Fine arts show draws new artists, quality work

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Eighty-six artists, 166 artworks — Arts of the Pamlico’s 54th-annual fine arts show is set to open Thursday night at the Turnage Theatre.

The opening reception starts at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

“The 54th Annual Fine Arts Show submissions are in, and, wow, they are stellar!” AOP Executive Director Debra Torrence wrote in an email.

It’s a sentiment with which AOP events and exhibits coordinator Thad Aley agrees. Aley spent Tuesday hanging the show at the Turnage Theatre, reserving one wall for the winners selected by juror, and portraitist,  Luana Luconi Winner, now in her second year as the show’s juror.

“As (Winner) said, the artists have really stepped up their game. She was very impressed with the quality of submissions this year, from all levels of artists,” Aley said.

The show is a departure from past ones for several reasons, not the least of which is the quality.

“I think what was nice for me was the number of new artists to submit — local and out of county — this year to help breathe new life into the show,” Aley said. “They cover about 15 counties in North Carolina — eastern counties, really — all the way from Raleigh to the coast.”

The show dates back to pre-arts council days, when the host organization was the Beaufort County Arts Organization. The first show was held on the waterfront in downtown Washington in 1964. Since, it has been a draw for artists and art lovers, alike.

Aley said the plan is to continue to expand the Fine Arts Show, and hopefully pull in some missing pieces.

“We’re still missing the under-35 and 3-D sculpture to make this a larger show, to represent all forms of fine art,” Aley said.

Though the show has yet to open, Aley is already thinking about next year: adding prizes and drawing more artists.

“I would love the problem of there not being enough wall space,” he laughed.

All work submitted to the Fine Arts Show is for sale. Arts of the Pamlico is located at 150 W. Main St., Washington.