Council of the Arts will help with the airport expansion

July 29 – When it comes to making Key West beautiful, the natural scenery is certainly a big factor, but so is the art.

For talented artists in the Keys, we turn to the Florida Keys Council of the Arts.

Liz Young, executive director of the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about upcoming projects.

The Key West International Airport is undergoing a major expansion and the Florida Keys Council for the Arts will be helping with that.

Young said, “We are of course very honored to have a very prestigious one percent for public arts program in Monroe County. Not every municipality has a one percent or two percent for art, so we have been administering our program since 2001. I’ve been doing it since 2008.”

In 2008, the airport built the terminal that is now being used.

It looks like there could be $500,000 for the art project with the airport expansion.

Young said, “We’ll be putting out a call for request for qualifications and that is for artists who are working in the public art realm. You have to be able to cooperate with the government and put in a proper proposal and fill out all the documents.”

The public art committee will be appointed by the Monroe County Commissioners and include stakeholders appointed by the county administrator.

The committee will review proposals first for qualification into the pool of artists and then by probably October or November, the call for art proposals for the new expansion of the terminal will be put out.

Young said, “I’m looking at an 18-month to two year project of actually selecting the art work. Things will be integrated into construction, into the timeline as the building is built because we’re hoping to have some design in the flooring and some suspended pieces and probably one or two big pieces on the walls.”

Some of the art that’s already in the terminal will also be repurposed.

Young said, “It’s a huge undertaking and big project and we’re delighted. Couldn’t be more excited.”

Qualifications for artists will include artists that have any public art experience in the last 10 years.

Young explained, “They will submit with their application up to 10 images of work that is completed and it can be in any medium. Ceramic tiles, painted work, sculpture work, mixed media work, mural work, obviously anything that’s in the public space and we also look at the artist’s resume CV to make sure that they have successfully completed a project or two. As I say to our artists, especially those that are trying to move from the studio into the public art realm, it’s kind of like in the theater. You’ve got to try out for an equity show and be offered an equity card, but you can’t get on Broadway without an equity card. It’s sort of that circle of having some projects that show that you’ve met a deadline and you’ve installed something that’s substantial rather than just hanging a painting on the wall, so to speak.”

Also, the Fantasy Fest deadline is coming up for the annual poster and t-shirt artwork contest.

Young said, “The theme this year is cult classics and cartoon chaos. A lot of fun ideas there. We’ve partnered with Fantasy Fest for the last five years now sponsoring this call for artwork.”

The deadline for the poster and t-shirt contest is August 15.

Young said, “We’re looking forward to getting great applications for that and of course our calendar of events is right there on the homepage, too. We’ve got a lot of good things going on in Key West. Lots to do everywhere.”

For more information click here: or email Liz at [email protected]