David and Camille Shafer moved to Hot Springs, N.C. in 1972. Camille was an artist from France, and Dave a photographer from the midlands of the US. They connected with their neighbors immediately in the community of Bluff, in Madison County and made local friends such as Doctor Kimberley, from whom they had bought the property and Harold Finley who now serves on the Azule Board of Directors.
Camille and Dave’s house became a center of activities and their community grew. They organized art and music events, such as quilt shows and regular jam sessions as well as photographic projects such as "Portraits of America", a photographic portrayal of members of the community, which, incidentally, was taken up again by Azule in 2006.
At the same time, Camille was busy planning and creating the amazing architecture you can see now. Dave and Camille’s house is unique. Through Camille Shafer’s sole design and organization, what began as the tiny Kimberly's cabin, has been sculpted into a work of art. The construction itself has always been offered to local carpenters. Camille was very clear about that: all of her creative activities must originate locally.
The roots of the new community were, in fact, the local artists, artisans, farmers, carpenters, who helped withthe construction of the house. As a group, they wanted to open a locus for the arts in Bluff... Some left, some stayed, some came back... But after twenty five years or so, they got together and organized for a non- profit C3 Corporation.
AZULE was born the day Camille Shafer offered her place as the locus.