Press release from Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation:
The Saints of Paint and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation are inviting guests on a visual adventure with the benefit art show, Of Valley & Ridge: A Scenic Journey Through the Blue Ridge Parkway, showcasing the works of Western North Carolina fine artists from October 26 to 28 at Zealandia in Asheville.
The three-day show opens with a ticketed gala from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, October 26, at the historical Tudor mansion, Zealandia, atop Beaucatcher Mountain. Guests can enjoy wine, beer, food, music, and purchase Parkway-inspired works by more than 20 artists. The public is invited to explore the showcase for free from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, October 27, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, October 28. Proceeds from the gala and art work sales from the entire weekend will support the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s work to protect, preserve, and enhance the 469-mile route.
John Mac Kah leads the Saints of Paint, a group of artists who are committed to helping raise funds for nonprofits dedicated to preserving the environment, caring for animals, and working for positive social changes. “The emphasis of our show with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is on realism,” he explains. “We paint en plein air and interact with the great outdoors. I love to paint nature and all that is natural.”
There will be five types of artwork at the show: oils, pastels, acrylics, watercolors, and etchings. Participating artists include Mac Kah, Julyan Davis, Deborah Squier, Bryan Koontz, Mark A. Henry, Jim and Michelle Ostlund, Joy Moser, Tony Corbitt, Jr., Tess Darling, Susan Kokora, Cecil Bothwell, Alisa Lumbreras, Paul Blankenship, Dotti Smith, Caleb Clark, Colleen Webster, Alison Web, Carol Parks, Christine Enochs, Mohamed Sabaawi, Andrew Mastriani, Peter Loewer, and Dana Irwin.
“The beauty of the Parkway and these mountains are what call to millions of visitors each year,” says Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. “This show is another way to experience the Parkway’s power of inspiration, and take a piece of that beauty home.”
Painter Susan Kokora hopes to preserve some of the natural beauty for generations to come through her plein air paintings. “As civilization encroaches ever more on our natural world, I want my grandchildren to see some of the inspirational places that I enjoy,” she says. “When I paint outdoors, I often feel as though I reach a spiritual place that is both calming and uplifting. I want to share that experience with others.”
Of Valley & Ridge: A Scenic Journey Through the Blue Ridge Parkway
Where: Zealandia, 1 Vance Gap Road, Asheville, North Carolina
When: 5-8 p.m., Oct. 26 (ticketed gala); 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Oct. 27; 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Oct. 28
Tickets: $100, Friday gala; free, Saturday & Sunday
Info: brpfoundation.org/valleyandridge or (866) 308-2773, ext. 364