MKAF announces poster contest winner for 2020

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

After winning in 2018, Estelle Grengs almost didn't make a submission for this year's Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation poster contest for the Festival of the Arts.

But she did, and now her artwork will again be the face of the MKAF Festival of the Arts set Oct. 24-25 at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin.

"I am honored to have won this prestigious award for a second time," said Grengs who now calls Freeport home.

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"Actually, I almost didn't submit a piece this year because I wasn't sure I could or should submit since I had won in a previous year. Let's just say I am so glad I did," she said.

Estelle Grengs shows off her artwork that was chosen as this year's Mattie Kelly's Festival of the Arts poster for 2020.

As winner, Grengs receives a cash prize of $500. Plus her artwork becomes the signature artwork to promote the 25th annual festival. Grengs' artwork will be on the poster, postcards, festival guide and T-shirts. The shirts and her artwork will be available for purchase at this year's festival.

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A plein air painter paints during the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation's 2017 Festival of the Arts in Destin.

"We're excited to have Estelle's vibrant, colorful artwork this year for our posters and T-shirts. This represents Estelle's second win of the poster competition. All festivalgoers can find her original artwork in booth #1," said Deb Nissley, MKAF Festival Producer, in a news release.

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Grengs' colorful work of art entitled "Sailor's Delight"  stems from a vase series she is  currently working on.

"The vase represents our world with COVID and how everything seems to be in a glass bubble these days. Our freedoms are restricted," Grengs said.

"The flowers represent the new life that continues to grow despite all challenges," she added.

"A lot of my inspiration comes from day today life here on the beautiful Emerald Coast. So much subject matter that sparks happiness within me that I hope to share with others through my art," she said.

Grengs, a New England native, was born and raised in Dover, New Hampshire.

"My love for art was sparked and encouraged at a very young age," she said.

After high school, Grengs met her husband Matt who was in the Air Force.

"Over the next 28 years we were stationed in Germany, Italy, South Korea, and several stateside locations adding breadth and culture to my portfolio," she said.

The Grengs' now call Freeport home.

"My love of the ocean and coastal subject matter are a perfect fit for my colorful style of painting," Grengs said, noting she loves working with acrylics because of their versatility and endless color choices.

"Self-taught, I follow my instincts and create from a place without words. Color, shape, and texture define my artistic style ...  I am drawn to the simplicity of life. The painting process is just as important as the final result. Joy in the process and collective happiness are the ultimate goals - for me and for those that choose to enjoy my art," she said.

More of Grengs work can be found on her website or in various galleries along Florida's Emerald Coast.