KILL DEVIL HILLS and MANTEO, NC – Outer Banks Forever – the official nonprofit partner of Cape Hatteras National SeashoreFort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial – in partnership with Dare Arts and the National Park Service are pleased to announce that three Dare County artists have been selected to participate in the upcoming “Artist in Community” Earth Day event at the Bodie Island Lighthouse on Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

This is a free, family-friendly event open to the public and registration is not required. Park visitors will have the opportunity to interact with the artists throughout the day to learn more about their work and how our national parks inspire them. The works completed as part of the program will serve, through the creativity of the selected artists, to deepen the public’s understanding and appreciation of our Outer Banks national parks. Please note: The Bodie Island Lighthouse will not be open for climbing during the event.  

The following artists will be demonstrating their crafts or performing during the event at the following times: 

Kate Leal: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Kate Leal’s recent body of work encompasses the landscapes and wildlife of the Outer Banks, finding beauty in both in landmarks and hidden treasures that our area provides. Her work has been described as having an “island style” and calming color palette. She creates this work not only out of appreciation for the natural landscape, but also to share with others the unique beauty here.

Website |

Instagram | @kateoleal


Artist Kate Leal

Gray Michael Parsons: 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Gray Michael Parsons’ primary identity as a traditionally adherent Mattamuskeet/Machapunga Native American and his life-long love affair with “Kah haay seena hah kee” (Mother Earth) is reflected in his book “Hope on Hatterask,” and in his poetry and songs. Although retired, he still drums, sings and dances at native powwows and volunteers at the Frisco Native American Museum on Hatterask Island. His primary goal in performing publicly is to awaken all to their own ancestral indigeneity and in doing so to live a more earth-friendly way of life. He invites all to the inclusive concept of “indigen-us” during his audience interactive presentation and performance.


Artist Gray Michael Parsons

Karyn Renea Soto: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Karyn Renea Soto is a local plein-air artist heavily influenced by nature and architecture. Painting outside on the Outer Banks is her happy place, and she hopes to show others how accessible and therapeutic plein air painting can be for them.

Website |   

Instagram | @artbykrenea

Artist Karyn Renea Soto

 In addition to the artist demonstrations and performances, other local environmental education groups will be present with family friendly activities as part of OBX Earth Fair which will take place at both the Bodie Island Lighthouse and the Coastal Studies Institute that day.

This event is generously supported by Outer Banks Forever donors and grants from the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau and the Manteo Rotary Club


About Outer Banks Forever 

Outer Banks Forever was established in 2019 as the official nonprofit partner of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial, helping to protect and enhance these special places. 

To date, Outer Banks Forever has supported the Outer Banks national parks through projects like the new mobility-friendly Oregon Inlet Kayak Launch and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse webcam, programs like Adopt A Pony and Adopt A Sea Turtle Nest, virtual learning experiences and more. 

To learn more, visit or follow on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. 

About Dare Arts  

Located on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, Dare Arts is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to encouraging the arts in Dare County through advocacy, enrichment and opportunity. Dare Arts strongly believes that the arts are essential to the creation and sustenance of a thriving, vital community. 

To learn more, visit or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

About Cape Hatteras National Seashore 

Cape Hatteras National Seashore was designated as America’s first National Seashore. It is approximately 25,000 acres and located in the south Nags Head area, on Hatteras Island, and on Ocracoke Island. Primary attractions include 75 miles of unspoiled beaches, sound-side recreational areas, three lighthouses and three visitor centers. 

To learn more, visit or follow on FacebookFlickrInstagram and Twitter.