For the first time ever, a married couple has won the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s Festival of the Arts poster contest.

Tony and Vivian Zack of Destin have been an art team for more than 22 years and their mixed media “Can’t Catch Me” art piece will be used to promote the 22nd annual Festival of the Arts.

“They have been in our festival for many years and this is the first time a collaborative team of a husband and wife (has won) the contest,” said Marcia Hull, the foundation’s chief executive officer.

The winning piece depicts a majestic mermaid toasting with a wine glass and bottle. She is made out of metal, leather and paper on painted wood. The mermaid is floating effortlessly in emerald waters along with sea turtles and sea swirls.

“We wanted to do something together as an outlet for our creativity and it made it really fun,” Vivian said.

She said they get their inspiration by going on road trips across the country.

“We stay off the interstate and try different routes. If the map says it’ll take three days, we’ll spend eight days enjoying the sights along the way,” she said.

Vivian said hitting the road and seeing different things is what helps them create art.

“We come back with fresh ideas and combine them when we collaborate on art,” she said.

The art festival is very special to the couple because it takes place during the same time of their wedding anniversary.

“It’s our way of celebrating our anniversity by attending the art festival every year and showcasing our art together,” she said.

The Festival of the Arts is one of the biggest cultural events of the year on the Emerald Coast. This year’s event will be from Oct. 28-29 at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village. More than 100 premier artists from across the United States and Europe will present their original artwork and will compete for $10,000 in cash prizes in 27 award categories, including the Best in Show and People’s Choice Award, which is selected by the festival attendees.

The festival also will feature a Collaborative Art Exhibit, which showcases select artwork of more than 40 community adult and student artists.

“It just feels so good to be recognized by our peers after working as an artist for so long,” Vivian said.