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Walton County, FL – August 31 – Joseph Messer, the 2022 Walton County Artist of the Year, recently presented the Walton County Tourism Department with his commissioned piece, which will be displayed alongside previous award winners. Messer’s style focuses on breaking away from perfectionism to create truly unique art.

The process begins with photographing South Walton sunsets. After he finishes photographing the sunsets, he tears the photos apart and tapes them to another printed photo from a previous session that he has also digitally manipulated. Messer doesn’t leave a single scrap of paper or tape behind.

“It’s a very process-based art,” Messer says. “I think that if I didn’t have a process that let me give up control to it and just know that I have to go through the steps and keep going and hopefully, something will turn out at the end of that. I think I’d just fiddle with everything to death and it would take the fun and joy out of it.”

Now in its 20th year, the Walton County 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 displayed in Walton County.

Messer says that vulnerability is a big part of art and recognition of this magnitude feels like a gift.

“Even a year ago, I would never have imagined becoming an artist or how many people would help me get there. The people at Visit South Walton and in this community, it seems to me, are the kind of people that bring other people’s dreams closer, and I’m grateful for their support in helping me follow mine,” Messer said.

As far as his future, Messer is currently teaching art to boarding school students in northern Massachusetts. He’s also seeking to earn his master’s degree in fine arts (MFA) and has already been accepted into the University of Southern California’s MFA program. He’s looking forward to picking which school to attend later this fall.

Link to photos of Joseph Messer: https://platform.crowdriff.com/m/s-mC1HiCm9blyLM5uy

About Joseph: Messer is a Walton County based mixed media artist who creates abstract pieces through process-based art. He strives to demonstrate that art can be anything a creator wants it to be. Process based art places importance on the act of making art as wells as the final piece. Messer uses his unique collaging process to give up control of the results and break away from his own tendency towards perfectionism. The result is a truly unique art piece that portrays a story of human expression.

Learn more about Joseph: https://josephmesser.com


About South Walton:

Located along a 26-mile stretch of white sandy beaches in Northwest Florida, South Walton encompasses 16 distinct beach neighborhoods, each with its own visual style, amenities and charm. South Walton is home to four state parks, one state forest, and more than 200 miles of hiking and biking trails. Renowned for natural scenic beauty, turquoise waters and sugar sand beaches, South Walton was named one of the “Secret Florida Beaches” by Travel + Leisure, but is easily accessible as a drive to destination or by flying to nearby airports Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) or the Destin – Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS). An upscale, yet casual place to unwind, South Walton is the place to recharge and build lasting memories. Learn more at VisitSouthWalton.com or follow Visit South Walton on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.