Net Loss directed by Philip S. Steel

$10 suggested donation, Free for commercial fishermen and families.

Performance and Panel Discussion Explore the Powerful Effects of Florida’s Net Ban

On Sat, May 3 at 7pm, The Studios of Key West presents Net Loss, a live theatre piece about the powerful effects the net ban caused on Florida’s commercial fisherman and their families. A panel discussion will follow with Doug Gregory, the Executive Director of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, Capt. Bill Kelly, Executive Director Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association, and Net  Loss’s director, Philip S. Steel. The evening is free for commercial fisherman and families, and a suggested donation of $10 for others.

Net Loss was written by Evelyn Wild Mayerson. Mayerson spent “easily a year” researching Net Loss. She talked to nearly 20 fisherman and their wives, as well as talking to sports fishermen, guides, scientists and environmentalists. The piece has received the support of the Florida Humanities Council and the National Endowment of the Arts.

Actor Joel Kolker portrays an out-of-work fisherman and leads the audience through a 30-minute monologue filled with the stories and recollections of men who lived off the sea for generations. A vital part of the set, and of the story itself, are the paintings of director Philip S. Steel, who is also a prolific artist. Steel will spend the month of May in residency at The Studios.

“The actor uses my paintings and interacts with them as if they are other characters in the story,” says Steel. “He goes from telling the story of his family and his life to talking about the problems he is having and looking at the future.”

James Slater, a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter based in Nashville, performs Fisherman’s Prayer, the highlighted song he wrote especially for Net Loss.

Steel’s paintings are on view through May 9 at The Studios as part of Marine Effect, an exhibition also featuring the work of Andy Thurber.

Panel discussion to follow:

Commercial Fishing in the Keys
Philip Steel / AIR – painter, producer of Net Loss
Doug Gregory – Executive Director, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Bill Kelly – Executive Director, Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman’s Association

A panel of experts in the fishing industry will inform audience members about the county’s second largest industry (second only to tourism). Steel, Gregory, and Kelly answer questions regarding practices, sustainability, obstacles faced in the business.

See also Marine Effect – a main hall exhibition by Philip S. Steel and Andy Thurber running from April 17 to May 9.

About Philip S. Steel:

Philip’s art education began at the age of 10, when a Chester County, Pa. art teacher named Wm. Palmer Lear picked Phil as a promising young artist, and taught him and other young artists how to paint. Phil graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Penn State University, and a Master’s of Architecture degree from University of California at Berkeley.

Phil has painted continuously since college days but intensified his dedication in the late 1980’s. Much of Philip’s subject matter reflects his love of the sea and the people whose lives are affected by it. The last few years he has partnered with excellent authors, expanding into an art form that links his paintings to performances that capture the lives of working fishermen, watermen and lobstermen of our East Coast.

“Net Loss” is about the disastrous effect of 1993’s net ban on Florida’s commercial fishermen.

His portraiture of those dedicated to earning their living from the waters is captivating. He has been a lifetime sailor, traveling on his own sailboat with family and friends the entire east coast and Bahamas. His military experience was as a young officer aboard a destroyer in the South Pacific

The past few years, his work has been shown in one man exhibits at The Appleton Museum, Ocala, FL., Port St. Lucie Civic Center, FL, .Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons, MD, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD, and at The Annapolis Maritime Museum, in Annapolis MD.  His work is permanently displayed at a number of museums including The Smithsonian Museum. He has been featured in American Art Collector magazine.

Phil is the resident artist at the Salty Dog Gallery, in Southwest Harbor, ME.  is numerous awards include The National George Gray Medal, the Silver Brush Award in the Florida Watercolor Society’s annual Juried Show, the Sanford Award in the New England Watercolor Society’s Annual National Show, and the Gallery Award in Tallahassee Tri-State Show.  He is a Signature Member of the Florida Watercolor Society, Signature Member of the American Society of Marine Artists, and a Fellow Member of the American Artist Professional League, Salmagundi Club in New York, and is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in American Art. His website features many of his recent paintings and art events.

Sponsored by Restorative & Esthetic Dentistry of the Keys

The Studios of Key West