By LESLIE LINSLEY Citizen Columnist
In case anyone was wondering, the art world in Key West is alive and well. Creativity it seems, does not take the summer off. I receive Ed Krane's online newsletter with pictures and announcements and then reviews of all sorts of exciting openings at the various galleries around town, along with all sorts of other activities.
There doesn't seem to be much distinction between what is perceived as "the season" and what winter vacationers think of as a time when everything shuts down. Here in Nantucket where I live, I often find it amusing when visitors ask, "What do you do when we leave?"
It is insulting, as both islands, while quieter in the off-season, are vibrant communities alive and thriving, quite nicely when the visitors are gone, in fact life is actually much more civilized and pleasant. From what I perceive from my year 'round Key West friends, is that they have the same attitude we have. It is a collective sigh of relief - which is what we are feeling right now. Things quiet down. The traffic lessens, the streets are pleasant to navigate, you can leave home and find a parking space when you return with your groceries, and you don't fear so much for your life when riding your bike through town.
From time to time I receive news of the art world from my artist friend Deborah Goldman. She and two other artist friends, all member of The Studios of Key West, have been working on an exciting project that is about to be revealed. This larger than life combined talent is about to explode in Miami.
Deborah, along with Nellie Appleby and Regina Jestrow are showing their work at the Deering Estate at Cutler in Miami. So, if you've more or less been sticking close to home all summer and feel the need for an off-island trip, how about thinking Miami? If you've never heard of the Deering Estate at Cutler this might be the perfect destination.
Located along the edge of Biscayne Bay, the 444-acre estate is an environmental, archeological and historical preserve. The art show opens with a reception on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. It is free to the public and will be up through October 4 so there's plenty of time to make plans to see it.
Here's a bit of background on the estate: Charles Deering was born in 1852 in South Paris, Maine. He grew up with a great appreciation of agriculture and developed a strong interest in the fine arts. As a connoisseur and art patron, Charles befriended and often supported important artists like John Singer Sargent. After his death the estate was run by his daughters and when they passed away the Nature Conservancy brokered the deal that allowed the state of Florida and Miami-Dade county to purchase the property. The Deering Estate at Cutler has emerged as a thriving cultural art center. Deering's innovative spirit continues on the Estate today through the Artist Village, a place where South Florida's natural and historic treasures are interpreted through the creative talents of artists working in many media. Housed in a unique collection of buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Artist Village has become a cultural hub for exciting collaborative arts programs.. So it is a great honor for an artist to be selected to present his or her artwork.
Deborah says about her work, "my art explores nature's cycles, its fragility and permanence. I'm happy with the show. It was a great opportunity for me to revisit some images that I never was able to present the way I hoped. So this was very gratifying."
She's looking forward to seeing how people view her work and to have the chance to hear comments at the opening. She went on to describe the show and her participation, "My work is in 3 parts of the house: The Daffodils for Deering room ( orange on pink walls), the Zucchini Counting room ( inspired by a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim museum), and The Eye of the Potato Garden hallway (an obsession of mine since childhood).
Nellie Appleby - http://thepleasureofgardening.blogspot.com, and http://www.nellieappleby.com/ also has a pink room on the first floor across the foyer from the daffodil room that is an installation of varied blossoming swimming patterned marvels. She's upstairs as well. Regina Jestrow,http://reginajestrow.com, the AIR at Studios of Key West that brought we three artists together, has work in the main dining room and a wondrous installation in the glass-doored pantry and kitchen. Nellie also has a cyanotype installation and video in the kitchen. " She said that each of the artists was inspired by the natural world, and with a completely different expression.
It might be worth noting that there are many cultural activities going on at Deering during this time of year so if you drive up there you might like to check out their web site and plan to stay awhile.
Leslie Linsley has written more than 50 books on crafts, decorating and home style. She resides on Nantucket with her husband, photographer Jon Aron, and has a store on the island that specializes in her one-of-a-kind creations. Her latest book is "Key West, a Tropical Lifestyle" (Monacelli Press), with photos by Terry Pommett.