Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show award recipients announced

Published 4:59 pm Thursday, May 25, 2023

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Artists, community members and the Fearing family gathered at the Dare Arts Gallery on Sunday, May 7, 2023 for the opening reception of the 26th Annual Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show, which features the work of 85 local and regional artists.

Ceramicist Ashley Paskov, from Columbia, served as judge and selected the following award recipients:

Best In Show: Tamra Harrison Kirschnick “Red Sea (oil)

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Excellence Awards: Keith Fisher “Rain on the Water” (acrylic), Iryna Welch “Magnolia Woods” (oil), Carolyn Sleeper “Jumping for Safety” (copper, nichrome, stoneware and epoxy) and Joseph Caroppoli “In The Mist” (oil)

Honorable Mentions: Peggy Saporito “Cooling Waters II” (watercolor), Sarah Bergman “I Found You” (encaustic, oil pastel) and Thomas Crews “Cozy” (oil)

“Coming into the show I expected to see work that reflected the beauty of Dare County,” said Paskov. “What surprised me and led me to my Best in Show decision was Tamra Harrison Kirschnick’s unique perspective on a sea view. Red Sea demonstrates a creative and masterful use of the medium while simultaneously providing us with a refreshing take on the organic beauty that surrounds the area. I was incredibly impressed not only with the talent brought to the show, but also the range of style, medium, and creativity that the artists presented.”

At the opening reception, guests voted by public ballot for the People’s Choice award, which went to Manteo artist Catherine Hamill for her oil piece titled Art Talk at the Gardens.

“It is always special when one gets the People’s Choice award because there is a consensus among the attendees that your work is the best when they consider the subject matter and the quality of work,” said  Hamill. “In my case, the subject matter was familiar to quite a few people. I started painting the piece en plein air during the art show at the Elizabethan Gardens last year, then I took a photo and completed the painting in my studio. I feel very proud that so many people also considered the quality of my work awardable. Besides feeling proud, it also gave me great inspiration to continue painting, teaching, and enjoying the Arts.”

The show is held in memory of Mollie A. Fearing, one of the founders of Dare Arts.

The exhibition is open for viewing in Dare Arts’ Courtroom Gallery during normal gallery hours through Saturday, May 27.

Event sponsors include Mollie A. Fearing & Associates, Jane Webster, Ocean Atlantic Rentals and Lucky 12 Tavern.

For more information about the show, go to or call 252-473-5558.

Dare Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization dedicated to encouraging the arts in Dare County through advocacy, enrichment and opportunity.