Each year the Uncorked Key Largo and Islamorada Food and Wine Festival is honored to feature a renowned Keys artist. You will see their work on the cover of our magazine and our Festival poster. We are very grateful to these very generous artists who donate the original piece of work they create for the Festival. We auction the original art and attendees can purchase the posters all proceeds from which benefit Florida Keys culinary and arts students.
2017: Jacqueline Campa
Jacqueline Campa finds inspiration for her art in the island life of the Florida Keys. The expressive use of bold colors and play of light are typical of all her paintings.
Jackie enjoys sharing her love of painting using the whimsical island life for her subjects. She is an award winning member of the Art Guild of the Purple Isles, and displays her work at the Key Largo Art Gallery. Her work has been featured in the Culture Magazine and chosen as the Peoples Choice of the Upper Keys Garden Walk.
Jacqueline creates her paintings with acrylics and watercolors. After receiving her Elementary Education degree from Bethel College, she continued on to earn a degree in Art from Middle Tennessee University. Jacqueline continues to study with participation in yearly workshops and paints daily in her studio in Key Largo.
Jackie has kindly donated this work to the Festival. Proceeds from its sale will be given to the Coral Shores Culinary School.
You can see more of Jackie’s work at the Key Largo Art Gallery, 103200 Overseas Highway, Key Largo. Phone (305) 451-0052
2016: BJ Royster
BJ Royster is recognized as the foremost painter of the Florida Reefs. Born and raised in Dade County Florida, now living in Florida Keys, BJ is a self-taught artist and feels her art is truly a gift of God. Although raised in a water oriented family, and always near the Atlantic Ocean, it wasn’t until July of 95 that she overcame her great fear of diving, and became a certified SCUBA diver in Key Largo.
BJ fell in love with THE AMAZING UNDERWATER WORLD with its shapes, bright colors, and unique marine life. It is here that she finds herself engulfed with excitement and contentment. With her joy of painting, new found love and respect of the reef, she desires to share her experiences with both the experienced diver and those who just appreciate the beauty of the sea. BJ started showing her work professionally in March of 98. This was just the beginning of an incredible path.
In just a short time her paintings, reproductions and murals have filled many homes, business, and vessels. BJ has been published in the Redbone Journal and the Backbone Chronicles, Florida Coast Living, Is a member of Ocean Artist Society, Islamorada Chamber of Commerce and Florida Keys Council of the Arts. She has received several awards including, Best of Shows. She is a supporter of the Morada Way Art Culture, and is the Owner of BJ Royster Ocean Gallery, for the last 4 years, in Islamorada, Florida at mile marker 81.6 bayside, where you can view her works. Or visit www.bjroyster.com
Please respect and take care of our AMAZING UNDERWATER WORLD.
“Take only pictures and leave only bubbles”.
2015: Jason Barth
Jason was born on Plattsburg Air force base in 1968 and grew up right here in South Florida and the Upper Keys. In Jason’s words “as long as I can remember I knew art was my passion and the path I wanted to take”.
In junior high Jason was fortunate to get one of his first paying gigs when he designed the art for the cover of ‘Miami-What-Where-When’ a guide for visitors and tourists and also Jason provided the cover and over twenty-five illustrations for the ‘Dade County Environmental Story’ by the Friends of the Everglades. He was also fortunate at that time to meet and talk with Marjory Stoneman Douglas who inspires and influences Jason and his art to this day.
After high school Jason started working full time and had no time for his art until he was 22 years old when he had a near death event that forced him to quit work for almost a decade. During these years Jason found his art to be not only therapeutic but it gave him the purpose and goal to re-visit with his artistic talent. He started doing commissioned drawings, portraits and paintings and discovered a true passion for murals and faux finishes, trompe-l’oeil designs and murals.
By his 40th year Jason felt ready to spread his wings and this is now his 6th year in our local galleries. Jason feels his artistic journey has just begun and to be surrounded by so many talented and sincere fellow artists makes his journey so much better.
Says Jason ”I remind myself daily that I am living the dream I had as a child. I have and will continue to donate as much of my talent as I can to local charities and organizations. It feels good to give back to such a supportive community here in the Keys”
You can experience Jason’s work at the Key Largo Art Gallery, mile marker 103 Bayside and at Island Décor mile marker 92 bayside. Visit his web site at www.jsbartdesigns.com
2014: Pasta Panteleo
A native of Italy born Roberto Pantaleo, Pasta Pantaleo spent most of his childhood in an Italian immigrant neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y. our cover artist has gone by the name “Pasta” for many years. He inherited the nickname from his older brother Nick, often called “pasta fazul” by friends because of his heavy Italian accent and their difficulty in pronouncing the name Pantaleo.
To Pasta, as to many, the sea represented an escape from what he saw was a dismal way of urban life and eventually in 1970, as a young teenager, Pasta was instrumental in convincing his family to migrate to South Florida the perennial land of sun and fun.
During his teenage years, Pasta and his friends enjoyed motorcycles, hot rods and most of all the challenge of customizing their rides. Pasta’s friend, Victor, was the first to implore him to pinstripe his newly customized van. Pasta was reluctant, at first, to take paint to a friend’s vehicle, but that trepidation was short lived. Pasta realized the demand for custom painted vehicles and taught himself how to use an airbrush. By the late seventies, Pasta had become a world-class airbrush artist who was commissioned to custom paint vehicles of all kinds for some of South Florida’s most eccentric characters who enjoyed the lavish Miami Vice lifestyle of the era.
In 2001 Jamie Bunn of Bluewater Movements wanted to improve upon the image branding of his professional fishing tournament series requested Pasta to create a painting on canvas that would be used as a commemorative poster and tournament T-shirt design. That request, much like the one from Pasta’s teen age friend to pinstripe for the first time, became a catalyst for a life changing career move. “Everybody is Gonna Be There” is the name of that first painting that appeared as a poster for the Pompano Beach Mercury/Sea Vee Saltwater Slam. The image struck a chord with the fishing public and the Reel Life Art phone began to ring with requests to learn about the yet to be recognized marine artist who created it.
Pasta spent the early years of his fine-art career working with several local Keys galleries and fishing tournaments, traveling back and forth to the Keys frequently for art shows then after selling his South Florida graphic design business in 2006, Pantaleo decided to move to the Keys permanently. He opened his first gallery, called Keys to Life, on Windley Key. He now runs an acclaimed gallery, Pasta Pantaleo’s Signature Gallery, at mile marker (MM) 81.5. He also helps showcase the creative culture of the Upper Keys through his work as president of Islamorada’s Morada Way Arts and Cultural District.
Pasta Pantaleo is now recognized around the world for his paintings of fish and their native environment. He sees his home in Islamorada as similar to living in a small fishing village in his native Italy, with its slow pace allowing him the opportunity to stop and appreciate the natural beauty that inspires his work.
A Quote to live by from Pasta Panteleo
‘If we can take a journey and help a little along the way, it will make a difference in the world. The collectors that share my passion for art, the ocean, and helping others just make my life as an artist that much more rewarding”
Visit Pasta and view his art at his Signature Gallery in the Heart of Downtown Islamorada, 81599 Old Highway Islamorada, FL 33036
2013: Carmen Sotolongo-Kelley
Carmen Sotolongo-Kelley moved to the US in 1962. She left Cuba with her parents and grandparents, living in Venezuela for a year. They fled like many others during that time with only the clothes on their backs and no money in their pockets. Carmen’s father, a doctor, and her mother, a teacher with a Ph.D. in pedagogy, were stripped of their degrees and had to hunt for jobs to survive, from selling fruit in the streets to working midnight shifts and studying during the day. They spent the next seven years living in St. Petersburg recreating their careers. Her father studied to re-earn his degree in medicine and her mother her Ph.D. in education.
Carmen says, “I left Cuba when I was only 6 yet I remember in detail my home in Calimete, province of Matanzas, my grandparent’s home in El Nautico, Havana, the house in Varadero, as well as the smells, food, beach, sand, music. Growing up in the United States, I lived two cultures. I was taught pride of being Cuban born, but I was also very proud to become an American. I know two languages, twice as many words. ‘Soy Latina.’ I am very proud to be a part of two worlds.”
Although a science teacher (focusing on the marine environment), Carmen always wanted to own a Gallery.” I have spent my lifetime drawing. I went to college and studied Social Science along with art classes my first time around, and then I went back and added science to my education. I have combined the best of both worlds in my artwork.” Carmen was selected as an artist representing the Keys to the Miami Sister Cities Art exhibit in Miami and also has shown at Sydney Berne Davis in Fort Myers and Coral Gables on the Mile. Pinellas and Hillsboro County.
In her own words, ““I am a Cuban American artist and proud of it my art depicts a combination of my two cultures, my love for the environment, the colors of the marine life in the coral reefs, mangroves and places I have visited. Happy vibrant colors, blue greens of the waters surrounding us, royal palms of my past, Guayabera dressed men, cigars and domino tables. Mix these all together and they represent my life.”
Visit Carmen Sotolongo-Kelley at the Key Largo Gallery, mile marker 103 Bayside in Key Largo, open 10am to 5pm Tuesday thru Saturday, 10am to 1pm on Sundays with an open house gallery night on the last Friday of each month starting at 6.30pm. Gallery phone 305-451-0052 or contact Carmen direct on 305-522-1190.
2011: Stacie Krupa
Stacie Lynn Krupa is a contemporary, expressionistic, working artist and business proprietor with a public working studio and her own galleries in Islamorada, in the Florida Keys. Her work has been described by critics as, “bold, powerful, in-your- face”. She has trademark, intense gestures that create large images, monochromatic schemes and raw, edgy canvas creations that command attention and warrant repeated viewing. Krupa can push the observer to contemplate the struggles life often presents while maintaining a whimsical, fun-filled play quality to the works, continuously seeing her subject matter in new and interesting ways.
Stacie was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and spent much of her childhood interacting with animals and sea life. She considered them her pseudo siblings. They were her first influences and have been a primary subject matter throughout her career. The sea-life of Islamorada has had significant impact on the direction of Krupa’s work over the last 11 years. She has done large-scale public murals like the “Sailfish Impulse Active” at Sandy Cove Marina at mile marker 74.5 and the “Restorative Rhapsody” which was painted directly on the walls of the hyperbaric chamber at Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, Florida. This unique mural features an array of colorful sea creatures, including a large turtle, an octopus, a sea horse, coral and tropical fish.
Stacie continues to pursue her passion for the quirky and unique approach to her work while pushing her own personal limits on a daily basis. She likes to live on the edge and finds it fun to just “dance there.” She continues her travels and explores as many new creative ideas and adventures that her hectic schedule will allow. Stacie paints every day and believes that masterpieces come from endless years of painting, contemplating, creating, pushing your own personal limits and a touch of happy accidents. In the end, she wants to just be there with her work and her family, friends and the animals and family and know that this was why she did it all.
Visit Stacie Krupa at her gallery at MM83 Oceanside Islamorada, open 10am to 5pm daily and visit her website at www.staciekrupa.com