For artists of all kinds, Key West has always been a haven, a place to congregate and be themselves. Live the relaxed island life which in turn inspires their art. All one has to do to see this is true is walk the streets of downtown Key West. With over 40 art galleries on the island, you will find no shortage of local artistry to decorate your home with and bring back with you a reminder of Paradise.
Not only are there several art galleries for one to visit, but there are many art events. Art Key West just ended. This three day festival had presenters from all across the arts: galleries, musicians, poets, fashion designers, photographers, actors, and restauranteurs all came together to showcase all of the arts that the island has to offer. And just beginning this month is Sculpture Key West, which is a four-month long exhibition of contemporary sculpture t inspire and educate residents and visitors of the Florida Keys.
Theater is another large part of the island’s art offerings. The Key West Film Fest just wrapped up, showing more than 30 films in four days between the Tropic Cinema and the San Carlos Institute. The Eco-Discovery Center is showing a film each Sunday related to the environment.
But film is not the only way that one can experience theater here; we also have several live plays to attend. The Red Barn Theater, the Waterfront Playhouse, and the Tennessee Williams Theater all have runs of different plays monthly or so.
Currently, The Key West Nut Cracker is being presented at the Tennessee Williams Theater. This is the Nut Cracker done Key West style. There are some amazing performers here, but you will also find some local budding actors and dancers, so that during the course of the show you are transported between professional theater to child recital. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful event to attend during the holidays. The Waterfront Playhouse is presenting Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps. And the Red barn Theater is presenting the Oil City Symphony.
While of the the arts above have a deep and rooted Key West history, we have not yet really mentioned music. Perhaps no other art form on the island has so rich of a history, with live entertainment playing nightly at multiple venues. Former resident Jimmy Buffet made this place famous, drawing more musicians and music lovers to the island. And now artists such as Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 Band continue that tradition. Places like the Hogfish Bar and Grill, Hurricane Hole Marina, Smokin’ Tuna, Green Parrot, Rick’s, Hog’s Breathe, Schooner Wharf Bar, El Meson de Pepe’s, La Te Da, Margaritaville, Sloppy Joe’s, Virgilio’s, Island Dog’s, and the Rum Barrel all have live music playing regularly. And in May, the Key West Songwriter’s Festival draws both up and coming musicians and music lovers to the island to enjoy this event.
Writing is the last art frontier I am going to hit on here. Hemingway, Williams, Frost, and many others have all called Key West home and found inspiration to write some wonderful works here. They have also inspired a whole new crop of writers who also call Key West home. You can buy these books at a local store or online. But you can also visit the island to attend the Key West Literary Seminar and take classes from some wonderful professionals in the field such as United State Poet Laureate Billy Collins. This event has taken place every January for the last 30 years. And writers and prospective writers can join the Key West Writers Guild which meets October through May at the Key West Library to share their works and give and receive feedback.
So as you can see, Key West have a very multi-dimentional love and appreciation of art.
For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site. Also, to see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events.
Feel free to Email Me if you have any questions about Key West!!
Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge