Like many “off the grid” places, Key West has always attracted creative people, especially artists. We take for granted the cultural aspect of this community. But, as I continue to write about gentrification in attractive places, I realize how few small towns have as much cultural diversity as Key West. And, most importantly, a community to support it.

When I began putting together the idea for a new Key West book, three years ago, I decided to make this evident as a way to define Key West now. I wanted to emphasize that part of what has made Key West so desirable is the cultural scene. Every house we chose to feature in “Key West Cottages & Gardens” included local art as part of the interior design. Some of the homeowners were artists, like Helen Harrison, Fran Decker, Marge Holtz, Elizabeth Chamberlain and Carrie Disrude. It was my intent to show how the artists contribute to the fabric of the island. Helen Harrison’s gallery is not only featured, but Ben and Helen’s home shows how a gallery owner/artist incorporates art into her own home.