You’ve heard of Cows on Parade? How about News on Parade?



Through the years, The Walton Sun's boxes have been easy to spot in bright yellow containers. But select containers in beach communities around South Walton are now getting a new, more sophisticated and stylish look — thanks to the many artists that call South Walton home.



One by one the boxes are going to be transformed into pieces of artwork reflective of our beautiful area and the creativity of its residents.



The artwork on the inaugural Paint the News box is the work of Walton County's 2011 Artist of the Year, Allison Wickey.



"I was very flattered to be asked to do it," said the artist.



Wickey is known for her depictions of local landscapes, the Gulf, dunes, and the area's special pine trees. When she paints, she likes to create from a bird's eye view.



"I like the thought of being able to see everything at one time," said Wickey.



It was this type of landscape view — her signature look — that Wickey put on the box, which will find a permanent home in Rosemary Beach.



In order to transform the box, Wickey used acrylic paint, a tiny bit of plaster, a two-part epoxy, and homemade stain to give the container an aged look and appeal.



Wickey said this was her first time to create artwork on something that is functional.



In the past her handiwork has gone on canvas, wood, and walls, as her start as an artist was in creating murals. She is a self-taught artist and said she began painting out of desperation, for money.      



"It took me forever to figure out what to do with the box," she said. "I looked at it forever and finally made myself begin. I am happy with how my first try on something functional turned out. I just kept it simple."



Wickey has been a resident of South Walton since 2007 when she and her family moved from St. Louis where she owned a mural-painting business. Learn more about her work at allisonwickey.com



 “South Walton is blessed with a vibrant community of talented artists, and part of The Sun’s mission has always been to celebrate their work,” new editor Matt Algarin said. “We are thrilled to be able to share their creativity with our many visitors and locals.”



CALL TO ARTISTS If you are an artist who would like to be involved in the Walton Sun’s Paint the News effort, contact April Gaffka at agaffka@waltonsun.com or call 850-654-8488.