FLORIDA KEYS -- A large-scale mosaic mural featuring art by almost 400 Florida Keys residents is touring the island chain to celebrate the connection between the community and local cultural initiatives. The gigantic Connections Project mural, spearheaded by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, launched in Key Largo and is to appear at five other locations throughout the Keys.
The mural is made up of individual canvases measuring 6 inches square that were provided to local artists and creative residents. The completed canvases feature art in mediums including painting, photography, mixed media and quilting.
Upcoming exhibition dates and venues are Feb. 24 through March 8 at Ocean Sotheby's Gallery in Islamorada, March 10-22 at Shady Palm Gallery in Marathon, March 24 through April 5 at Big Pine's Artists in Paradise Gallery, April 6-17 at Royal Furniture in Key West and April 18 through May 12 at the Gato Building in Key West. A reception is scheduled at each venue.
After viewing the Connections Project mural, art lovers can make a permanent connection by adding pieces of it to their collection. Patrons can make a $35 donation for one individual canvas or a $100 donation for three at any reception or online at keysarts.com.
Once the traveling show has ended, donors will receive a randomly selected piece of the mosaic by mail. Each piece is to include an artist statement providing insight into the work and the artist's inspiration.
Proceeds from the Connections Project benefit Keys artists and arts organizations through arts council grants. Connections Project information: keysarts.com or 305-295-4369
Florida Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS
Sea turtles are not only a fabric of the Keys environmental scene, they offer several visual focuses for the project. Photos: Andy Newman
Deanna and Michael Ferrari examine a portion of "The Connections Project."