27th Annual Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show award recipients celebrated

Published 11:33 am Thursday, June 20, 2024

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More than 150 people gathered in Dare Arts’ Courtroom Gallery on Sunday, May 5 for the opening reception of the 27th Annual Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show, which featured 77 pieces of work by local and regional artists.

Artist and College of The Albemarle art instructor Patrick Berran selected the following award recipients:
Best In Show: Tom Dean “Beach Finds” (acrylic)
Excellence Awards: Makenzey Pullen “Untitled” (mixed media sculpture), Sam Ray “Moonlit Dreams” (oil), Thomas Aubrey “Spring Apple Blossoms” (acrylic) and Julia Gabitova “The Acceptance” (oil pastels on paper)
Honorable Mentions: James Melvin “Ray” (oil), Francesca Beatrice Marie “Meet Your Inner Demons” (photography series) and Connor Hughes “Restraint” (charcoal on watercolor paper)

“I really enjoyed the show and am thankful for the opportunity,” said Berran. “This exhibit celebrates a community that has a diverse approach to picture making. Within this exhibition, we have photography, painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, and fiber-based works. It’s easy to take that for granted, but I feel that it is important and very exciting to see.”

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Berran says he selected the Best In Show piece for a variety of reasons.

“I enjoy the cut out/irregular shape,” said Berran. “It is faithful to what it is; a la a driftwood/tree trunk. However, the inner images of seashells complement the driftwood in a really fun way. Both are very similar in shape, their rhythms created through their texture and coloring. Additionally, it has a high level of detail as well as a sophistication with the materials used.”

At the opening reception, guests voted by public ballot for the People’s Choice award, which went to artist David Pollard for his bronze, resin and aluminum sculpture “Manteo, The Croatoan.”

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

“What a wonderful turnout of folks this year,” said Mollie Fearing’s daughter Grizelle Fearing. “I was thrilled to see a lot of new names participating in the show. My mom would be so proud.”

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