The Tennessee Williams Museum, located at 513 Truman Avenue, joins the island of Key West in celebrating its 200th Anniversary. The museum has expanded two of its historical exhibits that provide detailed material about two major gifts given by Tennessee Williams to the City of Key West.
The expanded exhibits showcase information about Williams’ writing, filming, and premiering “The Rose Tattoo” in Key West during the 1950s. Also, in 1981 Williams gifted the use of his name to the Tennessee Williams Fine Arts Center, now called the Tennessee Williams Theatre. These are two of the many cultural and philanthropic contributions made by the playwright during his thirty-four-year residency that helped place Key West on the cultural and literary map.
Both of the museum’s exhibits have been repositioned and enhanced to provide new information about these gifts through the use of original photos by Don Pinder, playbills signed by the playwright, artifacts and stimulating details about the development and dedication of the Tennessee Williams Theatre.
The Museum is open for self-guided tours from Thursday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30. p.m. An information sheet is available for guests that provides more in-depth details about the exhibits. For those seeking additional knowledge about the filming of “The Rose Tattoo” in Key West and the inclusion of local citizens and island locations in the film, or fascinating details about the dedication of the Tennessee Williams Theatre, Dennis Beaver, the Museum curator offers private day-time tours for four or more guests. Prior arrangements must be made by visiting the museum’s website https://www.kwahs.org/museums/tennessee-williams/visit
As part of Key West’s Bicentennial Celebration in March, artists from the Florida Keys and beyond will join Reynerio Tamayo, Cuba’s preeminent baseball artist, in an exhibition celebrating America’s favorite pastime. “Play Ball!” is a multi-artist tribute to baseball on view from March 3-31, featuring a new body of work by Tamayo, as well as over 100 baseball bats transformed into works of art.
“On the eve of Key West’s 200th anniversary, it makes sense to celebrate two of the ingredients in our island’s secret sauce: our cultural roots in Cuba, and our love of baseball,” said Jed Dodds, Executive Director of The Studios. “Earlier this year, we put out a call to artists to pick up a bat and to use their imagination and any materials they wanted to turn it into a unique artwork.”
The resulting collection runs the gamut, from brightly painted scenes to ornate sculptural objects. Some bats have been transformed entirely; one into a fully functional lamp and another into a didgeridoo that can be played. A handful have been carved or hollowed out and put back together, and a few others elevate the bat into a tribute to Conch Culture and Women’s Baseball.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a new body of paintings of Tamayo, an artist known for his good-natured but sharply drawn commentaries on pop culture, history and politics. Tamayo says, “the Cuban people’s passion for the sport is connected to their identity,” and his portrait of baseball’s Major League star Bronson Arroyo, who was born and raised in Key West, is a true celebration of a homegrown hero.
Also on view in March in The Studios’ Sanger Gallery is “Journey to the Great Round” by Marlene Koenig. Koenig’s ambitious, meticulous, fantastical paintings and works on paper are inspired by her close study of eastern spirituality and Jungian philosophy. The Zabar Project Gallery will feature “Facades,” Pamela Kostmayer’s latest abstract work consists of mixed media including encaustic, paper, wood, metal objects and oil stick.
All three exhibitions will be on view Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm, at The Studios, 533 Eaton Street.
“Play Ball!” Is made possible by a partnership between Florida Keys Council of the Arts, Old Island Restoration Foundation, Gallery on Greene, and The Studios of Key West. More information on the exhibitions can be found at www.tskw.org.
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.
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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