A three-headed exhibition?
Three art centers/groups in the New River Valley of Virginia joined together in 1991to create the New River Art Biennial, with one taking the lead every two years. Meet the players in Blacksburg, Pulaski and Floyd, Virginia.
The Blacksburg Regional Art Association (BRAA) began the New River Art Biennial in 1991, under the guidance of a member named Nadine Allen. For many of those years another member, Leslye Bloom, acted as overall coordinator, retiring after the 2013 biennial. BRAA is the overall administrator of the biennial. BRAA has existed since 1950 and today boasts over 100 members in the all volunteer organization.
Though BRAA has no physical facility, it is home based in the The Artful Lawyer, 318 N. Main St., Blacksburg. They hold monthly luncheons featuring Art Spot speakers, hold workshops with both local and national level instructors, provide art exhibitions to 15 local business galleries, hold play dates and plein air sessions and partner with local art organizations including the Moss Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech. Connecting artists and building relationships is a major focus for this group.
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The Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley (FACNRV) is located at 21 W. Main Street in Pulaski. From its two facilities in the town FACNRV offers Southwest Virginia a full range of programming, including the performing and visual arts, exhibits, lectures and art education classes.
Incorporated in 1978 as 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation in Pulaski, Virginia, the Center was initially located in the Fairview Home, which was a 1928 Alms House located across from Pulaski County High School.
In 1982 the Center moved to its present location, the former Cato's, a women's clothing store. Considered a prim example of Victorian commercial architecture, the brick two-story building was built in 1898 and is part of the Downtown Historic Landmark District. This honor was designated by the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission.
The Fine Arts Center was created out of a need to augment the arts education offered in the school system and to provide a vehicle for the arts presentation to residents of the New River Vally. In its more than thirty years of operation, the Fine Arts Center has touched the lives of approximately 500,000 patrons by way of visits to the gallery, classes, performances, and special events. The Center has hosted a combination of 4,100 classes or programs (visual or performing arts) involving 15,000 artists.
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Floyd Center for the Arts is located at 220 Parkway Lane South, in Floyd. Its mission is to facilitate and showcase artistic endeavors and creativity; to provide education in the arts throughout our rural community and region.
The vision for the Floyd Center for the Arts is that it shall be a well-respected rural arts organization that it is:
-A collaborative partner within the community
-Recognized for its excellence
-Welcoming and inclusive and a valued asset in Floyd
In 1995, a group of forward-looking citizens saw a historic but neglected dairy barn and wondered what might be the potential for using it as a space to link together the valuable and rich – but hidden and difficult-to-access – Floyd County artisan community. Today, it is 7 acres, includes a Glass/Metalsmithing studio, Photo Lab, Ceramics Studio and a Blacksmithing Forge. More than 70 workshops are organized each year, as well as a concert series, special events and 18 art exhibitions.