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Blowing Rock Art in the Park Celebrates Six Decades of Show

Michelle McDowell Smith took home the Award of Excellence. When creating art she uses acrylic paint, mixed media materials such as paper, hand made linoleum stamps, sewing patterns, maps, old letters, pages from books, and more.

Visitors to Blowing Rock’s first Art in the Park of 2023 strolled through more than 75 fine arts and crafts booths on Saturday, May 20 in downtown Blowing Rock.

Presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, Art in the Park is a juried art event with prizes awarded to the four top artists.  

 Ryland Brinker, 13, is an eighth grader at Blowing Rock Elementary School and the owner of RB WoodWorks. His art includes charcuterie boards, turned bowls, wooden vases and pen holders. 

Michelle McDowell Smith, a mixed media fine artist from Roanoke, VA took home Art in the Parks top prize, the Award of Excellence, including a blue ribbon and a check for $300.

Award of Distinction winner, Melanie Miller, creates handmade silver jewelry inspired by nature.

Melanie Miller, an artist, and jeweler from Blairsville, GA, won the second place Award of Distinction and a check for $100.

Honorable Mention Awards were awarded to Lindy Bruns, who creates art from wool, and Nate Favors, a woodturner from Bakersville, NC. 

Nate Favors, pictured with his wife Mariella de Leeuw, creates wooden bowls shaped from the burls, or irregular growths, in trees.

The remaining 2023 Art in the Park dates are June 10, July 15, August 12, September 9, and October 7. Show hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some free parking is available downtown. During show hours, a continuous free trolley service provides transportation for easy parking at Tanger Outlets. For more information, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851.

Honorable Mention winner, Lindy Bruns, uses 100% wool from sheep, alpaca, goats, and bunnies to create her art.