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2018 South Walton Artist of the Year KATHLEEN BROADERICK


Kathleen Broaderick of Santa Rosa Beach was named 2018 South Walton Artist of the Year on October 27, 2017.

For Walton County artist Kathleen Broaderick, a long-held dream is quickly becoming reality.

“This has been a great year,” says Broaderick, who opened her studio/gallery CHROMA and was named South Walton’s 2018 Artist of the Year. “I don’t really understand it, but it’s like things have been happening in a very nice, progressive way and I just have to keep painting and doing my thing.”

Art has been part of Broaderick’s life for as long as she can remember. Not only did she meet her husband during an art class in high school, she truly fell in love with watercolors while studying at Florida State University.

“Art has greatly impacted my life,” Broaderick says. “From that art class I took in college to taking classes wherever we moved around the country. My family was my focus for a very long time, but I’ve always had art in my back pocket and have always taken classes. When my children were older, art became more of my focus and something I could really get into and share with other people.”

Her love of art and desire to share her craft with others led Broaderick to become a teacher and ultimately a professional artist.

Broaderick, who was born in Hollywood, Florida and grew up in Fort Lauderdale, graduated from Florida State University and would spend time in Stuart, Florida, England and Chicago traveling with her husband before they moved to Northwest Florida. She spent 10 years as an art volunteer at Plew Elementary School and earned her certification to teach art and elementary education, which led her to teach art.

The Walton County resident got her start in watercolors and she will tell you that she absolutely “fell in love with the medium.”

“While we were in Chicago I was so lucky to find a wonderful teacher, Jim Wisnowski, who I was able to study with for four years,” she says. “I worked in advertising and was a meeting planner while we were up there, but every Saturday I would go to Jim’s class with a group and we would paint. I really learned so much there that it was easy to, after starting a family, have that foundation.”

“Three years ago, when I really started to focus on this, I already had everything in the back of my head,” she added.

When Broaderick decided to open her own studio and gallery, she was naturally nervous, but also filled with excitement.

“You know when I was most nervous though, is when I decided to launch a website and put myself out there and say, ‘hey, this is me, world,’” Broaderick says. “That was so scary, my heart was pounding when I sent that email telling everybody about my website. It was so nerve-wracking, but people encouraged me.”

Broaderick named her gallery CHROMA, an art term that means the intensity or the purity of a color. The space allows Broaderick to showcase her artwork and teach painting classes in a casual setting. Participants can even bring their own snacks and beverages to enjoy.

“Opening CHROMA was scary, but combining my gallery and the classes made it easier for me,” Broaderick says.

Now that she can add the title of South Walton’s 2018 Artist of the Year to her resume, Broaderick says she is looking forward to representing the local art community.

“It means a lot because I have gotten to know a lot of the artists in South Walton over the past year-and-a-half, so I know there is a lot of wonderful talent here and a lot of passion and creativity,” she says. “To be among those friends and artists, and to be artist of the year, it’s an honor and a big responsibility.”

“I’m really excited to become more involved in the community and become more immersed in all the cultural events and natural beauty South Walton has to offer,” she added. “I feel like when my year (as artist of the year) is done, I’ll feel much more in tune with the area, much more connected, and I’ll feel like a true local.”

To learn more about Broaderick and CHROMA or to sign up for classes, visit chroma30a.com. CHROMA is located at 3295 West County Highway 30A, Unit E in Santa Rosa Beach. 

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