KEY WEST STUDIOS UNVEILS NEW ART SHOWS
On Thursday, January 6, Key West Studios kicks off a new arts and culture season with the opening of four exhibitions.
Mark Hedden’s highly anticipated “South of Southernmost” opens in the Sanger Gallery; “Pandemic Drawings” by Nicholas Hill opens in the XOJ gallery; “Dancing In A Tea Cup: A Pixel Paradox In Paradise” by Christopher Santoro opens in the Zabar Project Gallery, and a collection of large-scale ceramic pieces by Ann Labriola opens in the Zabar Lobby Gallery.
Hedden’s “South of Southernmost” is an exhibit of photographs of Ballast Key, a backcountry island 10 miles west of Key West, south of Southernmost Point. It was detained and used as a getaway for the influential and creative David Wolkowsky, a member of a deep and wealthy Florida family. Upon his death, under the direction of The Nature Conservancy, the island was donated to the National Wildlife Refuge System, with the intention of becoming a backcountry research station. Hedden’s footage documents Ballast Key’s shift in gravity, as the arc of its story shifts from human to nature.
For more than a year, against the backdrop of headlines consumed by the pandemic, Ohio-based printmaker Nicholas Hill scanned the paper every day for people seen in the backgrounds of news photos, then put them forward as rough drawings, in brush and ink. over the entire surface of the paper. Numbering more than 3,800 to date (with just a selection visible in Key West), the “Pandemic Drawings” serve as a reminder of the lives lost.
Known as a children’s book illustrator, with over 40 years of titles to his name, Christopher Santoro’s seemingly effortless range extends to elegant abstractions, witty design, and well-rendered visual puns. that might just make you snort with laughter. With titles such as “Open the Barn Door”, “Open the Garage Door” and “It’s Haunted!” Santoro has been honored by the Society of Illustrators, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the American Library Association, and the New Yorker. “Dancing In A Tea Cup” is a selection of her incredibly diverse work.
January’s exhibits are complemented by the work of Ann Labriola, the confident and beloved Director of Fine Arts at the College of the Florida Keys. Labriola is also one of the strongest ceramicists in the region, with a collection of recent works combining organic and abstract forms in his distinct style. All four exhibits will be on view Jan. 6-27 at Key West Studios, 533 Eaton St. The galleries are free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information on tskw.org.