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New Underwater Art Exhibit to debut in Key West in January

(DiverWire) Come be a part of the beginning, a new vision in the Art of Diving. The Key West Opening of “The Sinking World” by Andreas Franke, scheduled for Thursday, January 17th, 2013 at The Studios of Key West, located at the Historic Armory, 600 White Street, Key West, Florida 33040.

It started with a dive. While photographing the decks of the USS Vandenberg in her resting place seven miles off Key West in 90’ of water, Andres became absorbed in the haunting enchantment of the elegant ship. A new concept started to form. He returned to Austria to populate the Vandenberg images with surreal visitors: 1950’s teens waiting in line for movie tickets on the ship’s upper deck, a workman looking up from his lunch pail on a cross-beam, a young girl chasing schools of minnows with a butterfly net. In all, twelve stunning scenes came together to form a collection that would become something unlike any other before it. The completed pieces were encased between panes of Plexiglas, placed in stainless steel frames and sealed with silicone to reduce marine exposure. Enormous magnets were needed to attach the installation, known as “Life Below the Surface”, to the ship. The exhibit hung for several months in late 2011.

Thousands of divers hovered along the walkway in awe as they floated in a completely new type of gallery space. Both exhibition space and subject, the Vandenberg and Adreas’ Sinking World became one. As the unique addition took up residence, it didn’t take long for the sea to accept her new prize. Growth began and the depths fashioned new treasures of her own, transforming the pieces into new works that will now be displayed dry and topside for all to see from January 17th to February 15th.

But just as the exhibit itself is not one single thing, neither is the gallery opening. After a blissful dive in the Keys during the day, enjoy a host of opening week evening events: Wednesday, January 16th the History of Diving Museum in Islamorada will have a presentation “Oil Spill: Can it happen here and what if it does?” beginning at 7:00 p.m.; Thursday, January 17th Andreas Franke’s “The Sinking World” opens at The Studios of Key West. 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Walk on White, reception to follow at the Rum Barrel Quarterdeck, 528 Front Street, beginning at 9:00 p.m.; and on Friday, January 18th World premiere screening of Joe and Ozlem Berg’s documentary film featuring the story of “The Sinking World” art exhibit will run at 7:30 p.m. hosted again at Pat Croce’s Rum Barrel with presentations to follow by Mike Ange, “Technical Wreck Diving in Key West” at 8:30 p.m. and Jeff Dey, Reefmakers “Artificial Reefs-We need them now more than ever” at 9:00 p.m.

As you take in this new and exciting collection, take a moment to look back, during the week-long celebrations the History of Diving Museum will be offering 2 for 1 admission with any diver certification card and specials will be going on at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum as well. In addition, diving specials will be offered by participating Keys dive operators on Monroe Tourist Development Council’s “Wreck Trek” to punch/stamp passport dive locations and well known photographer and author Don Kincaid will have pictures on display and for sale at the Rum Barrel.

And as you leave the Keys, the experience need not stop there. Andres Franke’s vision continues to grow in Barbados, where a second underwater exhibit located on the SS Stavronikita wreck, will be displayed in 100’ of water from December 27th to April 2013.