This month, The Studios of Key West devotes all four of its galleries to a captivating array of work by local artists. New exhibitions by Michel Delgado, Alaina Plowdrey and Jeane LaRance are on view, and a special show of work by Bridget Bunting, a student of the Key West Collegiate Academy, is also on display.
Michel Delgado is a self-taught artist who grew up in Senegal, and now exhibits widely in solo and group shows throughout the country. His recent body of work, “Solid Uncertainty,” is on display in the Sanger Gallery. Considered one of the most visionary Brut artists of our generation, Delgado’s images are striking; he captures the viewer with his intense palette and raw honesty.
“As an artist, I don’t work in series,” he says. “That structure doesn’t interest me. I’d rather be remembered as an interesting artist.”
Instead, Delgado works with the idea of experience — mining visual images for their emotional and spiritual content. Never having preconceived images in mind, he seeks to portray things that are not obvious in reality, focusing instead on the composition and balance of the work. This amalgamation of uncertainty and confidence brings his work to life in surprising ways.
In the XOJ Gallery, Alaina Plowdrey’s “Active Duty” explores ideas of physicality, drive and determination through portraits of active duty service members. Linking her paintings to the ideas of philosopher and poet Lucretuis, Plowdrey delves into the psyche of the soldier.
Jeane LaRance’s “An Alternative Process” is on view in the Zabar Project Gallery. LaRance’s work is a series of digital images that she transfers, burnishes, sands and varnishes onto metal. Her inspiration came from early war photographers of the mid-1800s, who had no way to preserve images other than by using metal or glass plates.
“Images of war scared the hell out of me,” LaRance says, “but I was completely fascinated by how the photographer was able to show the world what he saw.”
As a special component of this month’s exhibits, The Studios is pleased to celebrate its new arts education initiative. The Studios’ Youth Arts Fellowship pilot program, supported by the Marion Stevens Fund, helps talented teens realize their creative potential and receive artistic feedback.
In December 2018, Key West Collegiate Academy’s Bridget Bunting was recognized as the first fellow of the program, and since, has taken adult-level classes at The Studios and received mentorship from local artist and educator Jimmy Wray. In addition to her school commitments, Bunting also spends three nights a week sketching, painting and working on independent projects. The Studios is pleased to present a selection of Bunting’s work in the Zabar Lobby Gallery.
Michel Delgado’s Solid Uncertainty is sponsored by Truman & Co. Active Duty by Alaina Plowdrey is sponsored by The Perry Hotel. Jeane LaRance’s An Alternative Process is sponsored by The Marker Resort.
All four exhibitions will remain on view at The Studios of Key West (533 Eaton St.) through May 30. The Studios’ galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information can be found at www.tskw.org. ¦