UNDERSTORY is this season’s first exhibition of sculpture nestled along the Armory and within the Ashe Street nature garden.  Guest curator Anja Marais has invited four Miami- based sculptors to showcase their work within the Garden from October through mid-January. Marais, a Key West sculptor who maintains a studio in Miami, explains… ”Understory is defined as shrubs and plants growing beneath the main canopy of a forest. Key West is a vibrant arts community that blossoms in its creative endeavors next to and sometimes in the shade of its larger neighbor city Miami. This exhibition’s goal is to cross the lines between our sister cities and art communities.”

Internationally recognized mixed media artist Frank Hyder has participated in more than 150 group shows and has had over 80 solo exhibitions throughout North, South and Central America, including 8 individual exhibitions in New York City. His work is acclaimed for ”raising social and ecological questions with beauty” and can be found in numerous museum, corporate and private collections in addition to the many public commissions he has completed that are enjoyed nationally and in Venezuela. Hyder has been the recipient of major awards including a Senior Fulbright Research Grant to Venezuela. One of his cage fish groups is uniquely installed in the Nature Garden by the residency cottages.

Artist Regina Jestrow originally from Queens, NY moved to Miami in 1999 and currently works from her studio at The ArtCenter/South Florida in Miami Beach. She states, “In my work, I try to translate the movement of color and design, combining ideas from the traditional art of quilting and fine art into my own personal geometric, organic and botanical sculptures as well as three-dimensional wall hangings.” In May 2012, during a month-long residency at The Studios of Key West, Regina created the installation, “Invasive Species” incorporating over 300 embroidered, dress-shirt fabric flowers ‘planted’ in the garden. She returns with her newest installation work, Mushrooms on Persimmon constructed with canvas, persimmon logs and copper nails.

Visual artist Alette Simmons-Jimenez, whose art engages video, painting, sculpture and installations has been one of the steadfast, hardworking, hard-creating and hard-supporting pillars of the arts in Miami for years. Her work has been represented internationally in galleries, museums, universities, art fairs, and media festivals. Articles including her work have appeared in Sculpture Magazine, Arte Al Limite, the Atlanta Journal, Jane Magazine, Esquire, and the Miami Herald, among others. Alette is the founder of Artformz, a renowned artist run project dedicated to artistic collaborations since 2004.  As head of Artformz she has created, curated and/or produced numerous exhibitions, including “Artist Invites Artist” a exchange exhibit with artists in Valencia, Spain and “Giants in the City” a 2008 Knight Arts Challenge winning project. She also has the local distinction as  the first solo artist to exhibit at TSKW in 2006. Flight, her audio and visual flurry above the cistern is complemented by Claw, which commands the entrance garden from White Street.

After creating a dress composed of clothespins for a friend in 2002, painter, sculptor Gerry Stecca has spent uncountable hours working with this distinctive medium.  “Patiently hand drilled and threaded with wire (In a loom like process), sections are created and connected to one another. ‘Mostly, the work flows as planned, yet it often changes directions due to the nuances, accidents and lucky occasional wrong turns of the process and medium itself. Painting is always there for me but my installation work is a driving force of a great satisfactory magnitude.  Fabrication is a necessity, the installation a reward. How my work seats in its environment, the shadow patterns it generates, the appearance changes caused by light, time of day and viewing angle, and the reaction it provokes in others are the reasons why I do what I do.”  Gerry has installed two Clothespin Works in the garden, one airily reaching up towards the Poinciana canopy and the other an embracing sheathe ascending a towering palm.

Visitors can come and relax, contemplate and enjoy the sculptural installations and plant life that enliven the garden during our regular gallery hours of 10am- 4pm, Monday through Friday and on Sundays starting in November.  See www.tskw.org or call 305-206-0458 for more information.

The Studios of Key West