The mural includes nearly 400 6- by 6-inch canvases created by artists and community members

A mosaic featuring hundreds of artists began its tour through the Keys. The 10th annual Connections Project made its first stop at Baker’s Cay Resort in Key Largo for an opening reception on Jan. 31. Put on by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, the work includes nearly 400 6- by 6-inch canvases created by artists and community members, showing art’s connection to the Florida Keys. The project will be on display at Baker’s Cay Resort though Feb. 5 before it reaches Our Place in Paradise in Tavernier on Saturday, Feb. 5. It’ll then reach Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty in Islamorada on Wednesday, Feb. 16 before heading south to Shady Palm Art Gallery in Marathon on Tuesday, March 8. The work will reach its final destination at the Gato Building in Key West on Tuesday, May 10.

Jim McCarthy is a Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, mixed martial arts and golf. He loves to hit the links and play some softball with his Make A Play team. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.