ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival comes to Seaside May 6-8

April 18, 2011

23rd Annual Festival to fill downtown Seaside Mother’s Day Weekend

The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and the Merchants of Seaside will bring the 23rd annual ArtsQuest Fine Arts & Music Festival to Seaside, Florida, May 6 – 8 (Mother’s Day weekend), featuring the very best in fine art, live music, interactive public art projects, kids’ activities and art demonstrations.

130 international artists’ booths will fill Central Square and the Lyceum showcasing their works in glass, metal, mixed media, sculpture and over a dozen other mediums.  After shopping for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, Festival goers can grab a picnic from one of the great restaurants in Seaside, sit under the shade of umbrellas in the amphitheater or lyceum lawn and enjoy the sounds of zydeco, gypsy swing, jazz, folk, country, classical and blues music.

Performers include Larkin Poe, Granville Automatic, Callaghan, Terrance Simian & The Zydeco Experience, The Tennessee Firearms, The Blue Ribbon Healers, Kesley Anna, a Sinfonia Trio, Marshall Ruffin, Heritage and Coconut String Band. A full music schedule and list of exhibiting artists can be found at

Friday, May 6 is when the ArtsQuest Fine Arts & Music Festival officially opens for business in Seaside from 4 -7 p.m.  Shuttles will be running, artists will be open and live music will be heard throughout Seaside.  For $25, guests can take part in the Preview Party from 5 – 7 p.m. in Ruskin Place, which will include a wine tasting hosted by Emerald Coast Wine & Spirits, appetizers by Great Southern Café and live jazz by Sean Dietrich Trio under the oaks during First Friday Art Walk.

The Festival will be open Saturday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Shantell Martin will begin her public art project on the amphitheater lawn early on Saturday and work through the weekend, and she will also display her digital art Saturday night at 8:00pm. Kids will have a full weekend of activities with storytelling by the actors from Seaside Rep, Creole for Kidz with Terrance Simien, KidZone and dance performances by Seaside Dancewave.  The Festival will also feature a Seaside Icon Art Contest and a Walton County student exhibit.

ArtsQuest if free and open to the public.  A benefit drawing ticket is being sold in conjunction with ArtsQuest for $5, 3 for $10 and 5 for $20.  Dozens of prizes include fine art by many of the ArtsQuest artists, jewelry, dining experiences and a Seaside getaway.

Volunteers for ArtsQuest will receive five complimentary benefit drawing tickets and a t-shirt.

In addition to the events in Seaside, there will be a reunion event on Thursday, May 5, Back To Grayton Beach, for friends of the Festival to celebrate more than two decades of ArtsQuest in the neighborhood where it began in 1989.  Hosted by Hibiscus, this free event takes place from 6 – 9 p.m, featuring bluegrass by The Steenos.  Guests can bring their own beverage and enjoy a low country shrimp boil.

Produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, ArtsQuest is sponsored by the Merchants of Seaside, Cottage Rental Agency, Beaches of South Walton,, Thirty-A Review and Publix Super Markets Charities.

Complimentary, air-conditioned shuttles will run continuously during Festival hours from the WaterColor Crossings lot on County Road 395, next to Publix Super Market.

For a complete schedule of events, to volunteer and to purchase tickets for the Preview Party and Benefit Drawing, visit

1 Comment
    1. This past weekend I was in booth 28 at ArtsQuest. On Saturday morning I had with me upstairs
      where refreshment was served a black cashmere cardigan. This is the last place I remember
      having it…and I have come home without it. I hope someone turned it in.

      Marcia Moritz

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