Toe River Arts Council in Burnsville, NC, Announces Award Winners of the 9th Annual TRAC Paint Out

The weather held (it was warm, warm, warm) and 20 Plein Air painters came out to paint in and around Burnsville, NC, during the annual TRAC event, May 16, 2015. This year, painters from Hendersonville, Arden, Asheville, Cary, and even Atlanta, GA, arrived on the Saturday morning to register. They ventured out — some stayed in town and others went off the beaten path in search of that perfect barn, field or back porch. And all captured the beauty and timelessness of this region on canvas, panel, and paper, and all will be showcased at the Burnsville TRAC Gallery, 102 W. Main Street, until June 20.

1st place winner, Cheryl Keifer

For the second year in a row, the first place award went to Cheryl Keefer for her oil, “Burnsville Garden and French Lunch!” and “her professional use of the medium,” Juror John Mac Kah observed. Jeremy Sams, a third place winner last year, won second place with his “Rain’s On The Way”. Mac Kah said that Sams’ work showed “true naturalism.” And third place went to Mark Harmon for “sheer guts” and his “Silver Rain”. Edward Morris received special mention for “Morning Interlude” and a “good capture of light”. And Steven Higgins, a veteran Paint Out participant, only 16 years old, was given special recognition for his “Prices Creek Field”.

2nd place winner, Jeremy Sams

3rd place winner, Mark Harmon

This year’s juror, John Mac Kah, said that all the paintings were noteworthy and decisions based on the 4 P’s—Placement, Proportion, Plane, and Perspective—a teaching mantra in his Asheville classes.

All in all, it was a great day. The exhibition will be up at the gallery through Saturday, June 20. Gallery hours are 10:30am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday.

The TRAC Paint Out was supported by a Grassroots Art Grant through the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by a generous anonymous donation.

For more information and to view all the winning entries, please visit the website, ( or call 828/682-7215.


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