KEY LARGO, Fla. - Ocean Reef Club's Town Hall, a 7,500 square-foot ballroom and meeting facility, recently underwent a significant transformation with the installation of eight mural-sized fabric tapestries, ranging in size from 10' x 6.5' to 17' x 8'. Subject matter includes scenes from the surrounding area, specifically the Everglades and the Florida Keys.
Paul Astbury, Ocean Reef Club President, commissioned renowned fine art photographer Alan S. Maltz to create these works to reflect and conform to the conservative nature and décor of the venue.
"The club was looking to dress the room in a way that would bring the natural surroundings found in the Florida Keys indoors, while not distracting from the customized decorations that are used when we host meetings, weddings, private events and club activities," Astbury says. "These depictions provide the perfect backdrop for many of these events."
|Old Florida Collection: "Bahia Honda Sunrise"|
Since Maltz is known for his vibrant colors, he went back to the drawing board and, after several weeks of discovery and experimentation, came up with the solution: a blend of sepia tones and muted colors that gives the imagery the appearance and feel of an old hand-tinted photograph. The result was so compelling that it inspired Maltz to expand his portfolio with an ''Old Florida Collection'' of 25 additional works of art to date.
"The term 'Old Florida' generally denotes the way it was at least two generations ago, from the 1950s and earlier," Maltz says. "For me as an artist, it brings to light a feeling, a style and an essence - a heart-tugging pull to a simpler, freer life."
Maltz's photography is not new to Ocean Reef Club, as he installed his first mural-sized work of art for the private resort in its Great Heron Hall in 2007. The canvas piece, titled "Guiding Light," measures 12' x 8' and is on permanent exhibition.