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Florida Keys Business Briefs
Sunday, December 16, 2012

UPPER KEYS

Wacky Sports Challenge set for January

Mariners Hospital employees will host the Wacky Sports Challenge from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 6 at Coconut Cove Resort & Marina. Proceeds from the event will benefit the National Kidney Foundation. The event is co-sponsored by Coconut Cove, Florida Bay Outfitters and Sun-FM.

This year's challenge brings a number of new things. The name has been changed to the Wacky Sports Challenge and Music Festival to reflect the number of bands that will provide live music. Performers include Knotts & Schinella; Lee Sharp with Ray Jaworski; Marlin Too Review; Moss and the Blues Pirates; singer, songwriter Adrienne; and Steve Webb and Billy Davidson.

One of the sports challenges has also changed to reflect the popularity of paddleboards. The raft event will be replaced with a paddleboard competition. Other events include a unique kayak course, a water balloon burst and a capture-the-ring match.

The entry fee for a five-member team is $125 for the sports challenge. The music festival is free.

To register a team or for information about the Challenge or the day's activities, contact Fran Glick, 305-434-1601 or frang@BaptistHealth.net.

KEY WEST/NEW YORK

New York museum shows art by Mario Sanchez

An exhibition of 39 original painted woodcarvings and four sketches by the late Key West folk artist Mario Sanchez debuted in New York City's South Street Seaport Museum Friday at the museum's grand re-opening after Superstorm Sandy.

"A Fisherman's Dream: Folk Art by Mario Sanchez" chronicles the seafaring heritage of Key West in painted bas-relief carvings by the Cuban-American artist who died in 2005 at age 96.

The self-taught Sanchez, whose career spanned 70 years, first sketched his images on brown paper grocery bags. He then transferred them to cedar wood and created his bas-reliefs before adorning the pieces with primary colors.

"Mario Sanchez has been looked upon by curators and historians as the most important Cuban-American folk artist of the 20th century," said Nance Frank, a Sanchez scholar and author who facilitated the exhibition.

With this exhibit, Sanchez becomes the first Florida native to be shown in a major New York museum.

His work is characterized by historical accuracy, subtle humor and reflections of Key West's longtime diversity. Exhibition highlights include "El Galano," once owned by Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, that honors the Nobel Prize-winning novel "The Old Man and the Sea," written by Sanchez' one-time Key West neighbor Ernest Hemingway. And a large-scale piece depicts a train that traveled the Over-Sea Railroad.

The featured paintings are on loan from the Key West Art & Historical Society collection and private collections around the United States.

The exhibition will continue through spring 2013.

For more information, call Frank at 305-304-2323

LOWER KEYS

Residents host Sandy benefit

Billy Brown and Mangrove Mama's hosted a recent concert, silent auction and dinner at Mangrove Mama's for Superstorm Sandy victims. Raising $1400, the group coordinated a day of music, raffles, kids' games and other activities. With music by Adrienne, Twist of 8 Band, Ray West Band, Phoenix, The Moondogs and The Billy Brown band, about 200 people attended throughout the day.