Local teen earns top award at State Fair

Published 10:34 am Thursday, October 26, 2017

RALEIGH – The best entries from small, medium and large county fairs across the state were selected at the N.C. State Fair. Adult and youth winners were selected from each category, with the winner receiving a $1,000 premium to split with the fair he or she represents.

In category one (fairs with attendance of 15,000 or less), Mildred Rexach of Lenoir, representing the Caldwell County Agricultural Fair, was the adult division winner. Rexach entered a group of statues made from recycled materials. The six women carry baskets, and are made from toilet paper, newspaper and cardboard.

The youth division winner was Jana Smith, 16, of Merry Hill, representing the Chowan County Regional Fair. Smith entered a lion made of pine cones and pine straw. Smith also won the 2015 best in show in this division for her dragon made from pine cones.

This creation – a lion made of pine cones and pine straw – by Jana Smith of Merry Hill was judged as the “Best of Show” in her division at the NC State Fair in Raleigh.

In category two (attendance of 15,001-40,000) and representing the Lee County Regional Fair, Mary New of Sanford took the adult prize. New won for her photograph of a man taking refuge from the rain outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Also representing the Lee County Regional Fair, Ashley Inman, 15, of Sanford, won for her painting of two horses called “Horse Country.” In notes about her work, Inman wrote, “When people view my artwork, my hope is for them to experience the emotion that is being depicted within it so that my art can speak for itself.”

Representing the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair, Jennifer Pittman of Goldsboro won with a drawing of a dog. Pittman calls the graphite and charcoal drawing, “The Face of Loyalty.” Pittman was the adult winner in category three (fairs with attendance of 40,001 or more).

The youth winner in category three was Sarah Williams, 17, of Midland, representing the Cabarrus County Fair. She won with a multi-media art piece of the American flag in the shape of the continental U.S. Williams spent two months constructing the piece using nails, wood and string.

Located in the Education Building, the County Fairs Best of Show exhibit displays the best arts and crafts entries from county fairs across the state. Each artist chosen to participate in the exhibit receives $200 to be split with the county fair he or she represents.

The competition included entries from 23 county fairs: Cabarrus County Fair, Caldwell County Ag Fair, Cape Fear Fair and Expo, Chowan County Regional Fair, Cleveland County Fair, Cumberland County Fair, Davidson County Ag Fair, Dixie Classic Fair, Drexel Community Fair, Hickory American Legion Fair, Iredell County Ag Fair, Lee Regional Ag Fair, Lenoir County Fair Association, Moore County Ag Fair, N.C. Mountain State Fair, Pitt County American Legion Fair, Robeson Regional Ag Fair, Stanly American Legion Fair, Stokes County Ag Fair, Surry County Ag Fair, Wayne Regional Ag Fair, Wilkes County Ag Fair and Wilson County Fair.