Some 24 colorful mobile sculptures and “art cycles” took to Key West’s streets Saturday in a people-powered parade of kinetic creativity.
Described as a “moveable feast” of recycled and renegade art, the Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade saluted the late Florida Keys folk artist Stanley Papio. The pioneering metal sculptor was famed for his offbeat recycled creations crafted out of discarded car parts, pipes and other machine scraps.
During the procession, sculptural floats with moving elements, elaborately decorated bicycles, tricycles and other mobile masterpieces were propelled by humans along Key West’s Duval Street.
“There’s no motors, there’s no gas, there’s nothing on these — it’s all human-powered sculptures that are moving down the street,” said Michael Gieda, executive director of the Key West Art & Historical Society that staged the parade.
Standout entries included a large-scale seahorse merry-go-round, an elaborate coral reef ensemble, a large pirate ship with tattered sails, a multicolored octopus surrounded by strolling jellyfish and a female “Ben HER” piloting a glittering aquatic chariot.
“You don’t need to be highly skilled or an accomplished artist to really participate in something like this,” said Gieda. “This is for anybody of all backgrounds and all experience levels to come together, be creative and just embrace recycling, embrace our environment and embrace art.”
Besides the parade, Key Westers continue their salute to Papio on Sunday with a picnic and Kinetic Kids Day at Fort East Martello Museum, home to a permanent Papio exhibition.
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