February 16, 2024 – (KEY WEST, FL). On February 23, 2024, the Key West Museum of Art & History will open its juried art exhibition, “Shadow & Light” which features over 50 Florida Keys artists. The exhibition beckoned artists to immerse themselves in the outdoors, capturing natural light and its interaction with everyday objects into visual expressions that evoked contemplation, wonder, and introspection. The museum, located at 281 Front Street, welcomes the public to a special reception on February 23 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to celebrate the participating artists and the exhibit opening.
Juried by Dr. Cori Convertito of the Key West Art & Historical Society, Martha Resk from the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, Emma Starr of The Armory Studios, and Elena Devers of The Studios of Key West, the exhibit incorporates the basic painting principals of shadow and light in the broadest sense. A wide range of mediums will be on display including oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, fabric, pencil, sculpture, and mixed media.
“In art, shadow and light are fundamental to expressing three-dimensional form. When applied the correct way, shadow and light effects make a powerful storytelling tool,” says Cori Convertito, PhD, curator for the Society. “We were delighted and overwhelmed by the wide-ranging submissions that artists submitted and applaud the endless creativity in our arts community.”
“Shadow & Light” runs through April 28, 2024, in the Bryan Gallery and is sponsored by the Florida Department of State, Division of Arts & Culture, with additional support provided by The Helmerich Trust. For more information, visit www.kwahs.org/shadow-light, call Cori Convertito at 305-295-6616 x 507 or email@example.com.
KEY WEST, Florida Keys – The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden offers “Nature is Art” Workshop Series with a 3-part photography workshop with noted wildlife photographer Kristie Killam. Kristie has a long history with nature in the Keys, as a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Ranger at the National Key Deer Refuge, a biologist, a photographer and a teacher.
Workshop I: 9AM, Saturday, February 17, 2024 at the historic Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Toppino Nature chapel. Introduction, equipment review, techniques and ‘in the Garden’ field work with Kristie Killam.
Workshop II: 9AM, Saturday March 9, 2024, individual photo reviews, one on one mentorship session with Kristie to transfer pictures into a final art product (in person and/or zoom).
III: Art Gallery Showing, April 20-30, 2024. Finished art will be on display to the public at the Toppino Nature Chapel.
Registration required: $25 pp. Registration limited to 25 people. The Garden is located at 5210 College Road on Stock Island. For more information call 305-296-1504 or visit www.keywest.garden
“Keeping the Light: The History of the Key West Lighthouse” to be next KWAHS Happy Hour with the Historian Event
January 17, 2024 – (KEY WEST, FL). Raise a toast to Florida Keys history with Key West Art & Historical Society Curator and Historian Cori Convertito, Ph.D., on Monday, February 5, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. during her popular “Happy Hour with the Historian” program at Comedy Key West, 218 Whitehead Street. Enjoy a complimentary draft beer, glass of house wine, or a soft drink while Convertito presents on the evening’s topic, “Keeping the Light: The History of the Key West Lighthouse” in celebration of the arrival of USCGC Barbara Mabrity for a brief port visit. The namesake of the vessel was the principal keeper at the lighthouse for thirty-eight years.
Almost immediately after the U.S. Navy established a base in Key West in 1823, the need for a lighthouse became evident. Erecting a lighthouse was essential in assuring the safe arrival of both military and commercial vessels navigating the shallow, reef-laden waters off the Florida Keys. The current lighthouse opened in January 1848 with a woman as its keeper; nearly unheard of during the nineteenth century. In the years following, the Key West Lighthouse underwent several upgrades including the installation of a Third Order Fresnel Lens, an extension to the tower which allowed the light to be seen from a greater distance, the addition of Keeper’s Quarters, and finally the electrification of the light.
“Our Key West Lighthouse is unusual for many reasons, most noticeable is the fact that it is located inland,” says Convertito. “Aside from the location, it is also distinctive in that it had a total of three female lighthouse keepers between 1826 and 1914. They resided on the property with their families and were responsible for grueling responsibilities to keep the lighthouse lit every night, even during treacherous conditions, including hurricanes.”
In 1969, the U.S. Coast Guard decommissioned the Key West Lighthouse since there was no longer a need for a full-time keeper due to technological advancements. Today, this sentinel of the sea stands as a museum dedicated to Key West’s maritime heritage and to the men and women who bravely kept the light burning through the threats of war and weather.
Happy Hour with the Historian is limited to 75 attendees; reserve your spot now at kwahs.org/hh-lighthouse - $12 for KWAHS members, $15 for non-members. This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, with additional support provided by The Helmerich Trust and Comedy Key West. For more information, contact Cori Convertito, Ph.D. at 305-295-6616 x507 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Barbara Mabrity (WLM 559) Scheduled for Key West Port Visit and Public Tours
January 15, 2024 – (KEY WEST, FL). The USCGC Barbara Mabrity (WLM 559), a Keeper-class coastal buoy tender of the United States Coast Guard is scheduled to arrive in Key West on February 5, 2024, for a working port visit. Docking at Truman Waterfront Park, the crew will host free public tours on February 6 and 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Key West Art & Historical Society is also planning a series of events to mark the ship’s stopover.
Named for nineteenth century Key West lighthouse keeper Barbara Mabrity, the 175-foot ship was commissioned in 1999 and is home-ported in Mobile, Alabama. USCGC Barbara Mabrity is the ninth of the fourteen keeper class buoy tenders built by Marinette Marine Corporation during the 1990s. The cutters are named for famous lighthouse keepers of the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the Coast Guard. These technologically advanced cutters take advantage of state-of-the-art electronics and control systems including dynamic positioning system capable of maintaining the vessels positions within five yard in 20 knots of wind and 4 knots of current. USCGC Barbara Mabrity services aids to navigation from the St. Marks River in northern Florida to south central Louisiana including the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge south to the mouth of the river. Other missions include Marine Environmental Protection and Search and Rescue.
“We are delighted to welcome USCGC Barbara Mabrity to Key West to celebrate a quarter of a century of the ship in service and the 160th anniversary of Barbara’s retirement from the U.S. Lighthouse Service,” says Dr. Cori Convertito, curator and historian for the Society. “Due the grueling physical labor involved in operating lighthouses, female keepers were nearly unheard of in the male-dominated field. Not only it is incredible to honor Barbara for her thirty-eight years of service at both Key West lighthouses, the Society is also grateful to the ship for agreeing open for public tours.”
Barbara Mabrity was the keeper of original Key West Light from its first lighting in 1826 to 1846 when it was destroyed by a powerful hurricane. During that hurricane the tower collapsed and twelve people, including some of Mabrity’s children were injured or killed. When the present-day tower opened two years later, she returned in the same capacity until 1864 when she retired from the service at the age of 82.
For more information about the ship’s visit to Key West and public tours, visit www.kwahs.org/upcoming-events or contact Convertito (email@example.com). Those who would like more facts about the ship should visit the official U.S. Coast Guard website https://www.uscg.mil/
Key West Art & Historical Society’s Annual Back in Time Fundraiser ‘Caliente Cayo Hueso’ set for February 2
The Key West Art & Historical Society will be hosting its annual fundraiser, “Back in Time – Caliente Cayo Hueso” on February 2, 2024, under the stars on the grounds of the Key West Museum of Art & History. Proceeds from the Cuban-themed fundraiser benefit the ongoing restoration needs of the museum. (Photo Credit: Key West Art & Historical Society)
January 15, 2024 – (KEY WEST, FL). Take a trip back to 1950s Cuba during this season’s “Back in Time” fundraiser hosted by the Key West Art & Historical Society. Themed “Caliente Cayo Hueso,” the party takes place Friday, February 2, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. under the stars at the Key West Museum of Art & History. Proceeds support the ongoing preservation needs of the museum, the island’s architectural crown jewel that has graced the Mallory Square area for the last 133 years.
Attendees donning their best Cuban attire – think Guayaberas and Comparsa dresses – will enjoy cocktail hour inside the museum followed by an elevated plated Cuban dinner on the Front Street plaza. Pilar Rum mojitos will be flowing at the full open bar while the Latin band Caribe Key West performs so you Salsa the night away. There will be prizes for “Best Dressed”, an extensive silent auction, and an upscale cigar lounge. It will be a caliente evening you won’t want to miss and all for a great cause!
“As stewards of the Custom House building, we are grateful for the community’s continued support of our on-going preservation efforts,” says Michael F. Gieda, Executive Director of the Society. “Having completed critical work outlined in a 2013 assessment conducted by Bender & Associates, we continue to preserve and repair the historic building and its systems. With major upgrades to our archives nearing completion, we aim to overhaul and upgrade the elevator in 2024 to ensure access to the second-floor galleries and third-floor program areas. Proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will help offset the steep cost.”
Step “Back in Time” to invest in the future; purchase a single ticket for $200 or sponsor a table of eight for $1,600. Proceeds will be contributed to the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys’ Custom House Preservation Fund. For tickets visit www.kwahs.org/bit or contact Event Coordinator Bonnie McInnis at 305-295-6616 x 505.
Final Call to Florida Keys Artists: “Shadow & Light” Juried Art Exhibition at the Key West Museum of Art & History
January 15, 2024 – (KEY WEST, FL). The Key West Art & Historical Society wants to remind artists that the last call for entries for its new juried exhibition which is slated to open in February 2024 at the Key West Museum of Art & History is January 22. “Shadow & Light” is open to all artists living and creating in the Florida Keys. The new exhibition beckons artists to immerse themselves in the outdoors, capturing natural light and its interaction with everyday objects into visual expressions that evoke contemplation, wonder, and introspection. Juried by Dr. Cori Convertito of the Key West Art & Historical Society, Martha Resk from the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, Emma Starr of The Armory Studios, and Elena Devers of The Studios of Key West, the exhibit will include a special opening reception for the artists and the public on February 23, with the show running from that date through April 16.
The Society’s goal with this exhibition is to invite artists to create artwork that expresses ideas about the natural world and to venture into the intricate interplay between the elemental forces of nature and the ever-changing light of the Florida Keys. The museum is seeking submissions of original artwork that captures the essence of “Shadow & Light” in the broadest sense that include a range of mediums such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, encaustic, pencil, sculpture, and mixed media.
“In art, shadow and light are fundamental to expressing three-dimensional form. When applied the correct way, shadow and light effects make a powerful storytelling tool,” says Cori Convertito, PhD, curator for the Society. “We seek artwork that represents the dynamics between these two simple, yet powerful, components. The exhibit is open to all visual artists throughout the Florida Keys working in any fine art or fine craft medium or technique, in two or three dimensions, representational, abstract, or non-representational.”
The submission fee for artists is $25, which will offset the cost of the opening reception. Only one submission per artist, with a deadline of January 22. All mediums and themes will be considered but work must have been completed within the last three years and cannot have been displayed previously at the museum. Artist notification is February 9 with delivery dates February 13 to 15. Please note that Society policies strictly prohibit the sale of any artwork during the exhibit.
Please visit http://www.kwahs.org/shadow-light for important entry details and to submit your work. This exhibit is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the State of Florida, with additional support provided by The Helmerich Trust. For more information, contact Cori Convertito, Ph.D. at 305-295-6616 x507 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
January 15, 2024 – (KEY WEST, FL). On Thursday, February 15, from 6:00-10:00pm, Key West Art & Historical Society welcomes Donavon Frankenreiter along with folk rock band Goodnight, Texas to historic Fort East Martello, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd for an evening of music under the stars.
Donavon Frankenreiter made an instant connection with the band Goodnight, Texas recently while out on the road, comparing them to a modern-day version of The Band. He decided not only to bring them out as support for this tour, but also to have Goodnight, Texas play as his backing band alongside his longtime guitarist Matt Grundy. Incorporating their musicianship with a fresh take on Donavon’s extensive catalog, the evening will feature mandolin guitar, banjo, pedal steel, bass, drums, and more!
For nearly four decades Donavon has been traveling the globe, first as a professional surfer and now as a musician. Born in Southern California, Donavon spent most of his youth chasing waves, turning pro at the age of 16. These days instead of surf competitions, it’s concert halls that brings Frankenreiter to town, where he entertains audiences with his unique blend of laid-back grooves, philosophical lyrics and soulful delivery.
Concertgoers are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for the “backyard casual” setup that will include food vendors and cash bar. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $25 at kwahs.org/donavon or at the 6:00pm door opening. Children under 12 are free. Limited parking is available, bicycling, ride-share, or public transit is encouraged.
Don't miss this unforgettable night under the stars in the courtyard of Fort East Martello. Secure your spot and be part of a magical experience. For more information, contact Bonnie McInnis, Events Coordinator, at 305-295-6616 x505 or email@example.com.
Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
January 2, 2024 – (KEY WEST, FL). As the Tennessee Williams Key West Festival nears, Key West Art & Historical Society invites poets and writers to submit original works for its 2024 Poetry and Short Story writing contests – components of the annual celebration held each March in honor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning literary icon that moved to Key West in 1949 and remained a resident for 34 years.
While there is no specific theme for the 2024 writing competitions, submissions must in some way reference Tennessee Williams. Authors may choose to write a story referencing Williams, his family, one of his characters, or one of the actors/actresses who played a role in his plays or films. Cost is $10 per submission and is limited to one poem and/or one short story per person. The first-place winner in each contest will be awarded $300 while the second-place winner will receive $150. Submissions will be accepted through March 10, 2024. For full contest information, guidelines, and a submission link visit www.twfest.org/contests.
The Tennessee Williams Museum at 513 Truman Avenue is open every day for self-guided tours 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. For more information, contact Key West Art & Historical Society at 305-295-6616 or visit www.kwahs.org.
Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
The Key West Art & Historical Society Welcomes Families to the Key West Museum of Art & History on Community Day
The Key West Museum of Art & History is hosting its monthly Family Museum Day program on Sunday, January 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monroe County families can visit the Key West Museum of Art & History free of charge to enjoy a self-guided tour and create their very own souvenir postcard. (Photo credit: Key West Art & Historical Society)
December 21, 2023 – (KEY WEST, FL). On Sunday, January 7, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., join the staff of the Key West Museum of Art & History, located at 281 Front Street, to discover the drive and determination of Henry Flagler to bring a railroad all the way to Key West in the early twentieth century. Dubbed “Family Museum Day,” the program is designed to coincide with the Society’s wildly popular Community Day, a day offering free museum admission for Monroe County residents the first Sunday of each month.
While on the property, families are encouraged to take a self-guided tour of the permanent exhibition “Overseas to the Keys: Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railway”. In addition to free admission, adults and children are welcome to create and take home a postcard of Flagler’s train traveling across an overwater bridge. The free art project will be led by the Society’s Education Specialist Kassandra Collett and Art Educator Jenni Franke.
“When Flagler’s Overseas Railway Extension connected Key West to Florida’s mainland for the first time in 1912, the island’s residents were overjoyed with the possibilities for travel the shipment of merchandise,” says Collett. “Flagler’s trains whisked guests from northern urban areas to Key West in just over a day. Passengers traveling in the train cars felt as though they were flying over water as they crossed the bridges in the Florida Keys. It was certainly a surreal experience that was not found anywhere else.”
The monthly Family Museum Day program is free and open to the public. Registration is not required, and all supplies will be provided by the Key West Art & Historical Society. For additional information about the program, visit kwahs.org/upcoming-events. You can also contact Collett at 305-295-6616 x504 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the State of Florida, with additional support provided by The Helmerich Trust. Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
Key West Art & Historical Society Seeks Vendors for Annual Holiday Concert & Bazaar at Key West Museum of Art & History
October 30, 2023 – (KEY WEST, FL). Food-crafters, artists, and alchemists of all imaginings are invited to show and sell their creations at the upcoming Holiday Concert & Bazaar, on Friday, December 8, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Key West Museum of Art & History at the Custom House, 281 Front Street. The outdoor annual spectacular, which features many of the Keys finest artisans, musicians and choirs, and a dazzling holiday light show, attracts hundreds of happy revelers each year who come to shop and enjoy food, libations, and holiday cheer with friends and neighbors.
Those interested in registering as a vendor for the event should submit their application by November 15 to confirm their spot. The application and additional information are found on the Society’s website at www.kwahs.org/bazaar. Vendor spaces are limited and are granted on a first come first served basis. Questions about vendors or the event should be directed to Bonnie McInnis, Events Coordinator, at email@example.com or 305-295-6616 ext. 505.
Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
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