The Florida Keys & Key West

Florida Keys News

Key West's Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade to Salute Folk Artist's Legacy

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — A people-powered parade of colorful mobile sculptures is to roll through Key West's historic downtown Saturday, May 6, intended to intrigue and inspire fans of creative recycling and "outsider" art.

The family-friendly Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade kicks off at noon at Key West's Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. It commemorates the late Key Largo folk artist Stanley Papio, a renegade metal sculptor whose welded creations incorporated elements like recycled car parts, pipes and wire.

"Papio was very ahead of his time," said Cori Convertito, curator of the Key West Art & Historical Society, which stages the annual parade. "We wanted to honor his creativity and what he did with recycling."

Colorful sculptural floats with moving parts, elaborately decorated bicycles, fantastic festooned tricycles and other offbeat mobile creations are to proceed up the length of Key West's Duval Street. All must be powered by human effort alone.

Creations in the 2016 procession included a giant narwhal (tusked whale) that winked at spectators, a pelican whose widespread wings flapped as it towed "parasailing" minnows, and a 15-foot-long silver "time machine" made of moving gears and cogs.

The 2017 parade weekend is to begin at 6 p.m. Friday, May 5, with a presentation on kinetic art and Papio at the Custom House Museum and a reception on the museum porch.

Saturday's parade is to be followed by a waterfront celebration at Key West's Southernmost Beach Café, 1405 Duval St. Cash awards await creators of the parade's best kinetic sculpture floats and art bikes.

The festivities conclude Sunday, May 7, with a Papio Picnic and Kinetic Kids Day beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Fort East Martello Museum, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd., home of the world's leading collection of Papio's art. Attractions include free museum admission, food and libations for purchase, family-friendly activities and a noontime tour of the unforgettable Papio Collection.

Event information:

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

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Colorful sculptural floats with moving parts, elaborately decorated bicycles, fantastic festooned tricycles and other offbeat mobile creations are to be featured.

Colorful sculptural floats with moving parts, elaborately decorated bicycles, fantastic festooned tricycles and other offbeat mobile creations are to be featured.

The 2016 Pedal Pusher award for the best human powered automation.

The 2016 Pedal Pusher award for the best human powered automation.

With the most recycled materials and/or the best environmental message, is the Green Machine award.

With the most recycled materials and/or the best environmental message, is the Green Machine award.