Visit South Walton is pleased to announce Joseph Messer as the 2022 Walton County Artist of the Year. Messer was presented with the award by 2021 Artist of the Year Chandler Williams during the annual Perfect in South Walton Awards.
“Joseph is an incredibly talented artist who showcases Walton County’s natural beauty in a style that’s truly unique and mesmerizing,” says Matt Algarin, director of communications for Visit South Walton. “We are excited to have Joseph as the newest member of the artist of the year family, and we look forward to working with him and showcasing his talents.”
Now in its 20th year, the Walton County 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 displayed in Walton County.
“Even a year ago, I would never have imagined becoming an artist or how many people would help me get there. The people at Visit South Walton and in this community, it seems to me, are the kind of people that bring other people’s dreams closer, and I’m grateful for their support in helping me follow mine,” Messer said while accepting his award.
Messer says that vulnerability is a big part of art and recognition of this magnitude feels like a gift.
“Over the pandemic, I drew a lot of inspiration from my surroundings…walking the beach in Seagrove, going to Grayton Beach State Park, being with my community, all of that went into my art. And being named Walton County Artist of the Year makes me feel that some of the wonders I saw in those things was seen and can continue to be seen by my community.”