Santa Nutcracker by Wyn Foland

What happens when you put a great dentist and a top-notch staff together in front of 60 hand-painted nutcrackers for the “It’s a Nutty Christmas” exhibit in downtown Beaufort? Hilarity ensues!

Beaufort Art Association found out exactly that when they asked Doctor Mishka and the fabulous staff at the Aspen Dental Association if there were any dentists that had senses of humors to judge a smile contest between 6 foot and 4-foot-tall Nutcrackers painted by local artists. After the initial shock of encountering something completely out of the ordinary, the assignment seemed simple enough. They were experts in their field. How hard could it be? A heck of a lot more challenging than they’d anticipated!

This wasn’t going to be just a beauty contest. This time there were awards for crookedest teeth, shiniest braces, goofiest grin, deliciously dangerous dentals, happiest heavy metal braces, smirkiest smile and a plethora of newly ordained certificates pronouncing these Nutcrackers Tops in Chops!

If your curiosity is peeked, run, don’t walk, to downtown Beaufort where the colorful exhibit can be found on

Nutcracker Smiles poster

Bay Street and beyond! The Beaufort Art Association at 913 Bay Street has made it easy for you because they are selling a Nutcracker poster with just their foolish grins as a souvenir of the 2022 “It’s a Nutty Christmas,” a project created by artist/ producer Danie Connolly as a fundraiser for local children’s art supplies.

Among the unusual contestants, you’ll see exactly why Wes Campbell‘s Giant Shrimp and Outrageous Crab garnered two awards, Tom Van Steenburgh’s Nutcracker Jimmy Carter won for a fun title, Lisa Rivers’ Nutcracker Mouse’s gold tooth and Lynne Morgan’s magnificent Nutcracker earned an award. Not wanting to be considered just a pretty face, check out Amanda Morris’s outstanding Nutcracker and Danie Connolly’s toothy alligator and her menacing raven, as well as Wyn Foland’s heavy metal Santa and Tiffany Jones’s Bulldog Marine. Give yourself a genuine gift of humor thanks to the Aspen Dental sanctioned Tops in Chops! A special thank you to Doctor Mishka and her very funny, tongue in cheek staff at Aspen Dental on Robert Smalls Parkway in Beaufort.