Studios resident artist set to film ‘Sunken Hot House’

Dakota Gearhart’s film almost didn’t happen. A few months ago, she still needed $6,000 and was questioning if her December in Key West would even happen. “I called my dear film making friend and asked if it was worth it to ask my friends and family to help, or whether I should just let the project die,” she said.

He said without a doubt, whatever she does, never let her dream die. A crowd funded campaign was set up and she set her sights on Florida, her home state.

Growing up in Florida, snorkeling at Pennekamp and watching the mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs as a kid shaped 32-year-old Gearhart’s upcoming project “Sunken Hot House.” It’s a short film about a hired mermaid’s psychedelic travels with tourists into her home, the ocean. The film is expected to tackle the question of whether human contact is parasitical or symbiotic.

“I think it’s a common desire to be a mermaid,” she said. “The film reimagines the ways we perceive things and our many possible futures.”

Gearhart is spending her first week in town finishing her script and learning to scuba dive while studying the underwater world from an artistic point-of-view. “I can’t wait to be a part of nature without disturbing it,” she said. 

As the Studios of Key West’s resident artist, she will also be teaching an introduction to installation class for all levels on Mon, Dec. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $60, and is planning other events like a potluck and open studio event.

“I’ve started collecting scraps for the immersive art collaboration,” she said. “It’s very powerful to create something from nothing.”

More information on Gearhart’s events can be found at or on her website at

Join Our Blast – Keys News Right to Your INBOX

Leave a Reply