April 4, 2018 – (Key West, FL). Remembering Stanley Papio: Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade and weekend of festivities pay homage to Florida Keys rebel folk artist
On May 4 through May 6, Key West Art & Historical Society invites the community and island visitors to celebrate the spirit of a man known for his creativity, innovation, and rebel flair with a weekend of kinetic events featuring the third annual Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade and an inaugural post-parade festival. The weekend celebrates Stanley Papio, a folk artist with a clever sense of satire and a tenacity that continues to reverberate 34 years after his passing.
Papio was a man well ahead of his time, using welding skills acquired in the U.S. Army during World War II to make art from recycled metal materials that most other people thought of as junk. No one seemed to mind at first—Stanley’s home and surroundings in Key Largo were part of an isolated and undeveloped stretch of highway on U.S. 1 when he moved there in 1949. Over time, his yard became a treasure trove of materials for his artmaking, piled high with old cars, washing machines, and other metal appliances, fenced in by welded-together bed springs.
Unfortunately, as the area developed and space between he and his neighbors diminished, so did his liberty to do as he pleased without scorn. Jailed six times for zoning violations, Papio’s rebellious spirit only grew; he created satirical metal sculptures of his neighbors and other naysayers and renamed his welding shop “Stanley’s Art Museum,” charging a quarter for admission.
This irreverent and inadvertent creation of a roadside exhibition of outsider folk art for travelers garnered the attention of critics, collectors, and museum owners, all recognizing his creativity, imagination, and remarkable welding skills. His work was exhibited in Canada, and again in Europe as part of the U.S. State Department’s America Now exhibition tour, and has since been listed in the Directory of American Folk Art and The World Encyclopedia of Naive Art.
Though he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 67 in 1982, his essence lives on at Fort East Martello Museum where more than 100 of his restored sculptural objects and other three-dimensional constructions are housed in a climate-controlled, permanent exhibit of his work.
Presented by Key West Art & Historical Society and co-produced by Wonderdog Studios, the Papio weekend celebration features:
Friday May 4, 6:00pm to 7:00pm, “The Art of Parade Sculptures” special presentation by artist/inventor Steve King at the Custom House Museum, followed by a porch party with a wine and beer cash bar.
Saturday, May 5, 5:00pm: The Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade—acavalcade of art-inspired, human-powered mobile sculptures (think art with parts that move) and art bikes—launches from the Custom House Museum (but come early to enjoy pre-parade line-up).
Saturday, May 5, 5:30-9:00pm: “Cinco de Papio Family-Friendly Party,” a post-parade festival at Key West Amphitheatrefeaturing an awards ceremony, food trucks, libations, a kid’s zone, DJs, and concert with the internationally acclaimed “acous-tronic” band Poi Dog Pondering.
Sunday, May 6, 11:30am-4:30pm: Free museum entry to Fort East Martello Museum for viewing the Stanley Papio sculpture exhibit.
For registration information, event schedule, entry guidelines, festival tickets, and sponsorship information, visit www.papiokineticparade.com. The Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of the Arts and Culture, the State of Florida, and Helmerich Trust. Additional “Papio’s Pals” support provided by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, Historic Tours of America, Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina, Jimmy Lane Real Estate Team, Premier Painting, Pirate Radio, The Peace Store, All Keys Insulation, Camping Florida Keys, and Blu on White Vacation Rentals. Your Museums. Your Community. It takes an Island.
Papio Honored 1:
The Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade, presented annually by Key West Art & Historical Society and co-produced by Wonderdog Studios, honors rebel sculptor Stanley Papio, pictured here in Key Largo, Florida, 1977. Photo provided by Florida Department of State, Division of Library & Information Services.