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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Monday, May 06, 2019

The Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade

May 6, 2019





The Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade

This year marks the fourth year that the Key West Art and Historical Society sponsored what has quickly become one of the most creative and well-loved events on the Key West annual calendar, the Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade. The event is dedicated to one of the Keys most iconic Folk Artists, the late Stanley Papio, who utilized recycled materials to create one of a kind art sculptures in his Key Largo home.

It has been more than 30 years since Stanley Papio created his incredible collection of amazing folk art, which he created using old metal junk and sold from his roadside home and studio on US One in Key Largo. Now recognized as a folk art pioneer for his innovative and inspirational metal creations.





Of course he wasn’t always appreciated for his artistic acumen, in fact while he was alive and working, his neighbors were a constant source of frustration as what he saw as potential artwork, they saw as piles of metal junk, including abandoned cars, large appliances and other “trash” that was fouling up their neighborhood. He was arrested six times for zoning violations and eventually started charging a quarter admission to people to tour what he called, “Stanley’s Art Musuem.”



Over time curious collectors, museums and others began to recognize his creative genius and the artwork he created became desirable and much of it can now be found in museums across the nation as he has been recognized as a true folk art pioneer and what he used to sell for a few bucks along the road is now highly collectible and valuable as well.

Andy, Gary and Colleen 


It was with his creative spirit in mind that the KWAHS created the Papio Kinetic Sculpture Parade. The event has grown from very humble beginnings into what many consider to be one of the best and most fun annual events held in Key West. Human-powered floats and art bicycles are created out of mostly found and recycled materials and many of the most creative people in Key West are involved each year.



Many school groups and even the MARC House had entries this year, as the students plan, design and create their entries with the assistance of artist coaches and they join the fun as the parade featured about 20 entries, many of which were truly works of art and showed off the variety of creative talent that we have here in our island community.



Garth and Katie

Kathy and I made our way down to the Customs House early to check out the scene prior to the race and to get a close up look at the creative and fun creations, many of which were created by some of our talented artist friends, who seem to have outdone themselves this year. Each year the parade has grown in scope and complexity and I think the potential is almost unlimited as to what it could become.



The parade is not long, probably taking about thirty minutes to pass by as it winds from the Customs House over to Duval then down to Southard Street where it turns toward its conclusion at the Key West Amphitheater where an after party is held and awards are doled out. Though I think merely being an entrant is worthy of some type of award and all the work that goes in to creating this wonderful little parade should be rewarded.