A view of Fort Zach from the harbor.

A view of Fort Zach from the harbor.

by Shayne Benowitz

A stroll along Fort Zachary Taylor State Park and Beach is a pleasure any time of year. Now through April 16 it is also a work of art. When you’re strolling along the shoreline sculptural installations are also a part of the scenery thanks to the annual Sculpture Key West.

On a particularly gorgeous afternoon, Nicole and I decided to take a jaunt down to Fort Zach and check it out. We wound our way past the fort and down a path leading towards the rocky jetties facing west. From this point, we already spotted a few of the installations. The first we approached was a monumental hoop constructed of wood branches by Jonathan Schork. As Nicole and I drew near, we saw that it was created to be a collective memorial. Viewers are invited to use a marker and write a tribute for a deceased loved one on a branch and add it to the hoop soaring towards the heavens. We each took a moment and added our branch to the sculpture.

Jonathan Schork's installation.

Jonathan Schork’s installation.

We continued towards the water to see an enormous bright yellow “IF” rising from the sand, which was inspired by a Rudyard Kipling poem of the same name. There was a series of three mirrored panels followed by a dream house constructed only as a steel frame resting on the horizon and looking out to sea.

Nicole and I took a moment to rest on the jetties and watch the boats sail in and out of the harbor. Of course, we noticed Fury’s parasail boat tacking, and wondered who the crew might be. Soon we were ready to continue our exploration. There were more installations by the beach and amongst the trees and picnic tables. I really liked “Musical Chairs,” created by Jimmy Wray and his high school students. It was a literal interpretation where chairs were constructed out of horns, drums, and string instruments.

Midway through our journey, we found the Sculpture Key West kiosk and grabbed a map to make sure we saw everything. Nicole proved to be very skilled at spotting hidden sculptures, such as the dumpster with a tree growing out of it.

It was a truly pleasant afternoon convening with art and nature. If you’re looking for a day at the beach, Fort Zach is where any local will send you. This spring, you’ve got an added bonus with Sculpture Key West. Enjoy!

Shayne Benowitz is a Fury crewmember and freelance writer. For more travel stories and a daily dose of what’s cool around the globe visit her Wanderlust Website at http://web.me.com/shaynebeth.

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Last Updated 10/29/2021