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Monday, March 11th, 2013

Second Annual Music in Pictures Strikes the Right Chord

“Art is one of the central elements of a civilized society. Students who learn self expression and who learn to appreciate that in others are being prepared to be productive members of an empathic, connected culture.”

- Gregory Sauer

This year marks the second annual Walton County Music in Pictures program sponsored by the Rosemary Beach Foundation. This well orchestrated and much anticipated challenge found Walton teachers and students poised for action.

A total of 1,300 entries were submitted from 14 different schools. Students listened to and chose one of several selections from Carnival of the Animals by French composer Camille Saint Saens to visually interpret on paper. The stunning results will be on display until May throughout Walton County.

Both Rosemary Beach Foundation Executive Director Malayne DeMars and Chair of Music in Pictures Winky Dowdle could not be more pleased. “We are so proud that this program has grown so quickly in just two years,” says DeMars. “Our goal is to foster a life long appreciation of symphonic music and to promote arts in education.”

All Walton County Schools were invited to participate, and both public and private schools responded. “Various mediums were used—oily pastels, watercolors, acrylics, to name but a few,” says Dowdle. “We wanted the kids to explore personal style and understand there are no right or wrong answers. We encouraged the students to interpret the music, not just create pretty pictures.”

Benjamin Sung, international award winner and assistant violin professor at Florida State University, along with Tallahassee Symphony principal cellist Gregory Sauer, will be featured at the award ceremony and concert March 3 at Rosemary Town Hall. The top 12 young artists will be recognized, and each participating school will receive a donation to their art department from Rosemary Beach Foundation.

“It is important to expose kids to creativity and beauty in their early years,” says Dowdle. “We cannot do enough in our schools to foster that kind of growth. This project offers one way to help.”

Music in Pictures is sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, the Hidden Lantern Gallery, Winky and Bill Dowdle and St. Joe Community Foundation. In March, the student artwork will be on display at Wells Fargo branches in Sandestin, Redfish Village and Carillon Beach, as well as Wild Olives, Summer Kitchen, Amavida Coffee Rosemary Beach, and the Hidden Lantern.

In April, a full display can be seen at Sacred Heart Hospital Emerald Coast in Santa Rosa Beach. The following month, partial collections will be exhibited at Cultural Arts Alliance’s Bayou Arts Center and the Coastal Branch Library in Santa Rosa Beach.

For more info, contact Malayne at (850) 231 7382 or email malayne.demars@gmail.com.