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 MAT 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, Nov. 12, from 4 - 7 p.m., 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, Nov. 13, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., 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, Nov. 13, from 6 - 9 p.m., 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
The weekend will culminate with the beloved Flutterby Festival featuring art activities, live performances, art exhibits and more on Sunday, Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., in the Village Commons green in the Watersound Origins community.
The festival offers live entertainment for the entire family, art activities like the butterfly wing creation station and craft-making as well as the butterfly learning center, carnival games and a flutterby frenzy at the end of each day.
Flutterby entertainment will be provided by The Seaside Repertory Theatre, Mari Gleason, Ohana Rock on the Road, and more. Professional artists will be exhibiting and selling their work throughout the weekend, and official Flutterby merchandise featuring artwork by local student artist Parker Barnes, will be available for purchase. The Flutterby Festival weekend events are free and open to the public. Food by Sports to Geaux and beverages will be available for purchase, and some activities require a small fee.
The Flutterby Festival weekend is presented with support from Florida Department of State Division of Arts and Culture and the St. Joe Community Foundation with the venue provided by the Watersound Origins Community. Watersound Origins Village Commons green is located at 530 Pathways Drive, Watersound, FL 32461. Parking, including accessible parking, will be available on-site.
Volunteers are needed to help create all the fun! Please visit culturalartsalliance.com/volunteer
to sign up. Additional sponsorships available, visit culturalartsalliance.com/sponsorship
For more information on the AIPS program, the Flutterby Festival, and the CAA, please visit CulturalArtsAlliance.com
or call 850-622-5970.