Sculpture Key West at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

Sculpture Key West 2008 is open now at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.  Exhibition Two features 24 artists, many of whom created large-scale, site-specific work for the park’s large open field, trees and beaches.

The exhibition was juried by a panel headed by Mary Ceruti, Director of the Sculpture Center in Long Island City, NY.  The jury selected 34 artists out of over 150 applicants, making the competition tough and giving Sculpture Key West a highly focused, contemporary exhibition.  Works are also on display at the West Martello Tower for Exhibition One, which opened on January 20 to great acclaim.

Several new initiatives mark changes in this year’s exhibition.  Recognizing a need to command the space at Fort Zach, Sculpture Key West appealed to artists for large-scale work and two pieces were selected by the jury panel.  Lori Nozick (Crompond, NY) has created “Lighthouses,” a series of 17 towers that mark the points of the clock and the points of the compass.  The piece will act as a sundial, taking in the light during the day and glowing softly at dusk thanks to a solar-powered LED light.

Aaron Lee Benson (Jackson, TN) will construct his work, “Hurrican’t Come Here No More,” on site out of ordinary construction materials to a stunning effect.  Using interlocking two by fours to create eight-foot walls, the large spiral-shaped piece can be entered like a maze.

Well-known sculptors with impressive resumes are participating in the 2008 exhibition at Fort Zachary Taylor.  Robert Chambers (Miami, FL) will create one of his famous dogs, based on the shape of the molecule of Propane, created by 11 multi-ton coral rocks mined from South Florida.  Susan Rodgers (Key West, FL) installs three round cage-like structures with colored panels, an homage to the famous Dutch Modernist painter, Piet Mondrian.

Many of the works in the Fort Zach exhibition use local materials and/or are site-specific.  Key West artist Larry Estridge’s work “Canopy Triad,” consists of three boxes filled with carefully layered local wood.  Blane De St Croix (Miami, FL) captures a shadow of an Australian Pine in laminated plywood.  Robert Hickman (Brooklyn, NY) documents a variety of tongue-in-cheek “warnings” about the park with his “Street Signs Project.” Monika Goetz (Berlin Germany) marks the horizon with a red steel line in a sculpture titled “The End of the World.”

Karlis Rekevics (Brooklyn, NY), recently featured on the cover of Sculpture magazine, uses the language and forms of architecture in his work. Based on his memory, general impressions and drawings he created while visiting Key West, he translated his experience of the man-made world into architectural molds.  The pieces were then cast in white plaster on site and assembled.

A notable conceptual work can’t be seen at all…at least not in its original form.  Atlanta GA artist RG Brown creates for Sculpture Key West one of his “displacements.”  During installation week, he dug a large hole on the beach, buried his sculpture (two parallel lines) and then covered it back up again.  He then used the services of an archeologist to take geophysical surveys of the ground to document his piece.  He used Ground Penetrating Radar and Electromagnetic conductivity equipment to take readings of his buried work.  He then removed the piece from the ground and displayed the data from the archeological readings in an information kiosk at the park.  RG has done these pieces all over the world and challenges the notions of traditional, object-based sculpture.

A variety of material and styles of work can be seen at the Fort Zach exhibition.  From abstract and imposing forms, like a giant black wall, “Caveat,” by Arny Nadler (St. Louis, MO) to the more playful steel animals by Doug Makemson (Commerce, GA) and Ryan Stimers (Key West, FL) there is sure to be something for art lovers of all ages. 

In addition to the many works that can be seen at the West Martello Tower and Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, two pieces have been placed temporarily in the community.  Cameron Gainer (Brooklyn, NY) installed the Loch Ness Monster, titled, “_[“ in Bayview Pond, much to the delight of the Key West community and its many visitors.  Based on the iconic “Surgeon’s Photo” taken in Scotland in 1934, the image has become part of our popular culture and imagination.  In partnership with the Florida Keys Community College, Mitch Blessing (Miami, FL) installed 29 identical casts of his own head in the lagoon by the Public Safety Building.  Each of these bobbing heads is cast in ABS white plastic; the title, “Flotsam,” references the plastic trash you might find in our sea. 

The West Martello exhibition also showcases impressive works by artists such as John Martini (Key West, FL), Ralph Provisero (Miami, FL) and Steven Durow (New Orleans, LA) among the rare and beautiful foliage of the Key West Garden Club.

Win a Martini!  Sculpture Key West is offering a limited number of raffle tickets to win John Martini’s sculpture, “Bolton Landing Boogie,” on display at the West Martello Tower.  Tickets are $100 and are available at Lucky Street Gallery, at the West Martello or by calling 305-295-3800.  The drawing will take place at the Sally Port Auction on March 12, a special event and auction of maquettes and drawings created by SKW participating artists for collectors and patrons.  Tickets are $25, a cocktail preview and silent auction starts at 6:30 and the live auction starts at 7:30 at 1500 Von Phister, the home of SKW Chair Jean Carper.

Sculpture Key West is on display from February 24 through April 19, 2008 at the West Martello Tower and Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. West Martello Tower is open 7 days from 9:30 am – 5 pm and the entrance is free.  Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is open seven days from 8 am until sunset.  Standard State Park entrance fees apply.  More information about Sculpture Key West can be found at our website www.sculpturekeywest.com or by calling 305-295-3800.