Artists, Key West
In addition to the huge Renior sculpture out front, there are other realistic sculptures around outside the museum. These are free and you don't have to go in to see them.
281 Front Street, Key West, Florida 33040
Open Everyday from 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Admission is $7 for adults,
$5 for children (children under 6 Free) and students with ID.
$6 for Seniors (62+), AAA Travelers, and Locals with ID.
Key West Art & Historical Society Members - Free.
Group Rates also available. Rental of the facility and free tours are available.
In Key West a week ago we stopped during the Sunset festival at Mallory Square and watch this funny Brit. He was positioned just off the south end of all the performers and captivated the attention of those who walked by. Great with the kids and the adults alike, he has a charming smart-alek heckling charm that is very catchy. Great entertainer who has a crack for just about everyone while he performs his magic tricks. A very witty performer, stop by and check out Gazzo!
Mario Sanchez is now 96 or 97 years old. He was born on Duval Street (1211 Duval) on October 7, 1908, almost a year before my mom, but he is of Cuban descent - the son of a cigar maker. As a self-taught artist he began carving and painting in 1930. He is considered the country's greatest living folk artist who has preserved in wood and paint the detailed story of early 20th Century Key West. Mario does his bas relief wood sculpture with three chisels and his painting with dime store brushes. He mixes his own paints.
Today, his intricately carved and vividly painted intaglios of Key West scenes fetch as much as $60,000 from serious collectors. All of the things that appear in his work are accurate - if he shows a person, it is an actual person who lived. If there is a sign, it was an actual sign.
My husband was so impressed with his work that I bought a signed print for him for his birthday and bought four other unsigned prints one of each of our children. One was Hemingway house (under the Hemingway tip), one was a street scene which had Amelia Street in it (for our granddaughter named Amelia), one was the Tobacco Factory (pictured) with the Reader reading the news to the workers.
Mario's work is in a display called "Listening to Our Ancestors" at the Custom House which will run until 2006. By all means, go and see this exhibit if you are anywhere in the area.
Custom House is open every day except Christmas from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students, children under 6 free. Seniors (over 65) and Locals $6.00 admission.