Artemis Speaks Podcast – Dorothy Gillespie Documentary

Join the conversation with son Gary Isreal,  President of the Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation, and daughter Dorien Gillespie Bietz, children of Dorothy Gillespie, as they reflect on the many gifts their mother had in a groundbreaking documentary Courage, Independence and Color. The documentary will be shown on May 22, 2022 at the Grandin Theater in Roanoke, Va.

Artemis Journal was borne out of writing workshops for abused women. Ms. Gillespie donated her print celebrating Women in the Arts. The journal’s mission is to support, develop, and encourage the talents of artists and writers from the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond. Now in its 48th year, Artemis Journal looks back at its beginnings.

Dorothy Gillespie, acclaimed artist, donated her pastel painting to Artemis for our first cover, which became the citie’s first mural in downtown Roanoke, Va.

To Listen to the podcast, go to our Podcast Section on this website

Jeri Rogers and the refurbished mural in year 2022 holding the first Artemis Journal with Gillespies image.

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How to keep creating in the time of darkness

Jeri Rogers, Editor Artemis Journal

Emerging from the pandemic, we are reinventing ourselves and our commitments to art. How do we keep creating in these challenging times? Our current theme for Artemis Journal 24 is “Illuminating the Darkness.” Our editors are currently laying out the journal, and I am always in awe of how artists and writers respond to our calls for submission. With over 350 submissions, we have reduced our selections to over 100 entries. The elimination process is challenging as there are so many worthy entries, and we cannot include everyone for obvious reasons.

In looking at how history dealt with challenging times, I found a poem that intersects the personal with history. A poem by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, wrote Enlightenment after going to Monticello, Virginia, with her poet father, Eric Trethewey, to learn more about our complicated and revered President Thomas Jefferson. The poem is featured in the upcoming Artemis Journal 2024, released September 6th, at the Roanoke Taubman Museum of Art. Stay tuned for exciting news regarding the Launch Celebration.


By Natasha Trethewey

In the portrait of Jefferson that hangs

        at Monticello, he is rendered two-toned:

his forehead white with illumination —

To read the full poem go to;

Natasha Trethewey, “Enlightenment” from Thrall. Copyright © 2012 by Natasha Trethewey. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Many portraits were made of Thomas Jefferson. One of the most demanding and persistent artists was Gilbert Stuart, to whom Jefferson sat for three portraits.
In May of 1800, Stuart began his first portrait, and a fee of $100.00 had been paid before the painting received its finishing touches, a mistake that others had made before him. More than twenty years passed before Jefferson received an oil portrait by Stuart, and the result of the 1800 sitting had disappeared without a trace.
In the meantime, Jefferson assumed the presidency. He took up residence in the Washington President’s House where Stuart lived, and in the spring of 1805, Stuart informed Jefferson that he was “not satisfied” with the original 1800 portrait and “begged” the president to sit for him again. Stuart received another $100.00 from a grateful and generous Jefferson after producing the gouache and crayon “medallion” profile, and the second portrait was titled the “Edgehill.”
As the years passed, Stuart retained the portrait. He proceeded to forget the reason for its existence, assuming ownership of the painting until Jefferson enlisted intermediaries from Monticello to obtain ownership in 1821. This magnificent painting hangs in the parlor of Monticello. Virginia.

Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014). She is the author of five collections of poetry, including Native Guard (2006)—for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize—and, most recently, Monument: Poems New and Selected (2018); a book of non-fiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010); and a memoir, Memorial Drive (2020) an instant New York Times Bestseller. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Philosophical Society. In 2017 she received the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets since 2019, Trethewey was awarded the 2020 Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt Prize in Poetry for Lifetime Achievement from the Library of Congress.

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Dragonfly Project

Part of Artemis’s mission is to reach out to younger Writers and Artists

Teacher, Michele Evans’s class in Loudon Count was gifted Artemis Journals by donors John Keiling and Nina Schlossman

Student Eugene, John Keiling, Michele Evans, Nina Schlossman

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With a litle help from our friends

As a small independent journal, we are always planning for the next great journal

Artemis Journal has showcased compelling new voices for four decades, including notable writers ranging from Poet Laureates to Pulitzer Prize winners and first-time writers and artists. Over 2000 artists and writers have appeared in our journal. Artemis has served the Appalachian Region of the Blue Ridge Mountains with a rich history that has played an integral role in the success and perseverance of our journal.We are grateful for the continuing support of the Roanoke Arts Commission, The Taubman Museum, our contributors and donors.

Please consider donating to help Artemis Journal

go to our donate page on this website

Image by Melissa Hall Always Planning

as seen in Artemis 2020

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‘Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project’

Nikki Giovanni & Jeri Rogers, Editor Artemis Journal

HBO has acquired the Documentary which won the Sundance Film Festivals best documentary of 2023

In the opening scene of Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s searching documentary Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project, the poet Nikki Giovanni shows her cards: “I don’t remember a lot of things,” she says as images of a glittering galaxy and archival footage of the poet as a child flash onscreen. “I remember what is important and I make up the rest. That’s what storytelling is all about.”  

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project wants to let Giovanni choose how she is remembered without sacrificing an allegiance to linearity and mainstream appeal. So the documentary, anchored by the vivacious personality of its subject, blends its experimental inspirations (Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro) with the duty of a compositionally legible portrait (Timothy Greenfield Sanders’ Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am).

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The Gospel according to Nikki Giovanni

Javon Jackson with Nikki Giovanni and Nnenna Freelon

Friday, November 3, 2023, 7:30 PM

Moss Center Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia

Street and Davis Performance Hall, Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre

“These songs are so important. They comforted people through times of slavery, and during recent years we needed them to comfort us again.”

— Nikki Giovanni

About The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni

Why would one of poetry’s most revered voices want to curate a jazz saxophonist’s album of gospel hymns and spirituals? “These songs are so important,” says Giovanni, one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 Living Legends and a Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2017. “They comforted people through times of slavery, and during recent years we needed them to comfort us again. But a lot of the students today do not know about the history of these songs, and they should. So I’m out here putting water on the flowers, because they need a drink.”

“The spirituals have been around so long,” says the renowned poet, activist, and educator, who came to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s as a foundational member of the Black Arts movement following the publication of such early works as 1968 book of poetry Black Feeling, Black Talk/Black Judgment and 1970’s Re:Creation.

“Some spirituals have been updated and stayed around and some have been lost over time,” Giovanni notes. “So for me, it’s just helping to keep something going. And I do it because there’s a need.” 

Co-sponsored by the Black Cultural Center

A historic collaboration between renowned poet and Virginia Tech legend Nikki Giovanni and saxophonist-composer and former Jazz Messenger Javon Jackson has yielded The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni. For this intimate jazz performance, Jackson brings his bold-toned, Trane-inspired tenor lines to bear on a series of hymns, spirituals, and gospel numbers hand-picked by Giovanni. They are joined by celebrated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon

For more information

To hear her speak about the recording experience – Listen to an interview with Nikki on Artemis Speaks Podcast with Jeri Rogers

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Artemis Journal Launch

Taubman Museum of Art
Donnie Secreast

Come join in the fun and support the Journal and Taubman Museum with a program featuring Singer, and songwriter, Lara Taubman and her band.

Lara Taubman

Following a career as an Art curator, Lara turned her attention to music and began writing, producing, and singing. Her intention has always been to create work that is healing.

“2021 was the year I began to cover some classic gospel songs.
Singing those deep, healing sounds sparked something profound in my body and mind. I believe
part of the reason I began writing music at all was so I could climb inside of a song, to embody it.
The inspiration of classic gospel brought me that experience when I wrote these songs.
Being from the South and my roots in Appalachian music are not far from classic gospel music.
The two kinds of music have always intermingled historically.
In a way, these new songs have brought me closer to my southern background but in a deeper,
more spiritual way.”
Lara Taubman

“That ol’ feeling you get listening to good lo-fi music
via hi-fi just got a retro update via Lara, channeling the
likes of Patsy Cline and other ol’ giants of a smoky lounge
scene with that signature sound that is captivatingly
Lara and totally original.”

For more information;

We will also honor Dr. Sandee McGlaun, associate professor of English and director of the Writing Center, who died Sept. 4 after a long battle with breast cancer.  

Her husband, Steve Prisley, posted to her social media: “The earth has lost a beautiful soul today as Sandee McGlaun left her weary and wounded body after a long and determined battle with cancer. Visit her Still Life Beyond Cancer blog to read her encouragement to hold your loved ones close, always choose kindness, and savor each moment.”

Dr. Sandee McGlaun

Her poetry will appear in the Artemis Journal alongside artist Bob Rotche, who collaborated with Professor McGlann during her last days. Here is their work as it appears in the Artemis Journal.


                 Fundraiser Tickets                         

$25 non-members – $20 TMA members            

For more information

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Artemis Journal News


July 11, 2023 | 5:30 pm

Reception to Follow | $20 Donation

Join Frederick Douglass (Nathan M. Richardson) for a conversation about the meaning of American Democracy in the words of the former slave-turned-writer, orator, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Learn how his relationships with William Lloyd Garrison, Susan B Anthony, Harriet Tubman, and Presidents Lincoln, Johnson, Garfield, and Grant significantly influenced the suffrage movement, the antebellum, the civil war, and early Reconstruction. Hear Mr. Douglass explain his evolving views on the U S Constitution and American Democracy. Bring your own questions.

Nathan M. Richardson is a published author, performance poet, and Frederick Douglass Historian. His poetry collections include Likeness of Being, Twenty-one Imaginary T-shirts, and The 7 Last Poems of an Unarmed Citizen. Books featuring Nathan’s success story include; You Can Do That; (Amazing People with Amazing Jobs) By Michael Messick & (You Don’t Want Success Demolishing Fears And Excuses) by Miko Marsh. Nathan teaches a variety of workshops for emerging writers and spoken word artists.

Mr. Richardson is now in his 9th year of The Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour – a living history performance that captures completely the physical, spiritual, and intellectual essence of the former slave, writer, orator, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour has been seen live nationally and internationally and has film credits with the National Park Service and Alabama Public Television. Nathan’s recent rendition of the speech “Frederick Douglass Honors the Unknown Loyal Dead” was Nominated for Best Short Film at the 2022 I Will Tell Film International Festival.” You can learn more about Nathan Richardson and his work at

Latest Podcast With Artist, Susan Saandholland

The arc of Susan’s career is amazing. Besides her commitment to Photography, It includes a six-year term as President of the American Kidney Fund. She has been represented in three galleries and continues her desire to be of creative service to artists, dancers, and musicians. Her video skills helped numerous artists worldwide to have virtual shows during Covid isolation. Artemis Journal is pleased to publish her latest work, “Wilderness” in the 2023 Journal.

Join Jeri Rogers, Editor of Artemis Journal as she interviews Artist Susan Saandholland

Here is a peek at the latest layout for Artemis 2023 featuring Susan’s work, “Wilderness”

go to our Podcast icon on this website


Great news! Back when we launched our very first Artemis Journal in 1977, Dorothy Gillespie donated a pastel for our cover. Lyn Yeatts and I then approached Roanoke Business leaders and the Roanoke Arts Council about creating a downtown mural in Roanoke. The wind caught the sails of our idea and the mural became Roanoke’s very first one in the city. Our legacy lives and Artemis Journal continues to create and support the arts. We are now in the final layout for our Artemis Journal 2023 which promises to be one of our very best, with 96 poets and 50 artists from our region, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and beyond. The official launch will be on September 1st at the Roanoke Taubman Museum of Art.

Jeri Rogers, Editor, and Founder Artemis Journal

Gillespie Mural dedication, Doug Jackson, Roanoke Arts Commission Director, Pedro Salzay, Director of Southwest Virginia Ballet, William Penn, Chairman of RAC, Susan Jennings, Former Director of RAC, Katherine Devine, Artist, Jeri Rogers, Editor Artemis Journal

Roanoke, Va.- (April 24, 2023) – This week, fresh coats of paint are being applied to
“Accentuated Forms in Space,” the well-loved but much-faded work of public art on the side wall of downtown Roanoke’s 312 2nd Street, SW.
Painted in 1979 from a 1975 design done in pastel by renowned artist Dorothy Gillespie, the work has been called “fluid and playful.” The late Cabell Brand, President of Total Action for Progress (TAP), stated about the design, “Its colors harmonize just like people in a community should harmonize. It shows what beauty can be when everyone works together.” The mural was the result of a collaboration between the artist and the region’s arts community to celebrate the Artemis Festival of Women in the Arts. Partners included Artemis Journal- which featured the work on its first cover–philanthropists Warner and Carol Dalhouse, and Ann Lee, who then owned the property.

For more than two decades, area residents and art lovers have called for a revival of the work, something that just recently became possible. “We were able to bring together good partners eager to make this work,” says Roanoke Arts Commission Chair Meighan Sharp. “Sometimes it just takes time for the stars — like Gillespie’s “Accentuated Forms in Space”— to align, and this year it came together quickly.”

2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the Roanoke Arts Commission, and the volunteer, 15-member body appointed by City Council voted in March to undertake the project in celebration of ‘forty years of progress, fun, and art.’ Sharp continues, “In many ways, you can see Dorothy Gillespie’s gift to the city in the late Seventies as seeding the strong public and community art program we have today, and appropriately in the Year of the Artist, we’re celebrating this Roanoke daughter and art legend.”

2020 was the centennial of the artist’s birth in Roanoke, and her son, Gary Israel, through the Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation, has worked in communities across the county to showcase the joyful painting, sculpture, and activism to which the artist dedicated her life. 

“This mural is significant,” says Israel. “It is one of only two murals of my mother’s work produced in her lifetime, and it’s the only one that remains. It’s wonderful that it’s here in the community so beloved to her.”

The City of Roanoke has piloted a public-private partnership strategy that allows public funds to support public-facing art on private property. “It’s been allowed by our public art policies and plan for a while now,” says Sharp, “but until we developed the “Art in Place” program, we didn’t have the tools to encourage and shape these projects.” 

For the refurbishment of the mural, committed partners have collaborated and contributed financial resources. Those include Downtown Roanoke, Inc. (DRI), property owner Quintessence Properties, led by Peter “Reyn” Holden, and the Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation.  

Artemis Journal 1977 cover by Dorothy Gillespie

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Hello 2023

We are off to a busy start, all submissions are now in and our Editors are making selections for the next journal. Thank you to all who have made submissions and to our supporters. The Artemis 2023 will be released next summer with an official launch at the Roanoke Taubman Museum of Art in the Fall. Stay tuned for details.

In the meantime, our Podcast, Artemis Speaks is now in the 3rd season with 40 interviews of artists and writers from our library. A big thanks to my co-producer, Skip Brown of Final Track Studio, who makes the magic happen.

Skip Brown, Producer recording Jordan Harmen singing our Posdcast theme song “Slow Down”

2023 Podcast Interviews

Susan Hankla, Poet

Susan Hankla Poet has s long history with Artemis. Back in 1977, as a young writer, Susan’s poetry appeared in the very first edition of Artemis Journal. VA. For many years she worked as a traveling poet-in-the-schools working with underserved communities in Virginia, through generous grants from The Virginia Commission on the Arts. This made her love of teaching creative writing grow into reaching out to the Richmond community offering adult writing classes at the VMFA Studio School, The Visual Arts Center, & The University of Richmond. Her debut collection of poems, Clinch River, was released in 2017 and her second poetry book was just released, titled I’m not Evelyn published by Groundhog Press.

Nikki Giovanni, Poet

From Harlem rooftops to the drumbeats of the Congo, the poems in “The Women and the Men display in full measure the gifts that have made Nikki Giovanni one of the most important, appealing, and broad-reaching American poets: her warmth, her conciseness, her passion, and her wit.
As a witness to four generations, Nikki Giovanni has perceptively and poetically recorded her observations of both the outside world and the gentle yet enigmatic territory of the self. When her poems first emerged from the Black Rights Movement in the late 1960s, she immediately became a celebrated and controversial poet of the era. Written in one of the most commanding voices to grace America’s political and poetic landscape at the end of the twentieth century, Nikki Giovanni’s poems embody the fearless passion and spirited wit for which she is beloved and revered.

1977 Artemis Journal cover image, Passages V by Sam Krisch

Go to our Podcast section to hear Artemis Speaks interviews

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Goodbye 2022

As we close this year, we want to thank all that support our mission, The Roanoke Arts Commission, The Taubman Museum of Art, Final Track Studios, our artists and writers, and readers. We have had a successful year, publishing our latest journal, Artemis 2022, virtually traveling around the Moon with Artemis 1 Lunar Craft, and finishing our 3rd season of Artemis Speaks Podcast.

Keep your seat belts on for a great ride! As a non-profit, we have survived 45 years and looking forward to another successful year.

Jeri Rogers, Editor & Founder

Editorial Staff;
Julia Fallon, Associate Editor
Page Turner, Art Editor
Zephren Turner, Layout Editor
Donnie Secreast, Poetry Editor
Adam Gnuse, Poetry Editor
Nikki Giovanni, Distinguished Poet
Virginia Fowler, Critic Editor
Jonathan Rogers, Legal Advisor
Skip Brown, Audio Editor

New Podcast to end our year featuring Betty Branch, Sculptor

Betty Branch is an artist who is constantly reinventing herself. Her media is diverse; She sculpts in wax, clay, fiber, straw, and stone. Throughout her career in intensive production, she has culled visual references from ancient matriarchal civilizations to current cultural events, from Greece to the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Her work is defined by lifelong tenets: the body, rites of passage, the intersection between land and form, and the myth and form of crow and raven.

Branch’s award-winning art has been widely exhibited in the US and abroad, with works from small to monumental in private, corporate, university, and museum collections. She maintains a studio and gallery in Roanoke, VA.

Artemis Speaks Podcast

Starroot grew up in Southern Germany and started to create art at an early age, inspired by nature and her unlimited fantasy. She explored and practiced conscious dreaming in her early childhood. She is an entirely self-taught artist. When she was 30 years old, she had a life-changing Out of Body experience in a car accident. Starroot opened more and more for visions coming to her. In 1986 she moved with her two children to Tennessee and then to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

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