21 March 2023
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Creative recycling, offbeat artistry and energetic “people power” are to entertain spectators during the Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade set to celebrate Earth Day in Key West.
Designed to inspire fans of eco-friendly repurposing and recycled art, the human-powered parade of colorful mobile sculptures is to roll through Key West’s historic downtown Saturday, April 22. It commemorates the late Key Largo folk artist Stanley Papio, a renegade metal sculptor whose welded creations incorporated elements such as recycled car parts, appliances, pipes and wire. 
The family-friendly promenade is scheduled to kick off at noon outside the Key West Museum of Art & History at the Custom House, 281 Front St., with entries crafted by local school groups, environmental supporters and those who share Papio’s passion for turning found objects into eclectic art.
“Stanley Papio was doing upcycling before anybody knew what it was, and we encourage recycling and people to use found objects,” said Michael Gieda, executive director of the Key West Art & Historical Society that presents the event. “Whether it’s in the trash or recycling bin or lying on the side of the road, it’s all possible art.”
Colorful sculptural floats with moving parts, elaborately decorated bicycles and other quirky mobile creations are to proceed along the entire length of Key West’s famed Duval Street. All must be powered by human effort alone.
Creations in past processions have included a huge red dragon whose scaly skin was made of bubble wrap, a prowling 30-foot-long iguana with spines crafted from scrap cardboard and a giant duck with recycled paper “feathers.”
Co-produced by Wonderdog Studios, the Earth Day parade is to be followed by an awards ceremony and block party at Key West’s Duval Street Pocket Park, located in the street’s 1400 block beside the Atlantic Ocean. Cash prizes and awards await creators of the top kinetic sculpture floats and art bikes.
For further inspiration, fans of renegade and recycled art can explore the “Stanley Papio: Junkyard Rebel” exhibit at Fort East Martello Museum, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd. The exhibit features more than 100 of the late artist’s innovative creations, now widely recognized as culturally important American artwork.
Event information: papiokineticparade.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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