Amanda Mote, left, secretary of the Fine Arts Department presents Joshua Shepherd with the Best of Show rosette which he won for his sculpture in fine arts. (Linda Moody photo)

Top Fine Arts winners named at reception

GREENVILLE—An opening reception in the Fine Arts Department was held two days before the opening of the Great Darke County Fair.

Secretary Amanda Mote said her crew has been working diligently to get the building ready for the event, which was held Wednesday night from 6 to 8.

Fair-goers were treated to music, food and the opportunity to check out all of this year’s entries.

“We had about approximately 200-plus more entries this year,” said Mote, who has been secretary for four years including the year of the COVID (2020) in which the event was canceled since it was designated as a junior fair only that year.

Top awards were passed out as the reception went on, with Joshua Shepherd receiving Best of Show in fine arts with his sculpture; to Denise Martz for best of show in photography; and the Darke County Pride Award went to Jean Selanders for her pastel drawing of the Circle in Greenville.

Two other rosettes are expected to be presented at the end of fair week. People’s Choice Awards will be presented in photography and the other in art. Fair-goers are allowed to vote only one time each day. Winners will be announced on  the last Friday of the fair and presented the last Saturday of fair week.

Two more contests during fair week at the Fine Arts Building are the Plein Air Competition on Aug. 20 (Saturday) and an Onsight Photography event on Aug. 21 (Sunday). Various demonstrations will also be featured in the building throughout fair week, with schedules available.

Wednesday night, Greenville High School musicians and singers Mollie McLear and Mackenzie Baker entertained the crowd, even though there was a  problem with sound for a short while.

In addressing the crowd before the presentation of awards, Amanda introduced her crew members, which included her sister, Gina Ferguson, her assistant.

“My team became my family,” she said.

In addition to serving as secretary of the Fine Arts Department, Mote works in human resources at Mote Farm Service and has her own Micro-Managed business.

“All of my life, I have loved drawing, charcoal and pastels,” she said.

She had at least two of her works on display, but they were not among those being judged. One was the drawing of a hand holding 17 coins, in honor of her father, Jason Francis, who celebrates a special anniversary.

Amanda is married to Marc Mote and is the mother of three children, Bryant, 21, Raylan, 18 and Novah, 14.

She is a 2001 graduate of Union City Community High School; went to Bowling Green State University one year for teaching; and then entered cosmetology school, and she still takes classes to keep up with those skills.

Jean Selanders, right, was the recipient of the Darke County Pride Award for her pastel drawing of the Circle in downtown Greenville. Presenting her with the award is Amanda Mote. (Linda Moody photo)
This photo of this colorful bird was taken by Denise Martz and won Best of Show in photography in this year's Darke County Fair competition. Martz was unable to attend the reception. (Linda Moody photo)
Darke County Now Staff - Linda Moody - Staff Writer

Linda Moody / Staff Writer

I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.

Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ or 937-337-1955.

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