The Florida Keys & Key West

Florida Keys News

Quirky Kinetic Parade to Recall Renegade Florida Keys Folk Artist

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Several dozen colorful mobile sculptures and “art cycles” are to entertain onlookers in Key West Saturday, May 5, during a people-powered parade of kinetic creativity.

Described as a "moveable feast" of recycled and renegade art, the family-friendly Papio Kinetic Sculpture & Art Bike Parade salutes the late Florida Keys folk artist Stanley Papio.

The pioneering metal sculptor was famed for his offbeat recycled creations crafted out of discarded car parts, pipes and other machine scraps. Today his pieces, acclaimed for their inventiveness and humor, are recognized as culturally important American artwork.

The zany annual parade, combining earth-friendly ingenuity and steam punk flair, begins at 5 p.m. Saturday outside Key West’s Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. Papio-inspired artisans then propel their sculptural floats, elaborately decorated bicycles and other mobile masterpieces along the island’s Duval Street.

“There's no motors, there's no gas — it's all human-powered sculptures that are moving down the street,” said Michael Gieda, executive director of the Key West Art & Historical Society that stages the annual extravaganza.

Cash awards await creators of the parade’s best kinetic sculpture floats and art bikes. Standout entries in past parades have included a large-scale seahorse merry-go-round, an elaborate coral reef ensemble and a female "Ben HER" piloting a glittering aquatic chariot.

“You don’t need to be highly skilled or an accomplished artist to participate in something like this,” said Gieda. “This is for people of all experience levels to come together, be creative and embrace recycling, embrace our environment and embrace art.”

A post-parade party and concert starring the eclectic, free-spirited band Poi Dog Pondering is scheduled at the Key West’s Truman Waterfront Amphitheater. Ticket prices begin at $25 per adult, with free admission for children.

Fans of renegade and recycled art can tour the “Stanley Papio: Junkyard Rebel” exhibit, featuring more than 100 of the late artist’s creations, at Fort East Martello Museum, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd.

Event information: papiokineticparade.com

Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY

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Participants are encouraged to be creative and embrace recycling, embrace our environment and embrace art. Image: Carol Tedesco

Participants are encouraged to be creative and embrace recycling, embrace our environment and embrace art. Image: Carol Tedesco

No motor, no gas. All sculptures that move down the street are human-powered. Image: Carol Tedesco

No motor, no gas. All sculptures that move down the street are human-powered. Image: Carol Tedesco

Winner of 2017's Green Machine Award.

Winner of 2017's Green Machine Award.

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