Frank Stick Memorial Art Show Sets Record for Artists and Attendance

Eure Best In Show: Matthew Grimes "Lagrimas Negras" (mixed media)
Eure Best In Show: Matthew Grimes “Lagrimas Negras” (mixed media)

Held the last weekend of January every year, the Frank Stick Memorial Art Show is one of the must see and do events on the Outer Banks.

The 2020 show marks the 42nd annual Frank Stick Show and for some time it was held at Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery in Nags Head. But the show kept getting bigger and a few years ago it was moved to the Dare County Arts Council Gallery in Manteo.

Good thing it had moved, too. 

With 122 artist bringing their work to the Gallery this year, it was the largest ever.

What makes the Frank Stick Show so wonderful is how diverse the representation of art is. There is mixed media, sculptures, paintings, photography. It makes for a marvelous representation of the creative scope of local artists.

Another feature of the show that sets it apart is that it is a non-juried show. Another words, a show committee doesn’t sit and decide who’s in and who’s not before the show. The show is open to any member of the DCAC who wishes to show their work.

Because of that, over the years, quite a number of young artists have gotten their start at the Frank Stick Show.

The Saturday evening opening reception is always very well attended and this year more so than ever. It’s difficult to say just how many people were there but that upstairs gallery was packed.

Need a break for the routine? Come stay with us at Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates for a week or two. Make your reservation today.

First First Friday-Fun in Downtown Manteo

 George Wood Photography and others at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery on April 5.
George Wood Photography and others at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery on April 5.

The first official First Friday of the year is coming up and in Manteo and there is so much to do, it’s hard to see how it will all fit into one evening.

Next Friday, April 5 is that first Friday we’re talking about.

Two really interesting events worth checking out are side by side in Manteo. Of course, the downtown area isn’t all that large anyway, but these two really are side by side.

The centerpiece of the First Friday celebrations is the Dare County Arts Council Gallery in what was the county courthouse at one time.

First Friday always introduces the artist who will be featured that month and for April George Wood is his photography will be on display.

George is an interesting guy. He had a whole career as a coastal engineer, but over the past few years he’s turned more and more toward photography. His images are difficult to categorize but beautiful and thought-provoking. 

Upstairs, in what used to be the courtroom, members of the Southeastern Mystery Writers won are on the Outer Banks for a retreat will be doing readings from their books. They did that last year and it was very interesting.

Next door—ok, two doors down from the Arts Council—at Downtown Books, Kevin Duffy will be on hand to sign his many titles on the history of the North Carolina coast. 

His books include The Last Days of Blackbeard, War Zone: WW2 Off the NC Coast, The Lost Light and Shipwrecks of the Outer Banks. Invariably meticulous in their research, they are also a very good read.

His latest project is looking at the Mirlo rescue by the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station in Rodanthe on August 16, 1918.

He’ll also be at the DCAC gallery on Sunday discussing his research.

There’s always lots to do on the Outer Banks. Stay with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates for and while a discover the real Outer Banks.

All Along the Outer Banks Watchtower

Doug Dino performing Dylan songs on ukulele.
Doug Dino performing Dylan songs on ukulele.

Iconic All Along the Watchtower Leads to Celebration

Fifty years ago on November 22, 1968 Bob Dylan released “All Along the Watchtower,” one of his most celebrated songs. To mark that event the Dare County Arts Council featured the work of artist Janet Stapelman.

Stapelman’s took each line of the song and created a cotton thread on canvas board to represent her interpretation the words. The artwork was striking in its use of color and and creativity. The exhibit will be on display at the DCAC Gallery through January 15.

Janet Stapleman, "Said the Joker to the Thief."
Janet Stapleman, “Said the Joker to the Thief.”

To help the celebration along, the DCAC invited a number of Outer Banks musicians to stop by and perform the songs of Bob Dylan.

There were a number of different versions of “All Along the Watchtower.” and that’s to be expected. Jimi Hendrix created what is probably the best known version. The song, though, lends itself to a lot of different interpretations, as do almost all of Dylan’s works.

Musically what stood out at the Friday evening event was how wide the variety of songs Dylan had created, and how good local musicians are.

With so many outstanding musicians taking the stage, finding a favorite doesn’t seem possible.

Jonny Waters and Company—a very large company in this case—did a great job with “All Along the Watchtower,” with some great lead guitar work from Waters.

Doug Dino performed three Dylan songs on ukulele—and they sounded great.

Toward the end of the evening, Ruth Wyand took the stage. Ruth is a master guitarist, has a powerful voice that is perfect for the blues and is a fantastic performer. Her performance of Blind Willie McTell was spot on.

There was so much to do the weekend after Thanksgiving that we couldn’t report on everything—there was Kites with Lights at Kitty Hawk Kites in Nags Head. Winter Lights began this weekend at the Elizabethan Gardens and one of our favorite events of the year—the Big Curri-Shuck featured all you can eat oysters and crab at Sanctuary Vineyards on Saturday.

But the All Along the Watchtower evening was so different it was worth a special mention.

There is always something special happening on the Outer Banks. Come for a visit and check out Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates for the best accommodations.

DCAC Reopens with Spectacular Daniel Pullen Photo Show

Looking almost brand new, the DCAC Gallery in downtown Manteo reopened just three weeks after flood waters got inside the building.
Looking almost brand new, the DCAC Gallery in downtown Manteo reopened just three weeks after flood waters got inside the building.

Centerpiece of downtown Manteo Looks Great after Repairs

It was great to see the Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) reopened just three weeks after flood waters from Tropical Storm Michael got inside the building.

By the time Michael got to the Outer Banks it was a day of wind and intermittent heavy rain showers. It was the tail end of the storm that packed a wallop though, pushing flood waters into a number of soundside areas…including Manteo.

The waters receded almost as fast they come in, but water in a building is still water in a building and the DCAC Gallery and offices had to close while they made repairs and dried out.

Reopening on First Friday in November, the old Dare County Courthouse where it’s located, looked as good as it has. The word must have gotten out because the Gallery was packed.

The featured artist this month is really worth a trip to the DCAC. Daniel Pullen is a true artist with a camera. A native of Hatteras Island, he’s been capturing images that tell the story of life on the Outer Banks is a way very few manage.

The photographs are a delight to look at individually, but taken as a whole, what emerges is a picture of the collage of life on the Outer Banks. There is beautiful imagery of lighthouses and full moons; Daniel has captures some remarkable images of surfing and the pictures he has taken of local fishermen seem to tell in a single picture what words often cannot describe.

The Daniel Pullen Photography Exhibit will be on display through the month.

Next First Friday brings Santa Claus to Manteo—a must see event on the Outer Banks.

Enjoy long walks on almost deserted beaches and the Outer Banks in the off season. Check out Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates to find the finest in accommodations.

New World Festival of the Arts This Week in Manteo

Stainglass creation. An example of the many creative ideas a the New World Festival of the Arts.
Stainglass creation. An example of the many creative ideas a the New World Festival of the Arts.

A Wonderful Reason to Check out a Picturesque Downtown

The 37th Annual New World Festival of the Arts is Wednesday and Thursday this week and if ever there was a great excuse to stroll along the Manteo waterfront this is it.

Featuring over 75 exhibitors from up and down the East Coast as well as quite a number of local talent, the Festival includes an amazing array of hand-crafted items, pottery, paintings, jewelry and more.

Now sponsored by the Dare County Arts Council, it began its life as the brainchild of the longtime owner of the Christmas Shop Edward Greene. Edward, with deep roots in Manteo, saw all the visitors on the beach and just wanted to get some of them to come to the town.

The idea worked and for the next 30 years he was the driving force behind the event. But when he decided he wanted to slow down—he was around 90 at the time—he asked the DCAC if they would take over.

They did and hit the ground running and the show has a great blend of crafts—hopefully the miniature handblown glass animals will be back this year, and world-class art. Look for Outer Banks artist James Melvin, an amazing artist who also happens to be the illustrator of Suzanne Tate’s Nature Series books.

The Festival has become one of the few regularly scheduled event during the peak summer season. Checking a couple of weather sites, it looks as though Wednesday and Thursday will be great days to visit the Festival. It will be warm but if the forecast holds not hot, with sunshine and a light breeze.

There is always something happening on the Outer Banks and always a reason to visit. Check out Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates & Associates for the best accommodations.

First Friday in Downtown Manteo-A Great Celebration

Mojo Collins performs at a First Friday on the DCAC Gallery steps.
Mojo Collins performs at a First Friday on the DCAC Gallery steps.

First Friday Wraps Up a Great Outer Banks Week

We have a great week coming up on the Outer Banks. There’s the 4th of July, of course, which is always a good time. But close on the heels of Independence Day it’s First Friday in downtown Manteo.

First Friday is a great way to get out, stretch the legs and enjoy a great small town atmosphere.

There is no official start time to the event, although generally 6:00 p.m. is when things seem to get rolling. There will be live music on the street—there is always something happening on the steps of the Dare County Arts Gallery. (DCAC). That’s the old County Courthouse for the history buffs.

The DCAC always uses First Friday to introduce their artist of the month. This month it’s Dawn Gray Moraga and Ben Morris, local artists who are remarkably talented. They are cooperating on a show titled “In Living Color Art Show.”

There are always a couple of restaurants that offer some street food, and there are sidewalk cafes.

What truly seems to make First Friday worth going to, though, is the general festival-like atmosphere that seems to settle over the downtown waterfront of Manteo.

An event that is occurring in conjunction with First Friday this month—Andrew Lawler, the author of The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke will be at Downtown Books in Manteo on Friday at 7:00 p.m.

Lawler is the bestselling author of Why Did the Chicken Cross the World, a book that examines the impact chicken has had on world civilizations.

The Secret Token is his newest novel, a book that takes a hard factual look at the beliefs and theories that have grown up around the disappearance of The Lost Colony.

He will be making a second appearance at the DCAC Gallery on Sunday at 4:30.

There’s always a reason to spend some time on the Outer Banks. Check out our Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates. listings to see what’s available.

Two Art Shows at DCAC Worth Checking Out

Frank Stick and COA Highlight DCAC Month

Eure Best in Show: Mike Bennett “Savannah” (oil on canvas)
Frank Stick Memorial Art Show Eure Best in Show: Mike Bennett “Savannah” (oil on canvas)

There’s a couple of events that are happening at the Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) in Manteo in February and they’re really worth checking out.

First up, and it’s already in progress is the 40th Annual Frank Stick Memorial Art Show. The opening reception was last Saturday at the DCAC Gallery which is the old Dare County Courthouse.

The Frank Stick Art Show is open to anyone who is a member of the DCAC, meaning there is no preselection before the show.. Anyone can enter, and for a lot of young artists, it’s a great opportunity to get a sense of what is involved in a professional presentation.

The quality of the art is excellent and the themes addressed all encompassing.

Until recently the show was at Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery in Nags Head. Glenn and Pat Eure are getting a little older and the display area at the DCAC Gallery is larger allowing for a little better showing of the art.

The other show that’s worth checking out will be opening this Friday in the vault at the Gallery. Keeping in mind that at one time the DCAC building was a courthouse, the vault was a gigantic safe where the most valuable evidence and records were kept.

Now it is the home to the monthly featured show, and during February it’s COA’s Jewelry Student & Alumni Exhibit.

The exhibit is always an outstanding demonstration of creativity and craft. The exhibit gives COA students a chance to show what they are doing with their art and to get the feedback so necessary to become successful in their field.

Both shows will run throughout the month. The Frank Stick Memorial Art Show ends February 24. The Jewelry Exhibit will be on display until February 28.

Dowdy Park Grand Opening Worth the Wait

Three Hour Weather Delay Creates a Great Day

Painting a wall at Dowdy Park during Artrageous on Saturday.
Painting a wall at Dowdy Park during Artrageous on Saturday.

That three hour weather delay for the Grand Opening of Dowdy Park in Nags Head sure came in handy. If the weather was overcast with a little wind, at least it didn’t rain.

And that was a good thing, because the Grand Opening was as advertised and maybe a bit more.

Combining forces with the Dare County Arts Council to hold a springtime Artrageous in conjunction with the Grand Opening, Dowdy Park, located next to Nags Head Elementary School, was packed with kids, parents and good number of people who just wanted to be where the fun was.

DCAC Artrageous

Artrageous is a wonderful celebration of kids, creativity and the arts and at every turn there were kids trying their hand at painting, jewelry making, blacksmithing and so many more activities.

There is a very nice little stage at Dowdy Park and the local talent that performed was outstanding. The older students of Ruth Wyands Mustang Music Outreach Program really rocked the house.

Of course, after Artrageous leaves—it is a one day event—there is still Dowdy Park. And this is one time when the town of Nags Head really got things right.

With major grants from Trillium Health Resources and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, Dowdy Park seems to have something for just about the whole family.

There is a wonderful playground for kids featuring some really innovative designs. Plenty of parking, although the crowds certainly overwhelmed the parking on Saturday. There are lots of picnic tables, many of them a large pavilion; a nice walking/jogging trail…this is a shining star for the town of Nags Head.

Once upon a time this was the site of Dowdy’s Amusement Park, but after the park closed in 2005, it took a while to figure out what was going to happen with the property.

Luckily, after purchasing it in 2014, the town made the decision to try to create a public area that everyone could enjoy.

It looks as though they succeeded.

Dowdy Park Grand Opening Delayed 3 Hours

Rescheduling the Start Time

A children's playground and walking/jogging path are just some of the features at Dowdy Park.
A children’s playground and walking/jogging path are just some of the features at Dowdy Park.

Will the Dowdy Park Grand Opening happen? That is the question of the day as we cross our fingers and hope the weather miraculously clears for tomorrow, Saturday.

It looks as though it will clear, although a bit later than hoped.

But to take advantage of that late clearing the skies the start time of the Grand opening ceremonies have been moved back to 1:00 p.m. That 1:00 p.m. start time may be a bit optimistic, but some time by mid afternoon the weather is supposed to clear and the day should end on a really good note.

The plans for the Grand Opening are pretty spectacular. One of the biggest—and best—of the Dare County Arts Council’s outreach program is there Artrageous, a celebration of the arts, community and children.

Traditionally held in the fall, the DCAC rescheduled to coordinate with the Town of Nags Head for the Dowdy Park grand opening. If the weather permits, that would make for one of the best kid’s parties around. Lots and lots of creative things for kids to do, local organizations are on hand with booths, there’s live music…in short it’s a wonderful celebration of community.

The weather has throw a monkey wrench into the plans, but the Plan B should work.

Today, Friday, it’s cloudy, very windy and spitting rain from time to time.

Some Background

We’ll have to hope it does turn out ok because the Town of Nags Head looks like it hit a home run with this one.

The park is located next to Nags Head Elementary School, which is also where the Board of Education offices are located. It was originally Dowdy amusement park.

At one time Dowdy’s was a wonderful little park—a great place to take kids for a couple of hours. It was very much a family operation; small, friendly with a wholesome local town feel.

Modern times seem to have overtaken it and by the time it closed in 2005, it seemed to be struggling.

When the town took the property over, a number of ideas were kicked around, but the one everyone seemed to agree upon was a park.

And it is a wonderful park.

Surfing Takes Center Stage in September


There’s a lot of surf action coming up in September and it’s looking as though mid month for anyone who’s in to all things surfing, the Outer Banks is the place to be.

Maybe it’s not really “action” but the Surfalorous Film Festival sponsored by the Dare County Arts Council is coming back for its second year September 15-17.

The movies span the gamut of independent film making—there are some two minute shorts, a few that are a little longer and a couple of feature length films.

A couple of local businesses are screening the movies as well as the DCAC Gallery in Manteo. We’re posting a schedule below.

Surfalorous wraps up on Saturday and Sunday September 18-24 the ESA Eastern Surf Championships will be held at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

It’s an amateur competition, but the level of surfing, especially from the masters, longboards particularly, and juniors on shortboards is astonishing.

The Easterns is the East Coast Championship competition for the Eastern Surf Association, an amateur surf association that bills itself as the largest amateur surfing association in the world. The organization has been around for 40 years, and it probably does have more members and does more for them than any other organization.

Surfalorus Film Festival Schedule
Thursday, September 15- Outer Banks Brewing Station

Doors: 7pm Screening: 7:30pm


The Man & The Sea


Austin Keen Wakesurf

Creators: Leah Dawson

Salt Boys

Yeti Presents: The Malloy Brothers

The Wild

Surf N Turf

Feature Film: Psychic Migrations- 9pm

Friday, September 16- Dare County Arts Council

Screening: 7:00pm



Dark Waves

Taking Shape

Southeastern NC Surfing

Feature Film: It Ain’t Pretty- 8:30pm

Saturday, September 17- Front Porch Cafe in Nags Head

Screening: 4:00pm


The Adventures of Nasasa

Forbidden Trim

Saturday, September 17- Outer Banks Brewing Station

Doors: 7:30pm Screening: 8:00pm



Bruhwiler Country



Junk in Public – H2O Patrol

Light Therapy

Beauty and Chaos


Seal Sessions

The Joy of Surfing

Cold Outside: Surfing Winter


Pipe Dreams

The More Things Change

Feature Film: The Zone- 10pm