When the Hyatt Place Hotel opens in late 2018, its walls will be adorned with artwork by local artists.
Walton County's Cultural Arts Association issued a call to artists during the hotel's groundbreaking phase. Artists were asked to create and submit artwork that represents the powerful connection between community and art and showcases the vibrancy and uniqueness of the South Walton community, said CAA executive director Jennifer Steele.
"We also looked for creative representations of the concept of art itself," she said.
The theme of the new Hyatt Place hotel is the relationship to local art and culture. Abstractions of various disciplines of art have been incorporated into the design of the public spaces and rooms of the property, and the Hyatt Place team was looking for artwork that best represented the overall style of the hotel, said Steele.
More than 80 submissions were received in the call for submissions.
A selection committee made up of five people representing Howard Hospitality and CAA made the selections. The group followed a process of narrowing down the submissions to the top 12, and then the final six selections were chosen by the main decision-makers at Howard Group in order to ensure the works were representative of the style and feel of the overall project.
CAA hosted an unveiling Nov. 1 at The Foster Gallery to reveal the work of the six winning artists.
The winners include three former Walton County Artists of the Year. Those are Susan Lucas, Michael McCarty, and Juan Francisco Adaro. Also chosen were Raul Pardo, Valparaiso artist Julie Vanover, and Fort Walton Beach artist Linda Kernick.
"I'm extremely happy," said Adaro, who attended the unveiling with his wife and baby.
The work of the six is diverse.
Lucas's abstract work is her easily recognizable vibrant shades of fuchsia, lavender, and gold named "Sunset Glow."
McCarty's "Invictus" is of a stunning lady in a black bathing suit and large hat.
Adaro's work is also of a woman at the beach entitled "Mujer de la Playa."
Adaro said this style is relatively new for him.
"I have always loved making my single-line drawings but had not been able to find an exciting way to create them on a larger scale until recently," he said. "This is one of the first in a series of my single-line drawings done large."
Adaro's piece is oil on wood with glitter and epoxy resin finish.
"When I got the call to artists for an outdoor large-scale area, this piece has a lot of mural qualities I thought would fit nicely. I love bold works so I was excited about winning," he said.
Kernick's "Walking on the Beach at Sunset" is another abstract in bright colors of a woman on the beach.
"I paint with joy," said Kernick. "And I am happy I won."
Pardo's depiction of a sunset was colorful.
Vanover's "Oak Over Bay" is a pencil drawing.
"Their art bridges a gap between the community and the hotel. Art brings identity. It's a passion, a way of living," said Tania Koehler, Director of Hotel Operations for Howard Hospitality.
The six pieces of artwork will become a part of the CAA's Art in Public Spaces ArtMatters.
The six winning artists will each receive $500 and a one-week stay at the Hyatt Place at Grand Boulevard.
"Winning this feels very good. I am very honored," said McCarty.