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Happy holy days to all our Azule friends! This dark and magical time of the year holds some promise of resurrection and reflection for everyone. Many spiritual disciplines or religions commemorate the darkest day of the year and the eventual return of the light in some fashion. Clearly, the Western paradigm, especially as it intersects with the larger social economy, emphasizes Christmas - with its carolers, pageants, Christmas trees, and gifts exchange. But many other celebrations and holy days occur this time of year, most notably Hannukah and a number of Winter Solstice observations. The beauty of living in a tolerant and pluralistic society is the ability to appreciate the diversity of expression of humanity's most fundamental characteristics while still seeing a common thread. In Azule's work supporting a vast diversity of artists and projects, we strive to do the same. 

We are very blessed to belong to this community and to do our part in supporting valuable and important work! Happy holidays to all.

All the crazy paperwork!

Our Azule auction was a resounding success, in large part thanks to all the wonderful people who donated or volunteered to make this event come true. We have sought to recognize everyone, in writing and virtually, who participated in our event but due to the inevitability of paperwork confusion, we have unfortunately missed one or two. We recognized someone a week ago or so already.

So saying, we were sad to recognize we missed an opportunity to recognize Anne McLaughlin for her wonderful donation! Anne McLaughlin has always been a huge friend of Azule, which is another reason the omission seems unfortunate. 

So we offer one last-minute THANKS!!! to Anne McLaughlin for her support to Azule, at our auction and elsewhere. 

The updated list of silent auction event donors shows up further below.
Looking Back
Looking Back - We have all at some point walked over and admired the colorful starburst in the main floor of Azule, shown here with a photo of Camille painting it in decades ago. Well, we received this email when we recently sent out the image on a newsletter, and I thought I would share it here: " I had a pleasant surprise to find on my phone a bit of the work I had done at Azule many years ago.  The colorful starburst on the hardwood floor.  Thank you.
Ray Lewis"

Thank YOU, Ray Lewis, for adding your bit of brilliance to Azule!
Good Morning America - A Good Morning America bit from the past highlighting Camille's quiltwork

December Resident

Katie St. Clair was our artist resident for December. Katie, an Assistant Professor at Davidson College, teaches Intermediate and Advanced Painting and Drawing.  She and her partner Patrick were at Azule until the 20th, enjoying the wintry landscape. They also got to participate in our spontaneous Azule potluck. A prolific painter with an evocative and deep-thinking artistic process, Katie produced an astounding quantity of work during her residency, just like her former art student, Amanda Kendrick, did at Azule during her recent residency. 

Katie works with Golden liquid acrylics, a medium that permits her to explore the topography of painting itself, especially when these paints interact with gesso and other elements of her work. She uses the temporal space as well as the physical space to create her nature-based work, and, just as in nature, allows for spontaneous 'surprises' and 'mistakes' to influence both the final result and her own artistic process. Case in point: during her residency, while using a new gesso product, she noticed the chemical interaction with her Golden paints made the entire surface of the painting peel away from the canvas. At first this horrific 'mistake' caused much alarm, but in the end it provided a new expression to her reishi-mushroom inspired series, adding a whole new dimension to the work she otherwise would not have had. 
From Katie's artistic statement: "I explore to understand. I understand by exploring. I take my own photographs and use them as collage material, layering the surface to build an image. I cut into the photos because I enjoy the tension of the pieces reassembled. It’s like a kaleidoscope, or a fractured lens that I twist until the image forms. I shake up the images to rattle the eyes into a different way of seeing."

More more info on Katie and her exemplary work, please visit

Spur-of-the-moment Holiday Potluck!

AZULE held an impromptu holiday potluck on Tuesday Dec. 19th at 4:00. Due to the looming holiday mayhem and the fact we were still recovering from November's Silent Auction open house, we were at first going to forego holding a December potluck, but when the residents and those close to Azule discussed it and realized a small gathering would be nice at this time, we just went for it.

Plenty of food, fun, and good cheer to go around, as usual. Camille kicked off the festivities with a statement commemorating the previous Native American inhabitants of current Azule lands. Then, after dinner, we had a gift exchange, after which time Katie St. Clair shared her amazing work with the Azule community, as well as sharing insights into her artistic process.  
We are very grateful to all our donors!

The following fine people have donated goods or services to our Azule fundraising event:

Anne McLaughlin
Jack Dalton
Alexandra Dewez
John and Gwen Clemmons
Jesse Ames
Alicia Araya
Bluff Mountain Outfitters
Cheap Joe' Art Supply
Continental Breakfast
Mary and Kevin Brooker
Meg Chamberlain - Fermenti Foods
B. Sheila Clandenning
Leigh Ann Culver
Cindy and Steve Dubose - Mountain Home Properties
Nancy Darrell
Pierce Edens
Dana Finimore
Michelle Ferland
Rebecca and Tom Gahagan - Dancing Sun Cabins
Ruth Gallager
Gwylene Gallimard
Andy Gordon
Andrew Hesed
Karen Llamas
Betsey Gravatt
Monica Hayden
Jim Hickey
Hot Springs Resort & Spa
Chris Howell
Iron Horse Station
Marie Joel
Mary Judy
Amanda Kendrick
Amanda Levesque and Tom Kilby
Nava Levenson
Carolyn Rose Llewelen
Beth & Jim Millar
Jarmila Moore
Mountain Harvest Organics
Karen Nagle - Mountain Magnolia Inn
Maryana Newton
Eric Olson
The Pink  House
Melissa Robinson - Marshall Container Company
Gary Roy
Morgan Santander
Hunter Savoy-Jaffe
Camille Shafer
Jeremy Smith
Wendy Stancil - Rising Flour Bakery
Spring Creek Tavern
Trillium Handwoven
Bill Weldner
Lynda Wheelock
Chad Wilderness - Natural Canvas Tattoo
Sherry Wilson
Zuma Coffee
I hope you had a wonderful solstice.

It is a time that has a special place in my heart, for I was married on December 21st in 1969. The 21st is also the day my nephew Joseph Vaccarino died, in 1991. 12.21.1991.... I do like those numbers.

It turns out this date is also the birthday of Alicia Araya, your Azule Coordinator who puts out this newsletter that you receive each month. Thank you, Alicia, and happy birthday. Additionally, it is the birthday of board member Sherry Wilson, which gives me another reason to like this Winter Solstice date. Happy birthday, Sherry, from all of us at Azule.

Camille H Shafer
Entering into the new year it strikes me that this year has been hard collectively on all that are aware, paying attention and effected by the political climate of these times. I hope that the coming year Azule will be more than ever a place for folks to come dream, retreat, create, come together to support and learn from each other. I believe these are the things that will carry us through. Peace and happy solstice 💙 Wendy Stancil
"Through many dangers, toils and snares,  I have already come;   'Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me Home."  from Amazing Grace

Lynda Wheelock
Online Silent Auction is Over!

Many items were snagged, and our thanks to all who participated in our first-ever online auction event. 

Many of the t-shirts designed by Megan Ransmeier are still available for purchase. Sizes range from extra-large men's through small women's - scoop-neck and v-neck also available. $20 will get you this fabulous shirt.

Please contact Azule via this email or call 828 622 3533 to come get one, or to order one and have it shipped.  Online availability of t - shirts and of whatever other items TBD.

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:


The Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, West Rutland, VT.
Accepting applications for one and/or two person exhibits for the 2018 season.
Deadline: March 19
For more information:


NEW! Long Leaf Film Festival
Seeking films made in or about North Carolina. Entry fee and cash awards.
Deadlines: December 1, February 1, March 1
For more information:

NEW! Mobile Film Festival, Paris, France
Seeking one minute films made with cell phones. Cash awards.
Deadline: January 9
For more information:


New York University, N.Y.
Bellevue Literary Review seeks fiction, nonfiction, and poetry submissions for a theme issue that explores the idea of displacement, both literal and metaphorical.
Deadline: January 1
For more information:


VAE Raleigh
Seeking submissions for the annual juried Contemporary South Exhibition, a survey of what artists in the Regional South are currently creating. Entry fee and cash awards.
Deadline: January 1
For more information:

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:

Maxine Dalton
Sherry Wilson.
Gwylene Gallimard.
Linda Scott.
Arlette Vacarino.
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
John Kraus
Anne McLaughlin

Barbara Quigley.
Gary And Vivian Roy.
Sue Schroeder
Randy Bell
Elmer Hall
Christopher Jayne
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

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 © 2017 Azule, All rights reserved.

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