“Collecting Key West: The Sketches of Mario Sanchez” to be next KWAHS Happy Hour with the Historian Event
October 3, 2023 – (KEY WEST, FL). Raise a toast to Florida Keys art and history with Key West Art & Historical Society Curator and Historian Cori Convertito, Ph.D., on Thursday, October 19, 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, “Collecting Key West: The Sketches of Mario Sanchez” which will explore the techniques, places, and recurring characters that feature in the Cuban American artist’s famed works.
Much like sculptors employ maquettes, Mario Sanchez used his brown paper bag sketches to visualize and experiment with shapes and concepts without undertaking the effort of producing elaborate woodcarvings. Both his sketches and woodcarvings tell the story of Old Key West, melding art and history in a single scene. His abilities led to Sanchez being presented with the Florida Folk Heritage Award conferred by the Florida Secretary of State and the Florida Folklife Council in 1985. Today, he is still considered one of the nation’s greatest folk artists.
“Key West is fortunate to have Mario Sanchez as a prominent figure in its rich artistic heritage,” says Dr. Convertito. “His sketches and woodcarvings are emblematic of our community, making him a local treasure. The sketches and woodcarvings appeal to a broad spectrum of people – locals, visitors, adults, and children –his storytelling is timeless.”
Sanchez was a self-taught artist born in 1908 in Key West’s Gatoville neighborhood. Beginning with modest carvings of local fish in the 1930s, he cultivated his natural talent to create upwards of 600 intricate woodcarvings during his lifetime. His work is renowned for capturing familiar local characters amid the simple life and activities he recalled from his childhood—flying kites, spinning tops, parades, and passing the time rocking on front porches. The scenes reveal a valuable and colorful doorway into the cultural history of the island and its people.
Happy Hour with the Historian is limited to 70 attendees; reserve your spot now at kwahs.org/hh-sanchez - $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 email@example.com. Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
Submit Your Stories
Chamber members send us your press releases on your organizations accomplishments, staff awards and/or major happenings. We will post them for free.