Key West Art & Historical Society Celebrates Recent Mario Sanchez Acquisition & Donation

Key West Art & Historical Society Brings Mario Sanchez Works Home— (Left to Right) Society Executive, Membership Coordinator Kim Livingston, Director Michael Gieda, board member Brewster Chamberlain, and Curator Cori Convertito marvel over the details found in two paper bag sketches from celebrated folk artists Mario Sanchez—“Old Island Days, Main Drag, 1920s,” and “When Boys Were Kids.” Historian and author Chamberlain has catalogued a record of over 500 pieces of Sanchez’s work; it is guesstimated that the prolific artist created close to 800, with some of his bas-relief wood carvings taking as long as 2 months to create. The signed and titled works were recently acquired from a Miami estate sale and will be part of the “Pencil Me In: The Sketches of Mario Sanchez” exhibition at the Custom House Museum that opens June 17 and features over 70 of Sanchez’s paper bag sketches, which the artist used to help outline the details and dimensions for his carvings.

Letters from Mario Sanchez—Society Executive Director Michael Gieda, and Curator Cori Convertito read from one of the six handwritten Mario Sanchez letters recently donated from a snowbird couple who commissioned several pieces from the folk artist.  Sanchez was as much of a storyteller in his letters as he was in his sketches and carvings, commemorating the details of the people and places in his work with the attention and vibrancy that helps capture the essence of days now gone by. Sanchez will be celebrated in an upcoming exhibition –“Pencil Me In: The Sketches of Mario Sanchez”—at the Custom House Museum, featuring over 70 of Sanchez’s paper bag sketches.  The exhibit opens June 17 and runs until December 31.

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