Creativity Abounds in November at TSKW

November is filled with Creative Opportunities at The Studios of Key West
Workshops, Exhibitions, and Professional Development for Artists are on the Horizon

The Studios of Key West kicks off its Brown Bag Lunchtime Series, special professional development session for local artists, on Friday 6 November at noon. Intellectual property attorney, Susan Chaires, will present a one hour overview of licensing, creative merchandising, intellectual property agreements, and the use of original art in items such as calendars, books, fabrics, movies, and other commercial outlets. The series is presented by The studios of Key West, in partnership with the Monroe County Council of the Arts, and is free for members of both organizations.

“Part of our mission is to support the advancement of local creative people,” said Eric Holowacz, executive director of The Studios of Key West, “and understanding licensing and intellectual property can be a big part of protecting and growing your artistic product, whether you are a musician, painter, writer, or graphic designer.”

Watercolorist Sean Callahan opened the season a few weeks ago with a three-day beginner’s class at the Historic Armory. That proved so popular that he has agreed to return for a November 16, 17, and 18 watercolor workshop for beginners and those wanting to learn a little more about the medium. Callahan has taught painting for over seventeen years, and more recently began exploring Key West scenes and imagery in his own work. For his reprise at The Studios of Key West students will learn essential watercolor techniques, such as washes and dry brush, and again an understanding of color theory and value study. The three-day workshop will be held from 9am to noon each day, and registration is $90 for members or $110 for non-members.

“Instead of starting out slowly this season, we thought it might be nice to hit the ground running, and offer dozens of creative experiences in November and December,” said Holowacz. “Over the next two weeks, the Armory will be home to several exhibitions, three live music concerts, weekly painting bootcamp and life drawing sessions, and our early season workshops. Our creative community is off to a big start already.”

Local oil painter Marylene Proner opens her first one-woman exhibition in Florida on Monday, November 9 with a 4 to 6pm reception at the Historic Armory. Her new body of work, “Pieces of Key West,” explores island characters, landscapes, and tourist experience in lush academic brushstrokes. Viewers will discover smiling pirates, sunburnt Midwesterners, conch cottages glowing at night, and fortune tellers at Mallory Square. The public is invited to the opening, and the show will be on view through November 20.

Marylene Proner was born in Paris, France, and received her first artistic training from her parents, who were both painters. She graduated from the Beaux-Arts academy in Paris where she focused on painting, etching and engraving. Painting the light of the tropics became a primary focus, and remains her source of inspiration. She has exhibited in Paris, Aix en Provence, Saint-Denis (La Reunion), Port Louis (Mauritius), and, in California, Halfmoon Bay, Los Angeles and Palm Desert. This is her debut exhibition in Key West.

“When I first walked into Marylene’s small studio in Old Town, I was blown away by her depictions of island scenes and people, thick yet controlled brushstrokes, and exquisite renderings of familiar places,” said Holowacz. “Her pictures sing about our unique sense of place and they glow with a luminosity that is rare and wonderful.”

Adding to the creative experiences in November, local actor Richard Grusin brings a fresh look at Shakespeare. His seminar style class will be offered on Monday mornings from November 9 to 30. Guided by a classically-trained actor, students will explore the genius of Shakespeare and investigate the poetry of the Bard through one of his best loved comedies, Twelfth Night. No performing or experience required, just an ability to learn about and discuss the lines and features of the play, in the comfortable and intimate setting of the Historic Armory.

Richard Grusin was a member of The Guthrie Theatre Acting Company, American Repertory Theatre, and Yale Repertory Theatre. He has appeared at The Public Theatre in New York as well as The Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and in numerous television and film roles. Brush Up Your Shakespeare begins on November 9 at The Studios of Key West, and registration is $80 for members and $95 for non-members, and includes a copy of Twelfth Night.

Completing the November slate of arts opportunities, local musician Zack Seemiller will present a special tribute evening, Harry Chapin’s Last Concert, on Friday, November 20 at 8pm. Tickets are on sale now for $15 plus handling fee at or 295-7676. Seemiller has been a Key West musician for over ten years, and has long held a dream of presenting a special evening of Chapin’s music. That idea cam to fruition just as The Studios of Key West was planning the 2009/2010 Old Town New Folk music series. The audience will be treated to a one of a kind evening in the main hall of the Historic Armory. Audience members are also asked to bring a canned good or non-perishable food item to help support hunger relief in the Keys. .

“This really is our most diverse and exciting season ever,” said Holowacz. “We’ve expanded in every way, and our mission and creative community continues to grow. We are so grateful to all our members, sponsors, and creative people for giving us such a powerful creative spark.”

The Studios of Key West