22 January 2020
FLORIDA KEYS — Fans of visual art can find it in galleries, exhibitions and pocket parks throughout the Florida Keys island chain — but only in the Connections Project mural can they view the work of more than 300 creative Keys spirits in one vibrant mosaic.
 
“The Connections Project: A Mosaic of the Keys” is a large-scale mural created each year out of nearly 400 individual 6-inch-square canvases painted or adorned by local artists and arts supporters. The 2020 mural is to be unveiled Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Our Place in Paradise Gallery at 88711 Overseas Highway in Tavernier.
 
Spearheaded by the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, it will remain on display for approximately two weeks before embarking on an exhibition tour around the Keys. A 5:30-7:30 p.m. free-admission reception is scheduled on the mural’s first day at each exhibit location.
 
“The mural’s ‘road show’ tour from Tavernier to Key West celebrates the longstanding connection between the community and local cultural initiatives,” said Elizabeth Young, the arts council’s executive director.
 
Produced in mediums ranging from oils and watercolor to photography, beadwork, mixed media and quilting, the individual artists’ contributions showcase subjects including indigenous birds and sea life, tropical flowers and trees, waterfront scenes, abstract visions and local landmarks.
 
After its display in Tavernier, the mural’s next scheduled opening is Feb. 27 at Ocean Sotheby’s Roberto Russell Gallery, located at 81888 Overseas Highway in Islamorada.
 
March 6 marks its debut at Marathon’s Shady Palm Art Gallery, 2888 Overseas Highway, followed by an exhibition beginning March 19 at Royal Furniture, also in Marathon at 6001 Overseas Highway.
 
Subsequently moving to the Lower Keys, the mural is to be on display starting April 3 at Big Pine’s Artists in Paradise Gallery, 221 Key Deer Blvd. in the Winn-Dixie Shopping Center.
 
The colorful mosaic takes center stage in Key West April 23 with a debut at Royal Furniture, 3326 N. Roosevelt Blvd., before launching its final exhibition May 1 at Key West’s Gato Building, the headquarters of the arts council at 1100 Simonton St.
 
After viewing the unique installation, art lovers can add pieces of it to their collection. Patrons can make a $50 donation for one individual canvas or a $125 donation for three at any reception or online at keysarts.com. Patrons will receive randomly selected pieces of the mosaic by mail, each with an artist statement providing insight into the work.
 
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
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