Walton County names new Artist of the Year

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Kathleen Broaderick will represent the county through her artwork depicting the area until October 2018.


At the Walton County Tourist Development Council’s annual meeting, a new Artist of the Year was named — Kathleen Broaderick.

Broaderick is an emerging artist who has worked professionally for only three years. She owns and operates CHROMA Studio & Gallery on County Highway 30A where she paints and teaches the craft that she loves.

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“Kathleen’s work is vibrant, bold and beautiful. She often captures scenes from around South Walton, but for the Artist of the Year award, many other factors are also considered,” said David Demerest, the TDC’s director of communication. “Kathleen is an enthusiastic advocate for the area and the art scene, teaching painting, and organizing a group of local artists for regular coffee talk meetings where they exchange ideas for art and business, helping to strengthen the South Walton arts scene through collaboration.

“Her work and her contribution to the community are what make Kathleen a terrific recipient of the South Walton Artist of the Year award,” he added.

Broaderick was a communications major in college, then took art classes while raising her children. She then taught art at an elementary school for two years before choosing to become a professional artist.

She moved to the Gulf Coast 17 years ago, and currently lives in Miramar Beach.

Although she started out working with watercolors, Broaderick now prefers to paint with oils and acrylics.

“I loved the transparency and luminosity of watercolor and there is still a lot of watercolor in me,” she told The Sun during a recent interview. “It comes out in my paintings in mixing of colors for interesting effects. I try to stay loose with the bold brushstrokes and fresh with clean color. I am not so concerned with delineating the details or exact colors of the subject as I am creating a beautiful impression of it.”

Broaderick has won student awards, honorable mentions, and the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation poster contest last year and an award of merit. She was recently chosen by Ballard Designs to be an exclusive artist. Three of her paintings are in their catalogue and stores.

Broaderick is the 16th recipient of the Artist of the Year award.

“Kathleen embodies what the Artist of the Year award is about,” said TDC Executive Director Jay Tusa.

“This is amazing,” beamed Broaderick as she held her award.

Through the Artist of the Year program, the TDC promotes the destination’s thriving arts community while placing the spotlight on the Artist of the Year who is commissioned to create one piece of special artwork for the county. These commissioned pieces can be found hanging in the South Walton Annex, the Visitor Center, the conference room, and other public places.

Broaderick will represent the county through her artwork depicting the area until October 2018.

Other artists receiving recognition were Chris Alvarado for his work in mixed media and Jenna Varney for her acrylic paintings.

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