If you’re a creative spirit visiting (or about to visit) the Florida Keys, a dilemma awaits you: choosing which experience to immerse yourself in first. That’s because opportunities abound around the island chain for those eager to explore their own potential — and discover others’ artistry.
A comprehensive listing of events, from gallery openings to concerts to classes, can be found on the cultural calendar at www.keysarts.com. But just to whet your appetite, a few highlight offerings are outlined here.
The fine art gallery and ceramics studio features multi-session clay classes, single-day workshops, open-studio experiences and individual instruction. And the facilities are excellent for artistic endeavors — you’ll find two electric kilns, a gas-fired raku kiln, four wheels, tools and molds.
If you’re simply seeking a fun-filled pottery-painting session, that’s on tap too. You can choose to paint ornamental items or functional bowls and cups, all designed and handcrafted by Morada Way Clay’s studio potters.
More interested in poetry than pottery? Check out the Key West Poetry Guild, an organization with a vibrant history that’s open to everyone intrigued by poetic expression. The guild meets at 7 p.m. the first Sunday of every month at Blue Heaven (described elsewhere in these entries as an amazing restaurant, and a site where Ernest Hemingway once refereed hometown boxing matches).
If you’re a writer in the Upper Keys, you can hone your craft at Key Largo’s Latitude 25 Writers Group. Meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. the last Wednesday of every month at the Key Largo Library, located in the Tradewinds Shopping Center at MM 101.4.
Attendees are encouraged to bring and share short pieces of writing. For more information, call Steve Gibbs at 305-451-4164.
In the Lower Keys, the Keys Writers Group meets the first and third Wednesday of every month at the Big Pine Library, 213 Key Deer Blvd. Everyone from budding writers to published authors can read their works aloud and receive constructive critiquing and suggestions from members of the group.
The group encourages everyone’s talent and desire to put their words on paper, so it’s a good place to build confidence in your own unique voice. For more information, email Joan@vestaastrology.com.
Among the offerings are workshops to learn painting in oil, watercolors and acrylic, as well as sculpting and painting pottery. Other subjects include throwing clay, fusing glass, creating jewelry and painting and glazing self-selected ceramics. In other words, it would be hard NOT to discover an intriguing aspect of artistry to delve into.
If viewing the work of other creative people is what inspires you most, then Key West has a perfect event for you. It’s the monthly Key West Artisan Market, a lively open-air showcase held outside the island city’s Restaurant Store at 1111 Eaton St.
Local artisans are on hand to show, sell and discuss their work — from delicate jewelry to made-in-the-Keys culinary treats. Authors, performers and purveyors of craft beer and wine add to the inviting vibe. The market typically takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the first Sunday of each month during season through May.
Want to know more about the creative “palette” in the Florida Keys? Just click here for information on the island chain’s rich variety of opportunities and offerings in the visual, literary and performing arts.