New World Festival of the Arts award recipients named

Published 10:53 am Thursday, August 12, 2021

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A beautiful summer day with over 50 East Coast artists exhibiting their work on the Manteo waterfront kicked off the 39th Annual New World Festival of the Arts. The event began Wednesday, August 11 and continues through 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 12.

Multidisciplinary artist Travis Fowler judged the show. Watercolors, photography, sculpture, jewelry, woodwork, ceramics, glasswork, basketry and resin work were some of the media he observed.

“The festival was extremely versatile, and I was impressed by all of the unique media out there,” said Fowler. “It was cool to see so many people with their own avenues of creativity. While judging the show, I was looking for work that was innovative and/or executed to a level that I haven’t seen before.”

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Fowler carefully selected the following winners:

Best In Show: Kevin Chen, of Cary, watercolor

Second Place: Paul Shampine, of Newtown, Conn., mixed media

Third Place: Barbara  and Rick Umbel, of Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., jewelry

Honorable Mentions: Anna Lee Rea, of Manteo, etched glass; Crawford Evans of Kill Devil Hills, woodwork; Lissa Spencer, of Kill Devil Hills, resin; and David Hill, of Kitty Hawk, acrylic.

“I enjoy coming to Manteo for this event, and feel honored to have won Best In Show,” said Chen. “Winning this award plus having someone travel from out of state to purchase one of my pieces at this show is so special and exciting.”

Shampine integrates metal and cloth, color and texture, as well as shadows and light to create multi-dimensional art.

“Exhibiting at more than 30 shows annually from the Cape to the Keys, the New World Festival of the Arts is at the top of my list,” said Shampine. “Yes, the setting is beautiful, but the staff coordinating the event and visitors are the real gems in this community event. I’m truly honored to receive an award among so many talented artists, and am happy to donate the funds from my award to Dare County Arts Council’s Artrageous Kids Art Festival. Thank you New World and the OBX community.”

The Umbels create sea urchin and seashell jewelry from beach finds that they acquire from around the world.

“It’s so nice to be recognized at such a lovely juried event,” said Barbara Umbel. “The DCAC always pulls together an exceptional group of diverse artists, and I am always honored to be included in the festival.”

The New World Festival of the Arts was started in 1981 by Edward Greene and has been a Manteo tradition for decades.

This project is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. For more information, visit

For more information about Dare County Arts Council’s upcoming events, call 252-473-5558 or visit



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