Festival of the Masters Archives

October 24, 2012

Irish Artist Graham Knuttel Debuts ‘Flock of Sheep’ Sculptures

Irish Artist Graham Knuttel Debuts 'Flock of Sheep' Sculptures
At Festival of the Masters in Downtown Disney Nov. 9-11

Knuttel to Create Original Work on Raglan Road Irish Pub Patio to Benefit SPCA

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Famed Irish artist Graham Knuttel, known for his bold, stylized art works and celebrity following, will debut his sculpted wood-and-bronze "flock of sheep" to be installed at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant during the 37th Festival of the Masters Nov. 9-11 at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island. The distinguished Dublin painter and sculptor will unveil his sheep sculptures, weighing about 100 pounds each and standing more than 3-and-1/2-feet tall, Nov. 9 between 11 a.m. and noon on the Raglan Road patio.

During the festival, Knuttel also will create an original acrylic-on-canvas painting in front of festival passersby Nov. 9-11 on the Raglan Road patio. Guests can bid on the artwork-in-progress during a silent auction as Knuttel paints between noon and 4 p.m. each day, and proceeds will be donated to the local Humane Society SPCA of Central Florida. Festival guests can visit Knuttel's outdoor art display of limited-edition fine art prints of 12 of his popular paintings, with promotional pricing for purchases made during the festival weekend. Guests also can enter a "sheep quiz" drawing for a Knuttel limited-edition print.

"I have used sheep as an inspiration in my work ever since I was a child, but then I come from Ireland, so that shouldn't surprise you!" says Knuttel, Ireland's most successful living artist and designer who has sold his art to Bono, Robert DeNiro, Whoopie Goldberg, and other high-profile stars. "Over the years, I've made sheep in bronze, wood, paint, clay and, yes, even in wool. It's my way of saying, 'Thank you, sheep.' Thank you for all those woolly Aran pullovers and woolly socks. Thank you for putting me asleep at night and, most of all, thank you for being EWE!"

At last year's festival, Knuttel unveiled a 9-foot-by-4-foot painting based on a poem, "On Raglan Road" that was commissioned by the popular Irish restaurant. The painting hangs over Raglan Road's main stage fireplace and features more than two dozen unconventional Knuttel figures, including Irish rockers Bono and The Edge and writers James Joyce and Brendan Behan. This year, Knuttel's flock of four sculpted sheep will document their journey from Ireland to Downtown Disney on the Raglan Road Orlando Facebook page before their Raglan Road installation.

"We wanted Graham to return for this year's festival, and it's a bonus that he's bringing his stunning flock that represents a rich part of Irish history and commerce," says Raglan Road co-owner John Cooke. "The sheep will be standouts at this popular art fest, and it will be fun to watch Graham at work on a new painting."

Knuttel's works include his distinctive paintings, sculptures, tapestries and his whimsical Tipperary Crystal Café Collection. During Festival of the Masters, one of the South's most highly regarded juried art festivals, guests can purchase Knuttel pieces and commemorative gifts at Raglan Road.

Open for lunch, dinner and late-night grazing, Raglan Road Pub & Restaurant serves a wide selection of Irish beers at four bars and authentic cuisine such as creamy colcannon soup and Shepherd's pie by celebrity chef Kevin Dundon, who has cooked for U2, Queen Elizabeth and Brad Pitt. Leaded glass and custom-carved wood furnishings help set the backdrop for live entertainment by award-winning Irish dancers and Creel, the house band that performs traditional music and ballads. Bands and dancers are scheduled to perform Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as Sunday from noon-to-3 p.m. during the festival.

To learn more about Graham Knuttel and Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant, visit and

November 1, 2011

Festival of Masters Welcomes Artist Graham Knuttel


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The works of Irish artist Graham Knuttel have found homes among Hollywood royalty like Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi 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:

November 12, 2009

Festival of the Masters - Prestigious Art Festival Returns to Downtown Disney Nov. 13-15

Longtime Festival of the Masters Artist Jeannie Maddox Bridges Spectrum between Photo-Realistic and Abstract Painting

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - If you think photo-realistic art is across the spectrum from abstract art and "ne'er the twain shall meet," then you haven't seen the works of Jeannie Maddox, an artist from Dothan, Ala., who has been making Disney's Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort a kind of home-away-from-home virtually every fall since 1975.

When the 2009 Festival of the Masters presented by Sharpie takes place Nov. 13-15, Maddox will be among the nearly 150 award-winning artists who will be participating. Some work in clay. Others wood, metal or mixed media. Others watercolors.

Maddox's specialty is oils on canvas. And while she depicts her style as "photo realistic," her husband, Sam, isn't quite sure that's an accurate description. "She's an abstract painter who paints realistically," he says.

To explain: Maddox's topical passion is swimmers - in the water. Thus, reality is a visually distorted view of the body beneath the surface, with ripples and bubbles adding to the abstract quality of the painting.


As she has done 32 previous years - including the very first Festival of the Masters in 1975 -Maddox will be showing off her works at Downtown Disney. Five of those previous festivals, she claimed a first-place award in painting. Her dream? "Best in show, of course,"� Maddox says. For a preview glance at her work, visit


Festival hours are 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are complimentary. For more information about Festival of the Masters, guests can contact 407/824-4321 or visit

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About Festival of the Masters

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in the Festival of the Masters category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Epcot's Food and Wine Festival is the previous category.

Food and Wine Classic is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.