Destin Festival of the Arts doles out awards

Special to The Log
Mary Hong of Destin, the 2012 Mattie Kelly Arts Festival poster winner, was voted “People’s Choice Award” by festival fans.


More than 100 artists arrived in Destin to exhibit at the 17th Annual Festival of the Arts this past weekend at Henderson Beach State Park.

“The weekend crowds drew serious art patrons and serious art buyers,” said festival producers Marcia Hull and Deb Nissley. “The foundation credits its success to all the artists, sponsors and volunteers who participate in bringing this cultural event to the community. We applaud the Henderson Beach park rangers, staff and ‘Friends of the Emerald Coast State Parks’ for an amazing nine year partnership on the beach.”

Festival judges, Dana-Marie Lemmer, associate curator of the Wiregrass Museum of Art in Dothan, Ala., and Jennifer Jankauskas, curator of art at The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Montgomery, Ala., awarded $9,000 in cash awards.

The prestigious “Best in Show” Award went to Lonnie Rich (stone and wood sculpture) of Navarre. Mary Hong of Destin (mixed media), the 2012 arts festival poster winner, was also voted “People’s Choice Award” by festival fans.

The “Award of Excellence” awards went to Juan Francisco Adaro (mixed media) of Santa Rosa Beach, Heather Mitchell (pencil) of Pensacola and Jim Wilshire (watercolor) of Roswell, Ga.

The winners of the “Award of Merit” were Charles Beams (wood) of Cottondale, Ala., Judy Goodfellow (oil) of Shalimar, Elaine Hertlein (sea shells) of Houghton, La., Solange Kelley (pine needle baskets) of Milton and Sue Murphy (mixed media) of Freeport.

The “Judge’s Recognition Awards” went to J. J. Brown & Simona Rosasco ((glass) of Bakersville, N.C., Robert DeForge (wood) of St. Helena Island, S.C., Nancy Eaves (jewelry) of Metairie, La., Marise Fransolino (clay) of Marietta, Ga., Joseph Frye (clay) of Clanton, Ala., Phil Henebry (wood) of Miramar Beach, Mary Hong (mixed media) of Destin, Ann McCann (fiber) of Nashville, Tenn., Robert McCullar (photography) of Santa Rosa Beach, Jill White (jewelry) of Valparaiso and Leland Williams (pastel and sculpture) of Crescent City, Fla.

The Collaborative Art Exhibit featured local student and adult artists. The Collaborative “Best in Show” was awarded to student, Tyler Roark (digital photography) of Choctawhatchee High School. First Place Adult Collaborative was awarded to Paul Putney, Adult Second Place to Sean Dietrich and Adult Third Place to Karen Valdes. The First Place Student Collaborative went to Jordan Brown of Choctawhatchee High School, Student Second Place to Cheyenne Baxter of Crestview High School and Student Third Place to Aeran Shaw of Fort Walton Beach High School.

In 2013, the 18th Annual Festival of the Arts, Oct. 26-27, will be relocated to its permanent home at the new amphitheater site of The Village Green at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village on Commons Drive West in Destin.