WEST JEFFERSON-Visual artists from Ashe and surrounding counties, Alleghany, Watauga, Wilkes, Grayson and Johnson submitted works to The Best of the Blue Ridge, a juried fine art competition and exhibition at the Ashe Arts Center in West Jefferson.
This annual competition was established by the Ashe County Arts Council to showcase outstanding original visual art in the High Country Region. The artwork was judged on qualities of concept, execution of ideas and subject and uniqueness of expression.
Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, corporate sponsor of the exhibit provide gift certificates for each award starting with $500 for Best in Show awarded to Mary-Ann Prack; $250 for first, awarded to Adam Kahn; $150 for second awarded to Gerry Patterson, and $100 for third place awarded to Beth Andrews. There were two honorable mention awards to Robert Bickerman and Jayne Braxton.
Juror for the Best of the Blue Ridge was Mary Anne Redding, Curator at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University in Boone NC. Most recently, she was the Curator of the Marion Center for Photographic Arts and the Chair of the Photography Department at Santa Fe University of Art & Design. Previously, she was the Curator of Photography for the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum, from March 2007 – December 2011.
Redding has more than twenty-five years experience working as a curator, archivist, librarian, educator, and arts administrator. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Ohio University, an M.A. in Arts Administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an M.L.S. from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, as well as an advanced certificate in Museum Studies from Arizona State University.
The exhibit continues at the Ashe Arts Center through November 19. Visitors to the Arts Center will the opportunity to vote on their for their favorite piece of artwork. Each People’s Choice vote is $1 and the proceeds will be split between the Arts Council and the artists. The Ashe Arts Center is open Monday-Friday 9-5 and Saturday 10-4. For more information, contact the Ashe County Arts Council at 336-846ARTS.