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.
Arts Council Presents the Connections Project 2022 Grand Opening at Baker’s Cay in Key Largo January 31st
The Florida Keys Council of the Arts works invites you to join in celebrating the tenth year of the annual Connections Project with a grand opening reception at Baker’s Cay Resort, 97000 Overseas Hwy in Key Largo on Tuesday, January 31st from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. The event features a vibrant 24-foot mosaic mural created by local artists and art lovers. The reception with refreshments is open to the public.
The Connections Project is one of the Arts Council’s innovative activities connecting community members with local arts and cultural initiatives. The Arts Council provides a 6x6 blank canvas to local professional artists and artistic residents who then create a piece of art. “People of all abilities and skill levels are encouraged to participate,” said Florida Keys Arts Council Executive Director Elizabeth Young. “We offer free workshops led by local artists, and, we’re privileged to have more than 300 Keys artists contributing a piece of art to Connections Project 2022.”
Once the completed canvases are collected, the mosaic is assembled by volunteers and taken on the road from Key Largo to Key West for seven art receptions and exhibitions. All receptions run from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Exhibits are open during regular business hours of the Arts Council business partner’s locations. The Connections Project: A Mosaic of the Keys is generously sponsored by Royal Furniture. The mosaic mural will be on exhibit in each location for about two weeks before going on the road to the next venue. The next stop after Baker’s Cay will be Our Place in Paradise gallery, located at 88711 Overseas Hwy in Tavernier, with a reception on Saturday, February 5th.
After connecting with the art, patrons can also collect art by making a $50 donation for one canvas or a $125 donation for three at any reception or online at www.keysarts.com. Once the road show has ended, donors receive a randomly selected piece of the mosaic in the mail. Each work includes an artist statement providing insight into the origin of the work and the artist’s thoughts and inspiration. Proceeds from the Connections Project directly benefit Keys’ artists and arts organizations through Arts Council grants, including Art Builds Community, Artists in Schools, and Special Projects grants.
For more information call the Florida Keys Council of the Arts at 305.295.4369 or visit www.keysarts.com.
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