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Ashe County Arts Council’s Ninth Annual Juried ‘Best of the Blue Ridge’ Exhibit to Open Next Month

by Emma Speckman

Sept. 23, 2014. Next month, the Ashe Country Arts Council will display the annual “Best of the Blue Ridge” exhibit. The exhibit will open Oct. 9 and run through Nov. 20. There will be a reception for the artists on Oct. 10 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Arts Council gallery.

The “Best of the Blue Ridge” exhibit began in 2006. According to executive director Jane Lonon, any artists residing in Ashe and the surrounding counties—Watauga, Wilkes, Alleghany, Grayson, Va. and Johnson, Tenn.—may submit their works for review over a three day period; Oct. 4, 6 and 7. Artists may enter one or two works and eligible mediums include oil, watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink, mixed media and hand-pulled prints.

The year’s juror will be national award-winning artist Cora Mae Pipkin. In May 2011 Pipkin won ‘Best of Show’ in the National Watercolor Society Members Show for her piece entitled ‘Decoding’.

During a blind jurying process, she will review all the work submitted and make a determination of which pieces to include in the exhibit.

The number of works accepted each year into the exhibit varies, depending solely on the decision of the juror, said Lonon. In the past it has ranged from 20 – 70 pieces.

Lonon said the bottom-line criterion for inclusion in the exhibition is artistic excellence.

“Many styles, mediums and subjects will be considered and included, but overall, the entries selected represent the “best” of the Blue Ridge,” she said. “It’s a terrific show!”

For more information about the exhibit and the Ashe County Arts Council, visit www.ashecountyarts.org.

Sally Glass with her piece “First Cutting,” which won Honorable Mention at the 2013 “Best of the Blue Ridge” Exhibit.
(left to right) Ashe County Arts Council Executive Director Jane Lonon with artists Beth Andrews, Marsha Holmes, Sally Glass, Joan Bell and juror Robert Way at the 2013 “Best of the Blue Ridge” opening reception.
Juror Robert Way gives his opening remarks at last year’s reception.