On tap this winter at the Dare County Arts Council in Manteo is the tried and true Frank Stick Memorial Art Show. It’s an homage to Stick, a magazine illustrator, who had work published in “Saturday Evening Post,” Ladies Home Journal” “Country Gentleman, “St. Nicholas,” and “Field and Stream,” author of the beloved Outer Banks book, “An Artist’s Catch,” student of famed illustrator Howard Pyle, developer of Southern Shores and instrumental in the establishment of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The annual exhibition is a shot in the arm each winter as arts council member artists showcase what they have been creating. The exhibition generally features a wide variety of work including paintings, sculptures, fiber art, jewelry, woodworking, and mixed-media art.

Celebrating its 41st year in 2019, the exhibit is the longest-running visual art show in the county. Artists compete for the distinctive Eure Best in Show Award that celebrates the late-Glenn Eure and his wife, Pat Eure, for their many years of hosting the Frank Stick Memorial Art Show at Ghost Fleet Gallery in Nags Head.

Pat Eure will judge the exhibit and choose the best in show work. The exhibit opens with a 6 p.m. reception on Jan. 26 and will be on display through Feb. 26.

The Dare County Arts Council keeps hitting it out of the park by creating new opportunities for artists to mine their creativity.

All That Glitters Jewelry Show was a call-out for jewelry artists to submit their best work. The exhibit features wearable art and personal adornment in a variety of materials and styles. The arts council call it a special exhibit showcasing creativity by some of our most sought-after and innovative jewelry artists. The show was open to members of the arts council. It is on exhibit through Jan.29.

February marks the opening of Passionate Producers, a perfectly themed exhibit for the month marked for lovers.

Christina Deneka, of Hollow Daze Surf Designs, is the curator and chose the theme, in part, because “Without the ingredient of passion, what we produce would simply not exist.” What’s truly interesting is that joining Deneka in the show, who creates soaps and skincare products, are other handcrafters whose ingredients Deneka uses in her soaps — such as Chai Soap that contains fresh locally roasted coffee from Cape Hatteras Coffee Company, and Surf Soap made using locally roasted sea salt from Hatteras Saltworks.

Filling out the lineup are Sweaterbox Confections, and Elizabeth’s Tea Garden. “I also reflected about the vibe of the show for the cold month of February, including Valentine’s Day and the emotionality of the holiday and how extremely comforting great soaps and cookies can be,” Deneka says.

“Passionate Producers” opens Feb. 1 and runs through Feb. 26.

Animal magic

Warm the cockles of your wintry heart by viewing Seaside Art Gallery’s “Animals in Art Show.”

As the show literature states: “All sorts of animals bring joy, laughter, security and comfort to countless lives daily. They are our best friends, comforters and confidants, whether in a quiet hospital ward, at home, out in nature, everywhere! Animals play an important part in our lives!”

With this positive description in mind, the exhibit goes beyond celebrating animals in art to help raise funds for their care. A portion of the money raised from the show goes to the local Coastal Humane Society. The exhibit features a mix of domestic and wild animals.

The 2019 show wasn’t hung at press time, but we didn’t want you to miss this creative endeavor, and a glimpse at last year’s exhibit helps relate what’s in store for 2019.

The 2018 show featured more than 80 works in a variety of mediums, including acrylics, oils, watercolors, etchings, bronze, wood sculptures, and mixed media art. Featured were soaring birds, resting foxes, scavenging bears, and newly hatched turtles heading toward the sea. There were cozy cats and furry dogs, stampeding horses, exquisite deer, snowy rabbits, a bronze otter, swimming fish, feisty crabs, and a handsome black and white portrait of a tiger. The art also celebrates nature in all its colors, from a vibrant painted bunting to a somber blue-hued wolf.

The Animals in Art Show runs Feb. 2-23 with the reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 8. Artwork featured in the “Animals in Art Show” can be seen and purchased both in the gallery and online at seasideart.com.

Ode to Bob Dylan

A breathtaking fiber arts exhibit — “All Along the Watchtower” by Janet Stapelman — is on display through Jan. 15 at the arts council.

 The 25-piece collection features 12-inch by 12-inch fiber art works that has been described as “an exploration of visual color mixing and surface textures using cotton threads of varying sizes and finishes glued to painted canvasboard.”

Paying homage to Bob Dylan’s 50th anniversary of the release of “All Along the Watchtower,” it would almost be a cliché to describe the work as musical compositions. But one cannot help but ignore words passing through the brain, such as energetic, pulsing, lively, and expressive as her colorful, detailed, and light-catching works play across their canvasboards.

Using a palette of vibrant magenta, golden yellow, orange, and heady blue to paler yellows, turquoise, lavender, and green, Stapelman creates a variety of organic shapes that conjure up cellular structures, amoebas, exploding suns, radiating stars, flowing waves, undulating curves, and waving petals. The imagery is striking and maintains its originality as it invokes personal sounds in the viewers head as they listen to both universal strains and unique renditions that her visual instruments perform.

Even if you took away the title of the show and all reference to Dylan, the work would reverberate with energy, as Stapelman expertly utilizes color and shape interaction and, as she states in an artist statement on her website, “a lifetime of observation and art studies” — a personal cache filled with images — “that emerge in their own time to surprise and challenge me.” So where has this accomplished artist been before coming to the Outer Banks?

Stapelman is a retired scenic artist and member of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. She has spent three decades painting scenery and backdrops for Broadway with her work appearing in “Phantom of the Opera,” “Cats,” “Evita,” “The Lion King,” “Les Miserables,” “Rent,” “Grease,” “Hairspray,” and other productions. She is a co-founder and former educational director/instructor of scene painting at The Studio and Forum of Scenic Art in Newburgh, New York.

Mary Ellen Riddle has been writing the Coast’s art column for more than 20 years and brings to her work a BFA in painting from East Carolina University and a profound passion for the role the arts play in society.

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