ArtsQuest Reveals 2016 Featured Artist Matt Lyons

March 11, 2016 by SoWal Staff

South Walton's ArtsQuest Festival announces the 2016 featured festival artist Matt Lyons.Lyons’ custom artwork titled “Ignorance is bliss…until it’s not” will be the featured image on all ArtsQuest marketing materials for the festival, including posters and merchandise. A Mother’s Day weekend tradition, the 28th annual ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival is a juried show that will take place May 7 & 8, in the Town Center of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. 


“I feel honored to be the featured ArtsQuest artist as I love this festival and the people involved in it,” says Lyons. “I am proud to work with the Cultural Arts Alliance and appreciate their philosophy of total dedication to the arts and artists in our area. I am happy to play my part in their cause.”

Matt Lyons is a contemporary artist who lives in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Growing up, Matt was distinguished as a person who possessed innate creativity and artistic ability. He is no stranger to the arts. With his father a musician and his mother and brother contemporary artists, it was inevitable that Matt would pursue a career in the arts.
After graduating from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Matt traveled extensively throughout Central America, China and Europe. It was during these travels that he became enamored with exploring the beauty and depth within different cultures. These cultural diversities can be seen in much of his work today.      

“Matt’s style is unique, and his following has grown immensely in the past two years since his ArtsQuest debut,” says CAA Executive Director Jennifer Steele. “The scale and subject matter of his work are immensely appealing and evocative. He is also a genuinely kind person who gives back to our community, and we are proud to feature his work.”
Presented by Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, ArtsQuest will feature Lyons and over 100 other fine artists in various mediums including but not limited to ceramics, glass, oil and acrylics, photography, sculpture, metal and wood. These exhibiting artists from around the United States will compete for awards and cash prizes totaling $10,000.
The Festival will also offer heritage art demonstrations, a CAA member artist exhibit, a Walton County student exhibit, continuous live music and entertainment on several stages, and “ImagiNation: where kids rule.”  A full cash bar will be available throughout the weekend in Grand Park.
On Saturday night, ArtsQuest will partner with Cantina Laredo to present a special Cinco de Mayo celebration in Grand Park featuring live music by the Modern Eldorados, food, beer and margaritas. 
Volunteers are needed throughout the weekend to work on all aspects of the festival. Those willing to help can sign up at or email
ArtsQuest is presented by Grand Boulevard at Sandestin and sponsored in part by Visit South Walton. The event is open to the public, and a $5 admission donation is requested. Visit for more information. The festival is part of Art Week South Walton, a collaboration of visual, performing and literary arts events presented in diverse formats and venues throughout South Walton in May.To learn more about the events included in Art Week South Walton, visit

2016 Featured Festival Artist is contemporary artist Matt Lyons
ArtsQuest began as a small community gathering in Grayton Beach in 1989 and now features nearly 200 exhibiting national, regional and local artists competing for $10,000 in cash awards, art workshops, live art demonstrations, music, food, wine, ImagiNation (where kids rule) and more.
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is a local arts agency that supports the arts through leadership, advocacy, funding, programs and education. The vision of the CAA is to be the catalyst for Walton County's growth as a destination for cultural and artistic excellence through which lives are enriched, economy is stimulated and community is strengthened.  

Grand Boulevard is the shop, dine, play and stay Town Center located in the heart of South Walton along Northwest Florida’s Beaches. Grand Boulevard offers a dynamic lifestyle experience with convenient access to outstanding shopping and dining options as well as entertainment and lodging. Watch for some of the best South Walton events taking place here throughout the year.


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SoWal Staff

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