WEST JEFFERSON — The last Arts Council Gallery Crawl of the 2021 season kicked off on Oct. 8, and coincided with the opening of the Best of the Blue Ridge Exhibition and Competition.

The new exhibition showcases work from various regional artists and represents a wide variety of different styles and mediums. The Best of the Blue Ridge Competition was judged by Katie Jensen, who currently serves as the Education Outreach Coordinator at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum.

The award recipients are as follows:

First Place: Patrick Richardson for “Industry Repurposed.”

Second Place: Marion Cloaninger for “Dancer’s Pose.”

Third Place: Tatyana Dyakonov for “Shadows of the Hills.”

Lastly, the recipient of the coveted Best of Show Award was Lindsay Carroll for her highly detailed oil on canvas painting “Glory.”

“There was such a variety of high-quality work displayed in the exhibition that it is an immense honor to have been selected for Best in Show. My selected piece, “Glory,” is a favorite of my recent works, and it is now a part of my personal collection,” Carroll said of her award. “Like many of my figurative works, it incorporates window light, folds in cloth, and of course those rich and beautiful skin tone that I love to paint. The male nude is underrepresented in art, so I am thrilled that “Glory” had its 15 minutes of fame.”

The evening’s competition also saw the awarding of several honorable mentions, which were received by local artists Pat Grant, Kathleen Graham, Jayne Braxton, Shirley Light, Mary-Ann Prack and Lydia de la Cerda.

During Friday evenings festivities it was noted that there was one more award that has yet to be announced — the Best of the Blue Ridge People’s Choice Award. Visitors to the Ashe County Arts Council can pay $1 for the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece of art until Nov. 13. The winner of the contest will be announced on Nov. 16.

The Best of the Blue Ridge Arts Exhibition will remain on display until Nov. 18, 2021.

Some of the participants in this year’s gallery crawls included the Ashe Arts Center, Designers Touch by Lauren Design Studio and Gallery, Florence Thomas Art School, Great Southern Gothic, Naked Creek Farmacy, Originals Only Gallery and Stephen Shoemaker Gallery and Studio.

The Ashe County Arts Council is located at 303 School Avenue in downtown West Jefferson. For more information visit ashecountyarts.org/ or call (336) 846-2787.

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