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For well over a dozen years in a row, the Anne Mckee Artists Fund fine art auction has drawn a full house. Art aficionado’s and collectors know that on this one night, a large measure of the cream of the Keys crop will be on display, all together, at what is one of the most popular, passionate and artsy parties of the year.
This annual event is unique among Keys fine art auctions because it is supported by artists with the sole purpose of benefiting artists. This is an essential role, because Key West is one of those quixotic places that magnetically attracts artists of all kinds with its character, color and intellect; but does not offer up a living easily. Paradoxically, many of the islands non-profits and arts organizations rely heavily on donations from artists to support their missions. Knowing and understanding the needs of local artists, Anne McKee and a group of like minded associates orchestrated the auction and the fund. Now, every year, highly collectable premier and emerging artists participate in the auction, and receive 50% of the amount realized on the sale of their pieces. The remaining 50% supports the fund that awards yearly grants that help artists produce their creative visions. These grants are coveted not only because the funds help bring artistic aspirations into being, but also because of the recognition and visibility that results.