WEST JEFFERSON — The Ashe County Arts Council had to get creative for this year’s “Best of the Blue Ridge” competition, announcing the results via video.
“Best of the Blue Ridge” is a yearly, juried exhibition that Arts Council Executive Director Jeff Fissel has called one of, if not the, biggest exhibitions of the year. This year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Arts Council had to forgo their traditional celebration, in favor of a video announcing the winners. Also available is a virtual tour of the gallery.
This year’s show was judged by artist and High Country arts community main-stay John Bond.
“It was such a difficult show to judge, that we have seven honorable mentions,” Bond said. “There are so many lovely pieces down here. Different types of medium, techniques and skill. It’s a wonderful art community.”
Receiving honorable mentions were Kim Abernethy’s “Evenlight,” Tonya Bottomley’s “Here and Now,” Tatyana Dyakonova’s “House by the Mountains,” Chris Elliott-Davis’s “Gwyn on Tractor,” Marsha Holmes’s “Past and Present,” Anita Kitchens’s “Morning Walk” and Susan Van Wyk’s “Watauga Lake.”
Receiving the third-place award was Marion Cloaninger’s “Dance of the Flowers,” Lisa Pepper’s “Bison Bill” received second-place and “Flora With Orange” by Jayne Braxton received the first-place award.
Winning the top prize in 2020 was Pamela Hall’s oil painting, “Early Spring/Pores Knob.”
Visitors to the Arts Council can still vote for the People’s Choice award, while the exhibition will be on display until Nov. 16.