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South Walton Artist Justin Lyons Creates ArtsQuest Festival Poster

March 12, 2013 by SoWal Staff

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) unveils the 25th Annual ArtsQuest Arts & Music Festival poster image, designed by South Walton artist Justin Lyons. Lyons was voted "Best in Mixed Media" at the 2012 ArtsQuest Festival and has created a poster image that complements the festival's fun-loving atmosphere and quest for art with a quest for heart.  The annual event will be held over Mother's Day Weekend, May 10-12, and features activities for the entire family.

"With the popularity of Justin's artwork at last year's festival, we knew he would be a great fit as our poster artist," said Jennifer Steele, executive director of the CAA. "His intuitive and expressive style was what drew us to his work."

Lyons is a self taught contemporary mixed media artist, who credits his introduction into the world of street art as ‘the spark’ that led him to pursue his own form of artistic expression. His mediums include wood, acrylic, house paint, photographs, spray paint, oil stick, epoxy resin and pencil. Through the use of multi-layered paint drippings, pencil scrawling and surface etchings, his work is hand-constructed and narrative, springing from personal introspection. It aims to give the viewers a reference point into a deeper understanding of a particular theme or subject matter, and to then explore on their own as to what they see and feel.

"For this piece, I wanted it to represent a quest of some sort in life so I used my son as my motivation behind the concept. I thought to myself if there was one last thing to convey to my child before I'm gone what would that be?," shared Lyons. "I figured the most important thing to tell him would be to always be searching for a pure heart in oneself and to remain true to what he knows is good."

The artwork, titled "Heartsquest," uses lighthearted imagery of a young boy with a telescope to balance feelings of innocence and vulnerability. A poem was written to give the image a voice into what Lyon's felt was an important aspect of our humanity.

The poem reads:
Sail on my boy, Sail on
to a land of the unknown
on your quest behold
for a heart of gold
while keeping true to thine own

The 25th annual ArtsQuest Arts and Music Festival will be held in WaterColor, May 10-12, and includes 130 exhibiting artists, art workshops, live demos, “ImagiNation - Where kids rule,” performing art, music, a culinary arts pavilion and more. Lyon's artwork will be featured on posters, t-shirts, and advertisements for the event. As an ArtsQuest exhibitor, Lyons will showcase a diverse collection of his work and attendees are invited to stop by his booth to meet him and have their commemorative poster autographed. Posters will be available for $15.

Lyons original artwork is on display at A. Wickey Studio-Gallery in Rosemary Beach, Exhibit7 (inside Artesano Jewels) and Full Circle Gallery in Fort Walton Beach. For a complete list of exhibiting artists and a schedule of events, visit www.ArtsQuestFlorida.com or call 850-622-5970.

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