The North Carolina Azalea Festival Art Unveiling is an annual event held in the Fall where we unveil the Official Artwork for that Festival year.
2017 Artist Sean D. Ruttkay
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.