John Bond BoS

Exhibition judge John Bond with ‘Early Spring/Pores Knob’ by Pamela Hall, which won best in show.

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.

Sponsored by Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, the videos were produced by Germain Media. The awards presentation is available to watch HERE, while the virtual tour can be found HERE.

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.

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