Tag Archives: Community Arts Information Office

Dogs of Downtown- meet Keefer Dogg

5 Nov Keefer2

Post written by Erin Jenkins and Laureen Blakemore

The dogs of downtown are fancy and enjoy “the finer things in life”, but they want you to know they are just like all the other dogs out there. The Sister dogs of Clay Corner Inn Minkie and Caly enjoy lawn games with their parents and guests. Caly is an expert cornhole player, frisbee golfer, and both sisters love their tennis balls. Bella, the greeter and Fine Jewelry Expert at Capone’s Fine Jewelry  enjoys visits to the Farmers Market and sitting on laps in the store while visitors work with her mom and “brother” to design beautiful pieces of jewelry.  While Keith R. Dogg (“Keefer Dogg”), the  assistant curator at Matrix Gallery, enjoys long walks and seeing all his friends at doggy daycare.  When Keefer is not working at the gallery he can be found relaxing or helping his dad around the house, talking nice long walks, attending daycare  at Flying Fur  and taking training  classes with his humans.

While visiting I saw Mr. Dogg knock over a small book with his tail and he told me that often his big fluffy tail is too cumbersome for his mom’s gallery, so he gets to go on a car ride with his dad. Since he does spend a good amount of time “off the job” he really tries to soak up the attention from his customers at the gallery when he’s there.  Keefer Dogg  really does enhance your shopping experience, as he is such a smiley beautiful English Shepard. Keefer is very well trained, and getting even better as he grows.  His treat of choice is cubed Colby cheese, but we are pretty sure he would not turn down any kind of treat.
I asked Keefer a few important questions to get to know him better.
Q: So Keefer, are you a big Hokie fan?
A: I loooove turkey!

Q: What do you want people to know about you?
A: My bark is worse than my bite, and I wanna be loved!

Q: What is your main gripe about Downtown Blacksburg?
A: Not enough fire hydrants

Q: Do you get bored at the store with no other pets around?
A: I get walks with Dad lots , and I get a lot of treats. Of course I do want some more friends–furry and not– to come on over and visit me in Matrix Gallery!

Keefer is very excited that his store will be celebrating its 25th birthday on November 16, although he is a little concerned that mom may not let him come to the party. (Something to do with fluffy waggy tails and too much cheese which is supposed to be for the guests and not for him!) The big celebration takes place on November 16, 4:00-8:00pm. All non doggies are welcome to join the fun which will take place in Matrix Gallery!

Matrix Gallery is located at
115 North Main Street
540-951-3566

Coming in our next installment of the Dogs of Downtown; meet Minkie and Caly, the innkeepers of Clay Corner Inn.

Why not visit some of the Dogs of Downtown:
Calypso the Golden Retriever and Minkie the Jack Russell mix, Dog-keepers at Clay Corner Inn
Keith R. Dogg “Keefer Dogg”, Assistant Curator at Matrix Gallery
Molly and Minnie the mini-Schnauzers, Sales Assistants at Mad Dog
Goliath the Bulldog, Marketing Team Member at Nest Realty
Bella the Bischon Freis, Diamond and Fine Jewelry Expert at Capones Fine Jewelry
Barkley, Antique Collector at Heirloom Originals
Xena, the receptionist at The Laser Clinic
Milo, the greeter at 130 Jackson, who can often be found stationed outside Bollo’s

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Dog friendly downtown locations:
Fringe Benefit
Greenhouse Boardshop
Heirloom Originals
Huckleberry Trail
High Peak Sportswear
Heavener Hardware Lumber and Rental
Mad Dog
Market Square Park
Matrix Gallery
Nest Realty
The Community Arts Information Office
The Henderson Lawn

PLEASE be a responsible pet owner and pick up after your dogs.

Top Ten reasons to shop downtown!

16 Dec

10. Product Diversity- a multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

9. ELEPHANT POOP PAPER!

8. Protect Local Character and Prosperity. By choosing to support locally owned businesses, you help maintain our diversity and distinctive flavor.

7.The Farmers Market is downtown!

6. Community Well-Being
Locally owned businesses build strong neighborhoods by sustaining communities, linking neighbors, and by contributing more to local causes. When you come downtown you will always bump into friends!

5. Bella,Sapphire, & Bradley the “mascot” dogs resident in Capone’s Fine Jewelry and Mad Dog and Heirloom Originals!

4. Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy
Your dollars spent in locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more town services through sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement and promote community development.

3. You can stop and eat in one of the many fabulous restaurants and see a movie in the beautiful Lyric Theatre!

2. Public Benefits and Costs
Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls………..

……and the # 1 reason to shop downtown for the holidays…..

1. FREE PARKING at all metered spaces through January 16!

Watch this video- Shop Downtown for the holidays!

Tell us why you love to shop downtown in the comments section below!

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.

“What is Your Blueprint … How Will You Live Your Life?”

29 Dec

Each year as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Virginia Tech, area kindergarten through 12th grade students are invited to participate in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. poster contest.

In partnership with Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. the 2011 winning posters will be displayed Jan. 3 through Jan. 31 in six downtown locations:

* Community Arts Information Office at 149 College Avenue
* The Center of Dance Academy at 460 Turner Street, NW # 101 Collegiate Square
* Kent Square Lobby at 106 East Washington Street
* Mish Mish at 125 North Main Street
* Main Lee Art at 201 South Main Street
* Next Door Bake Shop at 460 Turner Street, NW, #204 Collegiate Square.

According to Silvia Ramos-Cotton, associate director of Diversity Education and Training in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, “This year 16 schools in the New River and Roanoke Valleys participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. poster contest. We have had a consistent increase in participation from year-to-year, which indicates our youth’s desire to reflect on the impact and relevance of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.”

The purpose of the poster contest is to encourage students to think critically about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and develop goals that reflect how they will live out the principles of non-violent social change to address problems they witness in their communities.

Posters are judged on how effectively the artwork expresses individuality through unique ideas; how the artwork illustrates imaginative and meaningful ideas; and how well the artwork relates to the theme.

In 1967 Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech titled, “What is Your Life’s Blueprint,” where he challenged a group of students to reflect on how they lived their lives and recommended that they develop a blueprint, or action plan for their legacy. This year’s theme, “What is Your Blueprint … How Will You Live Your Life?” is derived from that speech.

The poster contest is sponsored by Virginia Tech, the Montgomery County-Radford City-Floyd County Branch of the NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Inc., Black Student Alliance, The Center of Dance Academy, and the Black Organizations Council.

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion have successfully partnered for the past two years to present the Annual Principles of Community Mixer.

A map of the downtown businesses in Blacksburg displaying winning posters can be seen here:
2011 MLK Art Crawl Map
A complete list of the 2011 poster contest winners is available right here:
2011 MLK Poster Winners

Congratulations to all of the young artists! Thank you to our participating downtown businesses for displaying the beautiful posters. Stop by and take a look!

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.

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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.

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

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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

First Friday Gallery Openings

29 Sep

Looking for something eye catching this Friday? Check out a couple gallery openings in downtown Blacksburg!

Artwork By Jane Vance

The art of Jane Lillian Vance and her students
Community Arts Information Office
149 College Avenue

The art of Donald Sunshine- media watercolor
Mish Mish Gallery 5:00-7:00pm
125 N. Main Street

***Both exhibits will run through the month of October.

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