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Dare County Arts Council Announces 42nd Annual Frank Stick Memorial Art Show Award Recipients

The 42nd Annual Frank Stick Memorial Art Show opening reception brought hundreds of people to Dare County Arts Council’s Gallery in downtown Manteo on Saturday, January 25.

122 artists participated in this year’s Frank Stick Show, which is the most entries the show has ever hosted.

Artist and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at College of the Albemarle Christina Weisner carefully selected the following award recipients:

Eure Best In Show: Matthew Grimes "Lagrimas Negras" (mixed media)

Excellence Awards: Jill Block “Pastel Crown” (acrylic), Valerie West “Heron by Sunlight” (ceramic), Kate Nisselson “Under the Sea” (stoneware), and Michael Bennett “Mariana” (oil)

Honorable Mentions: Holly Nettles “Cast Aways” (oil), Travis Fowler “You Know, The Curvy One” (acrylic, silver leaf and epoxy resin on acrylic panel), and Feather Phillips “Remembering…Imagining” (mixed media)

People’s Choice Award: Jill Block “Pastel Crown” (acrylic)

“The range and diversity of work in this year’s Frank Stick show was fantastic,” said judge Christina Weisner. “I selected works that I thought engaged with the history of art in interesting, provocative ways. For example, Valerie West’s almost 3ft-tall sculptural ceramic vessel challenges notions of pottery as a utilitarian object in a humorous way. Feather Phillips invites the viewer into the space of the painting to take a seat at the table and engage in an open-ended conversation about the landscape and our relationship to it. Travis Fowler’s work blurs the line between sculpture and painting in a refreshing way. Michael Bennett uses the formal language of classical painting, but pictures the female as the heroic leading figure. I was also drawn to works that displayed a fidelity to and celebration of material; from the stratified layers of found posters and objects in Mathew Grimes’ work to the way in which both Jill Block and Holly Nettles highlight the plasticity of the paint, allowing the paint to be part of the content of the work. The chemical reaction and element of chance in Kate Nisselson’s raku fired ceramic work is exquisite, and speaks to nature’s basic fundamental and elemental building blocks. It was a joy to see the lively crowd that attended the opening reception to celebrate the wonderful artists who submitted work to the show. I was honored to be the judge for this year's show.”

This year was local artist Jill Block’s first time entering a piece in the Frank Stick Memorial Art Show, and she took home two awards.

“The show was lovely, full of so many talented local artists,” said Excellence Award and People’s Choice Award recipient Jill Block. “I am grateful that Dare County Arts Council is here and gives all of us a chance to showcase our work in one great space. I am also so grateful that the judge of the show felt that my painting was worthy of an Excellence award and to all the people who voted my painting as People’s Choice award, thank you! It means the world to me. Honestly, I was completely surprised and blown away!!"

The Frank Stick Memorial Art Show is the longest running visual arts exhibit in Dare County, and is held in memory of Outer Banks preservationist and artist Frank Stick.

The show will remain on display at the DCAC Gallery through Tuesday, February 25.

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