"Bringing Art to the People and People to the Arts"

Juror’s Statement from FREDERICK C. GRAFF

It was truly an honor and privilege to serve as the selection and awards judge for this year’s 2023 Blue Ridge Arts Center’s Juried Exhibition. As both an artist and educator, it was a rewarding experience to review and select so many outstanding works of art.

The criteria I took into consideration when I viewed each individual entry included: initial impact, compositional design, creativity, sensitivity to the medium, and genuine style that is not contrived. In regard to initial impact, I quickly took note of all the entries that positively captured my attention. These exceptional works of art helped serve as type of benchmark for all of the remaining selections. As I reviewed each work of art, I placed major emphasis on whether or not the artist understood and successfully implemented the fundamental elements and principles of design. Entries that revealed a strong understanding and appreciation for these fundamental design components fared better than others. Being creative and original was also extremely important. Often times, many artists go through the motions of just recording facts by attempting to emulate a photo reference and/or another artist’s creation rather than expressing their own personal feelings and interpretation for the subject matter. Particular styles and/or applied techniques never influence my selection, unless of course, they appear unnatural, distracting or incompatible. Some artists placed too much emphasis on trying to reveal how much control they have with the medium as if this attribute alone would automatically guarantee success. Craftsmanship is always important but should never become the one and only dominating factor.

The overall competition was very keen and the judging process eventually became more and more difficult as I began to establish the final selection. Up until the very end, a select number of works were still in consideration and this in turn is what makes this year’s competitive exhibition so exceptional. With this in mind, I sincerely hope this explanation will help provide some solace and encouragement for the artists whose paintings were not selected and I sincerely hope everyone will be able to think positively and learn from the experience in order to continue developing as an artist. With a tremendous amount of pleasure, I sincerely congratulate all of the accepted artists and extend my kudos to all of the award winners. These award-winning entries were, without question, extremely noteworthy and definitely exemplified the highest level of achievement.


Thank you to everyone who submitted work to BRAC’s 2023 Annual Juried Exhibition. The juror, Frederick Graff, selected 60 pieces for exhibition. Please check the list below to see if your work has been selected.

Work which was not selected must be picked up:
Fri, Jan 13 (1-4pm) or Sat, Jan 14 (10am-1pm)

  • Shea Abramo, “Home”
  • Shea Abramo, “Hope”
  • Loretta Addison, “Charleston, Rainbow Row”
  • Rebecca Andrews, “Sail Away”
  • Larry Bennett, “Sunflower”
  • Larry Bennett, “Perspective”
  • Russell Carlson, “Joyful Solitude”
  • Russell Carlson, “Evening Surf”
  • Warren Carpenter, “Inner Circle”
  • Warren Carpenter, “Criss-Crossed”
  • Wendy Converse, “The Tinkerer”
  • Wendy Converse, “Baby Bot”
  • Edie Fagan, “Ice Fields”
  • Edie Fagan, “Becoming”
  • Lois Fitzgerald, “Waves of Thoughts”
  • Steve Garner, “The New Deal in Deerland”
  • Carolyn Gibson, “Coming Up a Storm”
  • Carolyn Gibson, “Red Riding Hood”
  • Wanda Heffelfinger, “Winter Walk”
  • Christy Jones, “Vinton”
  • Pat Konicki, “Insomnia”
  • Joy Kuby, “The Kaftan Sisters Go to the Beach”
  • Julie Lamp, “Daisies”
  • Alicia Landstrom, “Wild Alaskan”
  • Hamed Mahmoodi, “Majic Flute”
  • Hamed Mahmoodi, “Balance”
  • William Malin, “Nature’s Love Note”
  • William Malin, “Cross Purpose”
  • Cecile Martin, “Storm Coming…”
  • Cecile Martin, “Storm over the Wheat Fields”
  • Brenda McLean, “Lavendar Fields”
  • Brenda McLean, “Cherry Tree”
  • Aldo Muzzarelli, “Extemporaneous Menina Picking up Prejudices”
  • Jacki Newell, “Ever Hopeful”
  • Jacki Newell, “Reedy River Lower Falls”
  • Donna O’Hara, “A Quiet Paddle”
  • Kate Palmer, “Jeronimo”
  • Kate Palmer, “Terraces on the Douro River”
  • Linda Parsons, “My Hare”
  • Michael Peterson, “Capiz Luna”
  • Michelle Petty, “Girasoli”
  • Michelle Petty, “Where the Lotus Grows”
  • Karen Powell, “Lone Wolf”
  • Liz Purcell, “Sideways”
  • Liz Purcell, “The Long View”
  • Ray Richards, “Dead Boat”
  • Haley Ridgeway, “Courage”
  • Haley Ridgeway, “Community”
  • Amy Royal, “Queen of the Fairies”
  • Lori Solymosi, “Prudence”
  • Lori Solymosi, “Emille”
  • Beti Strobeck, “Sur La Calidad no. 2”
  • Beti Strobeck, “Friendship Series no. 3”
  • Christine Tine, “Untitled”
  • Kim Trella, “Moon Magic”
  • C.T. Weiss, “Feursee”
  • C.T. Weiss, “EscherThek”
  • Leslie Wentzell, “Where Has the Morning Gone”
  • Leslie Wentzell, “One Day She Vanished and Turned to Gold”
  • AJ West, “Interchangeable Twins”


Opening Reception & Awards:

  • Friday, January 20 (5:30 – 7:00pm)

Exhibition on View:

  • January 20 – February 24, 2023
    • Wednesday-Friday: 1:00-4:00pm
    • Saturday: 10:00am-1:00pm

End of Show Pick-Up (no early pick-ups):

  • Saturday, February 25: 10:00am-4:00pm


  • Best in Show: $1000
  • 2nd Place: $500
  • 3rd Place: $300
  • Paul Dohr Award: $200
  • Honorable Mention (2): $50


  • Artists may offer their work for sale.
  • BRAC will retain a 35% sales commission.
  • Work must remain for the duration of the show. No early pick-ups.