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| Miramar Beach, Florida

8 Nov

#ArtMatters: Bringing Art to Public Spaces

What is art? By definition, art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. However, upon searching that initial question, you’ll find the answer to be limitless and everchanging. Why is that? Is art so complex that a single answer is nearly impossible? In an essence – yes! The reason being is that art is different for every individual – from the emotion, the interpretation, and even to the visual aesthetics that are seen.

Ultimately, art is an experience. But what about those that may not have the opportunity to fully experience art? That is why bringing art to public spaces is so important. It’s free and open to everyone. It creates a sense of community and attachment, and some say more so than education, safety, and the local economy. Here in South Walton and along the Emerald Coast, we may not have a grand art museum like a metropolitan city might have, but we do have a thriving cultural and artistic community that makes this area – our home – even more beautiful and special, creating uniqueness to our communities and neighborhoods while also bridging a gap between the past, present, and near future.

Howard Hospitality has partnered with the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) in an effort to bring art to public spaces in a movement recognized as #ArtMatters. Having public art in our community, allows people to experience it freely on their own time and without limitations. It becomes a reflection of our community and even a piece of our history. Art inspires and activates the imagination of all people. It encourages us to think and pay attention. It stimulates learning by having an opinion, and it creates a conversation that stimulates a reaction that can bring us to the next level of daily living. We ultimately start communicating and talking to each other, exchanging emotions and triggering personal growth. It is for this reason that Howard Hospitality and the CAA believe that #ArtMatters and this shift, this movement, is starting with the newest addition to Howard Hospitality and Grand Boulevard – the Hyatt Place, opening late 2018.

Recently, Howard Hospitality and the CAA made a call for local artists to submit their 2D works for a chance to have their art displayed publically throughout the Hyatt Place’s construction phase as part of the CAA’s Art in Public Spaces Program. Over 80 local artists submitted pieces and, at the reveal party at The Foster Gallery in Grand Boulevard on the evening of November 1st, six winners were named. Each artist, all very different in their style and technique, set the stage for the #ArtMatters movement in South Walton. It was evident that their art was not only a winning piece but also an inspiration and a reflection of our community. As onlookers viewed each piece, it became apparent that their art evoked emotion, it captured sentiment and feeling, and it created a deeper a level of cognitive and creative thinking. Moreover, their art was bridging a gap and creating a powerful connection between the different individuals, communities, beliefs, and understandings that were present, which ultimately adds to the beauty and awe as well as showcases the vibrancy and uniqueness of South Walton and the Emerald Coast.

Whether you are local to the area or just visiting, take a moment and visit some of the local art galleries and public art displays throughout South Walton and along the Emerald Coast. It’s the local artwork that instils meaning – a greater sense of identity and understanding of where we live, work, and visit – creating a memorable experience for everyone. Art in South Walton is a way of life and a passion and it tells our story and we believe, as a community, #ArtMatters.

The winning artwork of the CAA’s #ArtMatters Public Art Exhibition at the Hyatt Place can be viewed at The Foster Gallery in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin throughout the Public Art Exhibition.

Visit The Foster Gallery’s Facebook Page for more information on the winning artists and their original pieces and to show your support for the CAA’s #ArtMatters movement.

Follow the Howard Hospitality social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) to stay up-to-date on the installation of the winning pieces on the front-facing perimeter fencing of the Hyatt Place site throughout the construction phase of its development.