Over the past few months we’ve had the pleasure of hosting Diane Barthelemy as an artist in residence out at the boatyard on Stock Island. Originally from Brittany (Breton) in the Northwesternmost coastal region of France, Diane spent most of her formative years in the port city of Bordeaux in southwest France before moving to Brooklyn to pursue a full-time career as an artist in 2016.
While here, Diane has focused largely on her impressive and distinctive large-scale abstract paintings — her stroke is unmistakably confident. By day you can find her spread out on the deck of the COAST stage with canvases the size of roof tarps and cans of acrylic paint with a jar full of brushes at her feet. Always smiling, usually covered in paint, and generally laughing with her distinctive raspy giggle, Barthelemy has made an imprint not only on those who surround her on our Stock Island property, but she has come to find her place in the Key West community as a whole.
By morning or towards sunset, you can usually find her roaming the back streets and side alleys of Old Town on a 70s Schwinn bicycle — blue and red, classically patinaed — with a vintage Nikon camera slung around her shoulder waiting for the perfect moment to shoot her next frame. Her mind is always working — thinking of the next chapter in her burgeoning career, how her next exhibition might look, or what could be a new way to express her intense creativity.
Having just turned 25, Diane has a long and promising road ahead. She has the poise and persistence of a painter twice her age and we look forward to hopefully hosting her more in the years to come. For now, we’ll enjoy the final few weeks of her island stay and then look to follow her new works when she transitions back to Brooklyn and into a new spot in a classic loft space in South Williamsburg.