Arts Council Presents the Connections Project 2017 TOUR

5th Annual Arts Event Premieres in Big Pine Key on March 24th

The Florida Keys Council of the Arts works to support all the arts, in all the Keys, all the time. The local arts agency has launched its fifth annual Connections Project road show with the next opening reception at the beautiful Artists in Paradise Gallery located in the Winn Dixie Shopping Plaza in Big Pine on Friday, March 24th from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm featuring a vibrant 24-foot mosaic mural created by local artists and art lovers. The reception, with festive hors d’ouevres, desserts, and libations courtesy of the Artists from the gallery, and entertainment by The Coconut Ukulele Orchestra.

The Connections Project is one of the Arts Council’s more innovative fundraising activities connecting community members with local arts and cultural initiatives. The Arts Council provides a 6×6 blank canvas to local professional artists and artistic residents who then create a piece of art. “People of all abilities and skill levels are encouraged to participate,” said Florida Keys Arts Council Executive Director Elizabeth Young. “We offer workshops for non-artists, led by local artists. And, we’re privileged to have more than 300 professional Keys artists contributing a piece of art to Connections Project 2017.”

Once the nearly 400 completed canvases are collected, the monster mosaic is assembled by volunteers and taken on the road from Key Largo to Key West for six art receptions and exhibitions. All receptions run from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Exhibits are open during regular business hours of the Arts Council business partner’s locations. The Connection Project road show is sponsored in part by Royal Furniture. The mosaic mural will be on exhibition in each location for about two weeks before going on the road to the next event.

After connecting with the art, patrons can also collect art by making a $35 donation for one canvas or a $100 donation for three at any reception or online at Once the road show has ended, donors receive a randomly selected piece of the mosaic in the mail. Most works includes an artist statement providing insight into the origin of the work and the artist’s thoughts and inspiration.

Proceeds from Connections Project directly benefit Keys’ artists and arts organizations through Arts Council grants, including the Artists in Schools grant, the audience development grant known as ArtReach and a Special Projects grant.

For more information call the Florida Keys Council of the Arts at 305.295.4369 or visit