A Papio parade down memory lane


The Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade, presented by Key West Art & Historical Society and co-produced by Wonderdog Studios, is a family-friendly, art-inspired, human-powered mobile sculpture and art bike parade that honors rebel sculptor Stanley Papio, pictured here in Key Largo, Florida, 1977. PHOTO PROVIDED BY FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE, DIVISION OF LIBRARY & INFORMATION SERVICES)

The Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade, presented by Key West Art & Historical Society and co-produced by Wonderdog Studios, is a family-friendly, art-inspired, human-powered mobile sculpture and art bike parade that honors rebel sculptor Stanley Papio, pictured here in Key Largo, Florida, 1977. PHOTO PROVIDED BY FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE, DIVISION OF LIBRARY & INFORMATION SERVICES)

The annual Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade, originally scheduled for April 4, has been postponed in the interest of public health and safety due to the COVID-19 virus. A new parade date will be posted on papiokineticparade.com once it is deemed safe by health officials to resume public gatherings. In the meantime, here is a short history of the parade that celebrates the creative whimsy and kinetic savvy that so exemplifies the spirit of Key West. ¦

In 1982, artist and art historian Sharon Wells learned that the Key Largo folk artist Papio had died and the fate of his work was in question. Wells set the wheels in motion and eventually Papio’s brother decided they belonged in the Keys and gifted them to Key West Art & Historical Society. Here, Wells, left, and Key West Art & Historical Society curator Cori Convertito, Phd., right, examine “Local Hassles No. 1,” a statement by Papio painted on the back of his sculpture “The Preacher.” COURTESY PHOTOS

In 1982, artist and art historian Sharon Wells learned that the Key Largo folk artist Papio had died and the fate of his work was in question. Wells set the wheels in motion and eventually Papio’s brother decided they belonged in the Keys and gifted them to Key West Art & Historical Society. Here, Wells, left, and Key West Art & Historical Society curator Cori Convertito, Phd., right, examine “Local Hassles No. 1,” a statement by Papio painted on the back of his sculpture “The Preacher.” COURTESY PHOTOS

Today, The Rabbit” (left) and “The Preacher” (right) are among 100 Stanley Papio sculpture collection pieces stewarded by the Society and on exhibit at Fort East Martello Museum. A kinetic parade to honor the artist was the brainchild of former Society staff member Gerri Sidoti.

Today, The Rabbit” (left) and “The Preacher” (right) are among 100 Stanley Papio sculpture collection pieces stewarded by the Society and on exhibit at Fort East Martello Museum. A kinetic parade to honor the artist was the brainchild of former Society staff member Gerri Sidoti.

Key West Art & Historical Society Executive Director Michael Gieda holds up his cell phone in late 2014 with the message, “To Everyone: Thank You, We Won!” The Society received community wide support for a Knight Art People’s Choice “Show Us Your Text” campaign, adding an additional $20k to their $15k Knight Arts Challenge Grant to kick-start the inaugural Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade.

Key West Art & Historical Society Executive Director Michael Gieda holds up his cell phone in late 2014 with the message, “To Everyone: Thank You, We Won!” The Society received community wide support for a Knight Art People’s Choice “Show Us Your Text” campaign, adding an additional $20k to their $15k Knight Arts Challenge Grant to kick-start the inaugural Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade.

Key West Art & Historical Society Executive Director Michael Gieda holds up his cell phone in late 2014 with the message, “To Everyone: Thank You, We Won!” The Society received communitywide support for a Knight Art People’s Choice “Show Us Your Text” campaign, adding an additional $20k to their $15k Knight Arts Challenge Grant to kick-start the inaugural Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade. COURTESY PHOTOS

Key West Art & Historical Society Executive Director Michael Gieda holds up his cell phone in late 2014 with the message, “To Everyone: Thank You, We Won!” The Society received communitywide support for a Knight Art People’s Choice “Show Us Your Text” campaign, adding an additional $20k to their $15k Knight Arts Challenge Grant to kick-start the inaugural Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade. COURTESY PHOTOS

Every year since its inception, local businesses have sponsored the “Papio’s Pals” Kinetic Coaches in Schools education program. Here, Sadie Dodds wields a router in Jimmy Wray’s Stock Island workshop while working on Horace O’Bryant School’s 2016 entry.

Every year since its inception, local businesses have sponsored the “Papio’s Pals” Kinetic Coaches in Schools education program. Here, Sadie Dodds wields a router in Jimmy Wray’s Stock Island workshop while working on Horace O’Bryant School’s 2016 entry.

Cayman Smith-Martin pedals his Rebel Yell Award-winning “Iguana,” made from mostly recycled materials, past the Custom House Museum in the 2019 Parade.

Cayman Smith-Martin pedals his Rebel Yell Award-winning “Iguana,” made from mostly recycled materials, past the Custom House Museum in the 2019 Parade.

“Blind” judges Gabriel Price, left, and Alison Higgins, right, peruse parade entries in the line-up area behind the Custom House Museum before the 2019 Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade.

“Blind” judges Gabriel Price, left, and Alison Higgins, right, peruse parade entries in the line-up area behind the Custom House Museum before the 2019 Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade.

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