Week-long celebration of the arts will honor two decades of creativity
Since its humble yet inspired beginning as the Grayton Beach Fine Arts Festival in 1989, ArtsQuest, under the leadership of committed volunteers and the Cultural Arts Association, has developed into one of the top 200 juried art shows in the United States, attracting over 10,000 people to its full week of events.
The Festival has certainly changed and grown over the past twenty years, from name and venue to programming and brand identity. One thing, however, has remained constant – ArtsQuest exists and succeeds to fulfill the Cultural Arts Association’s mission to enhance the quality of life for youth and adults by providing life-long learning through arts education and appreciation; to promote the fine arts, performing arts and the humanities; and to support local artists by promoting their work.
Along with its partners, Beaches of South Walton, The Village of Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, and The Walton Sun, The CAA invites you to be a part of this extra-special week-long celebration of the arts by experiencing all of the unique ArtsQuest events May 4 – 11! For more information, call the CAA office at (850) 622-5970 or visit CulturalArtsAssociation.org.
The New Gulf Coast Choir
Sunday, May 4…There could not be a better way to kick-off the week-long ArtsQuest celebration than with the inspirational voices of the New Gulf Coast Choir. Under the direction of Michael Grady, these forty young people, aged seven and up, are fine examples of how the art of music touches the heart and changes lives. The choir, which began with a focus on “at risk” youth, has become an award-winning group that has shared the stage with many Grammy winners across the country. Presented by H20 Properties, the kick-off concert will be take place at 3:00 PM at Good News United Methodist Church located at 4747 W. US Hwy. 98 in Santa Rosa Beach. General admission is $15 adults and $10 for students, payable by cash or check at the door.
Back to Grayton Beach: A sunset toast to twenty years of creativity
Monday, May 5...Come celebrate and reminisce as the Cultural Arts Association honors the creative spirit of those who began the Grayton Beach Fine Arts Festival in 1989 and guided it into the nationally renowned event it is today. The ceremony will be held at the end of the boardwalk on Grayton Beach from 6:30 – 7:30. Admission is free. Bring your own libation, but remember that glass is not allowed on the beach. For those in need, a beach shuttle will pick up from Rivard Realty on DeFuniak Street from 6pm-6:20pm. A limited edition 20th anniversary poster by photographer and ArtsQuest co-founder Susan Foster will be available for purchase.
The Fine Art of Looking Good Fashion Show & Luncheon
Tuesday, May 6…Women who appreciate great fashion and food will not want to miss this sell-out event hosted by the Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club and sponsored by American Laser Centers. Enjoy a gourmet lunch, complete with delicious dessert and wine, while getting a sneak peak at the new season styles offered by the Merchants of Grand Boulevard - Coldwater Creek, The Orvis Company, Brooks Brothers Country Club, Sanctuary Clothing, Billabong, Southern Waters Outfitters and Tommy Bahama. Magpies Jewelry will be showcasing their fabulously unique jewelry and accessories, and hair and makeup design will be provided by Hair For You. The Club’s restaurant provides a gorgeous panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico from any seat, and each guest’s name will be entered into a drawing to win one of many lovely prizes. Doors open at 11:00 am, admission is $35, and seating is limited. Reservations must be made with Christine at the Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club at (850) 267-2305 by April 30. Please bring cash or check to the event payable to the Cultural Arts Association.
ArtsQuest Student Art Exhibit
Wednesday, May 7…Original artwork created by hundreds of talented young students will be on display for the enjoyment of family, friends and all ArtsQuest participants. Begun in 2004 by Butler Elementary School art teacher, Constance Rogers, the ArtsQuest Student Art Exhibit will expand this year to include the Seaside Neighborhood School’s 6th through 8th graders’ masterpieces. Butler Elementary School, located at 6694 W. County Hwy. 30-A, will have its doors open from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. Seaside Neighborhood School’s exhibit, 30 Smolian Circle, will take place from 2:30 – 6:00 pm. ArtsQuest poster contest winner, Billie Gaffrey, will be available in Seaside to sign ArtsQuest 20th anniversary commemorative posters, which will be available for purchase at both locations.
Champagne Shopping Tour
Thursday, May 8… From traditional art to fine wine to haute couture, over 30 galleries, boutiques and shops along the Scenic 30-A and 98 Corridors will roll out the red carpet from 4:00 – 8:00 pm for guests to enjoy original art of all kinds, along with special sales, beverages and hors d’oeuvres. Please drive the tour responsibly, or take advantage of complimentary shuttle buses donated by Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort. Shuttles will travel along 30-A only throughout the evening. Shuttle parking is located in Gulf Place, Seaside and Rosemary Beach. This event is presented by the Merchants of Seaside.
Fine Arts Preview Gala
Friday, May 9… Celebrate the 20th anniversary of ArtsQuest in style. From 5:00 – 7:00 pm on the eve of the Fine Arts Show, guests will have an exclusive opportunity to preview and purchase outstanding art and to mingle with over 100 artists and Festival VIP’s. Marlin Grill will be serving delicious hors d’oeuvres and spirits. Admission is $20, and reservations must be made by May 1.
20th anniversary ArtsQuest Fine Arts Show
Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11…The week-long celebration of the arts culminates with a huge juried fine arts show in The Village of Baytowne Wharf in the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort. Over 100 artists representing over a dozen mediums will participate in what has been honored as one of the top 200 juried art shows in the country. KidsZone, created by Butler Elementary School art teacher, Constance Rogers, will allow the budding artists a chance to create their own masterpieces. The Festival will continue the tradition of showcasing artwork by three specially chosen Okaloosa-Walton College art students, and 30 Cultural Arts Association Member artists will have their artwork on display and for sale.
Visual art won’t be the only thing happening…performance art and live music of all genres will fill the weekend. Donnie Sundal, Dread Clampitt, Alice Bargeron, Chuck Lawson, Ed Williams, The New World Beatnicks, Sinfonia and the Seaside Repertory Theatre are just some of the artists contributing to the 20th anniversary celebration.
Admission is free, but benefit drawing tickets will be sold throughout the weekend for $5 each (three for $10, ten for $20). Purchase plenty of chances to win great prizes, including original art, a case of fine wine, salon services, theatre tickets, a $2400 laser hair removal package, a Grand Prize of a two night stay in Sandestin with two rounds of golf in Sandestin, and much more. Saturday, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm and Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.