2019 South Walton Artist of the Year Winner Announced
WALTON COUNTY, Fla – Visit South Walton is pleased to announce Jenna Varney as the 2019 South Walton Artist of the Year. During an awards ceremony presented by Visit South Walton on Thursday, January 24th at the Grayton Beer Company taproom, Varney was presented with the award by 2018 South Walton Artist of the Year Kathleen Broaderick.
“It was immediately evident that this artist’s work was special, mesmerizing and unique,” Broaderick said of Varney during the presentation.
Now in its 17th year, the South Walton Artist of the Year award is a community program that showcases local artists, promoting the selected artist’s work throughout the year through a variety of publicity opportunities and events. The winner also receives an award of $4,000 in exchange for a piece of artwork that will be put on public display.
“I’m so grateful to be able to share my love of South Walton through my art, and to promote our artist community,” Varney said. “I used to think being an artist wasn’t important, that it was just painting pretty pictures, then a good friend of mine made me realize that what I do is important. He was going through a dark time in his life, and he received one of my paintings as a gift and it made him happy. I realized that art matters because it makes people happy. And the world can use a whole lot more happiness.”
About Jenna: Varney is an Air Force spouse and has moved around the world. No matter where her family was stationed she would paint and create. But while she’s had a knack for art and creativity since childhood, the 2019 Visit South Walton Artist of the Year didn’t find her footing as a professional artist until the Air Force assigned her husband to Eglin Air Force Base in 2002. While looking for a home in Florida, Varney and her father were traveling along 30A and she knew she’d found her heart’s home. She told her dad she knew it was the perfect place for her to sell art, too. Varney’s signature style is hyper-realism. She likes to say that it’s “photo-realism with a little bit of life added to it.” Her works include incredible detail ingrained in subjects ranging from clams and oysters to sea turtles and other marine life. To learn more about Varney, visit her website: www.jennavarney.com