BLOWING ROCK — Art vendors were lined up and down Park Avenue in downtown Blowing Rock on Saturday, May 22, for the first Art in the Park event of the 2021 season.

For nearly 60 years, Art in the Park has been a High Country showcase of artistic talent. For the first event of the 2021 season, less artists were featured in a way to create separation as part of COVID-19 precautions, according to Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Membership Director Cathy Drury. Drury said the plan for the second event in June is to have it at full capacity, with artists lining the street on either side.

With more than 40 artists, the media spanned the range of the art world. Paintings, wood carvings, sculptures, metalwork, photography, prints, jewelry, leatherwork, glass and fiber art were among the many forms of products on display.

Among the vendors was stalwart Marcus Thomas. Although paralyzed from the neck down, he paints by holding the brush in his mouth and has been a fixture at Art in the Park for years.

Part of Art in the Park, which features jury-selected artists, are awards marking some of the best artists who are featured. Woodworker Phil DeCarlo received the Best in Show award, jeweler Jeffrey Jobe was honored with an Award of Distinction and pipe maker Stephen Baranyi and blacksmith Thomas Wooten received honorable mentions.

Art in the Park will return for its second event of the season on Saturday, June 12. The other Art in the Park events are scheduled for July 17, Aug. 14, Sept. 11 and Oct. 2. The event takes place 10 a.m.-5 p.m. rain or shine. More about Art in the Park can be found at blowingrock.com/artinthepark.

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