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New Sculpture Trail Rising Along Florida Keys

Art Students League of New York
Future snowbird: "Avis Gloriae," a sculpture by Sheila Berger, will be installed at Key West International Airport.

There are plenty of ways to mark a trip along the Florida Keys. The famous Overseas Highway bridges. An underwater shipwreck trail.

Now a new trail is going up along the island chain — a sculpture trail.

Credit Elizabeth Young / Florida Keys Council of the Arts
Florida Keys Council of the Arts
Wind Tower, a collaborative work by all seven sculptors from the Model to Monument program, has been installed at Grimal Grove on Big Pine Key.

The installation was the idea of Key West philanthropists John Padget and Jacob Dekker, who saw them last year when they were part of the Model to Monument program. That program, run by the Art Students League of New York, installs sculptures by its students in Manhattan's Riverside Park.

The sculptures have been shipped to the Keys and will be installed in six locations between Islamorada and Key West. Two have been installed so far. 

They shouldn't be hard to find.

"They're huge," said Elizabeth Young, executive director of the Florida Keys Council of the Arts, which is coordinating the installations. "They range anywhere from six feet tall to 22 feet tall. They were basically competing with high-rises on the West Side Highway, as well as the Hudson River."

Young says she hopes to create an app that will guide people to the sculptures. Selfies are encouraged.

"I'm hoping that people will go to our Facebook, go to our Instagram, start posting photos of themselves," she said.

  The NYC sculptures have finally arrived in the Florida Keys! We will announce the official placement of each sculpture soon, stay tuned! #keysarts #sculpture #nycart #floridakeys #art #artists A post shared by FL Keys Council of the Arts (@keys_arts) on Jun 14, 2017 at 8:44am PDT

Two pieces have already been relocated, one in Marathon, the other on Big Pine Key. The remaining six (listed below) are set to be in their new home by the fall. 

  • “Fragments” by Shiho Sato, MoradaWay Arts & Cultural District.
  • “Bridge” by James Mikhel Emerson and “Everything Between” by Sarah Thompson Moore, 81001 Overseas Highway.
  • “Stand Tall, Stand Loud” by Aaron Bell and “Everyone Breaks” by Tanda Francis, Otherside Adventure Park
  • “Avis Gloriae” and “Nature Eternal” (counted as one sculpture) by Sheila Berger, Key West International Airport.
Nancy Klingener was WLRN's Florida Keys reporter until July 2022.
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