Forty Virginia high school students will head for college with an extra measure of confidence. They’re winners of a national art competition that awards medals, scholarships and a measure of prestige that could ensure admission to one of this country’s top art schools.
Last month, estimates of hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Austin,TX for the South by Southwest Festival. The music, film, and idea fest has helped cement Austin’s place in the new startup economy and now other cities around the nation are following their lead.
Official estimates say SXSW brought about 190 million dollars to Austin in 2012. But more importantly, SXSW has crowned Austin as the place to go for new art, music, and ideas.
Most painters work in water color, oil or acrylic, but one Virginia man is making his mark by painting with dirt.
Mike Heivly’s Dad was in the military, so his family moved around a lot, and in each new place, he noticed the dirt was different. In some spots it was black – in others, red, and during one cross country trip, he decided to demonstrate its diversity.
“Every place that we stopped I got a little soil sample – evidence that I was there. And then I did a series of paintings/prints to document a movement across the continent.”
There are about 70 graveyards along the Blue Ridge Parkway from around Roanoke south to the North Carolina border. Back in the 30s the state bought the land and “homeplaces” and then in turn donated it to the federal government for the parkway.
Steven Kidd, an Archeologist for the Blue Ridge Parkway, says they are now wanting to both maintain and research the family plots.
There are now 250 vineyards in Virginia feeding the state’s appreciation for wine, and to go with the grape, there’s a growing cheese trade here.
It’s Sunday, and 27-year-old Nadjeeb Chouaf is preaching the gospel of good cheese – leading members of the Afton Mountain Vineyard Club in a wine and cheese tasting event – one of three scheduled for this afternoon alone. He offers freshly cut wedges with a word of introduction: