Jenna Varney Blue Oysters

CAA Announces Jenna Varney As Featured 2018 ArtsQuest Artist

30th Annual Festival To Take Place May 12 & 13 in Grand Boulevard

ArtsQuest, the 30th annual fine arts festival produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA), is pleased to announce the 2018 Featured Festival Artist, Jenna Varney.

A Mother’s Day weekend tradition, ArtsQuest is a juried show scheduled to take place May 12 & 13, in the Town Center of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. The festival is part of Art Week South Walton, a collaboration of visual, performing and literary arts events presented in diverse formats and venues throughout South Walton in May. Art Week South Walton also includes the Northwest Florida Theatre Festival, Digital Graffiti, and the Longleaf Writers Conference.

Varney’s custom artwork titled “Blue Oysters” will be the featured image on all ArtsQuest marketing materials for the festival.  

“I feel I already owe so much to the CAA, and now to be chosen as this years featured artist at ArtsQuest is a truly humbling experience, said Jenna Varney. “ArtsQuest features the best fine artists in the area and to be among them is truly a great honor. I have had the privilege of meeting and working with many of this year’s juried artists and past prize winners. They are amazing people and I’m so looking forward to seeing their new works.”

“Jenna is a natural choice as this year’s featured ArtsQuest artist. She is a rising star in the local arts scene, especially at the Foster Gallery where she has won special exhibition Best in Show and People’s Choice awards, said CAA Executive Director Jennifer Steele. “Jenna was also named Visit South Walton’s 2018 Best Acrylic Artist of the Year. Her talent, attention to detail, generosity of spirit, are remarkable, and we are honored to showcase her beautiful work.”

Presented by Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, ArtsQuest will feature Varney and over 130 other artists in various mediums including, but not limited to, ceramics, glass, oil and acrylics, photography, sculpture, metal and wood. These exhibiting artists from around the United States will compete for awards and cash prizes totaling $10,000.

The Festival will also offer heritage art demonstrations, a CAA member artist exhibit, a Walton County student exhibit, continuous live music and entertainment, and “ImagiNation: where kids rule.” A full cash bar will be available throughout the weekend in Grand Park.

Volunteers are needed throughout the weekend to work on all aspects of the festival. Those willing to help can sign up at or email

The rain or shine event is open to the public, and a $5 admission donation is requested. Visit for more information about ArtsQuest as well as other Art Week events, which are supported in part by Visit South Walton.  

The CAA is also excited to announce Jenna Varney’s Solo Invitational Exhibit on display at The Foster Gallery from April 7 – May 6 featuring her new Coastal Dune Lakes series. The public is invited to join us for an Opening Reception on Thursday, April 12, from 5 – 7 p.m. celebrating her recent “Best in Show” win at the 7th Annual CAA Member Juried Exhibition.


About Featured Artist Jenna Varney

Jenna Varney was born on Long Island, NY in 1981. Her artistic talent was noticed early on and she was invited to study with local Watercolor Artist Mary Reay. As a high school student Jenna apprenticed for Modern Contemporary Artist Malcolm Morley. She attended SUNY Farmingdale from 1999 to 2002 and earned a bachelor’s degree with honors. While in college she met her husband Matt, a pilot in the United States Air Force.

Since their marriage, Jenna has traveled the world and cataloged the experiences on canvas. They are now settled in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Her childhood memories of life on the Great South Bay, Long Island, NY resonated in her choice of subject matter. Zooming in on the smaller things of everyday coastal life, her style amplifies the natural beauty of each study, going beyond the sense of sight and the power of the lens.

Jenna’s work is displayed in many of the businesses located on NW Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A. Most recently, she was commissioned to do the Mural for First Watch in Destin and the MooLala Mural at Baytowne Wharf. Other works include the Rosemary Beach Farmers Market poster as well as the artwork for the Annual Rosemary Beach Trading Company’s July 4th, 2013 t-shirt. You can also see her “Pink Octopus” mural at the Lilly Pulitzer Store in Watercolor, FL. Her most recent paintings are on display and available for purchase at The Foster Gallery, ECAR South Walton Annex, and Crust Artisan Bakery, 4812 U.S. 98 #101, Santa Rosa Beach, FL.




About ArtsQuest:

ArtsQuest began as a small community gathering in Grayton Beach in 1989 and now features nearly 150 exhibiting national, regional and local artists competing for $10,000 in cash awards, art workshops, live art demonstrations, music, food, wine, ImagiNation (where kids rule) and more.


About Cultural Arts Alliance:

As the creative core of Walton County, the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) of Walton County offers support, connection and access opportunities for all forms of art, every variety of maker, all levels of learners, and especially, art lovers. Through sponsorship, performance, and educational programs, the organization directly connects the people of Walton County with the broader view, the critical exploration, and the answers only the Arts have the power to provide. For more information, visit


About Grand Boulevard:

Grand Boulevard is the shop, dine, play and stay Town Center located in the heart of South Walton along Northwest Florida’s Beaches. Based on the prominent mixed-use architectural model, Grand Boulevard offers a dynamic lifestyle experience with convenient access to a multitude of exclusive shopping and dining options, entertainment, professional services, corporate offices and lodging.