For the month of November, SALT Gallery presents “A-MUSED,” a new collection of stunning photography and unique mixed media sculptures by local artists Martha Hubbard and Karen Luknis.
While celebrated for her culinary expertise and service to fine dining establishments that include 915, Louie’s Backyard and now her chef-led cooking instruction at Isle Cook Key West, Martha turned to photography a handful of years ago after experiencing a major life change — forgoing alcohol — which left her with “a ton of free time,” she says. Her work has since been exhibited with much fanfare in prominent galleries throughout the island, including Harrison Gallery, The Studios of Key West, SALT and SoDu.
Martha’s photographs clearly capture the color, light, texture, and details that make Key West’s land and skyscapes so memorable. From the sweeping lines of the White Street Pier to the edgy clouds of a foreboding storm to the graceful arc of palm fronds and the playful shadows they cast on the sand below, her photography’s design elements not only capture the island’s authenticity but also create a graphic hallelujah that’s a feast for the eyes and the perfect postcard to send home.
As beautiful as her photographs may be, Martha also endeavors to present her work in an artisanal fashion. “With all the photographers in this world I find it necessary to present my images uniquely,” she explains. “My focus is on enjoying the technology available to present my images like paintings — or the feel of a painting. I enjoy the pursuit of exploring fun techniques and technology to create something more than an image. The apps available I have found help convey more depth to my images and some are just purely fun! I say why not!”
Karen is a self-taught artist who has lived in Key West since 1990. In 2014, she was the First Place Winner in Mixed Media at “From a Woman’s Hand,” a juried showing at the Frangipani Gallery in Key West. Karen was also the recipient of an artist grant from The Ann McKee Artist Foundation in 2015. After the success of her Ann McKee show at The Studios of Key West, the Customs House Museum in Key West added one of Karen’s pieces to its permanent collection — a great honor for an artist living and working in Key West.
Karen’s mixed media sculptures are made with vintage tin games, industrial wooden molds, doll heads and parts from the ’30s and ’40s, wooden cheese boxes, mirrors, and various metal and wood objects. “I like the look and feel of vintage objects,” she describes. “They are rugged and show wear and tear from being in existence for so long. Their imperfections reveal an inner beauty that cannot be contrived or duplicated – the look only comes from being real. They have, like myself, stood the test of time.
“The series I’ve worked on this year reflects my reactions to school shootings, environmental issues and sexual politics,” Karen continues. “I’ve found some humor as well and incorporated mythology and psychedelics into the mix. I’m often surprised by the ideas that come to me when I approach my objects and materials with an open mind and just have fun arranging things until I see where it’s going.”
SALT Gallery features an eclectic collection of local art, local sea salts, jewelry, pottery, wine and Florida Keys honey. Gallery owners Maria Sharpe and Laura Richardson feature a new artist each month at SALT. Martha’s and Karen’s work will remain on display until Nov. 30. ¦
Martha Hubbard and Karen Luknis A- MUSED Through November SALT Gallery 830 Fleming St. 305- 517-6088 www.saltislandprovisions.com.