Our monthly Fourth (Estate) Friday caffeine-and-conversation hour is back in Washington tomorrow (Friday, July 25) — specifically at the Country Cafe on Main Street. We’ll buy your coffee from 9 till 10 a.m. (you can always pay for an upgrade), and we’ll be open to coverage suggestions, ideas and criticism from any readers who can join us. See you there. (Call us at 540-675-3338 if you have questions.)
Local painter Nedra Smith has another feather in her beret: For the second year in a row, the American Impressionist Society has singled out one of her paintings for inclusion in its National Art Exhibit — an especially noteworthy honor, since more than 1,300 paintings were submitted for entry into the AIS show, among the country’s most prestigious.
Smith’s “Winter Blues on High Hill Road,” based on a plein-air study, was selected through a blind jury system. Six jurors, working alone, viewed the images without knowing the artist’s identity, and rated them on a scale of one to seven. In all, 165 paintings were chosen, and will compete for awards at the 15th annual AIS National Art Exhibit in October at Abend Gallery in Denver.
And, speaking of plein air, more than a dozen artists return to Rappahannock and surroundings, including Shenandoah National Park, today (Thursday, July 24) through the weekend to participate in River District Arts’ second Plein Air Paint Out. The first round, which focused on the town of Washington, brought the landscape artists and easels into town earlier this month. The artists’ works will be part of RDA’s “En Plein Air” exhibit, which opens with an artists’ reception on Saturday, Aug. 16 at RDA in Sperryville’s River District. Visit facebook.com/RiverDistrictArts for more information.
This is your last chance to get Rappahannock Animal Welfare League (RAWL) Raffle tickets for a chance to win dinner for two at The Inn at Little Washington. Raffle tickets for the benefit drawing are on sale ($10 each or three for $25) — and only 300 of them are being sold. The drawing is Thursday, July 31. You can buy them at the RAWL shelter (160 Weaver Road, Amissville; 540-937-3336) and online at rawldogs.org, or in Sperryville at Coterie and River District Arts, and in Washington at Tula’s off Main. All proceeds benefit RAWL.
The Businesses of Rappahannock (also known as BizRapp) is starting a new membership year, and newly elected president Jason Brady of Union First Market Bank issued a call this week for any prospective business members to join up.
“It is a great way to market yourself while getting to know other local business owners,” Brady said via email. “Membership starts at $25 for a basic membership, which allows you to post your listing on VisitRappahannockVA.com, a site we believe will become the default source for up-to-date local business information.” BizRapp, Brady noted, “strives to unite our vibrant community of entrepreneurs within the county to better utilize their combined efforts, voices, volunteer initiatives and leveraged marketing dollars to promote themselves to resident patrons and visitors alike.”
Besides the website listings, members also get to join their neighbors and network at the organization’s quarterly BizLink social gatherings. For tourist-related businesses, there are expanded membership options allowing you to place information in the Rappahannock County Visitors Center and to list your business on the Rappahannock Business Tear Off Map that is available at the Visitors Center as well as at many local businesses.
To learn more about membership, email Businesses of Rappahannock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next quarterly BizLink networking social is Aug. 27 at the Flint Hill Public House. “If you haven’t already, renew or initiate your membership and come meet your fellow business owners in a productive, fun, networking atmosphere,” said Brady.
. . . to auditions for “The Wizard of Oz,” this year’s holiday play at RAAC Community Theatre. Auditions are 1 p.m. Aug. 2-3 and Aug. 9-10 at the the theater. Rehearsals begin Sept. 13. Performances are Dec. 5-6 and Dec. 12-14. For more information, contact Howard Coon at 540-212-3843 or email@example.com.
The midsummer season in Shenandoah National Park is known for blackberries that can be found while hiking the trails and streams. Skyland Resort, at mile 41.7 and 42.5 on Skyline Drive, is set to celebrate with a day-long event this Saturday (July 26) featuring all things blackberry.
Among the dishes highlighting the prolific native fruit that Skyland executive chef Paul Lombardy and sous chef Heather Cash will create: pulled pork with blackberry barbecue sauce, grilled chicken with blackberry relish, blackberry cobbler and trifle ice cream. Other items featured are blackberry jellies and syrup, blackberry lemonade, blackberry wine and blackberry beer. All these dishes and beverages will be available on Skyland’s lower lawn area.
Family events, pony rides, children’s crafts and live entertainment will also be a big part of the day’s celebration. The day will be filled with regional talent and includes:
• Glen Shelton (onstage at 10 a.m.), who in 2012 opened for Tanya Tucker, Joe Nichols, Darryl Worley, Little Texas and Rhonda Vincent. His self-written “Help Me to Stand” hit No. 2 on the nationwide Christian Country Top 100. Glen has also been nominated for the ICM (Inspirational Country Music) Songwriter of the Year.
• Shenandoah Valley Cloggers (11:30), a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Appalachian clogging, a distinctive form of American folk dance.
• Rappahannock’s own Turkey Ridge String Band (12:45), whose members are Brenda Jeffries (bass, lead vocals), Marie Fox (banjo), Dan Lewis (lead vocals, guitar), Tad Loving (mandolin) and Bob Chappell (vocals, guitar/bass). TRSB specializes in “Americana” — bluegrass, folk, country and a few oldies.
The Calico Cloggers perform at 2:30, and the performances are rounded out at 3:45 with the High Ground Bluegrass Band.
Additional lodging promotions, events and activities for planning your Shenandoah getaway are available online at goshenandoah.com or by calling Skyland’s reservations office at 877-247-9261.
See Jarekus Singleton and other blues artists perform at the Red Hot & Blues festival this Saturday (July 26) starting at 1 p.m. at Verdun Adventure Bound (17044 Adventure Bound Trail in Rixeyville). Tickets are $30 for general admission ($25 for military or FBS members), and the blues lineup includes John and John at 1 p.m., Gaye Adegblola and the Wildrutz at 2 p.m., Blues Buckets at 3 and Jarekus Singleton at 5 p.m.