Published 5:22 am Sunday, October 19, 2008
It’s educational, it’s inspiring and it’s free. Those are reasons enough to view the Beaufort County Arts Council’s 44th-annual Fine Arts Show.
The annual show kicks off today with entries being accepted at the Washington Civic Center, where the show will run. The show opens to the public on Thursday. It ends Saturday. Long a signature event in Beaufort County, the show has become one of the best of its kind in the Old North State. As the years have progressed, a series of Beaufort County Arts Council executive directors have taken the show to higher levels.
Joey Toler, the current executive director, is no exception. He, assisted by BCAC staff and volunteers, has turned the show into a showcase of talent, much of it from eastern North Carolina and Beaufort County. If a picture is worth a thousands words, then how much worth does this show have?
BCAC and Toler understand the show’s primary purpose is to focus the spotlight on the artists who create. Because artists know their work is appreciated by not only their fellow artists but the public, they continue to support the annual arts show. By putting on the show, the Beaufort County Arts Council does more than exhibit artwork, its exhibits are a nurturing atmosphere for artists.
The show is more than just a collection of artwork. It’s a form of economic development. People come to view the artists’ creations. Some will stay for lunch and/or supper somewhere in Washington and Beaufort County. Others will shop downtown, at Washington Square Mall or Pamlico Plaza. Others will spend a night or two in area hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfast establishments.
Perhaps those who win prize money will opt to spend that money in the area instead of taking it home with them. About $4,000 in prize money will be awarded to the show’s top artists. Some of those artists are bound to be local folks, who likely will spend some, if not all, of their prize money locally.
Why support the Beaufort County Arts Council by attending the show?
Well, it is called giving something back. What has the arts group given the community?
The organization helps put on Music in the Streets, which in its sixth year is one of Washington’s biggest drawing cards when it comes to downtown festivities. The Beaufort County Choral Society, Pamlico Writers’ Group, Washington Area Historic Foundation, Pamlico River Quilters’ Guild, community theater groups and area festivals such as Smoke on the Water receive support from the Beaufort County Arts Council.
Among activities, events and programs the council provides are an annual art camp for young people, a series of free public concerts for all ages, lectures and organized trips to attend cultural events.
Although this year’s show and past shows have attracted as many as 400 works of art by about 200 artists, the show has always been about quality, not quantity.
Expect this year’s show to continue that high standard of quality. What else would one expect from a quality organization like the Beaufort County Arts Council?
Expect this show to be a masterpiece.