Tag Archives: Matrix Gallery

Dogs of Downtown- meet Minkie & Caly

10 Dec IMG_5945

Post Written by Erin Jenkins

Part 2 of our Dogs of Downtown series!

Right down the road from Matrix Gallery, and Mr. Keefer Dogg are the Sister dogs of Clay Corner Inn-Minkie and Caly.  These gals enjoy lawn games with their parents and the B&B guests. Caly is an expert cornhole player, frisbee golfer, and both sisters love their tennis balls. Caly is a beautiful IMG_5942nine year old golden retriever, she’s a part-timer at Clay Corner Inn, and part time receptionist at Heartstrings Pet Lodging and Spa. Minky is an adorable jack russell mix, and a full time dog-keeper at Clay Corner Inn. I sat down with the two girls and their parents at their bed and breakfast one day.  Caly is the lover of the bunch, she wants a hug, a kiss, a pat, but she is not obnoxious about it. Minky is a silly girl, and her favorite stance is sitting back on her hind legs, paws folded.  These beautiful girls are friendly, happy, and very well trained. The girls moved east with their parents Nicky and her husband, Rick, when they took over Clay Corner Inn in the fall of 2011 after the original owners decided to retire. From their previous home in California they spent two years searching out B&B properties along the East Coast, wanting to get closer to their three children, the youngest of whom is in Barcelona, Spain, Nicky’s hometown.IMG_5944

The ladies of Clay Corner Inn live to be in their section of the backyard, where there is a taunting squirrel or two to corral. These little girls love being out in the canopy of trees that surrounds beautiful Clay Corner Inn, and sniffing in all the interesting scents that waft in. Although at times the view of a neighboring feline can just be too much to bear, we are all pretty sure these gals would not trade the Inn-life for anything.
Q: What’s the difference between people from Blacksburg compared to those in California?
A: I love people here! They are friendly and want to pet me and love on me. While walking on campus or downtown Dad says I’m a magnet for attention, because everyone always stops to pet me.

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Q: What is it like to have other dogs and people staying in your home?
A: I LOVE IT! I like the dogs but I’m mostly interested in the new people, getting a hug, and showing them around my backyard.

Q: What is it like sharing your backyard with cats, squirrels and birds?
A: It’s RUFF!

Q: [for Minky] How do you like your job?
A: It’s great!…although I sure do wish those pesky squirrels would stop dropping in my yard unannounced.

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Clay Corner Inn is located at:
401 Clay St., SW
540-552-4030

Coming in our next installment of the Dogs of Downtown; meet Goliath, Marketing Team Member at Nest Realty.

Have you noticed that Downtown Blacksburg has been “going to the dogs” for a while now? What do you think about it?

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

Other doggie friendly spots in Blacksburg:
Community Arts Information Office
Fringe Benefit
Greenhouse Boardshop: they usually have treats for Fido
Heavener Hardware Lumber and Rental
Heirloom Originals
High Peak Sportswear
Huckleberry Trail
Mad Dog
Market Square Park
Matrix Gallery
Nest Realty
The Henderson Lawn

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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