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Montgomery Museum of Art & History to host reception on April 11 featuring local artists Nikki Pynn and Kathy Lowe, a new history exhibit entitled “Tending the Living and the Dead,” and “Creativity Enclosed: Reusing Historic Safe Deposit Boxes,” exhibit featuring nationally known miniatures artists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Montgomery Museum of Art & History to host reception on April 11 featuring local artists Nikki Pynn and Kathy Lowe, a new history exhibit entitled “Tending the Living and the Dead,” and “Creativity Enclosed: Reusing Historic Safe Deposit Boxes,” exhibit featuring nationally known miniatures artists. 

On April 11 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM, the Montgomery Museum of Art & History will play host to a grand reception showcasing the diverse talents of local artists Nikki Pynn and Kathy Lowe. The event will also feature the much-anticipated exhibit “Tending the Living and the Dead: a history of physicians, funeral homes, and rescue squads,” offering a poignant exploration of life and death in our area. Additionally, visitors will be enchanted by “Creativity Enclosed: Reusing Historic Safe Deposit Boxes,” a unique miniature presentation taking place in the vault of the Museum’s historic bank building. This multifaceted affair promises to be a celebration of creativity, heritage, and community.

Artist Nikki Pynn has worked in stained glass since graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, 1980, with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, Painting and Printmaking. Her exhibit at the Montgomery Museum is titled, “Movement Brought to Mind.”  She was influenced by the negative space of various objects, particularly broken bike wheels, and began filling in the spaces between the spokes on wheels, and holes of sprockets discarded by local bike shops. Pynn was recently accepted into the Southern Highland Craft Guild and has spent many years perfecting her stained glass technique and experimenting with the layout and complications that come from integrating her choices of materials and moving parts. Additionally, for works in this exhibit, she has reached back to previous work to create drawings that are, in her words, “representative of accepting my chaotic mind and being comfortable with it.” Other drawings in the show offer the artist’s experiments in expression through body language and facial expressions. 

In her exhibit, “Solitude, Serenity, and Stillness,” oil painter Kathy Lowe’s use of contrast between light and dark and color are worth studying. Some of the landscape paintings exhibit almost photographic realism except that the colors are beyond what nature can do. Another of Lowe’s favorite subjects is lighthouses.  The rounded contours of these buildings make them seem three dimensional.  Says Lowe, “Creativity and the art of painting according to the artist, serve as a singular act of existence in making statements about the emotional connection to life and the many subjects that influence us all.” Lowe, a Petersburg native, has a background in science that culminated  in a career at the Virginia Tech Veterinary College electron microscope lab.  The art of electron microscopy contributed to her artistic talent. 

Our next history exhibit will be titled “Tending the Living and the Dead: a history of physicians, funeral homes and rescue squads.” Those who assist in times of sickness, emergency, and death form a critical part of any community. What is surprising, is how the histories of physicians, funeral homes, and rescue squads are closely intertwined. Ambulance service was a lesser-known part of early funeral businesses. Initially, there was little in the way of first aid provided by the ambulance attendants, but the idea of trained attendants traveling with the patient was championed by local funeral home staff who knew the need first hand. Medical, funeral, and rescue artifacts from Kenneth McCoy and others will illustrate the evolution of these institutions in Montgomery County, Virginia. Exploring how our community tended its living and dead is an important way to understand its people and values. As part of the exhibit, visitors will be invited to share personal stories and recollections of these traditions at 6:30 P.M.

Also opening on April 11 is “Creativity Enclosed: Reusing Historic Safe Deposit Boxes.” The Montgomery Museum of Art and History is located in the former Bank of Christiansburg building, which was completed  in 1964. The building retains many original features including the steel safe deposit boxes in the main vault. Reusing these tiny historic spaces is the focus of this exhibit. The museum invited fine artists, hobby miniaturists, and all creative souls to contribute small works for this show. The call sparked interest from artists across the mid-Atlantic and as far away as California. 

This art exhibit also features work from nationally-known miniature artists, Amanda Kelly “Panda Miniatures” and Blake Gore. Amanda Kelly is pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture at Radford University where she also teaches. Kelly’s award-winning artwork has been exhibited in various art galleries and museums including The Museum of Museums in Seattle, WA, the Var Gallery in Milwaukee, WI, and the Olin Galleries in Salem, VA. Her commercial work includes miniature sets and content for clients such as Coca-Cola, Disney, XBOX, and General Mills.  In 2020, she was a finalist on the HGTV miniature competition show Biggest Little Christmas Showdown. Originally from New York, Amanda lives in Virginia with her wife and three cats. 

Blake Gore, a New River Valley resident, creates miniature art using a .15mm pen nib and minimalist canvases. Often drawing in a space of only an inch or two, he is inspired by the challenge of creating more with less. Gore’s miniature works have shown from Middle America to Manhattan and have found their way into private collections around the globe. He has partnered with brands such as Jo-Ann Stores, Monopoly/Hasbro, BLICK Art Materials, Sakura of America, Canson, Strathmore, and General Pencil.

This is a free community reception. Enjoy refreshments and food while listening to these artists, story-tellers, and historians. 

Media Contacts: 

Casey Jenkins – Executive Director; director@montgomerymuseum.org; (540) 382-5644 

Courtney Amos – Events and Marketing Coordinator; marketing@montgomerymuseum.org

Montgomery Museum of Art & History Hosts Montgomery County Public School Student Art Show

Montgomery Museum of Art & History Hosts Montgomery County Public School Student Art Show

Montgomery Museum of Art & History Hosts Montgomery County Public School Student Art Show

The Montgomery Museum of Art & History is hosting Montgomery County Public Schools for a Student Art Show. This is the first year that the Museum has hosted art from most of Montgomery County’s public schools. This show offers a combined vision of student art across the county and has been specially curated by Elementary, Middle, and High School Art Teachers. The Elementary School show will include student art from Eastern Montgomery Elementary, Margaret Beeks Elementary, Christiansburg Primary, Belview Elementary, Price’s Fork Elementary, Gilbert Linkous Elementary, Harding Ave Elementary, Falling Branch Elementary, and Auburn Elementary. The Opening Reception of the Elementary School Student Art Show will be held on Thursday, February 8, 4:30 – 6:30 PM, with remarks at 5:30 PM. Light refreshments will be served. The Elementary School art will be on exhibit through February 28.

“The museum is very happy to offer a place for students to experience sharing their artwork with the community in a gallery setting. We believe that this show is an important way the Museum can serve all of Montgomery County,” said Sherry Wyatt, Assistant Director and Museum Curator. 

The Opening Reception for the Middle and High School Student Art Show will be held on Thursday, March 7, 5:00 – 7:00 PM, with remarks at 6:00 PM. Art Students from Auburn Middle, Blacksburg Middle, Christiansburg Middle, Shawsville Middle, Auburn High, Blacksburg High, Christiansburg High, Eastern Montgomery High, and Montgomery Central will be participating in the show which will run through March 23. Judging for the elementary show will be made by a local retired art educator and local artist Larry Bechtel will judge the middle and high school entries. Cash prizes for the students are generously sponsored by the Blacksburg Regional Art Association (BRAA).

The award-winning art therapy program, “The Art of Happiness,” to return as a winter series presented by the Montgomery Museum and LewisGale Hospital Montgomery

The award-winning art therapy program, “The Art of Happiness,” to return as a winter series presented by the Montgomery Museum and LewisGale Hospital Montgomery
The Montgomery Museum of Art and History is offering self-help coping tactics and strategies by using art exhibits, materials, and spaces as helpful tools to address mental health issues. This interactive series entitled, “The Art of Happiness,” will focus on aspects of positive psychology and the role that art can play in general happiness and well-being. Now in its second year, this program series will be held at the Montgomery Museum on the first and second Thursday of each month, December through February, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The museum will remain open late on these dates to allow participants the opportunity to see all the museum exhibits and spaces. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged.
“The goal of this program series is to highlight and raise awareness about mental health issues and accessibility in a non-traditional way while simultaneously offering unique methods and strategies to cope with things like stress, anxiety, and depression,” said Casey Jenkins, the museum’s executive director. “Making space for art therapy in a museum or cultural center can have very profound effects as it relates to experiential self-help. We are very grateful for the support given by LewisGale Hospital Montgomery.”
This past year, the museum garnered state-wide attention when it was awarded the 2023 Innovation Award by the Virginia Association of Museums. The museum was given this prestigious award for the Art of Happiness based on its merit as a new program series that created positive change in the community through innovation and creativity.
The sessions will be led and facilitated by Shelby Wynn, a registered art therapist and licensed professional counselor. Session topics include Found Poetry, Mindfulness Clay Sculpting, and Visual Music and Painting. “I am very excited to be partnering with the Montgomery Museum for the next few months,” Wynn said. “Art is such an integral part of mental health – be it fine art, movement, or music – and it is inspiring to have an organization such as the museum find it important to bridge the gap in mental health awareness. I am honored to be a part of something so innovative.”
All materials will be provided by the museum and no art experience is required. The series is designed to be a free community-building, self-help experience rather than an outpatient group patient therapy session. For more information on this program series and to register, visit https://montgomerymuseum.org/arttherapy.

Montgomery Museum Brings Artist Elissa Steeves, Textile Artists of Virginia, and Montgomery County Coal Mining History and Art Show to the New River Valley

Join the Montgomery Museum of Art & History on Thursday, November 9 from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM at 4 E. Main St. Christiansburg, VA for the last reception of the year featuring local artist Elissa Steeves’ opening, the Textile Artists of Virginia exhibit, “Montgomery County Coal Mining” history exhibit, and a Coal Mining Theme Art Show.

Elissa Steeves is famous for her garden in Blacksburg. She is less well-known as an artist, but her upcoming exhibit Bag Lady at the Montgomery Museum of Art and History may help change that. The garden is notable not just for its profusion of interesting plants but also for the sculptures placed, not scattered, about, and the many seating areas offering strategic views. The chairs and tables are mostly painted in clear and vibrant colors.  These colors appear again in the needlepoint handbags Steeves has made for 41 years. Some of the bags feature flowers, as seems fitting, but others may have a chili pepper or a watermelon. Some handbags feature more geometric patterns reminiscent of Native American art.

Textile Artists of Virginia (TAVA) will have an exhibit of fiber art at the Montgomery Museum entitled, Wordplay and Puns with a Whimsical Streak. The title comes from two separate themes the group of about 30 artists pursued. The “Wordplay and Puns” series features fabrics that were hand-dyed by the artists, and the word “dye” appears in the title of each piece such as “Dyverse Marine Life” or “Dying to Escape Covid.” The Whimsical Streak pieces all have a humorous side that could take the form of goddesses, mermaids, playful goats, bugs, or a grandchild steering a boat. “Tuscan Still Life” has a border around the usual vases and things, which is important because one wine bottle has fallen over and spilled over the border.

Coal mining was an important industry in Montgomery County with production peaking in the first half of the twentieth century. Equally important, coal mining was a way of life for generations of county residents. Explore Montgomery County’s coal mines and how the hard work of the miners and their families created local communities in this new exhibit featuring many historic local coal mining objects. The Fears-Jones-Eaves Coal Company sign, from the only African American-owned mine in the county, is on loan courtesy of the Wake Forest Community Action Club. Many other objects were donated to the museum in memory of Dudley Scott by his widow, Faye. Mr. Scott was a coal miner in this area and was interviewed for the book Keepers of the Tradition. His portrait, painted by local artist Leslie Gregg for the book, is included in the Coal Mining Theme Art Show which will accompany the history exhibit. This Theme Show will include several talented local artists, Aileen Fletcher, Judy Niehaus, Leslie Gregg, Matt Gentry, Sally Mook, and Sue Hossack who were inspired by the themed coal mining show. A cash bar will also be available at the reception, and free heavy hors d’oeuvres will be catered by Zeppoli’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Shop. Visit https://montgomerymuseum.org/events/reception for more details.

Montgomery Museum to Present “DOC AT 100” benefit concert at Moss Arts Center, Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Doc Watson

Montgomery Museum to Present “DOC AT 100” benefit concert at Moss Arts Center, Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Doc Watson

The Montgomery Museum of Art & History is expanding its definition of the arts by presenting the “DOC AT 100” concert program at the Moss Arts Center on November 1, 2023, at 7:00 PM. “DOC AT 100” is a traveling concert program, which celebrates the life and legacy of Doc Watson by artists who performed with Doc, were profoundly influenced by his music, and called him a friend. This includes T. Michael Coleman and Jack Lawrence, who performed, recorded, and toured with Doc longer than any other musicians he worked with. Joining T. Michael and Jack are fellow guitarists Wayne Henderson and Jack Hinshelwood, who were both heavily impacted by Doc’s music through his many recordings and performances. Wayne counted Doc as a close friend, especially in Doc’s later years when he enjoyed visiting Wayne in his guitar-making shop in Rugby, Virginia. 

Ted Olson, Professor of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University, is the author of “Doc’s World: Traditional Plus,” the book that accompanies the 4 CD compilation of recordings from Doc’s career released in 2022 by Craft Records called “Doc Watson, Life’s Work: A Retrospective.” “DOC AT 100” begins with a talk led by concert host, Ted Olson on the legacy of Doc Watson followed by stories shared by the artists who knew Doc as a friend and fellow performer. Audience members will also be encouraged to share their stories of Doc and the impact he had on them. Enjoy an evening of story-telling and traditional music under the lights to celebrate the legacy and life of Doc Watson. 

A humanities talk will take place on November 1 at 2:00 PM at the Moss Arts Center “CUBE” and will be hosted by Ted Olson, Jack Hinshelwood, and Patrick Salmons, Adjunct Professor in conjunction with Virginia Tech’s Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Religion and Culture program. Students within Appalachian Studies and the Graduate Program in Material Culture and Public Humanities at Virginia Tech are invited to participate in the discussion about Doc Watson and his cultural influence on Appalachia. 

Concert tickets may be purchased online at the Montgomery Museum of Art & History’s website, www.montgomerymuseum.org/events/music, or by calling the Moss Art Center Box Office at 540-231-5300. The presale cost will be $25, and $30 at the door. Proceeds will benefit the Montgomery Museum of Art & History.

This event is generously sponsored by Edward Via College Of Osteopathic Medicine, Asset Solutions Corp., Shelter Alternatives, Inc., Mary Ann Hinshelwood, Mike Eggleston Realtor at Coldwell Banker Townside Realtors, FocusOne Integrated Financial Planning, and Heartstrings Pet Lodging and Spa.

Heritage Day 2023 Recap

What an incredible day it was at Heritage Day 2023! We want to express our sincere gratitude to each and every one of our visitors, volunteers, staff, vendors, food trucks, and sponsors who joined us in celebrating our rich heritage and vibrant community.

From the bustling streets of downtown Christiansburg, VA to the serene Museum Gardens, the atmosphere was filled with joy and camaraderie as families, friends, and neighbors came together to enjoy a day of art, history, and fun.

A special shoutout to the Kiwanis Club of Christiansburg VA for managing the delightful beer garden and to the incredible performers who graced the Downtown Christiansburg stage, including Amelia Empson, Virginia Hollow, Pathway, PanJammers Steel Drum Orchestra, and Appalachian Space Train – you kept us entertained throughout the day!

The mouthwatering offerings from food trucks like Scoops Arcade and Community Pizza, as well as Bubba’s Barn’s delicious paninis, were simply a treat for the taste buds. And let’s not forget the excitement of the silent auction within the museum itself, offering a treasure trove of unique experiences and local artwork! 

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our local business sponsors – American National Bank & Trust, Gates Flowers & Gifts III, CMG Leasing, Carter Bank & Trust, McCoy Funeral Home, Balzer and Associates, Inc., Foresight Design Services, Town and Country Veterinary Clinic, SERVPRO of Montgomery & Pulaski Counties, Summit Community Bank, Rice Realty and Landsales, Glenn Cochran – State Farm Insurance Agent, Corning Incorporated, The Tenacious Telecommunicator, and The Quilting Party. Your commitment to our community shines brightly!

Once again, thank you for being a part of Heritage Day 2023. Your presence and enthusiasm added an extra layer of magic to the day, and we can’t wait to see you again at our future events during our 40th year as a museum. Here’s to preserving our heritage and creating beautiful memories together!

Montgomery Museum Hosting Local Artist Reception and Railroad Theme Art Show Awards

Join the Montgomery Museum of Art & History on Thursday, September 7, 2023, from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. for the opening reception of local artist Lois Stephens and the awards ceremony for the multi-artist Railroad Theme Art Show. The reception will take place in the museum at 4 East Main Street, Christiansburg, VA 24073.

So many talented and well-trained artists say they wish they could loosen up and let go of the comfort of realism.  Lois Stephens is one of the few who accomplished that goal.  Her new exhibition entitled, “Oilful Expressions,” shows how Stephens prefers to work in oil with a palette knife, a device that replaces the brush and lends itself to free rein.  She says the more you do it, the more confident you become.  Also, don’t be afraid to change something that doesn’t work.  “It’s just paint.”  Oil paint is especially easy to remove or paint over.  “Simplify.”  Painting in an impressionist style comes from simplifying what you have been doing. Many of the paintings in the show are landscapes depicting local scenes that often include water.  “Flow” shows a stream in springtime, “Hibernal” a cold winter scene, and “Garden Path” a walk bordered with flowers.  Compared to her earlier works, these paintings are more impressionistic in style.

Along with opening Stephens’ show on September 7, the museum is acknowledging the closing of the Railroad Theme Art Show. Twenty local artists have submitted over forty works in numerous media including paint, pen and ink, photography, and wood scrollwork that depicts railroad heritage. The People’s Choice voting for the awards ceremony is taking place now, and voting will close at 6:00 p.m. at the reception with awards presented at 6:30 p.m. Vote now at: https://montgomerymuseum.org/exhibits/railroad-theme-show. A cash bar will be available and food will be catered by Zeppoli’s.

Heritage Day 2023 to bring history, culture, and community to downtown Christiansburg

The Montgomery Museum of Art & History proudly presents its highly anticipated annual Heritage Day Festival on August 19, 2023, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM in downtown Christiansburg. This free, family-friendly event takes place at the museum, East Main St. and at the Museum Gardens located at 300 South Pepper Street.

This year, the museum will showcase an eclectic mix of vendors including craft, art, antique cars, native plants, baked goods, and many children’s activities. More than 40 vendors will display their finest creations, offering plenty of artistic goods to explore. Additionally, the street festival will feature a hay wagon ride, historical reenactors, and a beer/wine garden managed by Christiansburg Kiwanis Club. Live performances will be held at the Downtown Christiansburg stage featuring performances by Amelia Empson, Virginia Hollow, Pathway, The Panjammers, and Appalachian Space Train.

Additionally, food trucks, including Scoops Arcade Food Truck and Community Pizza will be serving ice cream and pizza next to the beer garden. Inside the museum, a silent auction will take place during the event and offer a myriad of gifts including unique experiences and local artwork.

This event is made possible by the generous support from many local businesses including American National Bank and Trust, Gates Flowers, CMG Leasing, Carter Bank and Trust, McCoy Funeral Home, Balzer and Associates, Foresight Design Services, Town and Country Veterinary Clinic, Servpro of Montgomery and Pulaski Counties, Summit Community Bank, Rice Realty and Landsales, Glenn Cochran – State Farm Insurance Agent, Corning Inc, The Tenacious Telecommunicator, and the Quilting Party.

For more information on the event, please visit https://montgomerymuseum.org/events/heritage-day.

Media Contacts: Casey Jenkins – Executive Director; director@montgomerymuseum.org; (540) 382-5644 Courtney Amos – Events and Marketing Coordinator; marketing@montgomerymuseum.org

Railroad Theme Art Show

Montgomery Museum hosts 20 local artists in the  Railroad Theme Art Show as a companion to the “Let’s Go to the Depot” History Exhibit and recent NRV Passenger Rail Panel

“Let’s Go to the Depot! How the Railroad Changed Montgomery County and Cambria” history exhibit opened on July 13 at the Montgomery Museum of Art and History. The railroad, completed through Montgomery County in 1854, created a social center where sweethearts ran off to get married and fresh-faced draftees set off to serve their country. It was also a point of commerce, where goods and harvests from the county were shipped and products from around the world entered into Montgomery County, VA.

In conjunction with the “Let’s Go to the Depot” history exhibit, members of the museum and other local artists have participated in a railroad-themed art show. Photographs, watercolors, oils, acrylics, pen and ink drawings, and even wood scroll-work are represented. 41 pieces by 20 artists of trains and related items will be on display from July 18 – September 8. You may view the pictures online and vote for your favorite at https://montgomerymuseum.org/exhibits/railroad-theme-show (online voting starting on July 18), but even better, come in and see for yourself. The closing reception is on September 7, 5:00 -7:00 pm at the museum. People’s Choice voting will allow only one vote per person, and voting will close at 6:00 pm the day of the reception with awards presented at 6:30 pm.

Last week, the museum hosted a very successful panel discussion on NRV passenger rail, providing a forum of updates and discussion led by experts from the New River Valley Regional Commission, Virginia Passenger Rail Authority, and the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board. In a packed lobby, community members learned more about the history of passenger rail and the exciting new developments regarding Amtrak’s future service to Christiansburg and the New River Valley.

Artists and their specific media in the Railroad Theme Art Show include:

  • Aileen Fletcher – Digital Photography
  • Matt Gentry – Watercolor
  • Blake Gore – Miniature Drawing
  • Sue Hossack – Ink, Acrylic
  • Carol Josefiak – Oil
  • John Josefiak – Watercolor
  • Carl Lefko – Photography
  • Susan Lockwood – Photography
  • Sally Mook – Watercolor/Acrylic
  • Rita Mayer – Wood, Acrylic
  • Pippi Miller – Photography
  • Glenn McDaniel – Digital Art
  • Wayne McKinney – Photography
  • Betty Moore – Acrylic
  • Judy Niehaus – Acrylic
  • David Pearce – Painting/Photography/Drawing
  • David Petersen – Photography
  • Mary Ratliff – Watercolor
  • John Singleton – Photography
  • Charles Whitescarver  – Photography

Media Contacts: Casey Jenkins – Executive Director; director@montgomerymuseum.org; (540) 382-5644

Courtney Amos – Events and Marketing Coordinator; marketing@montgomerymuseum.org

Celebrate Beauty, and the Past and Future of NRV Rail

Montgomery Museum Invites Public to Reception Uniting Art, History, and Dialogue that Celebrates Beauty, and the Past and Future of NRV Rail

The public is invited to attend a reception and program on Thursday, July 13, from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. that will unite art, history, and community dialogue. This unique event will open a new exhibition by local artist Patricia Bolton, as well as an exhibit focused on the history of the railroad in Montgomery County, an exhibit of works by noted photographer O. Winston Link, and a panel discussion about the future of NRV Passenger Rail.

Patricia Bolton’s new exhibit, “Celebrating Beauty,” showcases a diverse range of artistic media, including alcohol ink, pen and ink, colored pencils, pastels, and photography. Bolton’s mixed media pieces often combine various techniques, with her own photography serving as inspiration for her paintings. With a lifelong passion for art, she believes practice is the key to success and is constantly sketching and doodling. One of her most exciting pieces, “Bicchiere,” which is Italian for drinking glass, began as a restaurant doodle. The reflections off the glass and images seen through it in parallax are beautiful. Known for her meticulous attention to detail, Bolton’s work demonstrates precision and beauty, particularly evident in her pen and ink drawings and colored pencil works like “Howling Wolves.” The exhibit, “Celebrating Beauty,” will be held at the Montgomery Museum of Art and History in Christiansburg, starting July 6, with the reception taking place from 4:30-6:15 p.m. on July 13.

Also opening at the Montgomery Museum is “O. Winston Link: Capturing the Last Steam Railroad.” The exhibit features prints from Link’s 1955-1960 work, including some signed by Link himself. These were donated to the Museum in 2022 by Link’s nephew, Robert Zider. The exhibit will focus on Link’s artistic process and his important role in the history of art photography. Giving context to the O. Winston Link prints will be a separate exhibit, “Let’s Go to the Depot! How the Railroad Changed Montgomery County and Cambria.” The railroad, completed through Montgomery County in 1854, was a social center where sweethearts ran off to get married and where fresh-faced draftees set off to serve their country. It was also a point of commerce, where goods and harvests from the county were shipped and products from around the world entered into Montgomery County, VA. These two rail heritage exhibits will open the evening of July 13 for the reception and program.

From 6:30-7:30 p.m. the museum will feature a panel discussion that will focus on the NRV Passenger Rail that is coming to Christiansburg in 2025. Listen to passenger rail updates and an opportunity to ask questions about rail coming to Christiansburg, VA. This panel will consist of experts in passenger rail including Collin Burch, Planning Manager of Virginia Passenger Rail Authority, Raymond D. Smoot Jr., Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board, Sandra Davis, Co-Chair, New River Valley Passenger Rail, and Kevin Byrd, Executive Director, New River Valley Regional Commission. This event will be moderated by Ann Cassell, President of The Blacksburg Partnership.