269 Oak Avenue  Spruce Pine  NC  28777
10:30AM to 5:00PM Tuesday – Saturday


The Toe River Juried Exhibit, originally called the Fall Celebration of the Arts, has been a principal part of the annual Toe River Arts exhibit schedule for over 20 years. Every year, a juror with many years of curating expertise, a discerning eye, and knowledge of our mountain community is selected to express his or her unique perspective. The exhibit is open to amateur and professional artists in every media from North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina.

This year’s juror, Mary Anne Redding, is the Curator and Artistic Director of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Boone, North Carolina. Mary Anne has more than twenty-five years’ experience as a curator, archivist, librarian, educator, and arts administrator. Prior to joining the Turchin Center, she was the curator of the Marion Center for Photographic Arts and chair of the photography department at Santa Fe University of Art & Design. Previously, she was the curator of photography for the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum. She holds a B.A. in English literature from Ohio University, an M.A. in arts administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an M.L.S. from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, as well as an advanced certificate in museum studies from Arizona State University. She has written and published numerous essays on photography and contemporary art and also actively guest curates exhibitions at museums around the country. 

Mary Anne says, “In selecting work for the Toe River Arts 2019 Juried Exhibition I was conscious of putting together as cohesive an exhibit as possible as well as evaluating individual artworks. Even with a juried exhibit, as well as those more formally curated, it’s important that the narrative created by the installation is reinforced by individual works – can they stand on their own as well as contribute to an interesting exhibition? I look for creativity and originality as well as a dedication to fine craft — an artist’s capacity to manipulate their chosen materials with deliberate skill and finesse – without an understanding of the medium, the message is lost, so I look for technical competence and explore the emotional and visceral impact of the artwork as a whole. Is the idea compelling and is it carried through in a strong composition? What are the formal considerations the artist is trying to communicate? What is the social significance of this particular work of art? Is the message currently compelling – does it demand attention? Does the artwork force me to look at the world in a different way whether I agree or disagree with the artist? I don’t so much care that the viewer might “like” the work as much as I care if it makes the audience think even though that thought process might be unsettling – it’s an uncharted reaction that strong art should aspire to.” 

The Toe River Arts Juried Exhibit opens Saturday, September 28th at the Toe River Arts Gallery in Spruce Pine and runs through Saturday, November 2nd. An exhibit reception will be held on Friday, October 11th from 5 – 7pm. Cash awards of $800 for Best of Show, $400 for Second Place, $200 for third place and a $100 Honorable mention will be chosen and presented by juror Mary Anne Redding during the reception. For more information, please contact Exhibits Manager, Kathryn Andree, at (828) 765-0520 or kathryn@toeriverarts.org.

The exhibit will be on display at Toe River Arts Spruce Pine gallery September 28 – November 2.
(269 Oak St., Spruce Pine, NC 28777)  
Join us on Friday, October 11 from 5-7pm for a meet the artist reception.


Toe River Arts is a non-profit organization founded in 1976 to promote the arts in Mitchell and Yancey Counties. The organization is funded in part by a Grassroots Art Grant through the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; both Mitchell and Yancey County Schools; and the Yancey County Community Fund. For more information about the educational arts programs Toe River Arts offers, visit www.toeriverarts.org or call 828-682-7215.

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