Festival of the Arts In Destin Oct 29-30

October 20, 2022 by SoWal Staff

Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) presents the annual Festival of the Arts October 29 & 30, 2022, an entire weekend of art, music, food and fun for everyone. The area's premiere fine arts festival takes place at the MKAF Cultural Arts Village in Destin, Florida. Free for all attendees.  More info at: Arts Festival.

Saturday, Oct 29 | 9am - 5pm
Sunday, Oct 30 | 10am - 4pm

Celebrating 27 years, the two-day signature event features artists from across the United States will offer up their original artwork in the form of oil, watercolor, acrylic, and glass paintings; photography, sculpture, pottery, wood, paper, fiber, mosaics, mixed media, jewelry designs, and more. The Festival also features a Collaborative Art Exhibit, which showcases select artwork of more than 65 community adult and student artists.

A celebration of art, music, food, and family fun, special features of the Festival include a live music lineup, arts, souvenir posters and t-shirts, and more.

For more information on MKAF events, community outreach program, volunteering or investing in the arts, visit online at or call (850) 650-2226 to get involved. Follow Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation on Facebook for updates on events, concerts and programs.

The Festival of the Arts, produced by Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF), is one of the Southeast’s premier juried art festivals. A celebration of art, food and family fun, it is staged in the MKAF Cultural Arts Village in Destin. Stroll outdoor tents Saturday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) to browse original artwork by more than 100 premier artists from across the United States. Enjoy artist demos, live music, creative children’s activities, street performers, food truck fare, beer & wine garden and more. Join in the festivities and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award (Saturday). This event is free for attendees.
In its 27th year, the Festival of the Arts offers continuous live music, artist demonstrations and art projects for children as well as local cuisine. The Festival is held in Destin, Florida an affluent and residential destination.

Jurying is by three art industry professionals. Repeat attendance by the public insures potential multi-year sales. Presented on the grounds of the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village, hospitality is a high priority. Staff and volunteers work year-round to create a pleasant environment for artists. Awards are given based on the Judges’ scoring of each artist’s body of work as displayed in their booth. As a one of the Foundation’s signature events, the Festival of the Arts helps us fulfill our mission to enhance and inspire every life through Arts and Culture.

The $10,000 in cash awards include, Best in Show, People’s Choice Award, Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit and Judge’s Recognition Awards.


Dog Safety! Please, No Pets!
Unfortunately, the event venue is not pet friendly. Pets are often intimidated by crowds and can react unpredictably. For the comfort and safety of all of our patrons, people with pets will be asked to leave the event area, which is enforced through city ordinance. All registered service animals are welcome.



Do you have a heart for art? Then feel free to lend a hand. Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation is seeking volunteers for the 27th Annual Festival of the Arts to be held on Saturday, Oct.29, and Sunday, Oct.30 at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin.

Various shifts are available including set up (on Friday, Oct.28), main entry, artist relief, children’s tent, and beverage booths as well as break down and more. All volunteers are welcome to arrive prior to their assigned shift or after their morning shift to visit the artists and enjoy the festival.

Opportunities are available for students looking to donate their time in exchange for community service hours.

One of the Southeast’s premier festivals, the Festival of the Arts showcases the original artwork of more than 100 artists from across the U.S. who will compete for $10,000 in cash award prizes. Festival features include a food bistro, wine & beer garden, live music, art activities for kids, souvenir posters and t-shirts, art raffle, and more. Free shuttle service and convenient on-site parking is also available. Admission is free.

To volunteer, go to insert link to reserve your desired shift or contact Festival of the Arts Volunteer Coordinator Patricia Parker at (850) 368-0988 or email

To sign up to Volunteer, click - Arts Festival >

. 27th Annual Festival of the Arts October 29th & 30th, 2022 The Festival of the Arts, one of the Southeast’s premier art festivals showcases over 65 premier artists plus collaborative artists from the United StatesTo make a tax-deductible donation or provide a corporate sponsorship; or for more information about the Festival of the Arts, visit or call (850) 650-2226.


Festival of the Arts 2022 FESTIVAL FEATURED ARTIST

Justin Gaffrey worked for many years as a chef and small restaurant owner in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. He had a number of other endeavors over the years, including furniture building, but eventually jumped headfirst into the world of paint. Expressing himself with paint became a daily passion and he would find inspiration at every turn. He began experimenting with impasto-style painting — the thicker the paint, the better. With collectors all over the world, Justin Gaffrey pushes to constantly evolve his work, which most consistently depicts coastal landscapes, wildlife, and the exploration of the human condition, draws from his own life experiences and his hunger for learning. While his work has inspired the path for many impasto acrylic painters, perhaps his most impressive students have been his children, Justin Gaffrey, Jr. and Aria Gaffrey, who are now artists in their own right, having picked up a paintbrush before they could walk. Justin, Jr. is a mixed-media painter, and Aria has a proclivity for drawing, tattoos and graphic design, which has been an integral part of Gaffrey Art Material’s branding.

“I first connected with Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation when I was a chef, before becoming a full time artist. I was cooking at the reception for the artist Nall. Nall was from Alabama but had lived in France so I made a menu that combined French and Deep South cuisine. I remind myself all the time that I burnt the boiled peanuts,” muses Justin Gaffrey. “Art stands the test of time. I appreciate MKAF for offering educational and arts opportunities to our community — strengthening our culture and creativity as a whole.”

Gaffrey’s piece, Original Seascape (2022) acrylic on 36” x 36” wood panel, is clearly a lush confection inspired by the beautiful nature of the Gulf Coast. This mesmerizing piece will be the signature artwork to promote the 27th annual Festival. Festival attendees are invited to view Gaffrey’s featured artwork at this year’s Festival, where it will be available for purchase. To view Gaffrey’s artwork, visit his gallery located at 21 Blue Gulf Drive in Santa Rosa Beach. You can also learn more about Justin Gaffrey, view more artwork and purchase artwork online at Justin Gaffrey paintings and sculpture.




SoWal Staff's picture

Offering news, features, insider tips & info, photos and video all across the South Walton area.

Add comment
Are you a human?
4 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.