Jessica Ann Hessing is a full-time artist living in Key Largo. Born and raised in the Florida Keys, her artwork is full of local inspiration. She creates pieces that are all influenced by her love for the ocean, her educational background in marine biology, and most importantly, her desire to recreate the beauty she sees every day in the Florida Keys. She has been making a name for herself since 2009 when she really began selling her artwork in shows and events. Hessing typically paints with acrylics on canvas. She truly is a one-of-a-kind artist, painting with vibrant colors and thick, bold outlines.

Howard Livingston plays concert Friday night

Described as “a big show for a tiny island,” the annual Pigeon Key Art Festival is set for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2-3, and attendees can expect new elements added to the artistry on display.

As in the past, the festival is to transform the open-air Marathon Community Park into a tropically themed oasis of exemplary artwork in pottery, painting, glass, sculpture, photography, jewelry and more.

The show is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday — a departure from its past Saturday and Sunday format.

Additions for 2018 include a 6-9 p.m. Friday concert at the park featuring Howard Livingston and the Mile Marker 24 Band.

Organizers also expect to expand the festival’s historical reenactments, period entertainment and educational programming to underscore the Pigeon Key Foundation’s important projects. Pigeon Key is a small historic island beneath the Old Seven Mile Bridge that housed workers constructing the Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad in the early 1900s. It has appealed to artists from around the world who have captured its tranquil beauty.

Proceeds from the creative festival support the Pigeon Key Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established in 1992. The foundation is dedicated to educating the public about the historic, environmental and cultural significance of the Florida Keys and the tiny island, which suffered damage from Hurricane Irma in September.

New this year is a live auction slated for 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2, at the park’s band shell before the evening concert. Original work by world-renowned marine artists Wyland, Guy Harvey and Carey Chin is to be featured alongside artistry by acclaimed Florida Keys talents.

Other attractions planned at the expansive community park, located at MM 49, include an art raffle, T-shirt sales, food and beverage booths, a beer and wine garden, music and children’s crafts.

Admission for either day is $7 per person for adults and free for children under age 12. Attendees who purchase tickets for Friday admission can retain them and gain free return admission on Saturday. Guests also can present their tickets for half-price admission to Pigeon Key by boat during the week following the event. Parking is free at the Marathon Community Park.

— Contributed


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