Key Center bustled with color and live music amid strong winds as the seventh annual Key Center Art Walk kicked off. Sponsored by the Two Waters Arts Alliance, the Art Walk showcased more than 40 artists and attracted locals and visitors to the Key Peninsula.
TWAA, a nonprofit organization founded in 2001, is dedicated to supporting creativity on the Key Peninsula.
“A lot of it is community coming together, supporting the artists, and just having a time to be together and celebrate friendships,” said TWAA’s event coordinator Susan Quigley. She said the turnout might be more than the 2021 Art Walk, which boasted approximately 500 attendees.
“As good or better,” Quigley said.
Musicians strummed guitars and sang into the splendor as guests embraced, enjoyed wine from vendors, and admired the art and local goods in front of Sunnycrest Nursery Florist and Décor.
It was the first year with a booth for Alaina Seyssel, a textile artist who specializes in craft patterns and custom memory bears. Seyssel, who has a background in textiles, decided to use some leftover material from personal items and sentimental clothing, including her wedding dresses, to create keepsakes in the shape of bears.
“I had the background, but I had never made a bear before, and I was thinking, you know, that would be a cool project. So, I thought I’d give it a go,” said Seyssel, who had to remain perched on the edge of her booth to keep the wind from knocking it over. “A couple of mock-ups later, it came out cuter than cute.”
Tames Alan, a maker of suncatchers and performer of Living History Lectures, shared a booth with Seyssel.
“I do one-woman historical shows that are educational entertainment called Living History Lectures. I usually come out in the skivvies of the time period, get dressed in front of the audience,” Alan said. “I do over 35 shows in rap going from Ancient Greece through to the Flappers,”
Alan had enlisted Seyssel’s help with some of her costume work for the theatrical and educational performances. The two later decided to share a booth for their crafts at the 2022 Art Walk.
“I do better when she’s here; people see something sparkly and come over,” Seyssel said about Alan and her crystal suncatchers.
“We work as a team,” Alan said. “I call mine ‘window bling.’ They’re suncatchers. I call it playing with color and light.”
Despite the heavy wind, the two appeared to be enjoying the day, and displaying their unique art.
“Today’s been great!” Alan said.
Longtime resident and artist Kathy Sheehan Best said, “It’s nice. It seems to be a good crowd.”
Best’s booth displayed intricate paintings that included portraits of people, animals and diverse landscapes.
“Ever since I could hold a pencil, I’ve been drawing, painting, coloring, and that’s my escape,” she said.
There was something for everyone at the Art Walk. Local organizations, food vendors and farmers were woven between artists displaying their crafts, paintings and photographs the length of Key Center. The event succeeded in TWAA’s mission to connect the Key Peninsula with the arts, displaying how welcoming and warm the KP community can be
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