January 17 Walk on White at TSKW

Artist Andreas Franke brings the underwater world to the surface with his exhibition, The Vandenberg Project: The Life Above Refined Below, on view from January 17-February 15 at The Studios of Key West. The public is invited to celebrate the exhibition and meet the artist during Walk on White on January 17 from 6-9pm.

The exhibit consists of a dozen 4-by-5-foot digitally composited photographs of the General Hoyt S. Vandenberg artificial reef. Franke first photographed the wreck and later added other elements digitally, creating haunting images such as a young girl wielding a butterfly net to capture fish, a ballet class rehearsing on the deck, and a housewife hanging laundry to dry amongst the sea life.

“With my photographs of sunken shipwrecks, I want to pull the spectators into unreal and strange worlds,” says Franke. “I am always on the lookout for stunning themes to create new images never been seen before.”

The art was mounted and displayed on the Vandenberg’s weather deck 93 feet beneath the ocean’s surface for several months, and can now be seen for the first time without the aid of a tank at The Studios of Key West.

Florasynthesis: The Botanical Unknown, an exhibition by artist in residence Vico Fabbris, will also be celebrated during Walk on White. The exhibition consists of imaginary botanical still lives rendered in vibrant watercolors.

Fabbris is an Italian artist who studies the plants, landscape and climate of a geographical area, in this case Key West, and invents plants that possibly once existed but have since gone extinct. He then imagines a complete botanical history for each plant focusing on the medicinal properties, local usage, and fragrance, often writing, in Italian, the explanatory text directly on the work. His collection of imagined-extinct plants will remain on view in Space 2 through February 15.

The public is also invited to venture behind the Armory to view new work installed in the Sculpture and Nature Garden during Walk on White, and to visit the January artists in residence at the Ashe Street cottages.

Sculptor Bill Lorraine carves abstractions of human faces and forms from an indigenous stone called Miami Oolite. The distinctive whiteness of the stone paired with its porous surface texture causes light hitting the stone to diffuse into a soft glow. Eight of Lorraine’s sculptures can be seen in the garden through April.

Two of Dr. Richard Whitehill’s kinetic steel sculptures are also on view in the garden. Inspired by a love of sailing, the dramatic works change in response to shifting winds. Created from powder coated steel, the rotary motion of the pieces result in a constantly changing variety of geometrical shapes.

January residency artists will also be on hand in the Ashe Street cottages to show their artwork to the public and to answer questions throughout the evening.

The Studios of Key West is located at 600 White Street. For more information about TSKW residencies or exhibitions please call 296-0458 or visit www.tskw.org.