Easter Decoy & Art Festival Award Winners

The Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce Easter Decoy & Art Festival is celebrated as a rite of spring on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Fine art, carvings, jewelry, sculpture and other artisan crafts were showcased by exhibitors from Pennsylvania to Florida at the two day festival over Easter weekend. It is our honor to announce the 2023 winners with the Curtis Merritt Award of Excellence voted on by the exhibitors and Best Carver and Best Artist voted on by festival attendees. Best picture of Chincoteague or Assateague is voted on by a jury.

2023 Curtis Merritt Award Of Excellence Winner

Nancy Richards West

The Curtis Merritt Award of Excellence is awarded to an exhibitor demonstrating exemplary qualities as an artist or carver as chosen by a jury of their peers. The 2023 recipient was Nancy Richards West. Nancy studied art at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she was graduated with high honors for her thesis work in portraiture. When she moved to Chincoteague Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, she applied her experience in portrait painting to wildlife art. Nancy's passion for drawing and painting continues to grow and find new forms of expression. Visit Nancy at www.nancywest.com.

2023 People’s Choice For Best Carver

Cork McGee

People's Choice Award for Best Carver was awarded to Cork McGee. An island native for 92 years, Cork began carving hunting rigs for his guided trips hunting ducks and geese. He mentored under Cigar Daisey since he was a frequent visitor in Cigar's shop. Cork's family lived on Assateague Island for many years where his father was a waterman and his mother took care of the home and children.

2023 People’s Choice For Best Artist

Yvonne Torelli

People's Choice Award for Best Artist was awarded to Yvonne Torelli. She is a self-taught oil painter residing in Laurel, DE. Yvonne was a social worker for many years while developing her style and perfecting her craft. Yvonne says she paints what she loves. That includes landscapes of Assateague Island and the Chesapeake marsh, sport fish, turtles from her backyard turtle sanctuary, and birds from neighboring woods. Yvonne has previously been honored with this award in 2015, 2017, and 2019. She is definitely a show favorite.

2023 Best Photograph Of Chincoteague Or Assateague

Cheryl Taylor

Best Photograph of Chincoteague or Assateague was presented to Cheryl Taylor. Cheryl Taylor is a self-taught artist that began painting as a source of stress relief. Having spent over 30 years living in Baltimore County, Maryland and making countless treks to Chincoteague Island; it is a gift to now live on the island full-time. Her coastal themed art is inspired by its endless beauty. For more information visit www.cheryltaylorcreations.com.