January 9, 2019

PETER ROBERTS/Contributed
The 'Headcases-FL!' exhibit opening Jan. 11 at the Studio Sesh Arts gallery in Islamorada showcases Savannah, Ga., artist Peter Roberts' cutout versions of state residents, including Keys residents, on 'What were they thinking

PETER ROBERTS/Contributed The 'Headcases-FL!' exhibit opening Jan. 11 at the Studio Sesh Arts gallery in Islamorada showcases Savannah, Ga., artist Peter Roberts' cutout versions of state residents, including Keys residents, on 'What were they thinking

ISLAMORADA — The Florida Keys, often accused of having an oversized share of head cases, get even more Friday, Jan. 11, in Islamorada.

Savannah, Ga., artist Peter Roberts stages his first-ever Florida show of his cutouts of undersized heads in “Headcases-FL!,” a pop-culture exhibit at the Studio Sesh Arts in Islamorada’s Morada Way Arts and Cultural District.

“This is more about the entire state of Florida, but there’s a pretty fair representation of the Keys,” Roberts said earlier this week. “It’s a little bit of a lesson that includes history, geography and people.”

“Headcases literally are all about ‘What were they thinking?’ This stuff coming out of their tiny little heads,” he said.

Artistic tributes to Keys people might include a former Key West mayor, one of Indian Key’s best-known residents and the inventor of the Rum Runner, widely credited to a 1950s bartender at Holiday Isle Resort (now Postcard Inn and Marina).

“What was on the mind of these Floridians to make them honorable, notable and memorable?” Studio Sesh owner Sandra Attales asks.

“Everything [Roberts] does is by paper-cut and three-dimensional,” Attales said. “These heads are grouped according to preference, then encased inside a shadow box. They’re almost like collectibles, you could say.”

“Florida is so vast, but it’s also about a state of mind,” Roberts said. “So many places are transient, but I was looking at things that originated in Florida. I definitely had a lot of fun doing the old roadside attractions like Gatorland and the Tiki Gardens.”

Roberts graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design and worked in television advertising and production.

“I’ve always been creative, but it was somebody else’s idea,” he said. “When my 50th birthday rolled up, I decided I want to do my own [art] show.”

He now operates two Savannah art galleries and founded Blackbird Press.

“Peter is wonderful and inspiring man,” Attales said. “He’s been a huge inspiration for me this past year and propelled me in directions I never dreamed of.”

The opening reception for “Headcases-FL!” will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 11 at Studio Sesh Arts, 151 Morada Way in Islamorada, with the artist in attendance. The exhibit will remain on display through Feb. 22.

kwadlow@keysnews.com