Friday, March 30, 2007

Helping hooves for the disabled and distraught

hi readers,

here is a link to information on recent court rulings which have helped to legitimatize the use of Emotional Support Animals for persons with problems like agoraphobia and post-traumatic stress disorder. and here is a great link to a page featuring horses in sneakers.

I just found out today that mini horses have been enlisted for many years to help the visually impaired, since their helping abilities are more effective in some ways when compared with those of man's best friend. for example, mini horses have a range of vision of 350 degrees, unlike dogs. mini horses live longer than dogs and they have excellent memories, giving them an added advantage when it comes to remembering hazards and so forth. (and yes, they can be housebroken!)

bye, mata ne, thanks for reading. -Suzy


from the desk of the Jacksonville Center team

Dear Artists, Members and Friends of The Jacksonville Center,

A spectacular thunderstorm is rolling through our area now. It is the type that scares the dogs, makes the lights flicker, sends vibrations through the building from the thunderclaps and tricks the eyes into thinking nighttime has arrived. It is another reminder that Spring has arrived. Ed Dolinger is teaching a class, Sculpture 101-Plaster, and some very soaked students are arriving.



We are proud to share the news that City Magazine readers sent in their ballots for a January poll to name The Jacksonville Center for the Arts as one of the three best art galleries in the Roanoke region. The poll asked readers to name the finest in area arts, culture, events and more. This is the first year the Center has received a Best of the City Award. The other top galleries named were The Market Gallery in Roanoke and the Riverviews Art Space in Lynchburg . This honor is a testament not only to the hard work of the gallery committee volunteers and staff but also quality of our exhibitors’ work.



Starting on Sunday, April 1, the Center will be open again on Sundays, 12-5pm. Monday to Friday, the Center will resume normal business hours, 9am-5pm. Saturday hours will be 10am-5pm.



Celebrate spring by unleashing your creativity. Learn a new craft in upcoming classes at The Jacksonville Center for the Arts - no experience necessary. The Jacksonville Center will continue to offer classes in clay, glass, blacksmithing and studio arts into the summer and fall.

Sculpture 101 - Soapstone with Chris Shackelford. Wednesdays, April 18, 25 and May 2; 6-8pm. Learn the basics of rock selection, carving and finishing processes.

A mosaic Demonstration with Carter Holliday will be held on Saturday, April 21 from 10am-3pm. Watch how mosaics are made. This demonstration is followed by a hands-on workshop August 31-September 2.

Glass Mobiles with Tammy Parks will be taught on Saturday, April 21 from 10am-3pm. Make your own one-of-a-kind mobile by using wire, solder and glass. Learn the intricate art of balance.

Papermaking for Teachers with Lee Chichester will be taught on Saturday, April 21 from 10am-3pm. Learn how easy it is to make paper with students. Class includes minimum requirements for classroom papermaking.

Seating is limited. Classes are filled on a first come first serve basis.

Take advantage of our “Fourth Friend Free” discount and get out of the house with family and friends. Everyone can save 25% on class tuition this way.

A full listing and descriptions of course offerings can be found online at Catalogs are also available by request at the Center or contact the Center at 745-2784 or by email to



Last Thursday, March 22, the Jacksonville Center hosted a visit from Foster Billingsley, the Associate Director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts, (VCA). The Center arranged for Foster to tour The June Bug Center, Old Church Gallery and The Country Store and meet with representatives of these organizations as well as Lydeana Martin, the County's Economic and Community Development Director. Foster commented that this visit was one of the most productive visits to an area during his time with the VCA. Foster was able to point out specific funding opportunities for local arts organizations, schools, the town and the county and provide materials to pursue those opportunities. Members of the Center’s staff and board met with Foster to discuss grant opportunities and we found it to be very helpful. Foster was very complimentary about the quality of the Jacksonville Center ’s programs, how well-run our organization was and the dedication of our volunteers, board and staff. Foster said that he plans to use some of his vacation time this year to take a class or two here.



Kate Garland has resigned from her current position as Hospitality and Volunteer Coordinator. We are very fortunate that she will continue to work here at least once a month as an on-call staff member. Kate first visited Floyd during the grand opening weekend after the barn renovation was substantially completed. What she experienced at The Center that weekend left such an impression that Kate made Floyd her home. Kate joined the Center as a volunteer after the renovations were complete in 2003, then became an Experience Works staff member before being hired by the Center in January of 2006. Many of you who have visited the Center during the weekends have encountered Kate's friendly and informative welcome when coming in the front door. Kate's position will be filled by another Experience Works alumnus, Jeri Dewey, who was our former gallery/retail shop coordinator. You can keep in touch with Kate through her email address at The Center:



The well-received photography exhibit, Not Just a Pretty Picture, will close this Saturday, March 31. Don't miss the chance to view this exhibit if you haven't already seen it. This exhibit was so popular that there have been folks making a special trip to the Center to see the exhibit again before it closes.

Exhibitors, please plan to pick up your work as soon as possible beginning this Sunday, April 1. The Gallery Committee plans to start installing the next exhibit on Monday afternoon and it really helps them if you can take your work right off the wall.



Our next exhibit, the Third Annual Instructors’ Exhibit which features the work of instructors teaching courses this year, will run April 6 through May 26.

Mark your calendars for the “Meet the Artists” reception on April 14, 6-8pm.



We currently have a large studio at the Center that is available for rent now. (This is the former studio of photographer Doug Thompson.) We encourage people to “think outside the box” for potential uses of this space. We would like to see this space used in a way that is open and engaging for our visitors, provides for working artists demonstrations and offers unique, local artwork. A fiber arts presence would be a welcome addition to the Center in this space. The space would also be suitable for a collaborative effort by several artists. Come talk with us with about your ideas!

This studio is 208 square feet with 5 windows. Two windows face the interior hallway and three face the outside. This studio comes with track lighting and air conditioning. Rent is $375 a month.

There are also two additional studios now available, which are suitable as workspaces or as galleries.

1. One 145 sq ft studio with single window overlooking Buffalo Mountain . Rent is $250 a month. This has a sink hook up and floor drain.

2. A similar 145 sq ft studio, also $250 a month, with a sink hook up and floor drain.

All studios come with the bonus of a supportive, creative environment where Center staff will open and close your studio and provide promotional and sales support (including credit card sales) during business hours. Staff can accept deliveries or hold packages for pickup. Free Wi-Fi connection, four color printing services, downstairs kitchen access and basic utilities are included. Access to large multi-use space can be provided depending on availability. Free business classes offered by the Center, pending sufficient enrollment, are available to those renting studios at the Center. The Center also offers a strong informational and referral network that is particularly valuable to those who are new to Floyd.

For more information, please call 745-2784 and ask to speak to John McEnhill.


Have a wonderful weekend!

The Jacksonville Center Team


timber flute workshop in Elkins

hi everyone, hope you are doing well and having a wonderful day. there is a timber flute workshop happening in Elkins this summer, I will post more info on this as time permits.
bye, thanks for reading. -Suzy


Hyogo Prefecture gives 200K to help Nola kids enjoy art

excerpt from an article by AP reporter Stacey Plaisance. via Yahoo headlines.


"After discussions with museum officials a year ago about New Orleans' needs following Katrina, the Prefecture of Hyogo agreed to help fund an art project dedicated to nurturing the creative and emotional well-being of New Orleans children.

"We believe that with its unique projects dedicated to the children, NOMA will play a special role in the recovery process of this region," Sakato said.

During a ceremony Wednesday, Japanese performers beat on drums, tooted horns and sang to children and others gathered at the museum. The group's performance, which included such Japanese instruments as a three-stringed guitar known as a samisen, was to bring the city luck, health, wealth and strength.

The group, called U-Stage, will perform at various schools and venues around the city through Friday. "



Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Getting richer through off-grid living

hi everyone, hope you are doing really well today and enjoying the weather
check it out, I am helping out on a cool new project called Getting Richer Through Off-Grid Living

this fun and informative guide will make it easier for ikigai shoppers to obtain what they want in abundance while building real wealth for themselves and the world.

if you would like to help collaborate in this project please stay tuned to any reading station, unless directed otherwise.

there is some new information posted today about an upcoming mountaintop removal roadshow at Union College, please head toward the Southernmost Page to view it.

also new in the loop is some info on free educational opportunities at the Jacksonville Center in Floyd. Aspiring homesteaders and homeowners should take special note of the Straw Bale Building project, which seeks to help folks educate themselves in the use of alternative, low-cost building materials.

the first ever Sessions from the Silo are not yet on CD but I have heard them and they are INCREDIBLY GREAT. really, I was blown away. these recordings feature Chris Luster on dobro, Chris Chesson on hammered dulcimer, Billy Miller on frame drum, flute, etc., Sarah McCarthy on cajon, Leon Davis on violin & much more.

If you are anxious to hear some of this music please call the studio phone at 540-763-2665. A benefit CD is being created from these recordings to help the Jacksonville Center keep its doors open, so if you are already an interested customer please be sure to put yourself on our radar so you can be contacted as soon as the new CD is ready.

Local musicians are strongly encouraged to stay tuned to the news to learn about upcoming recording sessions in the silo. If your name is Bob Browder or John Altizer please be in touch ASAP because it is crappy that we ran out of time to record before you had to leave.

I need to go now but I hope you are doing well and feeling richer already! Please enjoy your day and as always, thanks for reading.

Namaste, Suzy


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

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Hi everyone, hope you are doing well.
Here are some interesting links from > news.

info on ramps
article on Big Coal vs. Children

also, please note a very special event that will take place at the Blackwater Loft in Floyd on April 5. this is a roadshow which will spotlight both the environmental and cultural impact of climate change. the rights of indigenous peoples will also be a key topic of this presentation.

I will post more information on this event as time permits, Tree in Floyd has more information in the meantime.

bye, have a beautiful day & thanks for reading. -Suzy


Saturday, March 24, 2007


breaking MTR news - via the Saturday Gazette-Mail

March 23, 2007
Judge blocks mountaintop removal permits (5:56 pm)
Ken Ward Jr.
Staff writer

A federal judge late Friday blocked four Massey Energy mountaintop removal mines, in a ruling that could have broad effects on West Virginia's coal industry.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers ruled that the federal Army Corps of Engineers did not properly review the potential impacts of the four permits. The judge rescinded the permits and sent them back to the corps for a new review.

"At a minimum, the corps must examine and then explain how this added destruction of headwaters streams, in view of the significant loss of streams in the watershed, will not result in a significant impact on the environment," Chambers wrote in an 89-page ruling released after business hours on Friday evening.



Thursday, March 22, 2007

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image - a scene from the Traces library on March 21, 2007, as installed in room 119 at the Jacksonville Center in Floyd, Virginia. Please visit the Northernmost page in the loop for details on tomorrow's art etc. reception at the Jacksonville Center.



Healing Harvest news bit - via Fragments from Floyd

Join Jason Rutledge, the Healing Harvest Forest Foundation, and Virginia Forest Watch for a demonstration of what it means to be a Biological Woodsman serving the forested community of Copper Hill. Meet at the Apple Ridge Farm on Pine Forest Road in Copper Hill at 1:00 pm on March 24 to carpool to the demonstration. For more information telephone 929-4222.


Monday, March 19, 2007

my 2 cents about tobacco cultivation

hi readers,

if you follow the "agricultural subsidies" link now showing in the note loop you will find information on US agricultural subsidies in 2004 for tobacco farming.

my response when I read the figure was to exclaim, what a crock!!!

I can hardly think of a more ikigai-unfriendly thing to grow in the Earth, and I can also hardly think of a stupider way to spend public money. cigarettes nearly ruined my life before I found the courage to quit. and I am just a little fly-speck in the bigger landscape of tobacco-related addiction and misery.

even more aggravating to me is the fact that my home state, Virginia, is probably where a lot of the money was used, making myself and other Virginians unwilling co-conspirators in the ikigai-unfriendly chain of global tobacco addiction.

if you, like me, think this whole deal stinks to high heaven, please consider using some of your available resources to get the wheel of so-called progress straightened out a bit in relation to tobacco cultivation.

Yoroshiku onegaitashimasu, thank you very much in advance for your stewardship and as always, thanks for reading. -Suzy



Pollution concerns in karst areas - an excerpt from Wikipedia

Groundwater in karst areas is just as easily polluted as surface streams. Sinkholes have often been used as farmstead or community trash dumps. Overloaded or malfunctioning septic tanks in karst landscapes may dump raw sewage directly into underground channels.



Saturday, March 17, 2007

Ed Wiley, 12 others arrested yesterday in Manchin's office

via safety news


Press release from the Jacksonville Center

For immediate release - March 17, 2007

The Jacksonville Center welcomes you to a reception on Studio Row on Friday, March 23

Studio artists at Jacksonville Center will hold a New Works reception on Friday, March 23 from 5-7pm. Glass artist Linda Osborne will highlight her personal bead collection and her wide variety of jewelry and handmade bead items. Sarah McCarthy, home from displaying at the New Jersey arts and crafts show, will show her gas fired pottery vases, bowls, glasses and tableware. Wood fired pottery will be just a part of McCabe Coolidge's functional works display. And Karen Day will show handmade books.

In addition guest artists will share the studio spaces. Look for Gretchen St. Lawrence's pastels, Anne Vaughn's jewelry, Glenda and Don George with shibori fabric and wood working. Traces Library Open House will be highlighted by Suzy Nees and live music will be provided by Billy Miller. Refreshments offered in abundance, all at Jacksonville Center just south of town on Route 8. This is a free event, and all are welcome!



Thursday, March 15, 2007

Helianthus, the Wonder Plant

hi readers
hope you are well
things here are fine

I have been trying to fix up some of the land at the Jacksonville Center recently to make it more suitable for cultivating sunflowers. If you have expertise in this sort of work, or you have the ability to eradicate poison ivy without much harm to yourself, please think about donating some time and/or supplies to the Center to help get more of these nutrition-rich beauties in the ground at the proper time.

Yield from this project will be carefully recorded and quantified in order to help raise awareness about nutrition, land care, and the cultivation of ikigai. All ages are welcome as participants in this project. For more information on this project, please call the Jacksonville Center at 745-2784.



Second silo approved @ Marsh Fork

News from the Charleston Gazette via


Massey Energy can build a second coal storage silo within 300 feet of a Raleigh County elementary school, a state appeals board ruled Tuesday. Read more...



"Trees for Life" event on March 31 in Blacksburg

via Citizens First


Trees for Life!

Looking for a Community Service Project?

Want to Help Restore the Ecology of the Toms Creek Corridor?

Interested in Teaching Your Children How to Plant and Care for Trees, and to Appreciate Nature’s Power to Nurture both Land and People?

Join Us for the Fifth Annual “Trees for Life” Program

Heritage Park and Natural Area

Blacksburg , Virginia

Saturday, March 31, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

A Collaborative Community-Building Program to Promote Ecological Awareness and Restoration Starting at the Heritage Park and Natural Area in Blacksburg , VA

Coordinated by John Browder and Britt Boucher.
Sponsored by the Blacksburg Natural Heritage Foundation,
The Town of Blacksburg Department of Parks and Recreation,
And, the Virginia State Department of Forestry

Our basic values toward the natural world are usually forged when we are children. Children are innately inquisitive about the natural world, yet apart from the occasional field trip to a “nature preserve” or a zoo, most formal environmental education comes from textbooks and videos. We know that many parents desire to take an active role in their children’s environmental education. The 170-acre Heritage Park and Natural Area (former Brown Farm) in the Toms Creek Watershed was designated as a community park and natural area by Blacksburg Town Council in December 2002, and provides a splendid location for practical and hands-on environmental education for everyone.

Here is the basic idea of “Trees for Life”: Everyone is invited, especially children (youth) and their parents and teachers, but seniors and singles have an important role to play as well. We will plant native tree saplings donated by the Virginia Department of Forestry in designated reforestation areas of Heritage Park and Natural Area. Participants who care for their sapling (i.e. follow a basic maintenance plan) for two years will receive a certificate and have their tree designated in their name on a register -- a living monument to their life in Blacksburg . Participants will receive training in basic tree planting/maintenance and forest ecology from a professional forester, Mr. Britt Boucher, and will plant the seedlings under supervision of the Town Parks & Recreation Department.

Care for Saplings: Caring for their saplings may entail 3-4 visits to the park every year to weed, water, and repair protective shelters or meshing, and to inspect each planted sapling for insects, fungus, and animal depredations. By caring for their saplings, children and adults learn not only the ecology of tree life, but develop a life-long sense of place in Blacksburg , hence “Trees for Life” . Years later, these young people may return to Blacksburg and take a pilgrimage to Heritage Park to visit “their” growing trees that are also a part of their personal heritage.

The Trees for Life Program promotes:

• “Hands-on” environmental education at a basic level: focusing on the importance of trees for the ecosystem vitality and for the well-being of society;
• A personal affinity for nature: building a “sense of place” in Blacksburg (among children and adults alike);
• Community-building: engaging children, grandchildren, their parents, grandparents, and other adults parents in a community-based participatory ecological restoration activity;
• Restoration of degraded ecosystems at the Heritage Park and Natural Area, thus contributing to the realization of this public park as a more diverse natural area;
• Pro-active and committed public use of the Heritage Park and Natural Area.

While this initiative looks a lot like a conventional Johnny Appleseed/Arbor Day/Earth Day program, it is innovative in its participant commitment to caring for trees over time. As such, it becomes a tutorial in our stewardship of nature. Imagine the connections to the classroom and beyond: the planting sites serve as living laboratories for learning the basics of woodland ecology, biometrics, plant pathology, nutrient recycling, while potentially cultivating a long-term ecological and spiritual sensitivity toward the non-human world.

Four years ago we launched TFL as a pilot (test), and eight families came out on April 12 and planted 23 saplings by the pond at Heritage Park and Natural Area. The next year 14 families and individuals joined the program, and planted 50 seedlings around the Meadowbrook Road parking lot. In 2005 participants planted over 600 seedlings, as part of a combined Trees for Life and Riparian Corridor Restoration project. This is all incredibly exciting. Thus far, the pilot has been very successful – and over 80% of the saplings have survived and look quite healthy!

In March 2007 the “Trees for Life” effort will continue its mission to stabilize the areas surrounding the wetlands at Heritage Park and Natural Area. Come out and contribute!
Each participant will be provided between 1-5 saplings to plant following the planting methods specified by our professional forester.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

MIT study points to a grim future for King Coal


hello everyone, I hope you are all very genki

there was a very nice meeting @ The Nook today, this is in studio 124 at the Jacksonville Center. we had delicious bread and lentil stew and talked about various sorts of things, it was really quite wonderful.

here are some Jacksonville Center get-together dates coming up soon...

March 23 - Evening reception @ studio row; open house @ the Traces Library installation in the Little House: Straw Bale House tours & info session with Leon D; live music by Billy Miller, etc.

April 14 - Reception in the Community Room for the Annual Instructor's Exhibit in the Hayloft; open house @ the Traces Library installation in the Little House, etc.

Leon D. is leading educational straw bale work sessions every Saturday and Sunday for the next month or so, please contact him via the Jacksonville Center for more info.

Also if you are a kind and generous person please consider making a donation of time and/or gardening supplies to the Jacksonville Center which will allow us to more easily cultivate sunflowers there.

I need to go now, have a beautiful day & thanks for reading. -Suzy

Sunday, March 11, 2007

iki ga ii desu ka?

hello everyone, I hope you are doing well and having a good ikigai day

if you are frustrated about human suffering in the Persian Gulf please feel encouraged by the fact that a peace march on the Pentagon will take place next Saturday.

if you are a war hating individual who nevertheless fails to see the value in participating in this sort of activity because you cannot see how you could possibly make a difference, I have a very specific request for you: please stop being insane.

thinking that your actions make no difference is a very misguided mode of thought. absolutely everything you do matters. please never forget this, and please aspire to a somewhat more sane way of thinking in the future.

if you are a hater of automobile and bus travel, or an agoraphobic and/or nervous breakdown sufferer who cannot bear the thought of being so close to the Heart of Darkness, join the club!

many other war protest opportunities exist to help make it easier for you to register your opinion about the war in Iraq.

do you like origami? origami peace cranes are not so difficult to make. if you know some folks who will be able to attend the peace march, why not make them a little set of pin-on origami peace cranes to wear or give out as gifts?

Other easy gift ideas include bookmarks, made with Phytolacca ink or other democracy-friendly materials. These are a thoughtful way you can cheer on tired protesters and to provide them with a nice souvenir to remember the day.

Scripture enthusiasts could use their knowledge and talents to create informational materials which encourage The Man to gain a better understanding of why bloodlust and greed are such a bad idea. I like Revelation 18:14 for this purpose:

The dainties that thy soul longed for are gone from thee, and all thine elegance and splendor have perished, and never again shall they be found.

another version of this reads as follows:

And the fruits that thy soul lusted after have departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly have departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

Suffice it to say that there are lots and lots of creative and effective ways that just one person can make a difference on March 17. So if the war in Iraq is messing with your ikigai, don't just sit there and cry.

Instead, stand up and cry, and in the loudest voice you can, say gimme back my ikigai!

bye, namaste, thanks for reading.




Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hi everyone
Hope you are well, things here are fine

Here is the first bit of news: Straw bale building guru Leon D. is back in town to complete the straw bale building at the Jacksonville Center. If you are interested in learning more about straw bale construction please stay tuned. There will be a few educational work days coming up to help complete this project, and they will be announced on the Jacksonville Center News blog.

The Traces library is installed in the Maple Room of the Jacksonville Center residence right now, and is installed in the Oak Room. Items on display include locally made Xun flutes, ceramic work by Melody Wolfe Thomas, artisan-made bamboo products from Japan, the newest Mountain Fever album and much more.

A public reception and open house for this installation will happen on April 14, which is a Saturday. Other things going on that day at the Jacksonville Center include a reception in the Hayloft Gallery for the annual instructor's exhibit and an open studio tour. Please call the center at 745-2784 to learn more.

Here are some news bits for your music calendar. Far off, but significant, is the fact that on May 18 the American Dumpster band will play at the Sun music hall in Floyd. Also on Earth Day at the Sun there will be a benefit for Oxfam and the Blacksburg Farmer's Market. Carbon Culture many others will play at this event, and the ticket price is quite reasonable, making it a no-brainer for recluses and penny pinchers who are reluctant to attend any music event which is not guaranteed cool.

SPRUNG! is another upcoming music event that will be happening in March at the Sun. I know that Carbon Culture is playing for this too along with some other great bands.

Billy and the Inimitable Chris will play at Oddfella's this Sunday from 11 to 4. I will post more info about the upcoming Oddfella's schedule as time permits, right now time does not permit very well but hopefully that will change soon.

Ja ne, thanks for reading, have a beautiful day. -Suzy



Thursday, March 01, 2007

Inimitable, as always: Chris Luster

Pictured here is the inimitable Chris Luster, fretless bass player and hero. Chris graciously shared his time and talent on Saturday to help breathe life into the Traces library.

Thank you Chris!!!

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Music this weekend in Floyd & Roanoke

Friday, March 2 - American Dumpster at the Coffee Pot in Roanoke
Friday, March 2 - Irish Night at Oddfellas in Floyd
Sunday, March 4 - Bernie Coveney at Oddfellas in Floyd