MKAF Names 2023 Festival of the Arts Poster Art Contest Winner

Additionally, MKAF accepting applications for the 2023 Festival of the Arts Adult Collaborative Art Exhibit
Flamboyant High Res Sm

Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) has named Roger van Lieshout of Cape Coral, Florida, the 2023 Festival of the Arts poster contest winner.

Recognized as one of Northwest Florida’s premier fine art shows, the Festival of the Arts, produced by MKAF, is one of the most anticipated cultural events of the year on the Emerald Coast. This year’s 28th annual event will kick off on Friday, Oct 27 evening with a Kick-Off Reception at Henderson Beach Resort. The Festival weekend follows on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29 at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin.

An oil painter since childhood, Roger van Lieshout, a native of Winnipeg, has worked as a professional artist full-time for 14 years. Originally trained in renewal resources at the Saskatchewan Institute for Arts and Sciences in Saskatoon, Canada, he then completed his undergraduate degree at University of Manitoba.

The winning piece is a 36” x 36” oil on canvas entitled Flamboyant. The word to describe a flock of flamingos, it is aptly named. This vibrant, whimsical piece evokes both the color, beauty, and spirit of Florida living.

“Flamingos are often seen as gangly and funny but look more closely and their grace and beauty become evident, “Roger van Lieshout says.

A previous Festival of the Arts exhibiting artist, this is van Lieshout’s first MKAF Poster Art Content win.

Roger Van Lieshout 1 Copy“I am most honored to have Flamboyant chosen to help represent the 2023 MKAF Festival of the Arts,” van Lieshout says. “The organizing committee and volunteers work hard to produce one of Florida’s premier art events, and the location is a fantastic place to spend a memorable day. Last year’s turnout was fantastic and having the opportunity to visit with both locals and visitors is always the best part of the fun. The 2023 Festival is bound to be as good if not better than last year!”

As the annual Poster Art Contest winners, van Lieshout will receive a cash prize of $500. The winning artwork will be used to promote the 28th Annual Festival of the Arts by being prominently showcased on the official Festival poster, program guide, t-shirt, in the Festival marketing campaign, on the MKAF website, across MKAF’s social media channels, and more.

A fan of Picasso, Mira, and Nieto, van Lieshout draws inspiration from the Sunshine State. “My inspiration comes largely from stories and observations of people, places, and wildlife that make me happy, laugh or stop me cold and make me think about what I’m seeing,” he explains. “We are incredibly fortunate to live in a beautiful place surrounded by largely wonderful people and natural beauty and in a fantastic country with privileges and rights that are the envy of the world.  These things inspire me every day and make me thankful.”

During the two-day Festival, more than 100 premier artists from across the United States will exhibit original artwork in the form of oil, watercolor, acrylic and glass paintings; photography, sculpture, pottery, wood, paper, fiber, mosaics, mixed media, jewelry designs and more in order to compete for $12,000 in cash prizes in 18 award categories, including the coveted Best in Show and People’s Choice Award which is selected by the festival fans. The Festival also will feature a Collaborative Art Exhibit, which showcases select artwork of 85 adult and student artists.

A celebration of art, music, food, and family fun, special features of the Festival include a live music lineup, hands-on arts and crafts activities for children, art raffle, and more. A diverse menu of delicious cuisine served up by local food trucks, along with a wine and beer garden. Convenient on-site parking and free shuttle service are also available.

Admission is free. Proceeds from the Festival help MKAF and its community education outreach initiatives including ArtsReach serving K-12 students, at-risk youth, people with disabilities, and the military population with visible and invisible injuries.

To make a tax-deductible donation or provide a corporate sponsorship; or for more information about becoming a MKAF member, visit or call (850) 650-2226.

MKAF Announces Call for the 28th Annual Festival of the Arts Collaborative Art Exhibit

Ora Wolfgram Collaborative Best In Show 2018 3Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF) is now accepting applications for the Adult Collaborative Art Exhibit component of the 28th annual Festival of the Arts (Friday, Oct. 27 (Arty Kick Off Party at Henderson Beach Resort in Destin) October 28-29 (Festival weekend)) at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin, Florida.

One of the unique features of MKAF’s Festival of the Arts is the Collaborative Art Exhibit, which showcases the work of seasoned and emerging adult artists and local student artists competing for the $1,050 McIlroy Awards given in honor of the late Patricia McIlroy, Destin’s first First Lady and an MKAF advocate and patron.

Artwork should be of an artistic caliber associated with a juried fine art show. Artists in the Adult Collaborative Exhibit can display and/or sell up to three pieces of artwork. 

The competition is open to the first 25 eligible applicants. The entry fee is $35 per person for up to three pieces of art no larger than 24” x 36.” Application deadline is Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Download the application at or contact Deb Nissley at the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation by email at or call (850) 650-2226.

To make a tax-deductible donation or provide a corporate sponsorship; or for more information about the Festival of the Arts, visit or call (850) 650-2226.


Categories: Art, Events