Arts in Key West Feed

Coming to the Book Fair

The 2012 Miami Book Fair International is pleased to have  Norman Van Aiken and son Justin Van Aiken's collaborative book "My Key West Kitchen" as a part of this years festivities. Norman and Justin speak about their earliest memories of Key West and how thier lives there inspired thier very famous and distinctive cooking style. 

The 2012 Miami Book Fair International kicks off  on Sunday, Nov. 12 and is running through Sunday, Nov. 19.



New Works by Michel Delgado

March 31 - April 13, 2010
at The Studios of Key West, Historic Armory, 600 White Street
Reception Thursday, April 1 from 6-8pm

Tskw The work of local artist, Michel Delgado, will be on view at The Studios of Key West from March 31 through April 13, with an opening reception on Thursday, April 1 from 6-8 pm.

This new body of work was inspired by Delgado's travels and the time he spent working in a Chicago studio last summer.  A collection of mixed media pieces created in Delgado's direct, powerful style - the exhibition is filled with intense colors, crisply painted shapes, and images which evoke a childlike wonder and simplicity.  

"Key West provides a diversity of ethnicity and intellect that fascinates me," says Delgado, "The island is a source of great creative energy."

The collection will fill the Armory main hall with a world of brilliant colors, fantastical figures, and mystical animals.  Delgado's bold artistic voice reaches out to his audience openly and honestly, and he creates a space where the viewer can explore the subtleties of memory and time, solitude and silence, as well as joy, learning and love.

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Key West Art Crawl is Back!

The Studios of Key West Offering Day of Public Creativity on February 6

The Studios of Key West invites the community to bring ideas, art making supplies, friends, and family members to the Historic Armory at 10am on Saturday, February 6 for the annual Art Crawl event. Participation is free and begins with a continental breakfast and a chance to meet other creative people before hitting the streets of Old Town.

Crawl03 Following the morning gathering, participants will explore the island's neighborhoods, sties, and side streets to paint, draw, write, photograph, and capture local scenes. After a day of plein air art-making, armed with new creative works based on the island's unique sense of place, participants will regroup at the Armory for a 4pm celebration, salon style display, and reception.

"This is an open access invitation to join our creative community, bring your favorite medium, and help us fill the streets of Old Town with artistic pursuits at every corner," says Eric Holowacz, executive director of The Studios of Key West. "We are calling all local and visiting poets, photographers, painters, film-makers, and others wanting to create new works. Join us for the 2010 Art Crawl."

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Windy City Artists Invade Southernmost Creative Community

TSKW Presents next exhibition, Chicago Artists Works on Paper, from January 14 to February 4

Tskw Thanks to The Studios of Key West's innovative Cultural Manager Residency Program, the island will soon have the opportunity to view and acquire works by over a dozen prominent Chicago artists. The Historic Armory will host Chicago Artists Works on Paper, an exhibition of almost 30 drawings and mixed-media works, January 14 to February 4, made possible by a new partnership between the Second City and the Southernmost Town. The show also includes a silent auction of 14 original works on paper, donated by each of the participating artists, set for the evening of January 21.

E. W. Ross, former Dean at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and director of its Ox-Bow summer campus in Michigan, was invited to spend January 2009 in The Studios of Key West's Mango Tree House. While here as resident cultural manager, Ross escaped the Windy City's winter, explored our tropical environs, and began thinking about new collaborations and exchanges. After much planning and effort, he returns this season as curator of Chicago Artists Works on Paper and repeat Cultural Manager in Residence at The Studios.

"Last year we began inviting some of America's cultural leaders and arts administrators to spend time in residence on our island. And soon we had dozens of leading creative figures planning their retreats," said Eric Holowacz, executive director of The Studios. "It has become both a strategic and hospitable way to explore new programming, and generate important connections to the mainland and  the world."

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Calling all Florida Keys Military and War Veterans

The Studios of Key West Invites You to Participate in the Combat Paper Project

Free Workshop in Creative Paper-making

Friday 18 December from 10am to 4pm

Historic Key West Armory, Southard & White Streets

2_paperstackw  Army field artillery soldier, Drew Cameron returned from serving in Iraq in 2003. Like many veterans, he had to find ways to deal with the experience of war and the lingering anxieties of post-combat life back home. Following his deployment, and 8 months on the ground in Iraq, Cameron began experiencing anger, feelings of withdrawal from society, and depression. Several years later, he met fellow vet and paper artist Drew Matott in Burlington, Vermont, and found a remedy in a new creative process. He had discovered the beginnings of the Combat Paper Project.

“It was a natural progression from being numb, from feeling isolated, from not wanting to talk about the military experiences that I’d had to facing them – to making art about that,” says Cameron. 

Their project, based in a small collective studio in Vermont, soon began connecting with dozens of other soldiers and war veterans around the country. They ask each participant to donate their government issue uniforms, crushing and breaking them down in a large steel vat, and then learn the process of papermaking from those reduced materials. 

Beautiful things and profound statements began to emerge. Air force dress shirts and desert camouflage became new works of art, and part of the Combat Paper Project's Fibers of Reason exhibition, on view at The Studios of Key West from December 10 to January 10. 

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Media Alert: Key West Carnivalesque Opens TSKW Season

Photographs from Fantasy Fest by Lynne Bentley Kemp

The Studios of Key West is proud to present its season opening exhibition, Carnivalesque, by photographer Lynne Bentley-Kemp. The show is on view from October 15 to 30 and includes over two dozen images taken on the streets of Key West during recent Fantasy Fest celebrations. The public is invited to an opening reception for Carnivalesque, at the Historic Armory on Thursday, October 15 from 6 to 9pm.  

"I make my pictures to remember what it was like to find a moment of perfection, of synchronicity, of humanity, because these moments are fleeting. With my camera, I am formulating a personal taxonomy of life forms that I find intriguing and arresting," says Bentley-Kemp.John john  
"Maybe this is why Fantasy Fest is my favorite celebration of the year. I am able to come to terms with the fact that I don’t take life all that seriously—and I thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie of people who aren’t inhibited and who are able to express themselves through transgressive behavior."

Carnivalesque is the first of fifteen exhibitions planned for the Armory main hall, as part of The Studios of Key West's 2009/2010 season. Other visual art exhibitions will present new works by island artists Marylene Proner, Michel Delgado, Debra Yates, and Dale Dapkins, as well as sculpture garden installations by John Martini and Susan Rodgers. 

"Our organization has always been known for its ambitious plans and cultural advocacy," said executive director, Eric Holowacz. "The coming year includes hundreds of wonderful opportunities to expand creative horizons and engage with local and visiting artists of all kinds."

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Young Artists Take Over The Armory

Key West High School Student Work on View from May 1 to 18

The Studios of Key West is proud to present an exhibition of works by over 30 talented local students, all part of Miss Shannon Perkins' diverse art program at Key West High School.

The public is invited to visit the Historic Armory, from May 1 to 18, to discover drawings, paintings, photographs, and ceramics from our island's next generation of creative people.

"Our annual student show will follow at the high school, but for the Armory we've paired it down to about 35 amazingly talented young artists," said Miss Shannon.

The exhibition includes students who are planning to further develop their skills at Rhode Island School of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, Art Institute of Tampa, and other University fine art programs.

A special reception, open to the public, is planned for Thursday, May 7 from 6 to 8pm.

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Watercolor Exhibit in Key West

The Studios of Key West
Members Watercolor Exhibition
April 2-28 at the Armory
Public Reception Thursday, April 2, 5 - 7:30 pm

Watercolor The public is invited to join us for an opening celebration of Watercolor Month at the Armory. TSKW mixed award winning master watercolorists with emerging island artists to create a showcase reflecting the variety of styles and techniques of this wonderful medium.

Over twenty members have contributed work to the show including Sean Callahan, Martha DePoo, Hugh Johnson, Karen Beauprie, Priscilla Coote, Frankie Zeh,Ann Marie Giordano, Katharine Doughty, Ellen Corcoran, Nichola DeBiaso, Jim Johnson, Florence Miller,
Victoria McFadyen, Andy Thurber, Sandford Birdsey, Elizabeth Peterson, Sherry Sweet Tewell, Lynn Sherman, Debra Yates, Steve Eid and others.

The exhibition runs through April 28.

The Studios of Key West Presents the 2009 Abstract Painting Seminar Show

2_MarksClass01 Local artist and critical thinker Roberta Marks has become a popular fixture in the 2009 season at The Studios of Key West. Her Abstract Painting Seminar students have been engaged in new creative learning at the Historic Armory since late January for this ten week seminar. The public is invited to a reception and exhibition of over two-dozen new works on Saturday 14 March from 5 to 7pm. Additional viewing hours are Sunday, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, and Monday, 10 -3 pm. 

Marks is serving as curator of this three-day show, which includes paintings and mixed-media by Michele Brunschvig, Ellen Corcoran, Cynthia Essenberg, Jane Gilbert, Jeffrey Harwell, Rita Linder, Sandra McMannis, and Jenny Mead. Other students and local Key Westers contributing to the show Guillermo Orozco, Lucy Paige, Sonja Robinson, Martha Slattery, Alice VandeWetering, Marta White, and Judith Zabar.

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Color Play in the Armory Sculpture Garden

Local Artist Jennifer Martin has Installed her Latest Works

6_Martin10 Visitors to the Armory Sculpture Garden, on the corner of White and Southard Streets, will discover that the grounds have been invaded by what seem to be floating colorful spheres. The objects are the latest installation by local sculptor, Jennfer Martin, who calls her exhibition "Color Play: Leaving White." Comprising almost a dozen separate forms, each assembled from cut strips of powder-coated aluminum, the installation has given new life to the small garden environment at The Studios of Key West.  

"This recent series of brightly colored sculptures take on human characteristics," said Martin, "They are three-dimensional representations of  behavioral and emotional relationships implied by form and color theory. And in their new setting, they emphasize nature's beauty and essence." 

The most striking of the forms is a 3-foot wide sphere, which seems to float in a mass of pure white. It the centerpiece and the sole monochromatic work in Color Play. Smaller, variegated and brightly-hued spheres dot the garden landscape, and commingle with the lush foliage and shade of the Poinciana trees. 3_Martin04

"I am amazed how local artists can take on the challenge of our garden, fill it with something new, and make the space entirely their own," said Eric Holowacz, executive director of The Studios. "The small plot of earth has hosted interesting work by over a dozen artists, who always manage to transform this small tropical sanctuary."

Martin's garden installation, Color Play: Leaving White, will be on view for the next few months, and the public is invited to a reception this Thursday, 19 February from 6 to 9pm, as part of the monthly Walk on White event. For details and information, contact The Studios of Key West at 296-0458 or