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Fence of keys makes everyone an artist


If you've walked through Downtown Wilmington lately you may wonder why there are a thousands of keys hanging on a construction fence. The fence that surrounds the lot of the old Wachovia building on Front Street is now a piece of art.

Dreams of Wilmington, along with random passers-by, have added an estimated 30,000 keys to the gate. Dixon Stetler came up with the idea. She says keys are one thing everyone has in common. She says everyone becomes an artist when they hang a key.

"Old houses, old apartments, every key has a story, and that's the best part when people tell me where the key used to go to," Stetler said.

Mayor Bill Saffo is expected to hang a key to the city on the fence March 20.

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key fence in wilmington

seeing lots of hostility about a simple, fun bit of fence. there is actually something similar that has been around for many many years in Cinque Terre, Italy. while it may not be art, it is interesting.


Thanks for posting this!! We walked passed this fence last weekend and couldn't come up with any clue as to WHY!

We thought it represented a hotel that burned to the ground and the keys belonged to the people who died in the blaze!

Glad we were wrong!!!

Saffo will likely propose buying it for $100,000

It becomes more obvious every day - the definition of "art" in this town is becoming a bigger hoax than Global Warming.

Buy a clue! Hanging a key on a fence does NOT make you an artist. Keys hanging on a fence doesn't make it art.


What do you consider 'art'? How would you define it?

Not that. If Saffo proposes

Not that.

If Saffo proposes purchasing it, how about he does it with his own funds?

It's not about how *I* define it

Let's go to the American heritage Dictionary:

Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.

The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.

The study of these activities.

The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.

High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.

A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.

A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.

A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a set of activities: the art of building.

A trade or craft that applies such a system of principles and methods: the art of the lexicographer.

Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of the baker; the blacksmith's art.

Skill arising from the exercise of intuitive faculties: "Self-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practice" (Joyce Carol Oates).

Artful devices, stratagems, and tricks.

Artful contrivance; cunning.

Printing Illustrative material.

You will note that NOWHERE does it define art as "Whatever the "artist" claims is art."

Keys hanging on a fence is no more "art" than keys hanging on the wall at the locksmith's shop.

To each his own. For me it

To each his own.

For me it adds whimsy to an otherwise boring fence. Its fun & no one is making anyone hang one or like it if they don't want to.