a painting with lots of different colors on it
Beata Vavrova explores relationships through her colorful and oftentimes personal paintings.

Summer in the Florida Keys is here, and so are some hot, new exhibits and shows.  

The opening reception for “Summer Palette,” a new exhibit featuring a vibrant collection by local artists, was held on May 23 at the Florida Keys History and Discovery Center. The reception was a lively event, especially for an art show, as locals and semi-locals crowded the gallery. 

The show featured standout talent from local artists in a diversity of mediums, from ceramics to photography and paintings; works connected by an overarching summer theme. Shows like this are a great way to get to know local artists. Even if you know most of them, there are always surprises. For those who love art, it’s a great way to see the amazing variety of art the Upper Keys community has to offer. 

The opening reception was a good chance to meet the featured artists like ceramic artist Bev Blitzer.  

a group of people looking at art on display
Guests attend the ‘Summer Palette’ reception at the Florida Keys History & Discovery Center on May 23. CAROLYN DePAULA/Keys Weekly

“I was thrilled to be invited to be in the Summer Palette show,” she said. There were a lot of interesting people who had never seen my work and it was fun to see their reactions. Most were surprised and intrigued. It was very gratifying.”  

Featured artists were Jessica Ann, Beata “Bob” Vavrova, Blitzer, Brianna Wilson, Deanna Jorgensen, Ellen Summers, Emma Putney, Jill Strickland, Judy and Skip, Kelly Walkotten, Lisa Lee, Shannon Gilson, Tim Rahn, Trista Travis and Valerie Perreault.

Jessica Ann watched over the crowd and made sure the event went smoothly, much like a parent looking after a child. She has done a great job showing the community many talented artists.  

If you missed the reception, this is only the beginning. The show runs through the beginning of August, so escape the heat and check out the artwork inside the Keys History & Discovery Center. 

William DePaula
William DePaula is an artist, designer and gemologist who believes in the power of art. From his early childhood onward, he has never stopped drawing, painting and creating. He envisions a world in which beauty is as important as function, where culture and history are respected, and where nature is at once powerful and vulnerable. Infusing an essence of life in all his paintings, DePaula understands beauty is accessible to all. DePaula's art has been featured in select art museums around the world.