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Susan LangSalvador Dali once said “Drawing is the honesty of art; it’s either good or its bad.” For some artists, particularly loose painters used to impressionism, drawing is a dreary necessity. For others it is an art form that is so intense they lose themselves in it. Artist Susan Lang, known for her rich and vibrant oil paintings, had her illustrations featured in Leadership Lessons from Great World Leaders, a book written by her husband, Professor Frederick Lang.

For someone used to painting, predominantly in oils – which is the most forgiving of the paint mediums – she used only graphite to create her illustrations of 10 of the most influential leaders of past centuries, including Alexander the Great, Elizabeth I, Winston Churchill, Catherine the Great and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lang, who had never taken on a project like this before, discussed what she learned. She began with reference photos, paintings and sculptures. It took her over a month to render approximately 16 drawings to choose her final illustrations. She began mixing charcoal and graphite but ended up only using graphite.

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Church/stateSeparation of church and state – a concern often reserved for state or federal government – hit home Wednesday (July 5) in a complicated discussion over relocating Fluvanna’s food pantry.

Fluvanna Christian Service Society (FCSS) learned at a Board of Supervisors meeting that Fluvanna County will begin charging FCSS rent for the land on which its buildings sit behind the Carysbrook complex.

Though the rent, about $600 per year, is small compared to typical rent charges, FCSS member Susan Hughes said the bill will create a hardship for the donation-dependent organization.

Hughes said she feels that the county is penalizing her organization for its religious affiliation. Add a comment


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Teri Lamb and Ruth Anne EarhartThe agency promoting family health and well-being has a new office at Zion Crossroads on Route 250.

The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting and open house from 4-7 p.m. on Aug. 23.

For years, workers for the Jefferson Area Children’s Health Improvement Program (CHIP) that covers Fluvanna operated out of a storefront in the Village of Palmyra.

But when an opportunity came to merge the Fluvanna and Louisa offices, they took it, said Terri Lamb, a registered nurse.

Prior to the June 12 move, each satellite office had just two staff members.

“With more CHIP staff working together I have already noticed we can share tips about managing our work load so we can meet the professional standards that our organization commands,” Lamb said. “Additionally, when our families are facing very stressful issues (like intimate partner violence, incarceration, substance use, mental health challenges) or have a very unique need (like a weighted blanket for a child with sensory issues or a supportive feeding chair for a child with low muscle tone) it can be very stressful for staff members to know where to start. By having more CHIP staff in one space we have been able to identify resources more readily,  meet the families’ priorities more efficiently, which in turn helps us feel more successful in our work.” Add a comment


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RunnersAs a result of an online poll, Fourth of July activities at Lake Monticello were held on Saturday, July 1, this year. The activities began early and continued all day. Two of the annual athletic competitions are the Spirit 5K run and the Swim across the Lake.

The 16th annual 5K (three mile) Spirit Run started promptly at 7 a.m. Many contestants arrived at least half an hour early to warm up. The race begins at the Bunker ball field and it is run mostly on the Lake Monticello golf course cart paths. This year there were 210 entries that included pre-teens to retirees.

In the men’s division, the outcome was no surprise. Matt Barresi has been winning the Spirit Run 5K for a number of years. He notes that he has not run every year, but he has won every time in which he has run. This year Barresi completed the course in an impressive time of 16:35, which is about 5:30 per mile – too fast, by a wide margin, for most of the competition. Barresi ran track and cross country in college for American University and now runs for the Ragged Mountain Running team, concentrating on the marathon.

On the women’s side of the race the first-place finisher was Fluvanna County High School rising senior Saige Haney, who has been a standout for the Flying Flucos for several years, running under the tutelage of her mother, Coach Rose Brogan. Brogan did well herself, winning in her age group. Add a comment


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The Elephantz TrunkNina Monroe’s goal is to support the local economy and encourage Fluvanna residents to buy local. It’s not that easy when surrounded by massive brick and mortar stores in nearby Charlottesville and Richmond and online giants like Amazon. But Monroe is not deterred and has a unique boutique, The Elephantz Trunk, that she hopes will do well.

Located in a former motel renovated by Chris Fairchild several years ago, the refurbished brick building with the green awnings can be spotted at the crossroads of Dixie, where Routes 6 and 15 meet. Walking into her boutique is a different experience reminiscent of visiting a Gordonsville shop. Her boutique features handmade jewelry she designed, as well as a variety of manufactured pieces and sterling silver. All pieces are one-of-a-kind and bold.

“The statement pieces of fashion jewelry are purchased in limited quantities like four or five pieces,” said Monroe. “This ensures that you don’t have everyone walking around with the same piece of jewelry which begs the question, ‘Where did you get that?’”

She also sells homemade bath and body products using natural ingredients like Dead Sea salt, Epsom salts, shea and cocoa butters, coconut and essential oils, local honey, beeswax and more. “We have our local honey for sale too. The hives started out in my backyard at home, but have been relocated just down the street a few yards,” she said. Add a comment