Tag Archives: art

Here comes the sun…here comes the FUN!!!

7 Apr 19

April showers bring May flowers, spring has truly arrived!! And with spring our thoughts turn to sunshine, to social time to FUN!! Summer is a fun-filled busy time in downtown Blacksburg so we think you need to mark your calendars now and SAVE THE DATES!

Saturday, May 3, 5-10pm- 2nd annual Horseshoes & Hats: A Kentucky Derby Casino Night
In Kent Square
Tickets available NOW online only at: http://www.downtownblacksburg.com/casino_night.aspx
The event will include viewing the Kentucky Derby, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a Fancy Hat contest and Casino games- Craps, Roulette, Blackjack, Texas Hold ‘em, and River City Horse Racing. Must be 21 or older to attend.

 
Tuesday May 27, 6:02pm- CASH MOB for Mental Health America
Meeting place To Be Announced

We meet, the secret locally owned businesses to target are announced and off we go!
Rules:
1) Spend up to $20
2) Meet 3 new people
3) HAVE FUN!

Tuesday June 17, 5:48pm Cash Mob
Meeting place to be announced

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Saturday, June 21, 1pm-11:30pm- Summer Solstice Fest
Main Street and Lee Street
Featuring Burnt Creative Craft & Vintage Market, Downtown Sundown 5k® Race, carnival, sand beach, live music, dog parade, petting zoo, and so much more.

Tuesday July 15, 6:12pm Cash Mob
Meeting place to be announced

Saturday July 19, 8am-2pm Art at the Market with Breakfast at the Farmers Market
Juried Art show and sidewalk sale featuring at least 30 local artists.
Take in a little breakfast with your art, as well as enjoying a bustling day at the Farmers Market. Live music included!

Friday-Saturday August 1-2, 10am-10pm STEPPIN’ OUT!
Crafters, art, sidewalk sales, live music and entertainment, family, food FUN!!!

Monday, August 18, 6:06pm Cash Mob
Meeting place to be announced

We have a few more activities and events up our sleeves so keep watching our website: http://www.downtownblacksburg.com/events.aspxor our facebook https://www.facebook.com/DowntownBlacksburg

Student gallery showcased in monthly Art Walk

17 Oct

Though Blacksburg has a multitude of art galleries downtown, only one is soley managed by students.

 

 XYZ Art Gallery is the student-run gallery located on Main Street. It was founded by Studio Art students 20 years ago as a way to showcase their talent.

 

 “It’s kind of like a safe haven for studio artists to show their work in a public setting,” said Carson Bendel, president of XYZ Art Gallery.

 

 Students control every aspect of the gallery. Faculty advisors give some guidance, but students decide the shows, contact artists and organize events.

 

 “It’s a lot of fun because anything that anyone wants to do, we make it happen,” Bendel said.

 
Students who wish to submit work do not need to be art majors, and they are also encouraged to participate in running the gallery.
 
All artists, students or community members, are welcome to submit their work to the gallery for display at any time. The only requirements for a piece of work are for them to be finished and either matted or framed for display.
 
XYZ displays a variety of art mediums from paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics to new media. Animations have been shown using projectors, and performance art has been showcased occasionally as well.
 
In addition to displaying visual art, XYZ hosts musical performances, open mic nights, poetry readings and movie nights. The space is transformative, however, and is open to for other types of events as well.
 
“We had a meditation last semester,” Bendel said. “We’re gonna start doing yoga in the gallery.”
 
Intermediate yoga classes will be held at the gallery every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. for anyone to participate.
 
The current show in the gallery is Capital Vices Collection by Meggalif. It was the first show this semester and will be on display during today’s First Friday Art Walk.
 
“XYZ hadn’t been involved in this event a whole lot in the past,” Bendel said. “But it’s definitely something we’re looking forward to being involved in.”
 
The first Friday of each month, art galleries in Blacksburg hold an opening for a new artist or exhibit. Laureen Blakemore, director of Events in Downtown Blacksburg, helped organize it into a larger event known as the First Friday Art Walk.
 
The Art Walk starts at 5:00 p.m. and ends at 8:00 pm.
 
“The idea was to make it more public, let people know what was going on, and to bring people down into the galleries and stores so they could find out about these great art galleries,” Blakemore said.
 
Recently the Art Walk changed its format to a self-guided tour. The idea was modeled after a gallery in Ashville, N.C. that Blakemore visited as a part of the Downtown Revitalization Committee.
 
Brochures for the tour include information about each gallery participating, as well as a map of where each gallery can be found.
 
“We came back and worked with the Blacksburg Partnership and modeled our brochure on that idea. People can pick that up at any time and know where the galleries are,” Blakemore said.
 
Brochures are available in downtown stores, the Virginia Tech Visitor’s Center and participating galleries.
 
Not every participating location is a traditional gallery. Other venues include the Blacksburg Public Library, Bollo’s Café & Bakery, Eucalyptus Massage Center, Mish Mish, Inc., Gillie’s Vegetarian Restaurant, Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea and Pita Vera.
 
Groups of attendees range from families with young children to students to senior citizens.
 
“It fosters being local and enjoying your downtown,” Blakemore said.
 
Gallery owners and managers want more people to see and experience the downtown art culture.
 
“It’s definitely our goal to promote art in the community,” Bendel said. “I just want people to know that XYZ exists and that we’re doing really cool things.”
 
On Oct. 10, XYZ will open their Sci-Fi and Fantasy show with a reception running from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
 

A version of this article appeared in the Oct 4 issue of the Collegiate Times.

First Friday Art Walks
Take a self-guided Tour of all of the Gallery Spaces in Blacksburg anytime you like but on the following First Fridays participating Galleries will remain open until 8pm.
Friday October 4
Friday December 6
Gallery Guide & Art Walk brochures available in downtown stores, the Virginia Tech Visitor’s Center and participating galleries. Get details here: http://www.downtownblacksburg.com/art_at_market.aspx

Summertime in Downtown Blacksburg 2013

31 May 27

Artcrawl with Scavenger Hunt
Friday June 7, 5-8pm
FREE and open to all!
Collect Scavenger Hunt form at participating galleries, return completed form to Community Arts Information Office (CAIO) by 8pm. Prizes will be awarded!

Participating Galleries:
Armory Art Gallery, Bollo’s Gallery, Burnt Creative Boutique, CAIO, Capone’s Fine Jewelers , The Artful Place, Eucalyptus Massage Studio Gallery,Gallery at Mish Mish, Gillie’s Gallery, Kent Jewelers, Matrix Gallery, Nest Realty, Perspectives Gallery, Pita Vera, The Artful Lawyer A Fine Gallery Inc

Cash Mob
Join us on Thursday, June 27 at 5:38pm
Meet at the Odd Fellows Hall, near Buffalo Wild Wings
We will shop in a locally owned store and then celebrate in a locally owned and operated restaurant. Partnering with Valley Interfaith Chil Care Center. Bring craft supplies such as washable markers, school glue, crayola finger paint, etc to donate to VICCC.
RULES:
Meet 3 new people
Spend $20
Support local businesses
HAVE FUN!!!!

Downtown Cash Mob dates for 2013
June 27- with VICCC
July 16- Ladies Only!
August 13
September 25- with Micah’s Backpacks
October 24- with the YMCA Please join us for the next Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. Cash Mob.

Blacksburg Farmers Market
Market Hours:
Wednesday 2pm-7pm
Saturday 10am – 2 pm
Special Events:
Sunday June 2, 10am – 3pm: Vintage and Antique Market, featuring food from Bollo’s and Pita Vera
June 12- Mingle at the Market- featuring wine from Beliveau Winery, beer from Bull and Bones and music by Welcome to Hoonah!
Saturday June 22, 9 – 11:30 am: Solstice Chef featuring a food demo and tasting with VT chef Randy Van Dyke, and the grand launch of our Mobile Kitchen!
July 10- Mingle at the Market
July 20- Breakfast at the Market
August 14- Tomato Tasting

Movies on The Lawn- Presented by the Blacksburg Museum & Cultural Foundation
Thomas Connor House Lawn. 104 Draper Rd
Admission and popcorn are FREE
Bring a blanket or chair and purchase some dinner from a local food vendor prior to the Movie.
Movie starts at dark. Rain date Saturday.
For details call 540-558-0746
Sponsored by The Town of Blacksburg, The National Bank of Blacksburg, First Bank of Virginia, Real Life Dental Care, The Blacksburg Partnership, Dr. Steve Jacobs, Stellar One Bank, First Bank & Trust Co, Rocky Acres, Plott & French Financial Advisors, Christian Insurance Agency, Starshine Events and The Lyric Theatre.
June 14- The Odd Life of Timothy Green
July 12- Paranorman
August 9- Zookeeper

Blacksburg Rescue Squad
Please join us for our annual open house Saturday June 15th from 1pm until 5pm.
There will be a demonstration showing how a victim is removed from a car damaged in an accident using the jaws of life. A real car will be used. There will also be tours of the ambulances and crash trucks. Bring the kids,have a bite to eat and meet members of your local volunteer rescue.
For more details visit: http://www.blacksburgrescue.org/events

Up on the Roof
May 30th, June 27th, July 25th, August 29th and Sept. 26th.
Blacksburg Premier Creative Professional’s mixer. We meet on the last Thursday of every month (April through Sept) on the rooftop of the Kent Square parking lot from 5:30-8pm – it is a happy hour networking social.

Market Square Jam
Blacksburg’s Market Square Jam kicks off the summer 2013 season on Wednesday, June 5. The Jam is a weekly event that takes place Wednesday evenings from 8-11 pm at the site of the Farmers Market on Draper Road. The season will run from June 5 – September 25.
Whether you’re a musician wanting to jam with others or just looking for some great music on a Wednesday night, come out to the Farmers Market and enjoy a great time.
June 5- The Jugbusters
June 12 – Katie and the Bubbatones
June 19 – Sam Linkous and Friends
June 26 – The Happy Hollow String Band
July 10 – Katie and the Bubbatones
July 17 – Sam Linkous and Friends
July 24 – Indian Run String Band
July 31 – Farm Use Only
August 7 – Black Twig Pickers
August 14 – Sam Linkous and Friends

For more information, visit www.blacksburg.gov/marketsquarejam.

Summer Arts Festival
“Friday Night” Out Concerts
6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
June 21-Cyrus Pace Quartet
June 28-No Strings Attached
July 5-Gerry Timlin
July 12-Three Minute Lovin’
July 19-Sexual Chocolate
July 26-Key West Band

6th annual Summer Solstice Fest
Come have a mid-summer frolic in Downtown Blacksburg on Friday June 21 5-10pm for the Carnival and Saturday, June 22, from one ‘til midnight for the Festival and Carnival.

Live music, dog parade, Treasure Island, Beer Garden, a giant sand beach, a Downtown Sundown 5K Run, Wing eating Contest,Water Wars, Carnival and much more! Bring the kids to an old-fashioned flea circus, crafts, activities, and festival foods.

Downtown Sundown 5K® – download your application here
 http://www.runaboutsports.com/images/Race_Docs/2013SundownRegistration.pdf

Art at the Market
Art at the Market 2013will take place on Saturday, July 20, from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Once again, this Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. event will be in conjunction with the annual Breakfast at the Farmers Market. Live Music provided by Kat Mills and Eric Lanoue.

Download the 2013 application. Spaces are limited, so be sure to get your application in quickly. Spaces will be assigned based on indicated preference (where possible) and in the order received.

With your participation we hope to make this the biggest and best Art at the Market ever!

Thanks to our Art at the Market Sponsors: Fringe Benefit, Mish Mish and The Community Arts Information Office

33rd Annual Steppin’ Out
August 2-3, 2013 from 10 am until 10 pm.
Steppin’ Out features over 200 artists and crafts people from around the United States selling unique handcrafted items – jewelry, pottery, textiles, metal work, basketry, stained & fused glass, yard art, fine art, furniture, toys, artisan foods and so much more!

For more details of all events visit www.downtownblacksburg.com

Pita Vera-Made from Scratch with a Lebanese Flair

2 Nov pitat11

Post written by Cyndy Graham

Yes, you heard correctly. The food at Pita Vera is made fresh and baked fresh. From gyros to kabobs, Pita Vera prepares your food to order with the finest and freshest products. Owner Sam Makoley knew he wanted to open his restaurant in Blacksburg after working in the hotel and restaurant industry in LA and Phoenix. It didn’t take many trips to Southwest Virginia before he was won over by the beauty of the area, sense of community, peace and quiet, and most of all, the people. When he would visit his cousin in Roanoke, he enjoyed the slower pace of life compared with big city life. After the economy took a downturn in 2008, he decided to sell his restaurant in Phoenix, and head to Blacksburg.

Pita Vera is in the former “More than Coffee” location at 235 North Main St. Also, the former site of Mr. Fooz Sub Shop (1981), a favorite location of Hokie alums, including myself, the name was changed in June 2010 to more accurately reflect the food and the atmosphere. Sam bought the restaurant in May 2009. The food is a combination of Mediterranean, Lebanese, Greek, and Italian, using recipes passed down through Sam’s family and new dishes that the owner puts together on his own. Menu items are continually updated, and include fresh fish and homemade pasta. A $100,000 building renovation is in the works, which will include new seating. The focus of the menu is on fresh, healthy options using ingredients such as olive oil, and menu items are cholesterol free. Sam always “treats the customer the way I would want to be treated.”

The downtown location has many plusses, and a few minuses. Having such a visible location is a great advantage, but there is a lot of competition. New restaurants are opening all of the time and there are more dining options on campus. The location also does not allow for outdoor seating, at a time when College Avenue is being upgraded for more outdoor seating options. Pita Vera does have a lot of loyal, local customers, as well as customers from Roanoke, Winchester, and even Boston, who make sure to stop by when they are in town.

Sam Makoley brought his passion for ethnic foods to Blacksburg along with his philosophy of being true to the customer (vera is Latin for “true”).  Sam and his staff at Pita Vera simply “try to do our best.” Evidently his customers agree. I urge you to check it out!
Take in a little art with your meal- Pita Vera carries a rotating display of art by members of Blacksburg Regional Arts Association.

Pita Vera
235 N. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA   24060
Tel: 540-552-9222

Hours of operation:
Monday through Thursday 11:00 to 9:00pm
Friday and Saturday 11:00 to 9:30pm.

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Down on the camera corner….

15 Dec

Post written by Tracy Watson
It is said that every picture has a story.  If that is true, then John Kline can probably tell it.  Ask him about the antique slot machine he traded for photographing a wedding, or about taking pictures of mining equipment seven levels down.  John Kline has seen and documented many changes since he first grabbed a camera so long ago.  Nowhere in Blacksburg will you find a better, more tangible record of the history of photography or of our town.

John has had a camera in his hands for as long as he can remember. His first camera, a Brownie Reflex, was his companion as a boy scout while he learned about the world around him. At Blacksburg High School he spent many late nights in the dark room as the school’s photograph editor. His summers were spent in the Virginia Tech photo lab. Even his years in the Navy were spent with a camera in hand.

John’s Camera Corner/Gentry Studio has been in downtown Blacksburg for more than 35 years. Having occupied many locations along Draper Road through the years, John recently returned to 213 Draper Road, a space he originally occupied when he first stopped working for Ewald Clark and started his own business. With all the extra room John has been able to fully display a remarkable collection of cameras, from vintage Brownies to 35mm cameras to modern digital cameras. While it may feel like a museum of photography, all these fascinating cameras are for sale and can be serviced right here.

John’s most unique camera can’t be found in his store, however. It’s in the restaurant across the street. A 1960′s photo booth. Pay your money, have a seat, flash your smile and take home a strip of four pictures as a souvenir.

John was among the first to offer  color processing in town many years ago and continues to provide film processing and digital photo printing today. He also does passports on site, photo restoration, large format printing and archival printing of your photographs. And if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, John will photograph your wedding, reunion, or other event offering  all types of photography from aerials to wedding photography.

John is a proud supporter of “living local” in downtown Blacksburg stating that ” Survival in downtown Blacksburg comes first.  We adapt to the changes, but still keep the old alive, for example we are just building a Black and White darkroom again. We have added Records to our store to add a little more variety.  I have even sold sleds in the winter so you may never know what to expect.”

Take a look at http://www.johnscam.com/ or better yet, stop by John’s Camera Corner/Gentry Studio at 213 Draper Road and take a look around.

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Guess Who’s Celebrating 25 Years in Downtown Blacksburg!?!

29 Oct Matrix

Post written by Karen Quina Doyle

Revised: 11/16/12- Matrix Gallery is celebrating it’s 25th Birthday! Another year older and another year better and better! Come and join the celebration 11/16/12 4-8pm in Matrix Gallery.

Stepping into Matrix Gallery  on a late October day that might best be described as a mix of drizzle and bluster with a touch of grey, the forecast immediately brightens as shop owner Lana Jaurez ushers me in with her warm smile and easy way.

Lana Juarez

A few steps more, and I’m fully immersed in the company and domain of the attractive, petite shop owner with chocolate eyes and silvering bob.  I know in an instant I’ve just entered the realm of someone who is right in her element, doing exactly what she loves and even more obviously meant to do.

The Road to Blacksburg

As an Art Major at Tech in the ’70s, Juarez had her heart set on working at a Downtown Blacksburg craft shop in the spot that is now Poor Billy’s.  It closed before she got that chance.  Waiting and wishing for someone to reopen it, she took to the road as a juried artist specializing in stained glass, a craft, which by her own admission, she hasn’t pursued in a while.

The journey would ultimately take her across the country just as it had as a young “Navy brat” transported from California to D.C..  It was during these more recent ventures that she met most of the artists and artisans “from all over” she still represents to this day.  Even though she has long since left the juried arts circuit, the latest works of those early acquaintances are still exquisitely displayed right next to her more recent finds.

Opening the Doors on a New Chapter

Realizing she could no longer wait for someone else to reopen that craft shop, she, along with two others who have since moved on, opened the gallery November 7, 1987 just a few blocks up the road in what has remained its permanent location at 115 North Main Street.

Working Her Magic

During a visit that was altogether too brief, I immediately grasped the notion behind her success when two random gentlemen, one with a clear agenda and one without, appeared in her doorway. The more decisive of the two made quick work of coveting a dove sculpture, a premeditated gift for (it was apparent) a very special lady, though he was in no apparent hurry.

Every dog has his day!

He and the engaging Juarez lingered over musicians and friends they had in common along with a shared love for Keb’ Mo’, who (unbeknownst to him) had prompted the whole exchange by way of Lana’s sound system.   The other, asking where one “might find antiques in town”, was greeted with the news that he could easily find “future antiques” right there in Matrix Gallery!  It was clear to me that no one could open that door without feeling the urge to come in and find what would surely become a treasured heirloom.  Even I was not immune.  I ended up leaving with the perfect gift for a friend’s new arrival: a baby rattle crafted out of a single piece of American black cherry at the hands of Victoria, TX wood turner and furniture maker, George Bagnall.

Art from All Parts

The array of artists reads like a travelogue as diverse as Juarez’ journeys — Whiting, WA; Burlington, ND; Corrales, NM; Easthampton, MA; Arcata, CA; Haiku, HI – though weight and prominence are equally given to local and regional artists including Blacksburg’s own David Crane, Beverly Nachlas, and Sally Mook as well as Floyd’s Sarah McCarthy, Richmond’s Robin Cage, and the Shenandoah Valley’s Marsha Heatwole.  The offerings range from pottery to glass, jewelry and wood, leatherwork, and hand-forged steel among a variety of other media.

“I believe it’s important to continue the tradition of honoring things made by hand,” Juarez intones.  “Even though this is new,” she urges, cradling a pottery mug with heartfelt appreciation, “it’s ancient.”  With a compassion that is hard to miss, she emphasizes how hard it is for the American artist to make it, especially now as things are moving too fast at the hands of technology.  “It’s something we can’t afford to lose,” she says with an impassioned plea.

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Tell Us What You’ve Found There

Do have a favorite artist or prized acquisition from Matrix Gallery?  We’d love to hear about it. Please share your story with us in the comments section, below.

When you’re through, go by and wish Lana a Happy 24th Downtown Blacksburg Anniversary!  We dare you to leave empty-handed.

Matrix Gallery is open seven days a week.

Learn more at www.matrixgallery.com.

Design the 2012 Steppin’ Out t-shirt

17 Oct

STEPPIN’ OUT

T-SHIRT DESIGN COMPETITION

$500 Prize

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. is sponsoring

 a design competition for the

Steppin’ Out 2012 T-Shirt

Steppin’ Out is a summer festival sponsored by the Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and held on the first weekend in August of each year. August 3 & 4, 2012 will mark the 32nd annual celebration. The activities include live music, arts & crafts booths, merchant booths, children’s art & craft activities, displays by local nonprofit groups, the Draper Mile running race, and lots of food.

Profits from T-shirt sales not only fund this event, but also are used to support downtown and community improvements and activities such as the Farmers Market, the Downtown Master Plan, downtown benches, the Hand-in-Hand playground, the Arts Initiative, economic development and numerous downtown festivals.

Designs should reflect the character of Steppin’ Out, downtown Blacksburg, or the region.

Judging will be done by a panel of downtown merchants.  The winning artist will be profiled through advertising/news articles, in store windows where t-shirts are sold prior to the festival, and at Steppin’ Out.

Requirements: Maximum of 6 colors on shirt back and 2 colors for pocket logo. The shirt back design must incorporate the words “Downtown Blacksburg” and the date “August 3 & 4, 2012″. The pocket logo should include the words “Steppin’ Out”.

DEADLINES:

Concept sketches are due by December 15, 2011

They should be delivered to the Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. office located at 149 College Avenue, Blacksburg, VA, in the Community Arts Information Office, or they should be mailed to P.O. Box 233, Blacksburg, VA  24063.

Design/artist will be chosen and final camera ready artwork will be due by March 1, 2012.

 

Visit our website at http://www.downtownblacksburg.com to see past years’ designs!

 Steppin Out Design Competition Entry form

Art at the Market

8 Jul Mccabecoolidge

Passionate about art? Love our Blacksburg Farmers Market? Is breakfast your favorite meal of the day? Love to buy local?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, we have the event for you! Saturday, July 16th, sees the return of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.’s annual Art at the Market. The event has been around for nigh on 20 some years and changed locations and titles three time. It has grown from a handful of artists displaying their latest paintings on a fence of Henderson Lawn on College Avenue under the dubious protection of a handheld umbrella; “Art on the Fence”; to artists showing their work in the alley behind the original Farmers Market; “Art Along the Alley”;to over forty artists in 2010 filling 10×10 booth spaces on the lawn of the Media Building on Draper Rd; “Art at the Market”.

Local artist, Sally Mook, remembers the event well having been a participant since 1987. “Art at the Market started out as Art Along the Fence, the fence being the one that enclosed Henderson Lawn from Main street to Squires Student Center on College Ave. Some artists brought their own setups, but a lot of us hung our paintings from the fence by looping the painting’s wire over the fence spikes or leaning paintings against the fence and resting them on the brick wall……
There was good shade from all the trees along Henderson Lawn and College Ave…. There was good camaraderie among the artists then just as there is now.
The idea that didn’t work out was “Art Along the Alley” – it was waaaay too hot there and that must have been the low point for Blacksburg’s sidewalk art show as I believe there were only 7 of us artists.
No matter what the weather, I’ve always loved being a part of this show. So many people come downtown to look at art and to visit, it’s truly a fun, hometown event for me.”
Nancy Norton, stained glass artist, shares an enthusiastic view of the event; “This will be my fifth year at Art at the Market. Through heat and rain and perfect weather, it is always a treat to see so many folks downtown and for them to have a delightful opportunity to see what our local artists are doing.”

Without a doubt this exposition of unique works showcasing local artists in all visual media has seen its popularity and success increase as each year passes. Attracting an increasing number of artists each year it has become the premiere arts event in Blacksburg.

Art at the Market is now held each year in conjunction with Breakfast at the Farmer’s Market, a family event featuring wonderful locally grown food, live music and the best produce the farmer’s have to offer! This is the ideal opportunity to take in a little art with your breakfast.

Art at the Market is another great event brought to you by Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. with sponsorship from
Fringe Benefit, the Community Arts Information Office, and Mish Mish

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“Artists and Apricots”

25 Apr

You’ve heard of Apple Records, right? How about Apricot Enterprises?
No?
Well, if you’ve been in Blacksburg for very long you most certainly have passed the store, or even shopped there. Maybe it would help if you knew Arabic, because “apricot” translates to “mish mish”.
In 1967, owners Steve and Debbie Miller came to Virginia Tech as Architecture students …. actually Debbie was more of an artist. Both Virginians, Steve being from Richmond and Debbie from Alexandria, they connected sometime in those early years when good old VPI was still a very male-dominated school.
Three other friends by the names of Phil, Dave, and Jay joined Steve in recognizing the need for architectural supplies, and with a $300 loan they opened the first Mish Mish storefront in February of 1970. Debbie was an associate and the five of them opened for business on the 2nd floor of the 100 Block of Roanoke Street, next to a hippie store known as Humble Pie.
Obviously, it was a smart move to open such a store because today, 41 years later, they are as large as ever in their Main Street location. And their wares are not just for architects, or designers, or artists, or engineers ….. they are an integral part of the downtown Blacksburg landscape and cater to all kinds of creative people, whether connected with the college or not.
Many old-timers might remember their early store sites on Roanoke Street, followed by a move to the alley behind Bollo’s right next to the Lyric Theater’s back door, and then to a street-facing spot under the parking lot at Draper and Jackson Streets. That was back in the days one might find a resident cat hanging around the premises.

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Today you will find Mish Mish directly across from the Post Office, and you’ll also find added features. This locale also has an artist gallery where local talent display their creations on consignment, and where you can have custom framing done on your own prints. As you browse the store, you are only seeing the retail portion of this unique trade. Behind closed doors in the rear, and up the stairs, are thousands of square feet of storage and office space that are vital to keeping the place ticking.
Mish Mish is a bright, well organized shop with all kinds of tools for kids and adults to use. Even if you just need a good fancy pen for yourself or as a gift, this is the place. The owners and staff can help you find anything, and can even suggest what you might need for the project you have in mind.
Visit Mish Mish at 125 North Main Street, or go to their website at www.mishmish.com.

Written by Blacksburg Resident Dennis Smith. Check out Dennis’ blog That 70′s Blacksburg

Art Crawl with Poker Run

25 Feb 7water

The Downtown Blacksburg Art Crawl will be a regular feature of our returning monthly celebration of First Fridays starting March 4th. In addition to a plethora of family friendly activities, you can discover the hidden artistic treasures in a variety of galleries located in the downtown area. Some of the gallery locations are obvious, others may surprise you, but all point to the fact that Downtown Blacksburg truly boasts a flourishing arts district.

So why an “ART CRAWL”?
Well if you like the idea of winning great prizes that may be enough incentive; in March the proud winner will take home two primo tickets to the Iris Dement concert to take place at The Lyric on March 25th.

Yet there is so much more than winning a prize to be gained from participating in our Art Crawl, so read on to discover where you can find delightful works of art. We are sure there will be something to appeal to everyone.

“Speaking while listening” -The work of Chris Wubbena
Armory Art Gallery

Custom designed works of wearable art
Capone’s Fine Jewelry

The work of Cedric Rudisill and Christy Mackie
Clay Corner Inn

The art of Jesi Pace- Berkeley
Community Arts Information Office

“Speaking while listening” -The work of Chris Wubbena
Experiential Gallery for Creative Technologies

“Woodblock prints” by Whitney Waller
Gillie’s Gallery

Work by Larry Bechtel, Jenny Pollard & Trev Smith
Main-Lee Gallery

The work of Elizabeth Foster & the photography of David Hilgendorff
Main Street Inn Gallery

Reception with local artists in residence
Matrix Gallery

“Flowers” an exhibition of paintings by Gemma Clasing
Next Door Bake Shop

Employee Show with reception
The Gallery at Mish Mish

Many of the galleries will host receptions with refreshments during the Art Crawl.

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Art Crawl with Poker Run- here’s how it works:

The Art Crawl and Poker Run will begin at 4pm- you choose which gallery is your starting place! Maps to the galleries and instructions for the Poker Run will be available from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at ALL participating galleries.

1. Visit as many galleries as you can and get a playing card at each.

2. Take only one card per venue!

3. Use as many cards as you are able to collect and make the BEST FIVE CARD STUD POKER HAND YOU CAN! (NO WILD CARDS IN PLAY). A list of possible poker hands and their value will be available in the Community Arts Information Office (CAIO).

4. Return to Community Arts Information Office (CAIO), 149 College Ave., with your best poker hand by 7:30 pm at which time the winning hand will be announced and prizes awarded.

5. In the event that no standard poker hand is created, the five-card hand with the most points will be declared the winner. Numbered cards each score points equal to the number on the card face and the following cards will be scored as: Jack (11), Queen (12), King (13) and Ace (14).

6. All cards in the winning hand must be from different galleries!!! In the event of a tie, the winner will be the first recorded hand.

7. You do not need to be present to win but all poker hands must be recorded and player identified by 7:30 pm on the evening of the Gallery Crawl and Poker Run.

Art Crawl will return during First Friday celebrations on April 1st, May 6th, June 3rd, and July 1st.

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