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The Studios of Key West welcomes its next artist-in-residence, Chappelle Letman, who will spend the month of June living and working at TSKW’s Mango Tree House. Coming from Cleveland, Ohio, Letman is a master sculptor who has been blind for nearly 20 years. The public is invited to a free informal question-and-answer session with Letman at The Studios of Key West on Monday, June 6 at 10:30 am at 600 White Street.
“I’ve never been to Key West, and I’m looking forward to learning about its people and history,” said Letman. “I want to get to know the island, and be open to whatever it brings to my life and to the stone.”
Prior to losing his vision, Letman worked as a mason, a book illustrator and a painter. Working in oils, he often depicted the natural scenes, cityscapes and people that surrounded him. When glaucoma took his vision, he was forced to transition to a new reality of working as an artist who was visually challenged.
He learned to rely on his instincts, and believes his loss of sight has given him a true artistic vision. He uses his disability to connect with the energy of the earth, and the emotions of the people around him.
Letman believes it is important to work with the spirit of a stone as he carves it. While in residence, Letman will explore the carving of unworked stone that had belonged to beloved local artist Barbara Vogel, who passed away in 2009.
During his residency, Letman would like to reach out to those who knew Vogel. He asks that anyone who would like to share their stories and memories of her contact him through The Studios of Key West.
People will also have a chance to work with Letman by enrolling in his TSKW workshop, The Third Eye, which begins on June 6. The workshop, which includes an introductory full-day session followed by individually scheduled 2-hour sessions and ending with an early evening group class, is $125 for TSKW members and $150 for non-members. Calling this a discovery course, Mr Letman will utilize a piece of Vogel’s stone in a collaborative carving and learning station.
For more information about Letman’s workshop or the free artist talk on June 6 at 10:30 am, please contact The Studios of Key West at 305-296-0458.