April 2016

  n  e  w  s  l  e  t  t  e  r
                                                                               MARCH/  APRIL 2016 


Monthly Community Potluck

Saturday April 16 @ 5pm

Join us for an evening of good folks and great food. Catch up with old friends and make some new ones. Bring a dish to share and your appetite!





Azule Outside


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

Spring has arrived at Azule; sap is rising, trees are budding, and the spring peepers call out from the waters below the house. In the last issue we paid homage to those who have designed and kept the grounds around the house. We complete that homage this month with a bio of Kelvin Finley.

Kelvin Finley

Kelvin Finley, son of Harold and Sadie Finley, lives just up the road from Azule. He is a master at the controls of heavy machinery and has put these skills to use excavating and placing the large boulders featured in the stonework around the gulley and spring. When he’s not working, he can often be found taking his nephew Braden for a ride on the 4 wheeler or helping him steer the tractor.

What are the concepts that underlie the beauty that is being brought forth by these designers and builders outside? Well, according to Camille: “Next to the old tobacco barn spring water pools in the reservoir then flows down the gulley. Water flowed there before, but you didn't see it, nor hear it disappear into the porous ground beneath stones to re-emerge farther down into the briars that covered the gulley". The land configuration was calling to make this water seen and heard, calling us to transform the gulley, calling people to come outside from the house and other buildings.

As we worked, Christopher, Kevin, and I discovered (the configuration of the land revealed?) more and more possibilities for walking, performance, discovery of North Carolina plants. Christopher had the idea to use the nautilus line (fibonacci) as the east periphery from the front circular stone patio of the house to the tobacco barn.

What else will the land call us to transform?



People First Tourism

comes to Azule

Last month Azule had the pleasure of hosting Duarte Morais and several of his students from NCSU who are working to bring just and equitable tourism to Madison County and other rural areas of the state. The project is called People First Tourism (, and it aims to direct tourists (and their money) to local farmers and artists with the aim of giving tourists an authentic taste of local culture while giving locals a chance to benefit from the tourist economy.

Duarte says he loves bringing his students to Azule because the quiet, rural setting and beautiful architecture help to bring out fresh and creative ideas among the group.



Azule resident

Alie Smith

Alie traveled from her home in NYC to explore her art further at Azule for the month of March. In addition to writing, painting, and photography Alie also works as the Gallery Associate at Susan Eley Fine Art in New York where she assists in art selection, and curation of exhibitions. Her current body of work examines the effects that the fallout of trauma and abuse has on one’s identity, sexual autonomy, and intimate relationships. “I create books from reappropriated personal photographs and text to illustrate tipping point at which one's "self" is eclipsed by one’s partner.”

Next 2016 DEADLINES for APPLICATIONS to Residencies and Retreats are MAY 15
and NOVEMBER 1st


Ivy Rowe

comes to Azule


Actress Barbara Bates Smith, noted for her Off-Broadway debut with “Ivy Rowe," adapted from Lee Smith's bestselling novel "Fair and Tender Ladies", 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 Stories


  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:



What’s Happening
the Azule Board?

At their last retreat, the Board of Azule was happy to welcome Barbara Moloney. Barbara, a long time resident of Bluff community where Azule is situated, brings her intense knowledge and experience in education to Azule. She sees her membership on the board as an opportunity to introduce art in her community efforts. Barbara is also on the Board of a Group Home in Hot Springs, and a machine quilter.

After conversations around our by-laws, our budget, our programs, work trade and dreams of new construction, a new slate of officers was elected including Lynda Wheelock and Barbara Maloney as co-chairs; Jean-Marie Mauclet and Lorrie Jayne as co-secretaries, and Gwylene Gallimard as Treasurer.


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 Schafer, Sue Schroeder, Deborah Scott, Carolyn Stewart, Michelle Suttle, Arlette Vacccarino, Lynda Wheelock, Sherrie Wilson

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.