North Carolina Azalea Festival

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Art Unveiling

November 24, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

The North Carolina Azalea Festival Art Unveiling is an annual event held in the Fall where we unveil the Official Artwork for that Festival year.

2018 Artist Virginia Wright-Frierson

Joining the ranks as official Festival artist is Virginia Wright-Frierson, designer of the beloved Minnie Evans tribute sculpture garden and Bottle Chapel at Airlie Gardens.

Virginia Wright-Frierson earned her BFA degree in painting from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and furthered her studies in Cortona, Italy, New York and Arizona. She and her husband, Dargan, settled in Wilmington, NC in 1977.

Her record includes over thirty exhibitions in the southeastern US as well as Italy. Her work is included in museum, private and corporate collections. Here locally, she has painted large murals for the Wilmington Children’s Museum and New Hanover County Library in addition to her work at Airlie Gardens. Nationally, she has painted a monumental mural for the atrium ceiling at Columbine High School after the tragedgy, as well as being commissioned by Savannah College of Art and Design to create a multi-paneled mural for an exhibition honoring victims and heroes of 9/11.

In addition, she has written and illustrated children’s books and has received numerous public art commissions.

Virginia states, “I am delighted that every year, the North Carolina Azalea Festival commissions an original art work for its Spring celebration. We are a community so rich in Coastal beauty and creativity. Each year we come together in April to celebrate the return of the Spring season with this unique festival, always evolving with the times while still celebrating traditions that reflect our local beauty and talents. A parade, tours of homes and gardens, art exhibits, concerts, and our breath-taking trees and flowers. Nothing is more typical of Wilmington than our azaleas, thriving and abundant despite our changing climate. The ones I have painted for this year’s poster, with oils on paper, are from one single twig which featured peach, coral, the palest pink, white and striped buds and flowers. The diversity of these amazing flowers can be enjoyed all over parks and neighborhoods in Wilmington at this time of year, and truly deserve a festival in their honor!”

VIRGINIA WILL UNVEIL THE OFFICIAL 2018 ARTWORK FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24 AT EXPO 216.  The artwork will be unveiled at a free event, part of the Arts Council of Wilmington/New Hanover County’s Fourth Friday Gallery Nights.  We invite everyone to join us Friday, November 24 at 5:30 pm to meet Virginia and watch the 2018 official Festival artwork be unveiled LIVE!


November 24, 2017
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Expo 216
216 North Front Street
Wilmington, NC 28401 United States
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(910) 769-3899