Azule has been a gathering point and incubator for creativity of all kinds, for folks from every which place. Our social coordinator Alicia Araya, originally from Chile but rooted in Madison County since at least 2016 (or earlier, depending on how you look at it), describes how she landed at Azule and how grateful she is that she did.

A look at our third staff member, Lydia Nichole. Lydia provides beautiful photos for our social media, is Azule's mosaic apprentice, and provides artistry to the place. Azule is an inspiration point for artists of all stripes, and we are fortunate when they use their artistry to contribute to Azule's growth.

Azule is much more than just a residency or arts incubation program - it is a palace that holds the webs of ever recursive webs of creativity and connection. Our administrator Shannon Gallagher has been kind enough to share with us some words as to what Azule has meant for her, from her first visit as arts resident to her current role.

I learned of Azule in early 2014, during a time when my intuition was telling me to make radical changes in my life. I had finished graduate school in Chicago, and was working as a writer, curator, and custom framer for a North Shore gallery. Though I was fortunate to be surrounded by contemporary art and artists, finding time and energy to create for myself was a challenge. I had grown weary of the city and all of its commotion. Having recently spent time in Western North Carolina, I was drawn to return. My heart swelled with possibility when I received an acceptance letter from Azule.

Over the Winter, Azule undertook various safe, fun-tastic, and informative field trips to various locations. We visited six sites with a stable core group of artists, creators, local businesspeople, and residents of this county, shared with each other our current projects, future visions, and establish the seeds for possible collaborations in the future.

March 21, 2020: 6pm at Azule

In collaboration with Rural Organizing and Resilience (ROAR)


Come to Azule on March 21st at 6pm to partake of food and refresh your Spanish-speaking skills.

This potluck is a place for Spanish-speaking natives to get together and practice their language, as well as for students of Spanish who would like an opportunity to brush up on their skills. As well, anybody interested in the Spanish language is invited to attend.

Bring a meal to share and willingness to speak Spanish!

For more info contact Rural Organizing and Resilience (ROAR) .

The drawing is in January. We will announce a winner in our newsletter and will alert the winner personally via email.

Saturday, April 28, 2018 / 1pm -  5pm

Feeling overwhelmed? Too busy? Exhausted? Stressed? Hopeless? Longing for meaningful connections with yourself and others? Join us for a powerful, yet fun and invigorating rhythm workshop. In this workshop, we will use movement, dancing and drumming to ground ourselves and connect deeply with others.

We are happy and proud to welcome Sue Gurnee to Azule's board of directors! 

Sue Gurnee is founder of Growing Wheel, a sanctuary and retreat center in the Boone area. Sue brings a singular vision to all she undertakes, whether this is presiding over an arts nonprofit board, crafting exquisitely true to life marine landscapes for films and museums, or planning and executing the architecture of a concrete and mosaic village that provides exiles of high-paced environments a safe space to restore their minds and souls.

Sue’s experience with arts nonprofit boards, respect for place and architecture, and decades of dedication to the arts brings a powerful ingredient to the Azule board mix.

A fundraising event that has for the past four years brought the community together for the sake of our public library system is valiantly going forward, in spite of lockdowns, pandemics, and any number of odd things that 2020 has thrown our way. This community’s commitment to its library system is symbolized by the fact that the Madison County Library System was named Library Journal’s 2018 Best Small Library in America, in spite of the realities of having a working library system in a rural area such as this. In the little town of Hot Springs itself, the Library has suffered housing challenges and the threat of being shut down. The story of how the local residents prevented this, which included this very fundraiser continuing, is a testament to what a community in solidarity can accomplish. Mary Dixon, co-creator of the fundraiser and Secretary of the Friends of Hot Springs Library for the past 9th years was kind enough to answer some questions about the library generally and this fundraiser in particular.

Embed Videos here.

Jeremy Smith is a friend and repeat resident at Azule. He is currently in his last year of graduate school at Middle Tennessee State University, where he is pursuing a Masters in Music Theory and Composition.

These are the journals I wrote the Summer of 2016 (my first Summer at Azule). I was writing the music for a ballet which premiered in Florence in April 2017. I also attached a poster for the event. The second long stay I had I was working on a musical which was finished, but did not receive the funding it needed to be performed.

A recent composition by Jeremy Smith

Thoughts from Lynda Wheelock, Azule President, as to what winter in the Bluff region is about. Lynda has lived and worked in Spring Creek NC for over 28 years. She retired in 2006 from Headstart, after teaching for 21 years. She now pursues full time her old passion for drawing and painting.
Photos by Alicia Araya