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August, and the Summer are wrapping up, and we are hurtling towards Autumn. I wanted to consult Uncle Google to see who had said notable things about this time of year and I came across what was apparently the first Modern poem in the English language. From Interesting Literature: "If we most readily associate ‘modern poetry’ with brevity, precision of language, understatement, unrhymed verse, written about everyday and often very ordinary things, then we owe many of those associations to T. E. Hulme." In fact, there is something sparse and understated about Autumn, after the heat and buzz of the Summertime. In any event, here's Hulme's paean to Fall:
A touch of cold in the Autumn night –
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.
‘Autumn’ by T. E. Hulme (1883-1917)

Come to our September potluck! Sept. 16, 5:00pm.

Looking Back
Looking Back - Camille and Dave Shafer: Azule's original creators and custodians. Their great love and spirit has suffused this place, continues to do so, and will continue for a long time. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

― Lao Tzu

From Camille to Dave - Part I

In cleaning the junk from my office I just found this letter written in 2012 at a writers workshop exercise.

Hi Honey - It is strange writing you a letter. It has been such a long time ago since I write to you. We were never apart for so many years - I do not know what to say. Here things have changed. I now live in an apartment that we built for the concierge on the back corner of your beloved ping pong palace. It is nice right by the big oak tree; it is like a tree house. The house is slowly getting empty of all my junk and some of yours - I wonder what kind of jokes you would say about that. The space is ready for people to come do their arts. With your acute sense of the past and tremendous memory, I am curious what would come first to your mind. People talk about you. You left such a mark.

You know that dream to have the water in the gulley to flow from little ponds to puddles all the way down and hear the water? Well we do - there is even a little wooden bridge across and all gutters lead to the branch. The briars are ‘almost’ all gone (your battle is won but not the war). The barn has now a wooden floor at the level of the road in the back, and in front it is one floor below. Thanks to Delphine for helping you pour two pillars of cement. It did save the barn. Doug had to patch with Neoprene some of the tin roof - there is a little damage in one corner - we simply braced it with 2 x 6 applied to the surface of the wall to hold the weight of the roof.

You would have a lot to say about the guys that did the work. Andrew lives where George Labruce used to live up the hill. When Harold met him, he immediately thought of you -  a nice soul - I wish you two would have met - you would be best of friends. Honey, I wish so much you were here among all these activities and add a grain of salt and fun to it. The wild turkey come almost every day but not the deer, now that Harold doesn’t grow Tobacco. It isn’t grown in the county. Christopher is landscape architect of the gulley with Kevin Duckett who has been working with him for years. He is funny; together you guys would have made us laugh to tears. You would appreciate and wouldn’t believe how many stones we have around (though no more railroad ties). Kevin is so amazing with Harold’s trackhoe. He put those huge builders and Andrew put smaller stones in between and made stone stairways and terraces with places to sit. All together those 4 guys are making these gullies a jewel - at this time we have a lot of water going down in waterfalls. We’ve found ourselves in a place of more than plentiful water, a plenitude that we didn’t want to live without.

In a couple of months Jean Marie is coming with some guys, Phinias Chirubvu from South Africa and with Andrew to teach how to write in stone. And we are going to have fun with “drive me there” which you repeated so often your last night. Honey, you are a poet and you are celebrated - Doug is still working here, finishing thousand of details in the house and apartment. I am slowing down, especially since I had a hip replacement, and guess what? I got your physical therapist Sheila to help me. We talked about you. She remembered how much you laughed telling her what happened. She told me how much I took good care of you and this, Honey, is what I am the most proud to have done in my life. I’ll do it again. I miss you.

August Residents

Anna Lublina is a theater artist and educator from Brooklyn. She embraces ideals of collectivity and community action that she first encountered in her research into the Soviet conceptualists. She has worked with the Ping + Chong Theatre Company, Meredith Monk and The House Foundation, The Wooster Group, the Motor Company, Built for Collapse, Bread and Puppet, and Errantes in Bogota, Colombia.
"As a theater maker, I aspire to collectively write new mythologies for our time. My work is founded in the belief that experimental performance can be a step toward political revolution: it offers an alternative to the status quo and asks audiences to question the permanence of structures. As I explore the mutability of structure in my work, I inevitably draw from multiple disciplines, dissolving the boundaries between forms to create something that attempts to be beautiful in its idiosyncrasy, like the breath songs of Meredith Monk (a key artistic influence). I meld text, puppetry, physical theater, music, and voice to create queer performance with a hefty dose of idealism."

Anna is committed to expanding the possibilities and structures of live performance to create room for more collective thought and action. In particular, she strives to create mythologies founded on queer, radical value systems that upend the histories upheld by neoliberal patriarchal power structures. In this fractious day in age, and after so many centuries of colonialism, oppression, and a dominant non-inclusive artistic and political climate, Anna seeks to make her work speak to larger possibilities seeking to be born. "I believe that sincerity is the antidote to the apathy of my generation, and this belief informs my artistic practice from process to production."
Her current project has her exploring ideas of translation and family history, inspired in part by her grandmother’s (babushka's) desire to perform on stage. It is a performance that retell, reenacts, and represents the experience of being Jewish in the Soviet Union and how that experience translates and transfers ideas, traumas, and challenges across generations and migrations. The third translation is a melodrama. With a live Yiddish band and large painting-puppets, the stories will be dramatized like an epic tale. Two-dimensional Jewishified Matrushka dolls will waddle on stage with dancing painted backdrops—in the style of Bread and Puppet theater—bemoaning the suffering of their oppressed peoples and celebrating their outwitting of the anti-semitic Soviet regime. It will be an exercise in the campy representation of the act of historization.

Her goals for her time at AZULE were to map out the third part of the performance, the musical re-telling with life-size puppets and a live Yiddish band of two-dimensional Jewishified Matrushka dolls waddling on stage with dancing painted backdrops bemoaning the suffering of their oppressed peoples and celebrating their outwitting of the anti-Semitic Soviet regime. Her time at Azule was used storyboarding the performance, as well as creating a wooden model of 'Babushka', one of her puppets, and practice using them in AZULE’s rehearsal studio.

More of Anna's dynamic work can be seen here.

Elena Light -  Elena Rose Light is a vastly accomplished queer feminist choreographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Among her many bona fides, Elena has presented her work at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, Center for Performance Research, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and the Yale University Art Gallery, among other venues. She has honed her work thru diverse arts residencies at venues such as Chez Bushwick, The School of Making Thinking and Earthdance.   She has also acted as an agent for The Bureau for the Future of Choreography via performances at Gibney Dance and the CUNY Graduate Center. She received a BA with honors in French and art history from Yale University.

"As a performance maker, I approach choreography as a mechanism to make sociocultural critique felt in the collective body. I take an expanded approach to choreography, viewing it as a kind of technology through which I can address the sociopolitical realities of our world. My performance work is post-dance; it doesn’t assume we know what dance looks like. Instead, I choreograph extreme physical and emotional states, audience participation, and bizarre forms of virtuosity. Sometimes this manifests as dance to music, sometimes it looks like physical theater in silence. Of late, I am focusing my movement research on ventriloquism and aggressive physical cultures including MMA fighting."

Partly because of her academic background as an Honors level French and Art history graduate from Yale University, Elena considers herself a choreographerhistorian, often relying on intensive research and documentation on any topic, phenomenom, or cultural touchpoint she wants to explore in her choreographies. Her current interests lie in anthropological texts, researching settler colonialism in the Americas and relationships between Western European colonizers and indigenous Americans. "I let the knowledge of these events and identities filter through my body in the rehearsal studio, infiltrating my physical practices and creative decisions. Inevitably, my performances embody ridiculousness, reflecting the absurdity of a world that requires even more absurdity to be changed."

Elena spent her time at Azule fleshing out  a new movement-based ventriloquism performance, 'Life in the Woods' into an evening-length performance. She also spend some of her time at Azule in collaboration with her partner Anna Lublina, helping her develop movement scores for the puppeteers in her project. 
For more on Anna's work visit here.
Jennifer's portrait of Camille
During her time at Azule Jennifer was working on a hand portrait.The finished version can be seen here.
 Jennifer Hoskins - Jennifer Hoskins, arts educator and large - scale portraitist, came to us from Columbia, SC. She achieves an unbelievable tactile, realistic quality in her very detailed drawings, whose subject matters seem to come off the page even through the 'unrealistic medium' of black and white pencil.

"The scale of which is meant to give a sense of intimacy to the viewer if only in passing."  She also creates her portraits with oils. Her preferred pose for her subjects is facing forward, so as to create a strong bond between the subject and the viewer.

This desire to connect with the viewer informs her representative approach to her craft. "Realism is my preference as well as my main interest because of its ability to connect with viewers", as well as the fact that since she was a little girl what most attracted her to art was its ability to capture realistic persons and objects, and made it her goal to learn the technical acuity which would permit her to create that magic. She utilizes various tools such as overhead projectors to capture the correct proportions of a likeness, and then to blow them up to the appropriate size. She then meticulously fills in the outline with her amazing attention to detail.

Jennifer's work really speaks for itself. Various admirers of her work have compared her output to that of Chuck Close.  Her love of representational art, her complete commitment to faithfully rendering the subjects she portrays with sensitivity and life, and her desire to share her vision of what art can do is masterful even at this early stage of her career.

For more info on her remarkable work, please visit here.
Rachel Dennis - Rachel Dennis is a visionary artist from Austin, TX. She holds a and is currently a wellness worker and art instructor. She received her Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Hartford and has both spearheaded and participated in many arts exhibitions and collaborations in the Chicago and Austin area, such as "I Can Do That", an interactive group show at the Variable Space in Chicago, IL that won audience choice for "Best Art Exhibit" in the 20th anniversary edition of NewCity's Best of Chicago issue.

Though she begun with oils, she now works mainly with Prismacolor pencils, relishing the way they force her to slow down and really connect with the process of the work. Rachel is interested in a multimodal, multidimensional approach to her work, incorporating technology, large installations, interviews, and her incredibly detailed ecstatic drawings.

Her multidimensional, multitechnological, and multimedia 'Dreamscape Project' had her collect various individuals' dreams and wove them into a tapestry of collective vision, mapped onto a Vitruvian - esque representation of the physical body, mapping various energy points with glyphs which were activated by the Artivive app which can be downloaded in any phone's app store. By scanning the glyph, visitors can witness a visual narrative of the captured night visions of various individuals. This is a collection of the collective consciousness of a community through the tools of interviewing, visual art, and augmented reality.

Rachel probes deep into her participants' inner reality in interviews that seek to draw out further meanings from the dreams with questions such as "what do you see? What is your emotional toolkit? How does it smell? Have you felt this way your whole life?"

Her current project has her explore currencies of wellness. She again will use an interview process to collect stories of individual's wellness systems and integrate them into a multimodal tapestry of visuals, narrative, and sounds.

"My work spans across a solitary process, social practice and site-specific work. I have spent the past three years travelling and collecting the narratives of many cultures and continue to seek opportunities for visualizing and sharing our culture's most important stories.

With these stories, I form a visual constellation of personal mythologies through the processes of deep questioning, listening, and intimacy. I use these techniques to investigate and visualize the possibilities
that come from the deep intuitive spaces of the mind"

Rachel spent her time at Azule working on the above epic drawing, and interviewing locals to gather info on their personal systems of wellness, a process which will become part of her next art project which will further her quest to use art to plumb the depths of the human psyche.

To explore more of Rachel's astounding artistic - spiritual journey, visit here.
Becky Slemmons -

Becky Slemmons was our final August resident. She is an adjunct professor at University of Pittsburgh, and at Carnegie Mellon University in their pre-college. She obtained her BFA in drawing and painting from the University of Michigan and her MFA from MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), Mt. Royal School of Art.

Starting off in drawing and painting, she has jumped on to develop creative expressions through a vast array of materials, installations, and film.  Becky has worked in glass, sound, fibers/sewing, video, social practice and interactive art, and performance. Additionally, Becky has collaborated with dancers and choreographers. Her current work is allowing her to explore ideas through media as disparate as horsehair and silicon moulds. 

Becky has developed a fascinating process whereby she utilizes materials to explore cross sections of the aesthetic, spiritual, and creative human experience, whether she's trying to capture the deep nuances of a specific prompt from Andrei Tarkovsky film, or the inner, sensory-deprived experience of deep religious worship.

Her current project has her explore ideas behind the visual imagery present in Andrei Tarkovsky films. A German Shepherd shows up at least a few times in any given Tarkovsky film, and Tarkovsky himself never divulged the meaning of the constant apparitions. The only indication that he gave as to the significance of a German Shepherd, Becky discovered after extensive research, came in an interview he gave where he discussed the time he chose to leave the Soviet Union. "My family all congratulated me on my decision but my dog was the only one who would not look me in the eye."  She will construct 60+ glass frames, where she will draw a visual representation of the 60+ times a German Shepherd dog randomly appears in a segment of a Tarkovsky film. Tarkovsky also used horses as a visual element in his films, and Becky spent some time at Azule experimenting with utilizing horse hair in this or a possible future art installation.

Becky has shown work in Berlin, Germany; Seoul, Korea; Portland, OR; Baltimore, MD; Washington, DC and Pittsburgh, PA. She has spoken about her own work in conjunction with an exhibition of Jeffrey Vallance's work at the Andy Warhol Museum.

To see more of Becky's muti-layered and fascinating process, go here.

Come to our September potluck! Sept. 16, 5:00pm.

August Potluck(s)

August was a month of two potlucks. Azule habitually holds one community potluck so as to engage with community and celebrate our artists-in-residence, but this month we decided to hold two: one to honour our then-residents Anna, Elena, and Jennifer, on August 5th, and the second one to offer up music to the community via Bonita Underground on Aug. 26th.

It was a treat having three young artists from such differing disciplines and theatre, dance, and illustration. The night broke off late as we fit in three artists' presentations into one evening, ending with a spirited discussion as to the dialectics of exploitation v. empathy and the role that the Western Arts tradition has had in clamping down on the full expression of emotions - the way that such formalized disciplines as ballet and classical music create these rigid forms that prevent the artist from grappling with the full expression of the human condition, especially the unpleasant bits such as suffering and rage. In a parallel to Arneshia Williams' performance a few months ago, Elena's dance work explores themes of giving physical expression to the living breathing being interacting with the larger surrounding forces, and giving somatic expression to what arises.
Elena Bright demonstrates a segment of a choreography currently under production.
Anna for her part shared with us a prototype she developed in anticipation of furthering her melodramatic work which is to be a celebration of resilience and ingenuity in the face of oppressive totalitarian forces. 'Babushka' was constructed out of scraps out of the wood pile out back, and she danced the Macarena fairly well till her hip gave out.

Jennifer, all the way in the other end of the artistic spectrum, showed us her miraculously detailed and true to life and epic sized hand which she had completed during her stay here. The hand portrayed belonged to her boyfriend's grandmother, and as she tells it, once this venerable lady handed her a pen and the beauty and power of that storied hand captured her imagination and led her to pursue a study of hands. 

August 26th brought a great crowd out to Azule to hear Bonita Underground, which was a rare treat. Many friends we had not seen for a while came out expressly to witness this final paean to Summer's end. A waltz expressly dedicated to celebrate the band's passage through Madison County brought people out to dance.
Bonita Underground is Curt McCarthy and Bob Colenda on acoustic guitars and vocals, Don Brown on cello and lead guitar, Sandy Pursifull on ukulele and vocals, and Larry Hayes on bass guitar and vocals.

Bonita Underground infuses familiar folk, country, pop-rock, Americana, and jazz tunes with their signature
sound. For more information on this awesome band visit here.

Come to our September potluck! Sept. 16, 5:00pm.

ROOTS Week - Once a year since 1976 nationwide members of Alternate ROOTS meet to strategize, fraternize, and in general affirm their commitment to galvanizing their collective efforts towards a more just, inclusive future for all through performance, music, and panel discussions. ROOTS Members explored the theme of UpROOTing Oppression for 2018's event, held, as in every year, at Lutheridge Camp and Conference Center in Arden, NC. Participants explored themes of uprooting racism, First Peoples, gender liberation, and economic justice, among others. As in many years past, we at Azule were privileged to attend this liberating, inspiring, and energizing weeklong event that was held from August 7 through the 12th. We as a Southern arts organization committed to social justice and the full flowering of the human spirit feel incredibly grateful for the existence of Alternate ROOTS.

"This year, our theme of RE/NEW! inspires us to both RENEW ourselves and our community, while also moving towards the NEW.

In this political climate we need to RENEW: to pull the wisdom from the past forward with us, to make it – and ourselves – new again. We’ll gather at ROOTS Week to renew our spirits, recover our histories, revive our arts/organizing practices, replenish our Creating-a-Better-World toolkits, and re-vision the future that we are working towards, together." (Alternate ROOTS site)

Artist Opportunities!

From the North Carolina Arts Council, here are a few samples from the following link which provides many interesting and potentially profitable opportunities for artists:


Regional Artist Project Grants Programs FY 2018-19

This program, funded by the N.C. Arts Council, provides the opportunity for regional consortia of local arts councils to award project grants to artists in their regions. These grants support professional artists in any discipline and at any stage in their careers to pursue projects that further their professional development.


FOR 2018-19 IS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2018, 5:00PM

Please click this link for APPLICATION.
Please click this link for INFORMATION


Craft Emergency Relief Fund
CERF+ emergency relief assistance includes grants, no-interest loans, access to resources, waivers and discounts on booth fees, and donations of craft supplies and equipment.
For more information:
Studio Protector Online- The Artist’s Guides to Emergencies:


Apply to be a new exhibitor at Claymakers; rolling application.


The Fledgling Fund
Grant support, outreach, and engagement for social issues documentary film and other storytelling projects.
Deadline: rolling
For more information:

North Carolina Museum of History Raleigh, NC

The N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh is officially accepting entries for the fifth annual Longleaf Film Festival. Cash and non-cash awards.
Deadline: March 15, 2019
For more information: 


Marcus Harris Poetry Fellowship

Established by internationally renowned poet and philanthropist Marcus Harris, the fellowship is designed to encourage young poets to pursue further writing and publishing efforts. One (1) $500 fellowship will be awarded based on the quality of the applicant’s writing sample.
Deadline: September 30
For more information:



Town of Cary

Now accepting applications for exhibitions in early 2019 into 2020.




AZULE Portrait Project 

All these years you have been part of the ongoing 
AZULE Portrait Project

Hundreds of these portraits are now on canvas and ready for you to sign. The AZULE PORTRAIT PROJECT is for us a way to parallel the continuity that Camille has shown in her building Azule - the place.

Representing you, participants to the Fall event, and asking you to sign and add a memory or thought to your picture is deepening your and our relationship to Azule in Bluff, Hot Springs, Madison County, North Carolina...


Thank you so much for helping AZULE board members and volunteers to move AZULE on its necessary journey.

Come, visit and participate. Invite your friends! THANK YOU:

Debra Grounds
Mary Judy
Eve Bower
Valerie Molnar
Maxine Dalton
Sherry Wilson
Gwylene Gallimard
Linda Scott
Arlette Vaccarino
John Malpede
Olivier Rollin
Karen Handsen
Frederike Gravenstein
Lisa Mount
Katharine G Hastie
T Bright Williamson
Gary Allen Davis
Geraldine Barraco
Harold Finley
Barbara and Tom Moloney
Lynda Wheelock
John and Gwen Clemens
Nancy Darrell
Anne McLaughlin
Dennis and Patty Turner

Barbara Quigley
Gary And Vivian Roy
Sue Schroeder
Randy Bell
Elmer Hall
Christopher Jayne
Kevin Duckett
Rebecca Gahagan
Bluff Mountain Nursery
Ashley Minner
Lady Spirit Moon Cerelli
Natalie Hesed
Christopher Jayne
Kate and Fairman Jayne 
Barbara Hill
Riverfront Cabin
Cindy and Steve Dubose
Clotilde Crouillebois
Sherry Wilson
Carolyn Stewart
Adam Hesed
Carolyn and Donald Varno
Susan Patrice
John Kraus
John Kretschmer

You are all invited!

AZULE may bring you the opportunity to meet great artists, attend a SkillsShare or learn about a traditional Appalachian Skill, experience a rejuvenating space for residencies, retreats, staff or wellness meetings. Come and visit, give us a call.
Apply online -
For more information, send us an e-mail
Supporting AZULE can happen in many ways!  CHECK OUT OUR WISH LIST:

Tiles of any sort
Folding Chairs
Electric Heaters
Filing Cabinet
Clips on Lamps

Folding Tables
Musical Instruments
CLICK HERE to make a financial contribution to AZULE
For a visit of AZULE: call Camille at 828-622-3533 
For information on AZULE's programs, to make a proposal, to apply for a residency or retreat, to book AZULE or to register for any of our offerings, visit AZULE website and e-mail us at 

(image courtesy of
Britney Penouilh, past Azule resident)
190 Rabbit Den Rd
Hot Springs, NC 28743

FOR A VISIT, call CAMILLE 828-622-3533
FOR INFORMATION, on any of our programs call
GWYLENE 843-607-5811

For New Danger RSC Skill Share, call OMARI 803-378-2616

See you on FACEBOOK

"The transformation that occurred within our group could not have manifested as graciously had we not been in the beautiful and deeply accommodating environment of AZULE. This place has nourished me and allowed for a sweet opening of my mind and heart. Thank you." Liana Johannaber from GO, Green Opportunities, Asheville, NC.
Copyright © 2018 Azule, All rights reserved.

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