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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

Highlands Festival Art Show Awards

"Feline Perspective" by Claudia Rutherford of Bristol, Va. won the People's Choice "Best in Show" award.
Additional photos below »

August 02, 2011

ABINGDON, VA — The winners of the 2011 Virginia Highlands Festival Juried Art Show were recently announced.

This year's festival juror is award-winning watercolor painter Kathleen Noffsinger from Deltaville, Va. The awards selected by Noffsinger include the following:

Awards of Excellence ($750 each)
• Z. L. Feng, Radford, VA
• Contessa Gardner, Big Stone Gap, VA,
• Sandi D'Alessandro, Hardy, VA

Awards of Distinction ($200 each)
• Kyle Buckland, Abingdon, VA
• Gary Chambers, Kingsport, TN
• Leslie Davis, Kingsport, TN
• Myrtle Hooker, Roanoke, VA
• Claudia Rutherford, Bristol, VA

Awards of Merit ($100 each)
• Sally Mook (Blacksburg, VA
• Robin Poteet (Salem, VA)
• Jim Stagner (Johnson City, TN)
• Nancy Stark (Roanoke, VA)
• Barbara "Kitty" Williams (Bristol, TN).

There were also 16 Honorable Mention awards presented.

"People's Choice" Best in Show: Claudia Rutherford of Bristol, Va. won this award. Her winning artwork is a watercolor painting entitled "Feline Perspective" that she completed last year. This painting features a very alert cat named "Oliver" lounging in a porch swing. Oliver is a cat rescued from the animal shelter who now enjoys being a barn cat. He loves to get in the porch swing and let the dogs push the swing with their noses. From his expression, he really enjoys this pastime.

The exhibit will be on view through August 7 in all the galleries at The Arts Depot in Abingdon. Ed Chitwood will conduct guided 90-minute gallery tours at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 2, and Thursday, August 4. The Arts Depot's special extended viewing hours during the festival are Monday- Saturday, 10 am — 5 p.m., and Sundays 1-5 p.m. There is no admission charge. In addition to viewing the Festival Art Show, the Arts Depot's seven resident artists welcome you to visit them in their studios and member artists will have displays and sales outside on the grounds.

The Arts Depot is located in the historic Depot Square area of downtown Abingdon , VA. For further information, contact the Arts Depot at (276) 628-9091, or e-mail at, or visit their web site at

Information on the Festival can be obtained by calling the Festival office at 276-623-5266 or by visiting their website

"Sensationally Red," painting by Sandi D'Alessandro of Hardy, VA

"Dumb Like That/Starry-Eyed," pen & ink by Contessa Gardner of Big Stone Gap, VA

"Rising," painting by Z.L. Feng of Radford, VA