Three New Exhibitions Open February 6 During First Thursday Event
Where: The Studios of Key West, 533 Eaton Street, Key West
Date: Thursday, February 6, 6-8PM
The First Thursday event on February 6 at The Studios of Key West invites ocean and art lovers to discover our magical and mercurial coastal environments in new ways. Lynne Bentley-Kemp’s water and sky photography will be on view in the XOJ Gallery, and the work of three former Studios’ Artists in Residence who explore the place where the ocean meets land are presented in the Sanger Gallery. In addition, Jean Pederson’s “Inner Voice,” an exhibition of portraits of people who have impacted her life, opens in the Zabar Project Gallery.
Cudjoe Key resident and photography professor Lynne Bentley-Kemp has cultivated a meditative practice of documenting the natural environment that seeps into her life. As a daily practice, she captures the water and sky surrounding her home each morning, resulting in thousands of images.
“Each morning for the last 5 years I‘ve watched the sky and if it speaks to me I get my paddleboard and head out toward Kemp Channel,” says Bentley-Kemp. “The images are usually made looking east toward Summerland Key and south toward the small mangrove islets off Cudjoe Key.” “Atmospheric Conditions” pulls a carefully curated selection of those captures to form a photographic installation emphasizing color and tone while forming its own atmosphere.
In “Coastlines,” female artists hailing from Brazil, Greece and Quebec present uniquely personal perspectives on the ocean. Cristiane Mohallem, Dimitra Skandali and Isabelle Hayeur reflect on the delicate balance of flora, fauna and humanity that share the space where ocean meets land. Mohallem’s yarn drawings of mangrove trees are obsessive metaphors for nature’s connectedness; Skandali invents maps of underwater spaces and repurposes found beach elements, forming installations of unsettled and endangered beauty; and Hayeur’s large-format photos offer split-screen images of life over and underwater.
“Inner Voice” is an intimate showcase of recent portraits depicting people who have impacted Jean Pederson’s life—either for a moment or a lifetime. Curator Michael David says, “Pederson combines an innate talent as a draughtsperson that recalls such historical masters such as Sargent and Cassat and contemporary artists such as Jenny Saville and Erica Fischl.”
Visitors are invited to celebrate the opening of the receptions at First Thursday on February 6 from 6-8pm. All three exhibitions remain on view through February 27. Visitors can also stop by during regular gallery hours, Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm.
image: Lynne Bentley-Kemp (2016) photograph