Here is the official copy for this year’s ArtsQuest event:
In its 34th year, ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival is planned for May 7-8, 2022! 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.
Now, with these basic details out of the way, I can talk about this event on a personal level.
ArtsQuest is a treat. If you like looking at art, collecting art, being inspired by art, meeting artists, this is where you can go for all of those things. Grand Boulevard, a local high-end shopping center, closes its streets to traffic and replaces cars and golf carts with tents full of art. The weekend includes food trucks and music and general pleasantry, because everyone is happy in this environment. Really.
Some Cultural Arts Alliance members exhibit in the member tent, traditionally near the Foster Gallery. Those artists also volunteer to staff the tent, so art enthusiasts have a chance to meet them face to face.
As a relative newcomer to the Emerald Coast, last year’s ArtsQuest was my first. It was held in October instead of its usual Mother’s Day weekend because Covid wrecked the schedule, as it wrecked just about everything.
I exhibited three pieces in the member tent and worked a four-hour shift. I can stand around and talk to people all day long—if you know me, you know that’s true. Tell me your life’s story, and I’m all ears. Confide in me your secrets, and I’ll take them to my grave. So, greeting perfect strangers that day was a pleasure, and I met some very nice ones. And I sold some art.
I watched wood turners create beauty on the spot, listened to chatter about remarkable artists around the place, watched a friend demonstrate plein air painting (always impressive), and had a delicious quinoa bowl from a food truck. All in all, it was a very good day.
Not everyone will be able to make it to the Florida Panhandle for this event, granted, but I’m making a deal out of ArtsQuest here anyway to encourage you to find an art festival in your own area. Walk around. Meet the artists. Ask them about their work. And then buy something special.
* Photo above courtesy of Cultural Arts Alliance.
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