The Cedar Keyhole Artist Co-op was founded by Cathy Christi in 1977. She is not only the founder, but the benefactor and driving force behind what is now the center of a vibrant artists' community. Her dream was to provide a place in Cedar Key where artists could gather and work, exhibit and sell their works. She first rented, then purchased, the property which now houses the Keyhole Co-op. At that time, the building was an auto parts store, which had been at various times previously a poolroom, a barber shop and a beauty salon. When the artists began cleaning out the auto parts they discovered a toilet underneath it all. Today it is a real bathroom.
In 1994 Cathy had the Cedar Key Arts Center built as a second story to the co-op. Her generous endowments have allowed the Arts Center to expand both its space and arts programming. Over the years, a Sculpture Garden was created and provides an art filled green space on the city's main street.
Throughout all the additions and improvements the Cedar Keyhole Artist Co-op remained the anchor and is today the oldest store in Cedar Key to remain under the same management. All works in the Keyhole are created by its 25 members. Mediums include oil, acrylic and water color paintings, dichroic glass jewelry, turned wood bowls , venetian glass and broken china mosaics, leather items, photography, pine needle baskets, carved wood sculptures, wood boxes with inlay, fabric art, dried flower art, glass prisms and fused glass.