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Press Release
Contact: Liz Young


Arts Council Presents the Connections Project plus two additional exhibitions 7th Annual Arts Event Arrives at Gato Building on May 3rd!

The Florida Keys Council of the Arts supports all the arts, in all the Keys, all the time. The local arts agency launched its seventh annual Connections Project road show in Key Largo a few months ago and it has arrived in Key West at the spacious lobby at the Gato Building. The reception is Friday, May 3rd from 5:30-7:30. The community is invited to visit the vibrant 24-foot mosaic mural created by local artists and art lovers. After connecting with the art, patrons can also collect art by making a $50 donation for one canvas or a $125 donation for three at the reception or online at Once the show has ended, donors receive a randomly selected piece of the mosaic in the mail. Each work includes an artist statement providing insight into the origin of the work and the artist’s thoughts and inspiration. Proceeds from Connections Project directly benefit Keys’ artists and arts organizations through Arts Council grants. The reception is open to the public. Free parking is available at the Gato Building located at 1100 Simonton Street, so please join us. In addition to the Mosaic Project, there are two new exhibitions to view: “Tropical Madness” on the first floor, and “90 Miles from Havana” featuring 3 Cuban artists on the second floor.

“Tropical Madness” is a new exhibition of original artworks by members of the Miami-based Tropical Botanic Artists collective. The botanical subjects include 40-plus colorful, scientifically-accurate works, executed in watercolor or colored pencil, some with added gouache or pen and ink.
The exhibit includes portraits of plants, both native and exotic, that grow in South Florida.
Artists: Margie Bauer, Kristi Bettendorf, Beverly Borland, Silvia Bota, Marie Chaney, Susan Cumins, Jeanie Daniel Duck, Julio J. Figueroa, Pauline Goldsmith, Leo Hernandez, Elsa Nadal, Carol Onstad, Laurie Richardson, Donna Torres and Jedda Wong.

“90 Miles from Havana” features original artworks by Cuban artists Yeilem Barzaga, Esteban Machado and Eric Alfaro. Inspired by the relationship between Key West and Havana, with a nostalgic perspective of the islands, both at a distance, the theme interprets the sea, at times calm and serene, or turbulent and violent. The sea which we all share yet also separates us, is the juxtaposition of close, yet far; calm, or stormy; exuberant, yet melancholic that is woven through the work. This exhibit, located on the second floor of the Gato Building, is the second installation of the Art in Public Buildings spotlight on Cuban artwork, curated by Alaen Ledesma.

For more information call the Florida Keys Council of the Arts at 305.295.4369 or visit