Art project brings together artists

Stacked around buttons, burlap, scraps of cloth and more paint than one could ever imagine, artists and artists-at-heart had the opportunity to create a 6 by 6-inch canvas using acrylics, watercolors, mixed media and other supplies to support the fourth annual Florida Keys Council of the Arts Connection Project: A Mosaic of the Keys. Workshops up and down the Keys enable artists to work together to create a vibrant 24-foot long project compromised of 400 canvases. When complete, the mosaic work will hit the road with multiple receptions in all areas of the Keys.

“The Keys have a unique demographic reaching 100-miles from Key Largo to Key West,” said Arts Council Board Member, Artist, and Framer Sue D’Antonio, who was on hand to help at a workshop. “So, this is the perfect Keyswide project.”

The Connections Project is one of the Art Council’s more innovative fundraising activities meant to bring the community together by providing a free canvas to anyone, from well-known artists to artistic residents, who is interested in being a part of the venture.

Many well-known local artists choose to create their own small project. In previous years, notable local artists like William Welch, Rick Worth, Karen Beauprie, Richard Matson, Jim Salem, Ann Lynch, Kathleen Denis, Cris Sandifer, and hundreds more offered their work for the mosaic.

About 80% percent of the squares are contributed by professional Keys artists, whose work sell for hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

“The best part about this is everyone has a chance to receive a really wonderful piece of art,” said Arts Council Executive Director Liz Young. “Once the show is disassembled, donors will receive a randomly selected piece of the mosaic in the mail.”

In a lottery-like distribution, donations are being accepted for $35 per canvas or three canvases for $100 to be sent out when the show ends in May. Each piece of the mural comes with an artist statement providing insight into the artist’s thoughts and inspirations. Donations can be made at or at any of the opening receptions. Proceeds from the mosaic directly benefit Keys’ artists and projects.

The receptions begin on Feb. 2 in Key Largo and make their way down to Key West by April 8 with stops in Islamorada, Marathon and Big Pine Key. Tune into the Weekly Newspaper for details as the events near.


Opening receptions are open to the public from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with appetizers and libations.

  • Feb. 2 – Key Largo, Murray Nelson Government Center, open through Feb. 19
  • March 3 – Islamorada, Ocean Sotheby’s Gallery, open through March 7. • March 11 – Marathon, Giorgione Fine Art, open through March 16.
  • March 18 – Big Pine Key, Artists in Paradise Gallery, open through April 6. • April 8 – Key West, Royal Furniture, open through April 20. • April 29 – Key West, The Gato Building, open through May 9.

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