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About The Artist

Key West native, Martha dePoo's love of art began at an early age through the nurturing guidance of her artist mother, Suzie dePoo (Zuzek). Upon graduating from Key West High School in 1973, Martha went to work at the art department of Key West Hand Print Fabrics where she rose to department head. For twelve years she received invaluable training in color and design as well as the opportunity to create numerous tropical motifs for Lilly Pulitzer.

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Since 1984 Martha has been a self-employed artist. She has participated in many juried shows and has won multiple awards, including first place in the Florida Keys Watercolor Society's Annual Juried Show in 2000 and 2005.

Martha considers herself a lifelong student of art, and has studied fne art locally with Malcolm Ross and Sanford Birdsey. In addition, she has attended workshops with Charles Sovek, Frank Webb, Jeanne Dobie, and Tom Lynch to name a few.

Her current focus is capturing the unique and fast disappearing flavor of old Key West and the surrounding keys.

"I really didn't have a choice, my mother and paternal grandmother were both successful artists, and they instilled in me the desire to create and a deep appreciation of the beauty that surrounds us." 
Martha DePoo


Martha's work can be seen at The Key West Art Center, at 301 Front Street.


Here's what Professor Emeritus Gerry Contreras of the renowned Pratt Institute has to say about Martha's work . . .

In experiencing Martha dePoo’s watercolors, one is instantly reminded of well-documented expressions: “Authority is 80% of the picture”, “The first stroke determines the tempo and the rhythm of the piece”, and “Composition is everything.” Picasso.

Watercolor, like drawing, requires a commitment and authority no other medium demands, and Martha dePoo makes clear that walking this tightrope with no safety net is her thing. Most artists would rather choose a medium that allows for dabbling, modulation, putting in, taking out, warming here, cooling there until satisfied, such as oils and acrylics. Hers is putting it down with no apologies. That is why the art work is always crisp and fresh. It will be almost ten years since I first encountered this very special artist and her work. My immediate response was a sense of comfort in the clarity of the technique.

When artists can take the audience on a trip into their world with ease, it is because they are masters of their technique and authorities on their craft. Ms. dePoo is clearly in command of her craft, with vast knowledge of the language of art, the skill and talent clearly developed through dedication and devotion to the art of watercolor. It is clear that she loves what she does and we love what she creates. Her mother, Suzie dePoo (Zuzek), the highly regarded master artist, accomplished in all mediums, was her most influential teacher.

The appreciation of Martha dePoo becomes evident when we, the audience, find ourselves in her world, her invention and creation of her Key West, a Key West of the imagination and memory that is more real than the current fastpaced commercial plastic world we now witness. It is a world of a slower time and place, a place we can identify as the real Key West.

Key West is very fortunate to have an artist of the stature of Ms. dePoo. Let’s hope everyone looks seriously at her work. Ask yourself this: If it were not for Martha dePoo, would we ever have experienced the Martha dePoo feeling and the Key West of the mind and spirit?

Gerry Contreras
Professor Emeritus
Pratt Institute