Creative recycling and “people-powered” mobile sculptures combined to entertain spectators Saturday during Key West’s Papio (pronounced PAPPY-OH) Kinetic Sculpture Parade.
More than 20 sculptural floats with moving parts, elaborately decorated bicycles and other mobile masterpieces were featured in the annual parade that began at the Custom House Museum.
The event was inspired by the late Key Largo metal sculptor Stanley Papio. A recycled art pioneer, Papio specialized in welded images that incorporated discarded car parts, appliances, pipes and wire.
“Stanley Papio’s art was all found objects. Most people called it junk, but to him, it was his next future sculpture, his next artwork” said Michael Gieda, executive director of the Key West Art & Historical Society that staged the lively procession.
Like Papio, most parade participants constructed their entries using recycled and repurposed materials.
Standout creations included a vintage yellow race car whose engine was made of discarded plumbing parts, two towering “Star Wars” Imperial walker replicas and a 30-foot-long iguana with spines crafted from scrap cardboard.
“For us to host an event like this, that strongly encourages creative ways for families, schools, artists to participate — using recycling as a key component — is just a win-win for everyone,” said Gieda.
The Papio commemoration continues Sunday with free admission to Key West’s Fort East Martello Museum, home to more than 100 of the late “junkyard artist’s” creations.