The Gift of Art

21 Dec jewels

“Our aims are to make quality art events affordable, attractive and accessible to our members and to the public; and to encourage and support one another while fostering creativity and joyfully exploring the arts.”

Promoting the arts in the New River Valley since 1950, the Blacksburg Regional Arts Association is a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Partner, a member of the Blue Ridge Arts Council, and a non-profit volunteer organization. Showing now in the Community Arts Information Office (149 College Ave), is a holiday display of art and craft by members of the Blacksburg Regional Art Association.

The Gift of Art
The work of the following artists is featured in this special exhibit- Dale Norton, Toni Bowman, Marie Collier, Paula Golden, Susan Hensley, Nancy Norton, David Pearce, Mary Ratliff, Cecilia Riegert, Robi Sallee, Lois Stephens, Donald Sunshine, Joanne Sunshine, and Gerri Young.
Items available include art in a variety of media- from carved wooden bowls, sparkling beaded jewelry, and woven rugs to photography, stained glass, and watercolors; guaranteeing that there really is something for everyone. And that includes something for everyone’s budget. You can buy your friend a beautiful handcrafted stained glass Christmas tree for as little as $12. Original holiday cards, customized jewels, and recycled glass pendants add to the mix. Give the gift of art, created by local artists; the gift that keeps on giving all year long.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The exhibit runs from December 1-30, 2010 and all items on display are available for purchase so drop in and find a gift for someone special!

Community Arts Information Office, 149 College Ave, Blacksburg
Hours of Operation: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Mon. – Fri
10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Sat. *
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Sun. *
* As Staff is Available

For the first time in sixty years of service, the BRAA has a public presence! “It’s a place to gather, welcome visitors, show our art, store our stuff, and toot our horn. Our office is located at: 149 College Avenue, Blacksburg, VA 24060, in the Central Arts Information Office (CAIO,) near the Lyric Theatre and across the street from Theatre 101, and Henderson Lawn. It’s the heart of the developing Downtown Blacksburg Arts District.” says President and local artist, Nancy Norton.

Want to know more about how you can support the BRAA? Check out the website: BRAA or call: 540-552-0552.

Spotlight: Gillie’s & Bollo’s

16 Dec

Ranae Gillie, owner of Gillie’s, is originally from Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, she grew accustomed to traveling throughout the U.S. from Florida to Texas. She ended up in Denver, Colorado, where she obtained a degree in Accounting and Finance from Metropolitan State College. After meeting her husband, she moved to Blacksburg, Virginia to join him in running Gillie’s.

The vegetarian friendly restaurant, on the corner of College Avenue and Draper Road, has been in operation since 1974! Even though it offers fish, Gillie’s has primarily been vegetarian. The restaurant has always offered freshly made in-store bakery items. And yes, it does have the best breakfast in town!

With its popularity rising, the store was soon running out of space. In 1994, Ranae Gillie open up Bollo’s, the coffee shop located at 206 Draper Road. Taken from Gillie’s maiden name, Bolognese, Bollo’s offers a variety of bakery items and café drinks. As an extension of Gillie’s, Bollo’s is where all the baking takes place. Ranae Gillie started as a main baker at the café offering bakery items from scratch everything from muffins, scones, éclairs, cookies, brownies, danishes and a variety of breads. It also offers vegan items every day and gluten free items on Saturdays. The café produces all the desserts and bread for Gillie’s.


Oh and what’s a café without coffee! Bollo’s offers a wide range of fair trade coffee and espresso drinks. You can even try local fair trade coffee coming from Honduras. Ranae Gillie explained her choice of coffee products as fair trade, organic and genuinely fresh tasting.

This experienced business owner loves her local community. She defines Gillie’s as a cultural center for the downtown. Every month, local artists are welcomed to display their artwork at both Gillie’s and Bollo’s. Musicians showcase their talent at Gillie’s on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights playing a variety from acoustic to late night music. The community oriented business also helps organizations host fundraisers from LGBT dances to Mountain Top Removal pie auctions.

Haven’t given vegetarian dinning a chance? Join Gillie’s in celebrating the New Year. For only $35, enjoy a special five course meal set by the main cook and baker. The meal includes amuse bouch, appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. Make your reservation for Gillie’s New Year’s Eve Dinner!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to be local!

7 Dec boots

Get into the holiday spirit while supporting your local merchants- join  us for our special holiday shopping nights in downtown Blacksburg. For unique and unusual gifts, eclectic dining choices and a variety of special activities there is no better place to go. The activities on Ladies’ and Gents’ Nights are not restricted to the venues listed- featured below are details available at time of writing.

Downtown Blacksburg: buy local. eat local. be local.

Ladies’ Night- late night shopping/dining- Thurs 9th Dec, 4-8pm
Ladies come on downtown for Ladies’ Night- enjoy special treats and attentions. Let your local merchants assist you in creating your Wish List so that special someone in your life knows exactly what you want this holiday season! Shop for your significant other, family and friends.

Great shopping- including free gift wrap, personal shopping assistance, special discounts, wish lists, refreshments and more at participating locations:
Fringe Benefit
Matrix Gallery
Gourmet Pantry- great gifts, excellent service and a fun night out!
Main Lee Art- make a holiday ornament while enjoying a hot beverage.
310 Rosemont
Kent Jewelers- Holiday gift for everyone! Free jewelry inspection and cleaning while enjoying Hors d’œuvres
Mad Dog- wine & cheese
Community Arts Information Office- Blacksburg Regional Art Association offering “Gifts of Art”

Great Food- specials
Poor Billy’s
Ben & Jerry’s
Rita’s- buy a gift card of $10 or more and get one free treat
Next Door Bake Shop- 10% off
Café de Bangkok- 10% off meal purchase
India Garden – 10% off meal purchase
Bollo’s & Gillie’s

Great Entertainment and a place to stay!
Main Street Inn- Make a night of it. 10% off room rate
Gillie’s -acoustic favorites with Bobby Parker 7-9:30pm
Awful Arthur’s- Metal bands from Fredericksburg, Richmond, Roanoke and Blacksburg will perform at 8 p.m.
622 North- 10 Dollar Sins, classic blues, rock, R&B at 9pm
The Lyric Theatre- showing “Hereafter” at 7 & 9:30pm

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Gents’ Night- late night shopping/dining- Thurs 16th Dec, 4-8pm

Gents come on downtown for Gents’ Night- enjoy special treats and attentions. Find out what your significant other has on their personal Wish List held in each participating store. This year that special someone in your life will get exactly what they want this holiday season! Shop for your significant other, family and friends.

Great shopping- including free gift wrap, personal shopping assistance, special discounts, refreshments and more at participating locations:
Fringe Benefit
Matrix Gallery
Gourmet Pantry- champagne, tasty treats and a store full of great gifts.
Main Lee Art- make a holiday ornament while enjoying a hot beverage.
310 Rosemont
Kent Jewelers’- Hang out with the guys and play blackjack for discounts on jewelry. Enjoy chili, wings, and beverages on us while you get your Christmas shopping done early.
Mad Dog

Great Food- specials
Poor Billy’s
Ben & Jerry’s
Rita’s- buy a gift card of $10 or more and get one free treat
Next Door Bake Shop- 10% off
Café de Bangkok- 10% off meal purchase
India Garden – 10% off meal purchase
Bollo’s & Gillie’s

Great Entertainment and a place to stay!
Main Street Inn- Make a night of it. 10% off room rate
The Lyric Theatre- showing “Inside Job” at 7 & 9:15pm
Gillie’s – bluegrass with The Java Brothers 7-9:30pm

Fashions for Evergreens

5 Dec DBI- 30 Yrs of Steppin' Out

The holiday season is right around the corner, and it is time to enjoy the designs of local businesses  at  The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center’s Fashions for Evergreens 2010 display!

Fashions for Evergreens has become a staple in the New River Valley as young and old, locals and visitors grace the foyer of the Inn at Virginia Tech to view the decorations!

For the third year running Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. is participating in this fun filled activity. The theme for our tree this year is “30 years of Steppin’ Out”. Decorations on the tree include miniature replicas of the 30 t-shirts from each Steppin’ Out, garlands and ornaments made from old Steppin’ Out t-shirts and gold painted leaves from the downtown Ginko trees.

The tree was designed and created by Steve & Debbie Miller of Mish Mish, Mary Woodall of Sew Attitude, Ranae Gillie of Bollo’s & Gillie’s, Nancyne Willoughby of Fringe Benefit and Sue Drzal and Laureen Blakemore of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

The trees will be on display until the Inn closes for the holidays on Dec 19th. Voting for your favorite tree takes place through Weds Dec 8th. So hurry on over to The Inn at Virginia Tech with your family and friends to enjoy the decorations and to vote, vote, vote!

May the best tree win!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Traditional goodies with an Asian twist!

30 Nov Pie and Aivey

In the not too distant past, two young sisters in Thailand had a childhood dream of opening a coffee store and bakery together when they grew up. Aivey had a penchant for mixing unusual and exotic flavors to produce the very best coffees and teas; Pie just loved to bake. In Aivey’s words, “Pie bakes THE best Pies!” Several years passed, the sisters moved to America and attended university- Aivey studied at Purdue and Pie at Virginia Tech. Upon completion of her studies, Aivey came to Blacksburg to visit her younger sister, Pie. In love with our beautiful town and noticing a niche in the market Aivey and Pie opened Cafe de Bangkok, along with childhood friend, Kim, and made Blacksburg their home. Time passed and Aivey married and moved away leaving Pie and Kim to continue running the successful Thai restaurant on Jackson Street in downtown Blacksburg.

Moving on a few years and two children later, Aivey and her husband return to Blacksburg with their young family. Aivey and Pie resurrect their shared dream of opening a Bakery when they learn of the vacant location previously occupied by The Daily Grind. The dream became a reality with the opening of Next Door Bake Shop, conveniently located in Collegiate Square next to New Tech Fitness, New Image Barbers and The Center of Dance.

In Thailand Coffee Shops tend to be bright and colorful, very different from the traditional look of an American Coffee house.  With this in mind, Pie and Aivey turned to 2-year-old Emmey for help with the decor! Emmey picked her favorite colors to adorn the bright and cheerful family friendly coffee and bake shop. Pie and Aivey’s brother, Putt, designed the attractive logo for the store; and although he lives in California he plans to be a part of this family venture.

The Next Door Bake Shop offers traditional baked goods, drinks, breakfast and lunch with an Asian twist such as the turkey breast sandwich with Thai Peanut Sauce and the fresh coconut latte which are the top selling items on the menu. Cookies, muffins, tomato pies, pina colada cupcakes and much more, all freshly baked, homemade and all delicious complement the full menu of specialty drinks available. Kids can even order an Elmo drink- extremely scrumptious and full of “good for you” ingredients.

Open for little more than a few months, Next Door Bake Shop is slowly building a loyal customer base. VT classes and other local groups have started to use the cafe as their regular meeting place.  Regulars pop in on their way to and from dance classes at The Center of Dance or exercise routines across the hall at New Tech Fitness. One customer will be showing her artwork on the walls early in the New Year; another, Galen, will be performing live music on Wednesday afternoons starting December 1st  at  5:30p.m. With a play area for children, free wireless access and an imaginative and exciting menu of baked goods and specialty drinks, Next Door Bake Shop has something for everyone. Coming soon: Cookie Monster Drinks! (And guess what? You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy one!)

Hours:

Monday- Friday 7am-7pm

Saturday- 9am -7pm

Sunday- 9am- 4pm

Next Door Bake Shop
460 Turner St., NW, #204
Blacksburg, VA   24060
540-951-BAKE



This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Let the holidays commence!

21 Nov santalyric

Winter Lights Festival with TubaChristmas

Friday Dec 3rd – 4-8pm

Get ready for the biggest holiday event of the year in beautiful Downtown Blacksburg. The perfect time of the year to truly support your local merchants as we pull out all the stops to bring you a real Hometown Holiday!

Activities in Market Square Park 4-8pm

Holiday Market, Funnel Cakes and Kettle Corn

Free Hot Cocoa and Hot Cider from Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

TubaChristmas at 6 pm- Co-sponsored by Downtown Blacksburg, Inc & the Department of Music at Virginia Tech.

Activities around the Downtown area 4-8pm

Blacksburg Children’s Chorale singing in The Lyric- 4:15pm

Percheron Carriages of McArthur Inn- carriage rides around the downtown area (subsidized fee applies).

Pictures with Santa in the Lyric- 4:30pm

Tree Lighting Ceremony on the Henderson Lawn- 5:30pm

Deo Gloria strolling the streets

Art Crawl round the downtown Galleries- Community Arts Information Office, Art Pannonia, Matrix Gallery, The Gallery at Mish Mish, Main Lee Art, Miller off Main- 5-7pm

Holiday Parade co-sponsored by Blacksburg Parks and Recreation Department and Virginia Tech Chapter of Circle K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Open House at participating businesses- including free gift wrap, personal shopping assistance, special discounts, refreshments and more.
• In Balance Yoga will offer 20% off all class packages and 25% off all retail with Special Holiday Gift Packages on sale also!
• Gourmet Pantry-tasty treats to snack on while you shop.
• South Main Chiropractic- The clinic will have both doctors on hand to answer any health-related questions along with offering no-cost consultations during the open house. Massage Therapist-giving free chair massages.
• Main Street Inn -Peppermints and hot chocolate by the fire.
• Fringe Benefit
• Matrix Gallery
• Main Lee Art- Art Crawl Reception
• Clay Corner Inn- cookie bar and hot cider
• 310 Rosemont- Christmas cookies & holiday treats
• Kent Jewelers’-Relax with an espresso while children make beaded jewelry for the holidays!
• Mad Dog
• Rita’s- buy a gift card of $10 or more and get one free treat
• Ben & Jerry’s
• Gillie’s- holiday jazz with Mood Swing 6-8:30pm
• Café de Bangkok- 10% off meal purchase
• Next Door Bake Shop- 10% off

 

Ladies Late Night Holiday Shopping- Thursday 9th Dec 4-8pm

- including free gift wrap, personal shopping assistance, special discounts, refreshments and more.

• Main Street Inn- Make a night of it. 10% off room rate
• Ben & Jerry’s
• Fringe Benefit
• Matrix Gallery
• Gourmet Pantry- great gifts, excellent service and a fun night out!
• Main Lee Art- make a holiday ornament while enjoying a hot beverage.
• Poor Billy’s
• 310 Rosemont
• Kent Jewelers- Holiday gift for everyone! Free jewelry inspection and cleaning while enjoying Hors d’œuvres
• Mad Dog- wine & cheese
• Rita’s- buy a gift card of $10 or more and get one free treat
• Gillie’s -acoustic favorites with Bobby Parker 7-9:30pm
• Café de Bangkok- 10% off meal purchase
• Next Door Bake Shop- 10% off

Gents Late Night Holiday Shopping- Thursday 16th Dec 4-8pm

- including free gift wrap, personal shopping assistance, special discounts, refreshments and more.
• Main Street Inn- Make a night of it. 10% off room rate
• Fringe Benefit
• Matrix Gallery
• Gourmet Pantry- champagne, tasty treats and a store full of great gifts.
• Main Lee Art- make a holiday ornament while enjoying a hot beverage.
• Poor Billy’s
• 310 Rosemont
• Kent Jewelers’- Hang out with the guys and play blackjack for discounts on jewelry. Enjoy chili, wings, and beverages on us while you get your Christmas shopping done early.
• Mad Dog
• Rita’s- buy a gift card of $10 or more and get one free treat
• Ben & Jerry’s
• Gillie’s – bluegrass with The Java Brothers 7-9:30pm
• Café de Bangkok- 10% off meal purchase
• Next Door Bake Shop- 10% off

Gourmet Local Cont’d

17 Nov

Courtesy of Gourmet Pantry and Cooking School
Mediterranean Wild Rice Salad : Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 wild rice, rinsed and picked over
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 or 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Optional: Pinch of ground or 3 pieces of whole cloves

For the dressing:

  • 2-3 Tbsp white wine vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 4 Tbsp  virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp Dijon-style mustard
  • Drops of Tabasco to taste
  • 1 large tomato, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 1/4 cup)
  • 1 small green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup artichoke, marinated and chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots, scallions or onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp slivered, toasted almonds

Method:

  1. Place rice, water, chopped onion, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and ground cloves into a medium size saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil, cover and reduce the heat to simmer.
  3. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes until the rice is cooked though. Cool to lukewarm. Drain any remaining liquid.
  4. Pour rice into a mixing bowl and discard herbs.
  5. Dressing: mix vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper, mustard and Tabasco.
  6. Stir in the chopped tomato, artichoke, green pepper, shallots, and garlic. Pour the dressing over the warm rice and fold in gently, then taste and adjust seasoning.
  7. Sprinkle with slivered almonds before serving.

Note: May substitute lentils for the wild rice for a variation on this recipe.

Gourmet Local with Gourmet Pantry

17 Nov

As part of Blacksburg Library Be Local events, Gourmet Pantry hosted the event Gourmet Local on Tuesday, November 9, 2010. Gourmet Pantry recently celebrated its 10th anniversary! Located on 401 South Main, the shop offers gourmet foods, coffees, wines, essential cooking tools, and cooking lessons. Gourmet Pantry also brings in the best fresh fish in town. Order by Wednesday and it comes to the store on Thursday. Owner Roya Nazare led the event starting off with “must haves” for the Thanksgiving cooking and ended with a “how to” on a delightful Mediterranean Wild Rice Salad.

Roya has been a gourmet cook for over 20 years and has owned and self-managed five restaurants. She stated that investing in a good set of knives and using fresh ingredients has lead to her success as a good cook. The three main knives include: a chef”s knife, a parring knife, and a santoku knife. Check out the video below as Roya explains how to use a chef’s knife. Remember if you drop your knife, let it drop!

Among other tools Roya demonstrated the use of a Mandolin. With a simple gliding stroke, the cooking instrument finely slices potatoes. Another useful tool, a microblade, can be helpful in zesting and grating especially cinnamon and nutmeg for the upcoming holiday season. Do you know the story behind the microblade? A lady could not find her grater so she went to the garage and to her surprise she found the perfect grating tool, a rasp, which later became the microblade.

Stay tuned for the Mediterranean Wild Rice Salad recipe!
Follow the Gourmet Pantry on Facebook and join in on their upcoming events.

Fringe Benefit: Pre-Holiday Sale!

11 Nov

Pre-Holiday Sale at Fringe Benefit
Starts this Friday, November 11th through November 21st!
20% off Storewide!
Excludes Dansko, includes sale merchandise

Serving Downtown Blacksburg since March 1972, Fringe Benefit caters to all your seasonal needs. It originally started out on College Avenue near the Lyric Theater. Currently, it is located conveniently on Main Street. Owner, Nancy Willoughby, took over the establishment in 1987. She moved to southwest Virginia to attend Virginia Tech and never left the area.

Have you stopped by Fringe Benefit? Fringe Benefit offers a wide range of shoes, clothes, jewelry, accessories and handcrafted items. You can find the latest styles of Dansko. Great for the fall and winter season these shoes offer comfort and warmth! Check out earrings by Patricia Locke. These earrings are a hit with a mix of fine art and modern fashion. Oh and one cannot have enough sweaters so wrap up in the warmth of one of the season’s latest finds.

Looking for the perfect gift? Fringe Benefit carries the latest household items from Ten Thousand Villages. This fair trade establishment started out in the 30s or 40s and it offers a variety of products from all around the world. You can find baskets, candles, picture frame and other household items.

Stop by during the pre-holiday sale and stock up on your seasonal gear!

Calling All Tuba Players!

8 Nov


ATTENTION ALL TUBA AND EUPHONIUM PLAYERS
All ages and ability levels!
TubaChristmas is coming to Blacksburg to join in the holiday festivities, the Winter Lights Festival. Join in the fun as downtown Blacksburg celebrates with the annual lighting of the tree, parade, Holiday Market and more. TubaChristmas will make this the best holiday celebration ever! Bring your tubas, euphoniums and all of your friends to downtown Blacksburg on Friday, December 3rd, 2010.

Participants, please RSVP to ecrone@vt.edu


Schedule and Details:
• Parking: Kent Square Parking Garage – 207 Draper Rd, Blacksburg, VA 24060.
• Registration: 3:00 to 4:00pm – $5.00 per musician (Department of Music, rm. 243, Squires Virginia Tech)
• Rehearsal: 4:00 to 5:15pm (Department of Music, rm. 243, Squires Virginia Tech)
• Break: 5:15pm to 6pm (Dinner will be provided for the musicians.) Pizza, hot chocolate, coffee and water.
• Performance: 6pm to 7pm, (Parking lot of NBB, Outside under tents with heaters. Warm weather dress and plastic mouthpieces are in order.)
• Available for purchase: TubaChristmas hats and/or scarves – $15.00, Music ‘Carols for a Merry TubaChristmas – $15.00, Commemorative buttons – $3.00.

TubaChristmas is sponsored by the Downtown Merchants of Blacksburg and the Department of Music at Virginia Tech

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


About TubaChristmas
Harvey Phillips, called the “Paganini of the Tuba.” Sadly, Harvey died on Wednesday October 20, 2010 at age 81 in Bloomington, Ind. In 2007, while serving as distinguished professor emeritus at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, he added another honor to one of the most remarkable careers in modern American musical history. He became the first brass player and first wind player chosen for induction into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. Merry TubaChristmas is celebrating its 36th Anniversary (1974-2009). Created by Harvey Phillips, Merry TubaChristmas 2010 concerts will be presented in over 200 cities throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Phillips was inspired to create TUBACHRISTMAS as an annual event honoring his teacher, the late great tubist William J. Bell (born Christmas Day, 1902). Every Christmas season, tuba and euphonium players of all ages, from specific geographic areas, gather to pay respect – through William J. Bell – to all the great artists/teachers who represent their heritage. Every TUBACHRISTMAS performance features traditional Christmas carols especially arranged for the first TUBACHRISTMAS, (December 22, 1974 in NYC’s Rockefeller Plaza) by American composer Alec Wilder (died Christmas Eve, 1980). Through Wilder, TUBACHRISTMAS concerts pay grateful tribute to composers who have embraced these noble instruments with solo and ensemble compositions. Depending on the population of any given geographic area, TUBACHRISTMAS ensembles may attract multiples of 100 participants aged 8 to 85 years! The warm, rich organ-like sound of the tuba-euphonium choir has won the ears and hearts of every audience. It is no wonder that TUBACHRISTMAS is an established Christmas tradition in cities throughout the world.

TUBACHRISTMAS is a property and presentation of the
HARVEY PHILLIPS FOUNDATION, INC
P.O. Box 933 • Bloomington, IN 47402-0933
(812) 824-8833 • FAX (812) 824-4462
e-mail: coord@tubachristmas.com Web site: http://www.tubachristmas.com
“. . .dedicated to developing, expanding, and preserving the music arts. . .”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25,453 other followers