North Carolina Azalea Festival


Signed Official Artwork

Each year, the North Carolina Azalea Festival President chooses an artist to create an artistic representation of the North Carolina Azalea Festival. The artist is honored at the Art Unveiling, and Limited Edition signed prints are available for sale in the Azalea Festival Ticket Office. Please note, not all prints are available for purchase.

 The 2017 North Carolina Azalea Festival Print is available for purchase at the North Carolina Azalea Festival Ticket Office, for $50 each.  Please call the Festival Ticket Office for past print availability and prices at (910) 794-4650.

 Father, surfer, and artist, are some of the labels that come to mind when describing Sean D. Ruttkay. However, it was the label of “dyslexic” in the first grade that Ruttkay was first given. “Early in my school years teachers and the community did not think that a person with my level of dyslexia could make it to college,” says Ruttkay. “But growing up with swimming and later finding surfing and surf culture, I believe I was able to work through these barriers and build the life that I had hoped for. And I owe it all to the power of water.”
 This desire to be with water and the ocean motivated Ruttkay to graduate both high school and and then from college at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a Teaching Degree in Special Education with an academic focus on students with dyslexia. But at this point Ruttkay decided to pivot. So after graduating in 2005, Ruttkay decided to pursue a new, creative path in life, one that was true to his hydro based spirit. He started Elemental Digital Art (EDA Surf) with the mission of spreading the visual power of water to the built environment through art installations.
 Since 2005 Ruttkay, through his brand EDA Surf, has shipped, and installed thousands of holistic water art pieces.  Residential, corporate, and healthcare spaces, from Singapore to Washington, D.C. have found value in Ruttkay’s ability to transform both interior and exterior, with grand mood-stimulating installations. Today Sean Ruttkay lives and works with his wife Cornelia, daughter Nealie (4) and son Dax (2) in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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Past Artists
1987-2000 2001-2016
1987 Jeff Morvil 2001 Deborah Cavenaugh
1988 None 2002 Barbara Jamison
1989 None 2003 Beth Ellis Harry
1990 Martha Grove Williams 2004 Bruce Bowman
1991 Samuel Bissette 2005 Ivey Hayes
1992 Ronald Williams 2006 Harry Lee Davis
1993 Morvil Design 2007 Cathy Poulos
1994 Popular Design 2008 Bruce Bowman
1995 Jeff Morvil 2009 George Pocheptsov
1996 Morvil Design 2010 Sandy Nelson
1997 Cathy Maya 2011 Jenny McKinnon Wright
1998 Jodie Rippy 2013 Elizabeth Singletary
1999 Jodie Rippy 2014 William Mangum
2000 Deborah Cavenaugh 2015 Clyde Edgerton
2016 Mary Ellen Golden