Sharon Wells' interest in visual
arts began in 1965 with the gift of an Instamatic
camera. From that time on, she held a camera as a visual
artist. Largely self-taught in painting and photography,
Wells has extensively documented Key West for over 40
years. Her love of travel and museums has provided
venues for Wells’ capturing her personal "decisive
moments" in visits to Europe, South America, Hawaii and
Mexico. She counts her primary artistic influences as
photographers Manuel Bravo, Helen Levitt and Walker
Evans and painters/colorists Milton Avery, Miro and
In 2002 Wells opened KW Light Gallery to exhibit her
artwork— photography, paintings and fine art prints.
Wells took up painting in the 1990's and her acrylic
paintings of Key West Houses provided the cover art for
12 years to her annual visitors’ guide publication, Walking
& Biking Guide to Historic Key West. These
paintings are available as signed, prints on canvas and
fine art papers.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Wells, a military brat, was
educated in California, Illinois, Tokyo, and Honolulu.
Sharon studied history, art and photography at the
University of Florida, graduating with degrees in
history and political science. She moved to Key West in
May, 1976, and began a 40-year career in historic
preservation and art. Today, Wells’ diverse interests
include Historic House Histories, known as Gingerbread
Biographies, which provide documentation and art
montages for individual historic home owners.
In 2018 her Key West Walking & Biking Guide will be
published in a series of books that detail 15 walking
tours and historic photos.
1979-1982 Wells wrote "Portraits: Wooden Houses of
Key West" and "Forgotten Legacy: Blacks In
Nineteenth Century Key West", two books that
documented the architectural and social history of her
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