May 2016

n  e  w  s  l  e  t  t  e  r
                                                                                                     MAY  2016 

Upcoming Events at Azule:

  • Monthly Community Potluck Sunday May 22, 6pm
  • Ivy Rowe Benefit Performance Friday June 3rd, 7pm
  • Easing into Autobiographical Storytelling Workshop Saturday June 4, 9:30 am




a real



By Matt Wallace and Camille Shafer


The other day I was over at Azule trying to hunt down one of our resident artists, when Natalie and Camille emerged from the woods by the old tobacco barn. “What are ya’ll up to?” I inquired. “We just went to look at the pink lady slippers. Maxine used to come by every year around this time and ask if we could go look at the lady slippers,” said Camille. “She had a great love for flowers and nature. She was a true old mountain woman. I miss her. When I first came to Bluff it was Maxine's mother, Stella, that was my neighbor. Stella would take me up the mountain to get a mess of greens and to show me all kinds of plants. 
I have admiration for both of them.
I wonder with this frantic way of life and technologies if there will be any ‘real mountain women’ left.

I miss Maxine too. She, along with her husband Sam, were our neighbors on Rabbit Den Rd. and her family has lived in the area for generations. It was next to impossible to walk past her house without being invited onto the porch to sit for a spell. I loved to hear her gardening wisdom, or have her describe what the landscape was like 60, 70 years ago. She’d point to a steep hill now covered in huge pine trees and tell me “That’s where my family used to grow tobacco.” Or she’d nod over to a grove of tulip poplars reaching to the sky and reminisce, “My mom milked her cows over there every morning.” Another time I recall her proclaiming, “I suppose if you wanted to torture me, you could make me live in a city.”

Maxine is no longer with us. She passed away in the Fall of 2014. But those lady slippers she loved so much come back every year, reminding us to slow down and appreciate the beauty of this land, and to live a simple life full of compassion and humility like real mountain women have for generations.



Ivy Rowe,
from Lee Smiths
“Fair and Tender Ladies" 
Celebrates its 25th year of touring at Azule


Actress Barbara Bates Smith, noted for her Off-Broadway Debut with "Ivy Rowe,"adapted from Lee Smith's bestselling novel "Fair and tender 
now celebrates her 25th year of touring with a performance on 
June 3rd, 2016 at Azule.

Musical accompaniment is by Jeff Sebens.

This show is free of charge, though donations are gladly accepted.
All proceeds will benefit Azule.


"I used to be a scandal; now I'm an institution!"

This quote from the novel, says Barbara, aptly describes her more than 700 times of portraying this feisty mountain woman's life of "livin' on love," even as she takes a stand against the coal company's bulldozer. Author Lee Smith has said, "Barbara IS Ivy Rowe! I am her most avid fan!" 
Of its Off-Broadway debut,the Village Voice said "A lifetime's worth of sass, whoop, hurt, and reflection" 
WOR Radio: "We are captivated and enthralled"
Variety: "Both funny and heartbreaking."
A Southeastern Theatre Best Actress award winner, Barbara has recently played leading roles in regional productions of “Wit,” “Hamlet,” “Doubt” and "August: Osage County."

Prizewinning North Carolina author Lee Smith has written sixteen books of fiction, including another bestseller novel "The Last Girls, the ever-popular," "Oral History," and the recently published "Guests on Earth."

More information is on the actress's website:



Our Own



  Easing into Autobiographic Storytelling

Coming to Azule June 4th, 2016.


Join us as experienced performer and storyteller Barbara Bates Smith shares storytelling and story writing tricks and techniques that she has perfected during her 25+ years of performing. In her own words, "Everyone has stories to tell!"

Finding yours is fun and easy." Whether you are working toward writing a memoir or the rare pleasure of reminiscing and sharing stories in a supportive group, this workshop will surely enhance your skills!

Seeing "Ivy Rowe" on Friday night is encouraged- though not necessary-as a reference point. Participants are invited to bring a "treasured object" to hold & tell about as an early exercise. Overnight accommodations at Azule are available for workshop participants.

Registration Details for Workshop:
Workshop $20-60 sliding scale. Pay what you feel that you can afford! We believe that art should be accessible to everyone.

To register for workshop, visit

For more information on the show or workshop, visit their website at:




Marly S. Danceworks

Marly Schneider and her crew of dancers joined us from Vermont to work on some original dance routines for a week.
“The basic idea is that we all started with 3 choices (in this case, 3 movements) and the whole first section is just various permutations of the four of us using our three chosen movements.  Then we added an option by giving each movement 3 directions it could face, giving us a total of 9 choices (3 directions for 3 movements). So, the second section is various permutations of our 9 choices.  From there we slowly added tangent phrases for each direction of each movement.In short,the amount of material we had to work with and the number of different permutations that existed continued to grow throughout the process,” said Marly.



Charlotte Pollock

of Louisville, Kentucky joined us for the month of April during which she churned out a number of beautiful paintings of Azule and the surrounding landscape. You can see more of her work at

Painting of stone work around the spring
by Azule resident Charlotte Pollock





Community Potluck at Azule
Sunday May 22nd 6pm 
Come out to our next community potluck and meet our resident artists,take time to explore the beautiful Azule house, and catch up with old friends.
Bring a dish to share and your appetite!



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.


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...





AZULE is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Your donations are tax-deductible from your income.

 Click here 


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!


Randy Bell, Erin Brooker, Henriette Browers, Nancy Darrell, Kathy DeNobriga, Rebecca DesMarais, Mark and Joyce Ertel Hulbert, Nancy Fink, Harold Finley, Tom Fowler, Omari Fox, Rebecca Gahagan, Gwylene Gallimard, Mary Louise Graff, Katherine Hastie, Lorrie Jayne, Carolyn Lewellen, Val Lyle, John Malpede, Jean Marie Mauclet, Polly Medlicott, Andy Miller, Lisa Mount, Kim Rollin, Olivier Rollin, Camille Shafer, Sue Schroeder, Deborah Scott, Carolyn Stewart, Michelle Suttle, Arlette Vacccarino, Lynda Wheelock, Sherrie Wilson,  Gary and Lavonne Roy, Chuck and Margo Secord, Joel Welsh.

THANK YOU also to all Board Members who give countless hours of in-kind work.
And THANK YOU to all who organize, promote or come to our programs.


For a visit of AZULE:
call  Camille  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 

You are all

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

 Visit our website

Supporting AZULE
can happen in many ways!  

Tiles of any sort
Folding Chairs
Folding Tables



 Click here 
to make a financial contribution to AZULE and support our mission.