The Key West Art Center and Gallery, Inc
The Key West Art Center is incorporated as a non-profit organization, devoted to the encouragement of local artists by furnishing them with a central market place for their work. The Center is supported by membership dues and a commission of sales. A wide variety of art by dedicated local artists, both in style and price can be found here.
Membership meetings are held the second Friday of the month. A business meeting is followed by a program which may include a demonstration by a known artist. Program demonstrations may include painting, sculpture, or lectures on art history or printing techniques. These programs are open to the public as well as the membership.
"Hemingway’s Home" watercolor
Martha Watson Sauer
Martha Watson Sauer was a uniquely talented and prolific artist who lived most of her life in Key West, but also traveled the world documenting her experiences through drawing and painting, making notes all along the way in her detailed sketchbooks. She was an early member of the Key West Art Center. A permanent exhibit about her life and work as well as the history of the Art Center is on view in our upstairs gallery. The exhibit includes examples of her watercolors and sketchbooks, as well as her block prints created for tourist brochures under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) a program that emerged out of the Federal Emergency Relief Act (FERA) passed by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 to help America get back to work and prosperity in the wake of the Great Depression and hard economic times. She did the artwork for the Key West Aquarium, as well as other newly developed tourist attractions of the 1930’s including the Ernest Hemingway House, the Peggy Mills Garden, now The Gardens Hotel, and the West Martello Tower, home of the Key West Garden Club. Martha was also employed by the WPA to teach weaving and watercolor classes at the Art Center location -- then known as the Key West Community Art Center -- the WPA’s first public art project, and the seed that eventually grew into today’s Key West Art Center. Read more…
Marcia Fitch MacMullen, a founding member
The Key West Art Center is currently housed in a historic quaint wooden building in the midst of the city’s old town waterfront area. It was originally constructed in the 1850’s near the waterfront for use as a grocery store. A fire seriously damaged the building in 1886. It was rebuilt as a single story building and the second floor added in the early 1900’s. The grocery was owned and managed by the George Babcock family for many years. In later years the building was the location of the first WPA Art Project under President Roosevelt.