The Florida Keys Council of the Arts announces a grant opportunity, Art Builds Community (ABC), to support arts and culture projects that spark conversations, spur social change, generate cultural equity and make our community stronger. Grant funding is offered at $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000 for projects that support, build and broaden access to the arts and specifically address civic challenges and community issues through the arts. New for this round, some funds will be distributed as start-up resources for outstanding project ideas.
Florida Keys artists, arts organizations and civic/community-based organizations are encouraged to form alliances and partnerships to strengthen communities through projects that connect the arts with local issues and opportunities for all people. The ABC grant deadline is May 20th at midnight. The online application and more information are available at www.keysarts.com.
“The Florida Keys Council of the Arts is committed to ensuring that everyone in our community has equal access to the arts and the fundamental right to express their culture through the arts,” said executive director Elizabeth Young. “Many of our resident’s experience vast disparities in terms of access to and participation in arts and culture activities. We believe the arts have the power to change hearts and minds, and inspire social change.”
Art Builds Community is funded in part by The Helmerich Trust, Ocean Sotheby’s, Louis Wolfson III and private donations. To support the Art Builds Community grant program, help build cultural equity and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors in the Florida Keys, please contact: Executive Director Elizabeth Young, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Key West Art & Historical Society announced today the donation of six woodcarvings created by distinguished Cuban American folk artist Mario Sanchez. Joining another 200 Sanchez works already part of its permanent collection, the Society holds the largest assemblage of the artist’s works ranging from paper bag sketches to handcrafted paper kites and intricate woodcarvings.
A gift from the estate of Charles and Barbara Martin, winter residents of Key West for several decades, the six woodcarvings were purchased directly from the artist by the Martins in the 1960s and were proudly displayed in Michigan until early 2022 when they returned to Key West.
Sanchez, a Key West native, is among this country’s finest and most recognized folk artists. The self-taught artist was born in Key West in 1908, the grandson of Cuban immigrants. In the 1940s, at the urging of his mother-in-law, he began creating intricate carvings depicting life in Key West as he remembered from his childhood. Of his work, Sanchez adopted as his motto: “Se que mi modesto arte no es bueno, pero gusta,” or “I know my modest art isn’t good, but it pleases.”
“This is a substantial gift to the Society,” says Cori Convertito, curator. “With the addition of these works, the Society will be able to offer a much richer representation of the art and history of the island, one that includes enhanced perspectives of our past and skillfully embodies our diverse culture and heritage.”
In addition to the works, a series of letters exchanged between the Martins and Sanchez accompany the gift affording information on artwork purchase dates, insurance values and backgrounds on the various individuals that appear in the carvings.
“The handwritten letters form an integral part of the donation,” says Convertito. “Having contextual information such as this allows the museum to tell a more complete story of who Mario was as an artist and about the recurring characters he deftly included in his intaglios.”
The woodcarvings have been digitized and are available for viewing on the Society’s website, www.kwahs.org/collections. For more information about the donation, or to discuss possible donations to the Society, contact Cori Convertito at 305-295-6616 x112 or email@example.com.
The College of the Florida Keys will showcase the talent and creativity of its students at the annual Student Art Show in the Library Gallery on the Key West Campus. Join art students, art faculty, and art lovers from the entire Keys community to celebrate a year’s worth of art and accomplishment at the opening reception on Wednesday, April 20, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The event, sponsored by the College of The Florida Keys Foundation, is free and open to the public.
A myriad of artwork created by students this past year will be featured, including pottery, photography, and sculptures. Some pieces will be for sale with proceeds going to the student artists as well as the Library Gallery Fund. Several awards will be given for each category, including the prestigious $1,000 “Jay Gogin Excellence in Visual Arts Award,” named after the College of the Florida Keys late Artist in Residence and ceramics instructor. Attendees will be invited to cast votes for the winner of the “People’s Choice” award.
For more information, contact Kristina Neihouse, Director, Learning Resource Center. firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-809-3501
The City of Key West welcomes Wyland back to town! The artist has worked his way down the Keys repainting his three murals, first in Key Largo, then Marathon, and now Key West.
The iconic mural graces two sides of the Waterfront Brewery building at the Historic Seaport.
Key West Art Center & Gallery, which is celebrating their 62nd year in its present location at 301 Front Street, will present the 14th annual Plein Air Key West on Saturday, March 12, 2022. Artists in all media are welcome and can register at the gallery between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. to participate, or pre-register online, with artists returning completed art work back to the gallery by 1:30 p.m.
Plein Air Key West is an all-inclusive and fun event that attracts local artists and talented amateurs throughout the Keys with many visiting artists planning their trips to Key West around this time to participate. Watercolor, acrylic, oil and pastel paintings, charcoal, and pencil sketch artists are all welcome.
A reception will be held the evening of March 12, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the rear courtyard of the Art Center and people’s choice awards will be announced. All artwork from the event will be for sale and will hang until March 19.
For information, a show application and registration, go to keywestartcenter.com or stop by Key West Art Center & Gallery at 301 Front Street daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The History of Diving Museum invites you to visit the new featured exhibit Dive Into Art: FantaSea. This is the fourth collaborative art show with the Museum, Art Guild of the Purple Isles (AGPI) and local students. The limited-time show encompasses fantasy elements tied to the ocean: mermaids, pirates, sea monsters and more, as well as literary themes such as fairytales, fantastical poems and epics.
The museum celebrated the opening of the exhibit by inviting teachers and students from the eight participating schools; Coral Shores High School, Key Largo School, Key Largo Middle School, Ocean Studies Charter School, Plantation Key School, Stanley Switlik Elementary School and Treasure Village Montessori, to an afternoon preview. Students were delighted to see their work on display and be able to share the experience with family members. Following the preview, Art Guild of the Purple Isles board members hosted a virtual walkthrough and in-person tour.
The exhibit would not have been possible without the help of members and donors contributing to our Giving Tuesday campaign. In addition, the Featured Exhibit is sponsored in part by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, Florida Keys & Key West Tourism Development Council, State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The History of Diving Museum greatly appreciates these wonderful organizations that support outreach programming and events.
The exhibit will be on view through April 20th, and the student art will then travel to the Monroe County public libraries.
The History of Diving Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit located in Islamorada (MM83). Open daily 10am-5pm, both divers and land-lovers alike are amazed by over 4,000 years of “the quest to explore under the sea.” From early breath-hold diving to venturing into the abyss, see how pioneers shaped our understanding of the world below, and the special role that South Florida and the Florida Keys played in this untold story. Check out DivingMuseum.org to find out more, become a member to support this important history and shop for unique items in the Museum Store.
The Studios of Key West is pleased to announce Helen and Ben Harrison as the recipients of this year’s Golden Mango Award. The award was established in 2015 “to recognize persons who make aesthetic, social, intellectual, and philanthropic contributions to our island arts community and its reputation as a center for the arts.” The Harrisons were recognized during The Studios’ Annual Patron Brunch on January 16, and were presented with a striking mango sculpture designed by artist Adam Russell.
“Helen and Ben’s story is as Key West as it gets; it's almost like a fairytale,” says Executive Director Jed Dodds. “They came here on a boat, put down roots like a tree and just started gifting us with the fruits of their creativity. Now, a generation or so later, they’re still providing shade for us to relax in, and a reminder why we love it here."
The Harrisons first arrived in Key West in 1979 in a 38’ sailboat they built by hand, docking at one of the submarine finger piers of the yet-undeveloped Truman Annex. Ben quickly got a job playing guitar and singing at Two Friends Patio Bar, and has entertained the island with his music ever since. In 1986, the Harrisons purchased the cinder block 1950’s era shop at 825 White Street, turning it into Harrison Gallery, which over the past 35 years has presented 172 artists and is widely recognized for the eclectic contemporary works exhibited inside its walls.
Helen is a well-known activist and artist whose work is impactful and widely collected. A longtime board member of The Studios, she now serves as an Artistic Advisor. She spearheaded the conservation group Save our Pines to help protect the Australian Pines at Fort Zach. As a curator of art, she counts among her proudest accomplishments the 2019 Tom Majors “With the Grain: Tribute to Wood Art” exhibition at The Studios.
Ben is an author, musician and playwright with a distinctive voice and a delightful sense of humor. His gift for storytelling truly captures the unique history and character of Key West. He’s written many original songs, penned several books, and his most recent musical, “Undying Love”, played for ten sold out evenings in 2018 at The Studios.
Together, Helen and Ben have raised two sons. They’ve served as advocates and mentors to countless artists, writers, and musicians, and helped to grow and preserve Key West’s reputation as an Island of the Arts.
The Studios of Key West has presented a Golden Mango Award to an individual or couple for the past six years. Prior recipients include Judy and Stanley Zabar (2015), Ann and Bill Lorraine (2016), Anne McKee (2017), John Martini (2018), Judy Blume and George Cooper (2019), Christopher Peterson (2020), and Lynn Kaufelt (2021).
Beginning Friday, February 18, the Key West Art Center & Gallery will be displaying works of its associate members daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 301 Front Street, Key West, Florida. A reception will be held outdoors behind the building on Friday, February 18, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The Key West Art Center & Gallery is beginning its 62nd year as Key West’s oldest continually operating art gallery and the only gallery whose members are all Keys resident artists. The associate members contribute to the nonprofit organization’s mission of encouraging local artists and of bringing programs to the public that encourage an appreciation of the arts.
The show will continue through March 4, with all works for sale. For further information please contact Haley Herriott at (305) 906-1832.
Artist-designed baseball bats created in celebration of Key West’s 200th anniversary
[Key West, FL.] On the eve of Key West’s 200th anniversary, Play Ball!, a multi-venue exhibition, celebrates two of the ingredients in Key West’s secret sauce: our cultural roots in Cuba, and our love of baseball. A central component of the project is the creation of 200 newly commissioned, artist-designed baseball bats. The Studios of Key West is seeking artists who’d like to design a baseball bat using their favorite materials, turn it into a unique artwork, then submit it for participation.
Artists may pick up a Play Ball! bat from The Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton Street, now through January 29 during regular box office hours (Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm). The Studios will accept completed bats between February 17-19, and the exhibition will be on view March 3-31.
Artists will be paid 65% of the sales proceeds from any Play Ball! bats, with the balance supporting The Studios of Key West and Old Island Restoration Foundation.
For more information about the project, please visit https://tskw.org/call-for-artists-play-ball-artists-baseball-bats/.
Play Ball! is made possible by a partnership between The Studios of Key West, Old Island Restoration Foundation, Florida Keys Council of the Arts, and Gallery on Greene
Image: Artwork by Cuban artist Reynerio Tamayo depicting Bronson Arroyo, Major League Baseball pitcher, who was born and raised in Key West.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.