Opening of Watersound® Monarch Art Trail To Lift Flutterby Arts Festival Weekend Off The Ground
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) is proud to announce the anticipated official opening of the WatersoundⓇ Monarch Art Trail (MAT), an outdoor sculpture project created by the CAA with support from The St. Joe Community Foundation. The November 12th grand opening will kick off a weekend of festive events that offer creative education and fun for the whole family.
It is well-known that Northwest Florida is part of the migratory path of the Monarch butterfly, and every fall tens of thousands of Monarchs can be seen enjoying the indigenous flora that lives in Walton County. Since 1992, the CAA has celebrated this natural event with an annual children’s arts and science festival called The Flutterby Festival, and now the Alliance is excited to include the Monarch Art Trail opening in this celebration.
The MAT will include eight original sculptures designed specifically for installation along South Watersound Parkway’s existing mile-long walking and bike path that connects Highways 98 and 30A. Use of the area was made possible by The St. Joe Company. The sculptures will be complemented with seating, lighting, signage, and native landscape. Additionally, a phone app will provide insight into the artists’ creative process through audio recordings, descriptive text, and geo-locators.
In Spring 2021, a national call to artists went out requesting design proposals inspired by the area’s natural environment and the Monarch migration. Out of 40 submissions, eight artists were selected for the project, including Jeffie Brewer, Jonathan Burger, Grace Cathey, Peter Hazel, Rachel Herring, Anthony Heinz May, Mark Metz, and Andrew Hamilton Reiss.
The MAT is part of the CAA’s Art in Public Places (AIPS) program created to fulfill its vision to make Walton County a creative place. Other current and future AIPS projects include the Underwater Museum of Art, the U.S. Highway 98 Underpass project, the “Art Thrives in South Walton” billboard project, and a Walton County mural project.
The MAT’s official opening will be Friday, November 12th from 4:00 - 7:00 pm and will be celebrated with live music, food by Grayton Beach Catering, beverages for all ages, and meet & greets with some of the artists as guests stroll or bike along the trail.
The festivities will continue Saturday, November 13th from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm with a family scavenger hunt and other fun entertainment. Guests are encouraged to download the OtoCast App for a self-guided audio tour which includes a description for each artwork from the artist. Parking for the MAT events is located on the north end of the trail at the Magnet Innovation Center.
In another new addition to the weekend, the CAA is joining forces with the Point Washington Medical Clinic for the Clinic’s Metamorphosis event. Metamorphosis is scheduled for Saturday, November 13th from 6:00 - 9:00 pm on the Village Commons green in the Watersound Origins community. Headlining the event is one of the 30A Songwriters Festival favorite bands, Atlanta-based Gurufish. Funds raised from the event’s cash bar will go towards the CAA’s Art in Public Spaces program and be used to commission custom artwork painted by local artists in the new PWMC facility. For more information about PWMC and tickets for Metamorphosis, visit thepwmc.org.