Key West is an artist’s utopia. Here’s a look at local galleries:
7 Artists & Friends
The combination of a supportive arts community and inspirational tropical setting combine to make Key West ideal for nurturing creativity. 7 Artists & Friends (213 Simonton St.; 305-294-8444) began as a co-op run by seven of the island’s most respected artists.
Alan S. Maltz Gallery
At the Alan S. Maltz Gallery (1210 Duval St.; 305-294-0005), Maltz — who has been designated the “Official Wildlife and Fine Art Photographer for the State of Florida” by VISIT FLORIDA and the Wildlife Foundation of Florida — offers a window into his vision of the state’s natural beauty.
Collections, Key West Gallery
Collections, Key West (6810 Front St., Stock Island; 305-923-4778; www.collectionskw.com), is a time capsule of a gallery, with figurative paintings, kinetic sculpture, antiques and fine custom furniture, made of locally milled hardwoods. On the docks of Safe Harbour Marina on Stock Island. Open weekends noon-5 p.m. and by appointment.
De La Gallery
The peaceful De La Gallery (419 Duval St.; 305-395-2210) is an artistic oasis in the middle of bustling Duval Street. It showcases the photography of Jorge de la Torriente and the masterful framing of Jeffrey Rodriguez.
A bright flash of color on the Key West gallery scene, Effusion Gallery (701 Duval St.; 305-735-4345) infuses the vibrant world of Pop Art with a cool, tropical vibe.
Gallery on Greene
Under the helm of Nance Frank, the Gallery on Greene (606 Greene St.; 305-304-2323) is packed wall to wall with pieces from “some of the most talented artists within 100 miles, like Peter Vey, Mario Sanchez, Suzie de Poo, Jeff MacNelly and many artists from Cuba,” Frank says.
Gingerbread Square Gallery
On the upper end of Duval Street, amidst the tropical foliage and quaint historical buildings, sits Gingerbread Square Gallery (1207 Duval St.; 305- 296-8900), Key West’s oldest private art gallery, founded in 1974 by Key West’s former mayor, Richard Heyman. Today, Gingerbread Square exhibits original paintings, limited edition prints, sculpture and art glass.
Guild Hall Gallery
Located in one of Duval Street’s busiest blocks, Guild Hall Gallery (614 Duval St.; 305-296-6076) was established in 1976 as a co-op. It features many media, including stained glass, watercolor painting and sculpture. Guild Hall is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
After over 30 years in Key West’s gallery scene, Harrison Gallery (825 White St.; 305-294-0609) has become an institution known as much for its proprietors, Helen and Ben Harrison, as for the eclectic contemporary works of art exhibited inside its walls.
Jag (1075 Duval St., Space C23; 305-294-0609), Key West artist Letty Nowak’s Duval Square Gallery, currently is showing its “Small Works” exhibit. First conceived in 2005 at Nowak’s previous art space, The Lemonade Stand, this juried show includes work from over 100 artist finalists all 10 inches or smaller. Continues through Jan. 9 and can be viewed at Jag’s online gallery at www.jaggallery/art.
Key West Art Center & Gallery
The Key West Art Center & Gallery (301 Front St.; 305-294-1241), officially the island’s oldest art collective, is a place for local artists to display their work, work on art-related projects and teach and take classes.
Key West Gallery
The gallery specializes in a range of art, from Old Master originals to contemporary works from around the globe. (601 Duval St.; 305-292-9339).
Key West Pottery
Key West Pottery (1203 Duval St.; 305-900-8303), owned by the husband and wife duo of Kelly Lever and Adam Russell, Key West Pottery is a working pottery studio slash art gallery that is dedicated to showcasing the connection between man and nature.
SALT Gallery (830 Fleming St.; 305-817-6055) is a boutique-cum-gallery with a focus on local artists and artisans. Exhibits vary in medium and genre from month to month, featuring everything from abstract oil paintings to underwater photography to mixed-media sculptures.
Shade Ceramics & Shutter Photography
Shade Ceramics & Shutter Photography (1102 White St.; 305-767-3769) highlights locally crafted ceramics by Mark Klammer and vibrant nature photography by Sarah Carleton.
Stone Soup Gallery & Frame Shop
In addition to featuring work by local artists, Stone Soup (802 White St.; 305-296-2080) also has an extensive framing, canvas stretching and fine art printing outfit. ¦