KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Thirty-two contemporary sculptures are to enhance the land- and seascapes around two historic Civil War–era forts during the 14th annual Sculpture Key West exhibition. Set for Jan. 18 through April 18, the open-air exhibition spotlights the talent of international, national and local sculptors on the subtropical island known for its lively arts community.

Among the projected highlights of the 2009 exhibition are a giant glowing halo, a massive mirror that appears to double the size of its beachfront setting, an audio installation starring two “argumentative” pay phones and a 300-foot line demonstrating the curve of the earth.

Sculptures were selected for the show by a jury led by Shamim Momin, associate curator of the Whitney Museum in New York.

Many of the 2009 selections are site-specific, dependent on their settings to provide meaning or context to the work. Some ethereal pieces will be constructed on–site, incorporating their environments, and exist only until the exhibition’s end. Video and audio installations add to the event’s sensory appeal.

Sculptures are slated for display beginning Sunday, Jan. 18, at West Martello Tower, Atlantic Boulevard at White Street. The former coastal fortification is now home to the Key West Garden Club, and exotic flowers and foliage are to surround the pieces situated there.

Sculptures are to be unveiled Sunday, March 1, in the oceanfront state park surrounding Fort Zachary Taylor at the end of Southard Street beyond Truman Annex. The Union fort played a vital role in the blockade of Confederate shipping during the Civil War.

Several other pieces are to be placed in locations around Key West, where art lovers can come upon them unexpectedly. Among them is a glowing pink “hole” that appears, by a trick of the eye, to be submerged in a Key West pond.

Artists from Paris, Berlin and 11 American states are to showcase their work at the innovative open-air exhibition. As in past years, participating artists include leaders in the national and international sculpture world such as Cameron Gainer, Karlis Rekevics, Diana Shpungin, Blane De St. Croix and Key West residents John Martini, Lauren P. McAloon and Anja Marais.

The Sculpture Key West exhibition at West Martello Tower is to kick off Jan. 18 with a 6-8 p.m. opening. The evening is to include artist performances, video screenings, music and cocktails. Admission is free.

The exhibit at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is to debut with a free afternoon of viewing 3-6 p.m. March 1. Regular park entry fees will be waived during the opening.
Other events surrounding Sculpture Key West include two “arts speak” lectures by participating artists, a sunset sail with selected artists aboard the majestic tall ship Liberty Clipper and a live auction of maquettes and drawings created by artists in the 2009 exhibition.

All sculptures are to remain on display through April 18.
For more information, visit or call (305) 295-3800.

For lodging information in Key West, contact the Key West Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-LAST-KEY (800-527-8539), or visit the Keys Web site at