Festival of Masters Welcomes Artist Graham Knuttel

One event I look forward to every year is the Festival of Masters at Downtown Disney. This year the festival runs from November 11-13 and will feature a wide array of art in different mediums along with plenty of interactive stuff for the whole family to enjoy.

New this year is a special collaboration between Irish artist Graham Knuttel and Raglan Road. Knuttel’s paintings have found homes among Hollywood royalty like Sylvester Stallone, Whoopie Goldberg and Robert DeNiro. On Nov. 11, 2011, one of the renowned artist’s works will find a home at Walt Disney World Resort.

His latest commission — a painting for Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Downtown Disney — will be unveiled during the opening day of Festival of the Masters, one of the Southeast’s most highly regarded juried art festivals since 1975. While the painting will be on permanent display at the pub, Knuttel will exhibit a collection of many new pieces at the Nov. 11-13 festival and will appear at Raglan Road “Meet the Artist” events Nov. 12 at 2 and 3:30 p.m.

Known for his bold, bright canvases of stylized figures, Knuttel’s Raglan Road painting is based on a poem, “On Raglan Road,” written in 1946 by lovesick poet Patrick Kavanagh and recorded in song by Ireland’s greatest folk musician, Luke Kelly. The pub scene in the painting pops with more than two dozen unconventional Knuttel figures that include Kavanagh, Kelly, Irish rockers Bono and The Edge and writers James Joyce and Brendan Behan. Looking closely, admirers may discover a photo of a child wearing mouse ears.

Nearly 150 award-winning artists who create paintings, jewelry, sculptures, photographs and more will show off their works at the festival. There’s also live entertainment and family-friendly activities each day. Hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking are complimentary. More information: disneyworld.com/artfestival.

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