending on your own style, knowing when a work is finished. A basic art kit is available for purchase and must be reserved in advance.

Garden Watercolor Club
Meets every Thursday from January 28 to April 14, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Olmsted House
$200 per person
Less formal than watercolor classes, instructor Owen Jolly will lead the group through demonstrations, en plein air and self-directed activities. For intermediate and advanced students, participants will learn and explore painting techniques, drawing skills and how to harness your creativity during the spring club meetings.

Frederick Law Olmsted and the Olmsted Legacy
Saturday, February 4, 3p.m. – 6p.m.
$20 per person
Join us for a special afternoon exploring the Frederick Law Olmsted legacy. The afternoon begins with a tour of historic Bok Tower Gardens, a viewing of the of PBS film: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, a deeper dive with historian, writer and producer Laurence Cotton followed by cocktails in the Gardens.

Digital Camera School & Photo Safari
Saturday, February 25, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
$100 per person
Learn more about digital cameras in this half-day photography basics course. Explore camera settings, essential techniques, and the fundamentals of composition. The class will walk the Gardens to photograph the beautiful grounds to learn how to take amazing photographs! Instructor Robbin Joachim has a tremendous passion for fine art photography, which she has developed over the past 25 years as a photographer.

Meet the Artist: Barbara Stone “Polar Bears on Vacation”
Friday, March 3, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Join artist Barbara Stone for a talk about the theme of her upcoming art exhibit. Using some of the images of her artwork that features polar bears, the primary character of her artwork for over 35 years, she will explain the significance of symbols and experiences encountered in nature and how to use this information to better understand the world.

Story Telling Circle with Barbara Stone
Friday, March 3, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
$15 per person
Artist Barbara Stone will lead a Story Telling Circle. The session will begin with a brief talk about types and structure of story. Participants may then volunteer to share personal tales related to prompts.  No preparation or previous experience is necessary. Expect to leave the circle with a peaceful heart and a smile.

Story Circle Workshop with Barbara Stone
Saturday, March 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Magnolia Room
$70 per person
Artist Barbara Stone will lead a personal story creating workshop using various sites within Bok Tower Garden as inspiration and as opportunities for reflection. Participants will craft personal narratives to share stories that have shaped their lives. With Barbara’s suggestions for effective telling and respectful listening, the small group will explore through story. Identify and reconnect to the personal experiences that shape lives using Bok Tower Gardens as a springboard.

Watercolor Workshop inspired by the Gardens with
Cathy Futral

Saturday, March 11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$75 per person
Beginners and intermediate artists will have an intense workshop experience with master watercolor artist Cathy Futral making landscape and floral studies during the morning painting session after demonstrations of color mixing and layer processes. During the afternoon session, participants will have a chance to paint en plein air in the garden or from photos of the Gardens. Breakfast, lunch and supplies provided.


“Plant Patterns and Portraits”
The Art of Redenta Soprano and Carolyn Cohen

October 21 to January 12
Carolyn Cohen and Redenta Soprano and were brought together as friends because of their mutual love for plants and art. Both originally lived in the northeast, and both for most of their lives, have observed natural forms in detail and have drawn and painted what they’ve seen. This exhibition contains a collection of their works, which are portraits of plants rendered in the traditional vein of botanical illustration.

“Wish You Were Here”
Douglas David Paints His Florida Favorites

January 13 to April 13
Douglas been painting full time for over 20 years, capturing the natural beauty of landscapes, seascapes, city life and still lifes throughout the United States and Europe. Along the way, he has connected and built relationships with people across the country - through the timeless beauty of art. His work includes oil on canvas using an Impressionistic approach with a signature style that uses a soothing and harmonious blend of colors, with brushwork that’s fluid and spontaneous.

“Polar Bears on Vacation”
The Art of Barbara Stone

April 14 to July 13
Barbara Stone has exclusively used the image of polar bears as a personal symbol in her artwork since 1979. Her research has taken her to Canada's Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Alaska to study the yearly migration of polar bears. A self-taught artist, she has developed a unique style of incorporating colored pencil with watercolor in her paintings. She has explored many media with the polar bear image, including fabric design for Japanese kimonos, porcelain sculpture, water color paintings, wooden furniture forms, pen and ink and pencil drawings, and serigraph and lithograph prints.

“Building an Icon: The Way We Worked On Singing Tower”
July 14 to January 17
Bok Tower Gardens celebrates the city’s centennial anniversary, in partnership with the Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center, Florida’s Natural Grove House and the Lake Wales Public Library. The exhibit includes never before seen educational and historical materials about the craftsmanship and construction of Florida’s original attraction and iconic Singing Tower.