Tennessee Williams painted this portrait of Key West philanthropist David Wolkowsky, titled “L’inconnu C’est les Yeux,” which is currently on exhibit at the Custom House Museum. Key West Art & Historical Society invites recreational and professional painters to participate in a Saturday, March 3 plein air painting contest celebrating the legacy of Tennessee Williams. (Image provided by Key West Art & Historical Society)

Key West Art & Historical Society welcomes both recreational and professional painters to participate in a Saturday, March 3 plein air painting contest celebrating the legacy of Tennessee Williams, the acclaimed playwright and artist who made Key West his home for 34 years. Participants will use the Key West Art Center building at 301 Front Street, where Williams purchased artwork while attending the gallery’s opening in 1960, as their subject.

Key West Art & Historical Society will provide participants a choice of canvas or watercolor paper, available at the Custom House Museum from 9:00am – 1:00pm on March 3.  They must return their works to the same location no later than 4:00pm. Artists must supply their own painting materials and easels.

Each category of artist – recreational and professional – will have two winners, with first-place awarded $200, and $100 for second place. The contest will be blind-judged in each category by four qualified arts community leaders. Winners will be announced and honored at the Tennessee Williams Birthday Celebration on March 26 at the Tennessee Williams Museum. Artists retain ownership of their work, and will be able to offer them for sale at the March 26 reception.

Advanced online registration is preferred, though participants may register in person at the Custom House Museum on the morning of the event. Pre-registration deadline is March 2; entry fee is $20. To register, visit http://www.kwahs.org/event/tennessee-williams-plein-air- painting-contest and click on the submission link at the bottom of the page.

Known as one of the most significant playwrights of the 20th century for works that include “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and “The Glass Menagerie,” Williams also took up oil painting while living in Key West, often using characters from his works as inspiration.  Key West Art & Historical Society is proud to exhibit several of his paintings that are on permanent loan from philanthropist David Wolkowsky, one of Williams’ closest personal friends, in the Inner Vecchie Gallery at the Custom House Museum.  The Society is also steward to the Tennessee Williams Museum at 513 Truman Avenue, which celebrates Williams’ literary legacy with the largest collection of the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s memorabilia and literary artifacts available to the public.

For more information, call Cori Convertito, Ph.D. at 305.295.6616 x 112 or visit http://www.kwahs.org/events/ tennessee-williams-birthday- celebration.  Your Museums.  Your Community.  It Takes an Island.

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