Faces of Lakeland exhibit showcases local artist's talents - WFLA News Channel 8

Faces of Lakeland exhibit showcases local artist's talents

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Aaron Corbitt Aaron Corbitt
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

Aaron Corbitt is an artist with a vision of reflecting his community's diversity through the faces of some of its more noteworthy residents.

"It was just an idea that I kind of had for about two years before it came to fruition," Corbitt explained.

The 28-year-old artist is using his talents to paint portraits of some of Lakeland's most famous faces. Those portraits will go on display and for sale March 1st in downtown Lakeland.

"Every artist kind of needs a goal or a vision, and this was mine, something to work on," Corbitt said.

David Collins, the owner of Paint Along Studios in downtown Lakeland, offered Corbitt free studio space and a chance few young artists get.

"The word starving is sometimes applied to artist, and this is a way to get an artist known so that he can make a living," Collins said.

Collins says he believes the community will be impressed by Corbitt's talents.

"We decided that we would paint 60 portraits so that we could get the word out that we have a young, capable artist in our midst here in Lakeland that can paint as good a portrait as anybody anywhere," he said.

Among the faces Corbitt is painting is Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields, local philanthropist Alice O'Reilly, State Legislator Seth McKeel and WFLA Anchor (and lifelong Lakeland resident) Jennifer Leigh.

Some of the portraits reflect lesser known residents who have still have important impacts on the community.

"There's a girl there who's 14 who you know is bald," Collins said. "That's a unique but notable person. There's a homeless person. There's a man that washes the windows downtown," he said.

Corbitt says he's eager to get reaction to the five dozen portraits he's painted. 

"The artists that I know that live in caves and don't show their work don't get any reaction from it, so they don't learn or grow from it," Corbitt said.

Corbitt's work will be on display for the first time Friday March 1st at Lakeland's First Friday event which runs from 6pm - 9pm in Munn Park. 

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