As the sun set on Zealandia on Friday, October 11, guests arrived for an evening of art, jazz, food and drinks, and for an exclusive first chance to view and purchase Blue Ridge Parkway-inspired plein air pieces. The historic mansion on Beaucatcher was the venue for this year’s Of Valley & Ridge: A Scenic Journey Through the Blue Ridge Parkway, an art show benefiting the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and presented by First Citizens Bank.
The show was comprised of works of art by 23 members and students of the Saints of Paint, a nonprofit led by master oil painter John Mac Kah which helps raise funds for the environment, animals, and positive social change through art exhibitions. The artworks depicted a wealth of Parkway subjects from mountaintop views and wildlife to the communities that neighbor the expansive park.
Before a backdrop of oil-brushed mountain scenes, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward, Parkway Superintendent J.D. Lee, First Citizens Bank Regional Executive Vice President Bob Roberts, and Mac Kah addressed guests at the opening gala, expressing their excitement for the collaboration between the organizations and commending guests for their support.
“Throughout history, art has been an important way to capture and remind ourselves of everything the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer,” Ward said. “These artists and their work are part of a legacy of conservation.”
The show was open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, October 12-13. Guests purchased a total of 18 pieces. Fifty percent of the purchase price from each painting will help the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation accomplish enhancement projects within the national park unit.
Additional support from Zealandia Holding Company, BlackBird Frame & Art, Foris Vineyards, and Pisgah Brewing Company helped made the celebration a success.
Special thanks to Rachael McIntosh Photography for capturing the evening.