(Key West, Fl) The Studios of Key West is pleased to announce an exciting lineup of programs this fall, including an array of special events and artist talks, art and writing classes, and a day trip to Art Basel on December 8. Registration for preseason is now open, and the full schedule can be found at www.tskw.org.
Known for its excellent class offerings, several favorites return to The Studios this fall, including Novel Writing with Hays Blinckmann on November 21 and 22; Enjoyable Astronomy with Larry Halstead on November 21 and 22; Intuitive Painting with B. Lucy Stevens on December 10; and the ever-popular The Artist’s Way, a 12-week course designed to unlock creativity, Tuesday evenings starting December 5. The course is taught by beloved instructor Rosalind Brackenbury.
“I'm really excited to be beginning a new 'Artist's Way' class in December; each one turns out to be a revelation, and totally surprising - which is why I love teaching it,” said Brackenbury. “I also delight in the 'family' spirit we seem to grow into over 12 weeks of the class.”
Other classes on offer this fall include Plein Air Painting, Portrait Drawing, Poetry Writing, and Paint Pouring.
The Studios also offers a lineup of special events including an artist talk on November 9 with actress and award-winning filmmaker Tipper Newton, best known for her role as Karen in The Mindy Project. Studios Artistic Associate Stephen Kitsakos sits down with Newton to discuss her filmmaking and acting career, as well as screen a curated selection of short films.
The Studios is also offering an all-day chartered coach trip to Miami’s Art Basel on December 8. Day trippers will arrive at the largest, coolest, most cutting-edge contemporary art event in the country, spend the day taking it all in, have a relaxed dinner, and on the way home, will have the opportunity to take a nap, have a glass of wine, and swap celebrity-sighting stories.
Visit www.tskw.org to learn about all the opportunities on offer at The Studios this fall, including their Winter Members’ Exhibition, open to all members, and their Holiday Artisan Fair, now accepting reservations from vendors.
Jed Dodds, The Studios of Key West’s Executive Director since 2012, has been selected for the prestigious Leadership Florida program as a member of its 41st Cornerstone Class. Dodds will be among fifty-five Florida leaders aged 40 and over, including corporate CEOs, business owners, educators, elected officials and non-profit executives, participating in a nine-month, multi-city educational program exploring critical issues facing the State of Florida.
“Our mission at Leadership Florida is to bring together committed leaders from all over the state to recharge their leadership skills and expand their network,” said Wendy Spencer, president and CEO of Leadership Florida. “Through this powerful community, our class participants are able to find the knowledge and inspiration to take on some of Florida’s biggest challenges.”
In his time at The Studios, Dodds has spearheaded the development of its downtown campus, anchored by their iconic flagship building at the corner of Eaton and Simonton. Busy with exhibitions, concerts, plays, classes, a bookstore and rooftop terrace, The Studios is at the center of the island’s cultural life. Just next door, the arts organization is currently completing a $2.5M renovation of the PEAR House, which welcomes artists in residence from around the world to create new work in Key West.
Group photo caption: Winners of the 2023 Robert Frost Poetry Contest for kids and teens attend a winners’ ceremony at Hugh’s View, The Studios of Key West. Back row, from left: Rose Centonze (Second Place Teens), Dzyre Nesbitt (Third Place Teens), Tania Hull (First Place Kids), Kaden Savedra (Third Place Kids), Zyaire Allen. Front row: Emilia Serissky, Sam Mendez, Isaiah Ruiz (First Place Teens). Not pictured: Lily Sobchenko (Second Place Kids), Antonio Gomez, Naomi Johnson, Jeremiah McLoud. Photo by Johnny White.
Congratulations to the winners of the Robert Frost Poetry contest for kids & teens! The winners and their families and friends gathered on Saturday, May 27 to celebrate the amazing accomplishment of placing in the top 3% of entries. The contest, administered by The Studios of Key West, received over 400 entries this year and honored 12 students with awards. The winners were also able to read their poems aloud to the crowd of over 50 proud supporters.
The winners and honorable mentions are from Key West to Key Largo, and range in age from 6 to 17. Kids 6-12: Tania Hull (First Place,12), Lily Sobchenko (Second Place, 12), Kaden Savedra (Third Place, 12), Zyaire Allen (12), Sam Mendez (6), Emilia Serissky (9). Teens 13-18: Isaiah Ruiz (First Place, 13), Rose Centonze (Second Place, 14), Dzyre Nesbitt (Third Place, 15), Antonio Gomez (16), Naomi Johnson (16), Jeremiah McLoud (13).
Read the winning poems at https://tskw.org/kidspoetrycontest/
Through funds established by the Jeane and Jessie Porter Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, the contest for children and teenagers was created, nurturing and developing the interest of budding poets, and their vital connection to the creative spirit of the Florida Keys.
Weeklong project includes May 15 Town Hall Session, May 16-20 Building Week, and May 20 Final Event
Climb aboard The Conch Ship! The Studios of Key West, with a crew of artists led by Chantal Pavageaux, invites the public to be a part of this one-of-a-kind art event, where The Studios will attempt the impossible – capturing the island’s state of mind in under a week as a live art performance event.
The whole island is invited to participate, and there are a number of ways to get involved in the weeklong series of events.
On Monday May 15, from 6-7:30pm, there’s a free Town Hall Conversation – a structured input session where snacks are served and anyone and everyone is invited to share their thoughts, dreams and fears for our island.
May 16-20 is Building Week, when the ideas generated during the Town Hall are creatively transformed into The Conch Ship. Volunteers are invited to drop in and help make the magic happen, committing as much or as little time they’d like. Creative skills are appreciated, but not required, and everyone is welcome.
On Saturday May 20, 6-7:30pm, The Studios presents The Conch Ship: A Community Powered Art Event. Part installation, part performance, and part social gathering, the public can experience the results of a week’s creativity, centered on the island we love, and then have some food and drink together to talk about it. Tickets for the final event are $10, and 100% of ticket sales benefit S.O.S. Food Pantry.
All events take place at The Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton Street. Project details and tickets for the May 20 final event can be purchased at tskw.org, or by calling 305-296-0458.
Made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys.
Director of Exhibitions and Education, Customer Relations Manager, and Director of Operations Hired at The Studios of Key West
To facilitate the ongoing development of their facilities and programs, The Studios of Key West has welcomed three new staff members to their growing team.
Coming to Key West from Laurel, Mississippi, Michael Ross has joined The Studios as the Director of Exhibitions and Education. Ross has a Master’s degree in drawing from Northern Illinois University, and has spent a good part of his life in San Francisco, where he managed a large retail store in the downtown Financial District for nearly two decades. Ross has also worked as a curator at museums, community centers and galleries. When considering a move to Key West, Ross was immediately taken by the breathtaking beauty of the island, and the unique population of residents who aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd. As an artist himself, Ross has a keen understanding of the unique and specific needs of artists, and he looks forward to developing relationships and introducing The Studios' programs to new groups on the island.
Elise Irwin has been hired as Customer Relations Manager, overseeing The Studios’ busy front desk operation, where tickets, artwork and donations are processed, and where visitors are welcomed. Originally from St. Simons Island, Georgia, Irwin lived in St. Augustine before moving to Key West 12 years ago. She has a background in serving the public in various roles, and has worked as a wedding planner, an office manager, a realtor, and in retail sales. She has a BFA in Art from Flagler College, she creates art and sculpture, and also designs her own line of jewelry. She’s excited to welcome guests to The Studios, and looks forward to being surrounded by art and artists every day.
Andrew Zimmerman has joined the team as the Director of Operations. He has a Master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Kaplan University, a wealth of managerial experience, and enjoys providing professional coaching and development. He lived in Key West for seven years before moving to Chicago to further develop his career, where he managed high-volume retail stores. Since he relocated back to Key West earlier this year with his wife, he’s been dabbling in journaling, painting, and discovering new music. He looks forward to his new role at The Studios, where he plans to try his hand at a few classes, discover new skills, and immerse himself in the arts.
To learn more about The Studios of Key West, including their upcoming creative season of exhibitions, classes and performances, please visit www.tskw.org.
Announcing "Sea Level Stories", a partnership between First Horizon, FIRM, and the Studios of Key West
First Horizon Bank presents The Studios of Key West with a check to support Sea Level Stories, by artist Jane Baldridge, which is being presented in partnership with FIRM (Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe). Planned for October 2022, the exhibition will be accompanied by public programs in Key West and up the Keys raising awareness of critical issues around sea level rise.
Robert Frost Poetry Contest for Children and Teens
Deadline: Tue, May 3, 2022
In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, and Robert Frost (1874-1963), The Studios of Key West is delighted to host the Annual Children and Teen Poetry Contest each year. Following spring break, the contest will be open to all Monroe County children & teens.
Monroe county students are encouraged to submit poetry entries to the Robert Frost Poetry Contest for Children and Teens by May 3. Children aged 6-12 and teens aged 13-18 are encouraged to mail or drop their poems off at The Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton Street. Students may also submit written works by emailing poems to email@example.com. Students should include their name, parent or guardian’s name, phone number and age with submissions. Poetry can be any length, based on any subject, and be rhymed or unrhymed. Teachers may also submit the work of their students.
Cash prizes are as follows: $150 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place, in each age category.
National Poetry Month is a worldwide celebration that highlights poetry’s vital place in our culture. The Florida Keys have a special connection with Robert Frost, who won four Pulitzer Prizes for his poetry, and wintered many years at the garden cottage of the Heritage House in Key West. Through funds established by the Jeane and Jessie Porter Fund at the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, the contest for children and teenagers was created in his honor, and nurtures and develops the interest of budding poets, and their vital connection to the Keys’ creative spirit.
Winners will be announced online and recognized at an awards reception and public reading to be held at The Studios, 533 Eaton Street, on May 21, 2022. Made possible by the Jeane and Jessie Porter Memorial Fund
Contact: Michelle Boscamp, Marketing and Development Coordinator 305-296-0458 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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).
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