Artist's Room of the Cultural Museum.
Painter/Sculptor Mario Sanchez
By Jerry Wilkinson
Mario Sanchez is a native of Key West and
in 1908, the son of a cigar maker. After graduating from business
he held many jobs. As a self-taught artist he began carving and
in 1930. He continued to work until 1970 when he devoted full time to
Through Mario's art we are provided an insight into people's lives
who otherwise never would have became a part of history. Their lives
tangible associations such as old wooden buildings and street scenes
alive today for us to see.
We thank the Key West Art and Historical Society for their loan of
many pieces of art for the East Martello Tower exhibits. Telephone
296-3913 for information of the museum at 3501 South Roosevelt Blvd.,
West, FL. The entrance is shown below.
Below is Mario at his outdoor studio.
Mario does his bas relief wood sculpture with three chisels
painting with dime store brushes. He does not study art as it might
The Florida East Coast Railway was the frequent subject of
after its arrival in Key West on December 22, 1912. This bas relief
sculpture depicted below is of the arrival of Henry Morrison Flagler on
Outdoor street scenes such as below are a favorite theme for
The Cuban Club (below center) was a local dining and dance
club. The original club burned and it was rebuilt.
This 1878 religious building of the Sisters of the Hold Names
and Mary was torn down in 1968.
Below, Hemingway is in the center (twice as large as the other
and vignettes are in the clouds.
Below is a view of one of Mario's earlier works. Here he shows
peddler versus the established store. Note the falling coconut at
Below are the Mallory docks as Mario perceived them to be in
Cigar making - the industry that the Sanchez family knew best.
When and where it began.
October 7, 2003. Mario
celebrated his 95th birthday at Key West. The Key West Museum of Art
History, and the Custom House offered free admission to view their
of his works. Happy Birthday, Mario.
Mario passed away at his home in Key
West Thursday, April 28, 2005 at age 96.