New banners go up on Main Street in Destin

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Out with the old, and up with the new. 

Eight new banners went up recently along Main Street in Destin as part of the Destin Banner Art Project headed by Ron Sandstead of Flutterby Antiques.

2023 marks the fifth year for the project that features the artwork of local artists. The banners are changed out every quarter and always follow a coastal theme, except over the holidays when the banners are Christmas themed. 

Mathis Wyren of the city of Destin hangs one of the new banners on Main Street in Destin as part of the Destin Banner Art Project.

"It’s been a lot of fun,” said Sandstead who started the project five years ago by rounding up sponsors to help pay for the making of the banners. 

From 2021Destin Banner Art Project brings color, along with coastal flair, to Main Street

This time, Sandstead, an artist himself, put up a banner that features a pelican. The artwork was something he did a couple of years ago, but finally decided to put it on a banner. 

All the artists participating in this round are repeats. 

Joy Fine stands by one of the three banners she has on display on Main Street in Destin as part of the Destin Banner Art Project.

For Destin’s Joy Fine, she has been part of the project numerous times, painting a mermaid, heron, palm tree and more. 

This time, the 85-year-old artist submitted paintings of children playing on the beach. 

Fine said she had been commissioned to paint children on the beach for a customer. 

More:Destin decks Main Street with Christmas-themed banners

“I had not done that before,” said Fine, who has been painting for 20-plus years. 

After she finished the work, she decided to paint some more and submitted three paintings of children on the beach for the banner project. 

“I love it,” Fine said of seeing the artwork hung in the median. 

Local artists show off their banners that are now hanging on Main Street in Destin. Standing from left are  Sharon LaPine, Kelly Scenna, Ron Sandstead, Joy Fine and Andrea Chipser. Not pictured is Dorthy Robinson and her sunflowers.

“I think they should be out on 98,” she said with a smile. U.S. 98 is the main thoroughfare in Destin. 

Fine likes to work with watercolors but has had a few health issues recently.

“I can’t paint as long as I used to … so I paint a little most every day. I just love to create,” she said. 

Dorothy Robinson, who’s been part of the project about three times, painted sunflowers. 

“I love sunflowers,” Robinson said.  

Mathis Wyren of the city of Destin hangs up one of the eight banners that went up on Main Street.

“Almost all of my paintings are usually of flowers or some kind of landscape,” she said. 

Sharon LaPine of Fort Walton Beach painted a mermaid this round. 

“I love mermaids because nobody can tell you that’s not what they look like,” LaPine said. 

LaPine, like the rest of the artists, loves seeing her artwork hoisted high for others to see. 

“It’s one thing that you get to paint it, that’s lovely. But to put it out there and let others see it and enjoy it, that’s great,” LaPine said. 

Andrea Chipser loves seeing her banner on display on Main Street in Destin.

Kelly Scenna of Navarre counts it a privilege to have her artwork as part of the banner project. 

 “It’s awesome,” Scenna said. 

“It’s a privilege … it’s so exciting to be able to do this,” Scenna said. 

This wasn’t Scenna’s first banner; she has painted sandpipers on the beach and a Portuguese Man ‘o War in the past. This time, her painting depicts a scuba diver swimming near a reef. 

Andrea Chipser of Niceville painted a hummingbird. In the past, she has painted a jellyfish and a festive seahorse for the holiday round of banners. 

Chipser said she picked the hummingbird because she likes to “champion the small things.” 

“I like taking the little things and making them big so we can enjoy it,” she said. 

This group of banners will be up for about three to four months before another round goes up. 

Sandstead said it costs about $1,100 for the printing and stitching of the banners every time they hang up a new group. 

He’s hoping to auction off some of the past banners.