South Walton Art Week Kicks Off With ArtsQuest, Theater Fest + More

Explore Creativity with Justin Gaffrey on Thursday, May 18

Art Week South Walton, an initiative led by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and presented by Visit South Walton, kicks off this coming Thursday, May 11, with the Grand Opening of The Foster Gallery in its Grand Boulevard new location followed by many other events, including the Northwest Florida Theatre Festival, ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival, Seaside Writers Conference, A Celebration of Coastal Artists at Drift Home & Gifts, Explore Creativity with Justin Gaffrey at the Justin Gaffrey Gallery, Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach, and the Rosemary Beach Sculpture Exhibition.

The Foster Gallery, which is the Cultural Arts Alliance’s professional artist collective showcasing over a dozen rotating regional artists, special exhibitions and featured guests, will have its grand opening on Thursday, May 11, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the gallery located at 560 Grand Boulevard, Suite L101 (across from Grand Park).

The gallery will feature the work of twelve summer rotation artists, the “Take Flight” special exhibit that includes original work by 30 additional artists, work by special guests, and a Digital Graffiti sneak preview.

Appetizers and beverages, including the Signature Art Week cocktail, will be available.

Matthew Holtzclaw at the Northwest Florida Theatre Festival

May 12 is opening night of the inaugural Northwest Florida Theatre Festival featuring over 30 performances by theatre groups and playwrights from around the Southeast. Presented by Emerald Coast Theatre Company, the Festival runs nightly through May 21. Festival buttons are $5 and required for entry to all sessions. Tickets are $15 per show for adults and $10 for children 5-12. All access passes are also available for $100. For tickets and more information regarding performance dates and times, visit emeraldcoasttheatre.org.

The 29th annual ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival will fill Grand Boulevard’s Town Center with over 150 national exhibiting artists over Mother’s Day weekend.

Produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance and presented by Grand Boulevard, ArtsQuest also includes a Cultural Arts Alliance Member Exhibition, live art demonstrations, continuous live music and performances, delicious food and beverage options, ImagiNation: where kids rule, and an #ArtMatters Parade on Saturday at noon.

ArtsQuest is open to the public Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 14, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. A $5 donation per person is requested at the gate. A list of artists, the entertainment schedule and other details can be found online.

The Seaside Writers Conference will take place in Seaside May 14 through 20, featuring headlining authors Antonya Nelson and Chris Offutt. Other special guests include Oxford American Editor Eliza Borne and literary agents Dana Murphy and Margaux Weisman.
While full conference registrations are full, there are still options to participate in special events throughout the week, including seminars, readings and a shrimp boil. Register and purchase tickets online.

Drift Home & Gifts will host a Celebration of Coastal Artists and invites everyone to eat, drink and meet featured artist Tommy Crow, along with Julie Blackwell, Erin Chapin, Jamie Conley, Betsy Doody, Laurie Bivona Gharib and Janet Thomas. The celebration will take place Wednesday, May 17, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Drift Home & Gifts. This event is free and open to the public.

Justin Gaffrey Gallery (21 Blue Gulf Drive in Blue Mountain Beach) invites everyone to “Explore Creativity with Justin Gaffrey” on Thursday, May 18, from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Watch Justin bring his works to life during live painting demonstrations at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Supplies are included for kids and families to make their own Masterpieces with the gallery crew. Justin will also be preparing a special food menu for all to enjoy.

Photo credit: Courtesy Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Digital Graffiti is a one-of-a-kind projection art festival where artists use the latest digital technologies to project their original works onto the white walls of Alys Beach. This year’s event takes place Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 21, and culminates with a Digital Graffiti brunch on Sunday, May 21. Each year, the festival attracts international digital artists, filmmakers, musicians, interactive designers, photographers, VJs, producers, celebrities, agency executives and fans of art, technology and architecture. Visit digitalgraffiti.com for tickets and details.

The introduction of Rosemary Beach’s first-ever outdoor sculpture exhibition will include “The Art of George Rodrigue” presentation by Mrs. George (Wendy) Rodrigue on Thursday, May 25, at 5:30 p.m. in the Rosemary Beach Town Hall. Mrs. Rodrigue will also be signing copies of her book, The Other Side of Painting. The Sculpture Exhibition Opening Reception and Unveiling will take place Friday, May 26, at 4 p.m. in the Rosemary Beach Town Hall Courtyard. Guests can meet some of the artists and enjoy a self-guided tour of the exhibition, which will be on display through October 7. Learn more at rosemarybeachsculpture.com.

Art Week South Walton is sponsored by Grand Boulevard, Visit South Walton, Dugas Family Foundation, Grayton Beer Company, Courtyard Marriott Sandestin at Grand Boulevard, the University of Mississippi, the Seaside Institute, Oxford American, Donner-Peltier Distillers, Emerald Coast Magazine, Sundog Books, Fancy Camps, The Watson Family, Cecelia Baker, Wine World, Ocean Reef Resorts, Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse, Amavida, UPS Store Grand Boulevard, Grayton Beach Catering, 30A Kids Club Magazine, Cabana Man, the Community Children’s Chorus, Walton, Abrakadoodle, Walton Area Chamber of Commerce, Pizza By The Sea, The Donut Hole, Tam Tam Stitches, Frank’s Cash & Carry, and The Walton Sun. Additional event sponsors are listed in individual event websites.

Rosemary Beach Sculpture Exhibition

ART WEEK SOUTH WALTON SCHEDULE

MAY 11
ART WEEK SOUTH WALTON KICK-OFF PARTY
The Foster Gallery, 560 Grand Boulevard, Suite L101, Miramar Beach

May 12 – 21
NORTHWEST FLORIDA THEATRE FESTIVAL
560 Grand Boulevard, Upstairs, Miramar Beach

MAY 13 & 14
ARTSQUEST
Town Center in Grand Boulevard, Miramar Beach

MAY 14 – 20
SEASIDE WRITERS CONFERENCE
Academic Village and other locations in Seaside, and Hibiscus in Grayton Beach

MAY 17, 5 PM – 7 PM
CELEBRATION OF COASTAL ARTISTS AT DRIFT HOME & GIFTS
13123 Emerald Coast Parkway, Inlet Beach

MAY 18, 12 PM – 6 PM
EXPLORE CREATIVITY WITH JUSTIN GAFFREY
21 Blue Gulf Drive, Blue Mountain Beach

MAY 19 – 21
DIGITAL GRAFFITI
Alys Beach

MAY 25
THE ART OF GEORGE RODRIGUE PRESENTATION & BOOK SIGNING
Part of the Rosemary Beach Sculpture Exhibition
Rosemary Beach Town Hall

MAY 26
ROSEMARY BEACH SCULPTURE EXHIBITION OPENING + UNVEILING
Rosemary Beach Town Hall Courtyard

All events take place in South Walton and are part of the Art Week South Walton initiative to bring together communities, organizations and businesses to present quality and diverse arts entertainment.

For details on each event, visit Art Week South Walton.

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