'Maggie the Giraffe' author to host meet-and-greet, book signing at art festival

Special to the Walton Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

MIRAMAR BEACH — Destin author and illustrator Andi Scurto, author of “The Accidental Adventure of Mattie the Giraffe,” will hold a meet-the-artist event and book signing at ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival on May 7-8 in Miramar Beach.

Author and artist Andi Scurto signs a copy of her book, "The Adventures of Mattie the Giraffe."

“I’ll be displaying all original illustrations from the book, have small souvenirs like Mattie mugs and cards, small works of art with Mattie that I call ‘Mattie calfies’ and I’ll be painting a giant Mattie piece where her spots start to drip off,” said Scurto.

ArtsQuest, which is celebrating its 34th year, will be held from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7, and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday, May 8, at Grand Boulevard Town Center, Grand Boulevard, Miramar Beach, Florida. Admission is a $5 donation.

More about the book

“The Accidental Adventure of Mattie the Giraffe” is a colorfully illustrated tale of the day that Mattie learns to ride her bicycle. It’s the captivating story about Mattie’s unexpected adventure that makes the perfect winter read for children.

“The memories I have of being read Dr. Seuss and The Berenstain Bears are priceless to me. A good book can be the bridge that bonds us together and that is my wish for Mattie the Giraffe — to be a bit of glue that helps happy memories stick,” said Scurto, who worked on the book for six years.

Signed copies of the book are also available on Andi Scurto's website at https://andiart.com/mattiethegiraffebook. It is a colorfully illustrated tale of the day that Mattie learns to ride her bicycle.

Written and illustrated by Scurto, Mattie the Giraffe is a beloved character that has developed a whimsical following over the last six years. Scurto’s illustrations not only inspire wonder and curiosity, but leave fans asking, “where will Mattie be next?” 

Audience participation has been an engaging experience for Scurto, as her fans contribute imaginative travel spots for her protagonist — Mattie. Scurto felt that Mattie’s story of learning to ride a bike, without knowing how she would stop, could inspire courage in her audiences. A surprise ending, combined with over a dozen original watercolor paintings comprise this lighthearted journey of a reticulated giraffe.

Those who order the book straight from Scurto’s website at https://andiart.com/mattiethegiraffebook, will get a copy signed by the author while supplies last. The book is also available on Amazon.com.

More about Scurto

Hailing from Destin by way of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Scurto is of Colombian descent and finds the warm Florida weather much to her liking.

A self-taught artist, her art is featured in four different galleries and multiple outdoor areas in the Destin area. For nearly 15 years Scurto has been a professional artist, and she’s spent over 20 years writing creative content for the vacation rental industry. Finally, she’s combined her passions for storytelling and love of illustrating.

Mattie the Giraffe began as a shy illustration that became the subject of the 20th anniversary poster for Destin Festival of the Arts and then continued to win multiple awards, culminating in the book.

Scurto’s favorite pastimes include bird-watching, attempting to complete the NY Times daily crossword and of course, riding her bike. This is her first book.

About ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival

Produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and presented by Grand Boulevard Town Center, ArtsQuest provides an opportunity to view and purchase original art from over 100 artists from around the country.

ArtsQuest is a juried show that includes artists in the categories of ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, oils & acrylics, original digital art, photography, sculpture, wood and works on paper (watercolor, printmaking, pastels, pencils, ink). ArtsQuest awards $10,000 in cash prizes. ArtsQuest is a rain or shine outdoor event. The festival is open to the public, and a $5 admission donation is requested.

For more information, go to https://www.culturalartsalliance.com/arts-quest.