Local talent Jenna Varney is 2019 South Walton Artist of the Year

The Perfect Beach Day - painting by Jenna Varney

Jenna Varney has had a knack for art and creativity since childhood. But it wasn’t until 2002, the year Air Force assigned her husband to Eglin Air Force Base, that the 2019 South Walton Artist of the Year found her footing as a professional artist.

All those years ago, while looking for a home in Florida, Varney and her father were traveling along 30A and she knew it was the perfect place for her to sell art. During her first art show at Gulf Place in 2014, Varney sold a painting of Oyster Lake. It gave her the confidence that she was on the right path.

Varney’s signature style is hyper-realism. She likes to say that it’s “photo-realism with a little bit of life added to it.” Her works include incredible detail ingrained in subjects ranging from clams and oysters to sea turtles and other marine life.

“I’m so grateful to be able to share my love of South Walton through my art, and to promote our artist community,” Varney said.

“I realized that art matters because it makes people happy. And the world can use a whole lot more happiness.”

Jenna’s work is displayed in many of the businesses located on NW Florida’s Scenic Route 30A. Most recently, she was commissioned to do the Mural for First Watch in Destin and the MooLala Mural at Baytowne Wharf. Other works include the Rosemary Beach Farmer’s Market Poster.

2019 Artist of the Year Jenna Varney (L) accepts the award from 2018 Artist of the Year Kathleen Broaderick.

The South Walton Artist of the Year award is a community program that showcases local artists, promoting the selected artist’s work throughout the year through a variety of publicity opportunities and events. The winner also receives an award of $4,000 in exchange for a piece of artwork that will be put on public display.

To learn more about Varney, visit her website.

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