ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 2 NUMBER 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * OCTOBER, 1998


      The All Arts Council monthly meeting normally scheduled for the first Thursday of the month has been changed to Thursday October 8 in the Collins-Perley Sports Complex in St Albans at 7 p.m. A good chance to network and to have fun with other Franklin County artists, this meeting will include show-and-tell plus the Grand Holiday Art and Crafts Tour, upcoming rotating art displays in libraries and public buildings, workshop schedules, other upcoming events, and discussion of our Strategic Plan. e-mail the All Arts Council for info or directions.
      The AAC still needs volunteers to call members to announce events, a set builder to build our kiosk, a team to install display tracks and to hang lots of paintings around the county.


      Where do you find art?
      To the AAC, art means cinema and film, dance, digital imagery, the fine and visual arts, illustration, literature, music, photography, poetry, sculpture, theater, and writing.
      Art is obvious in a gallery such as the All Arts Gallery at the Gift Gallery in St Albans where Paule Gingras has 11 artists on exhibit including Valerie Ugro, Chris LeBaron and my mother, Mary Harper. Corliss Blakely has a complete gallery upstairs at the Sugar Mill. Norm Choiniere has several local artists in the Champlain Collection, including Corliss, Jeannie Judkins, and Bobbi Eldredge. Lauren's Lyrics provides custom poetry, cards and photos in Enosburg Falls.
      It's less obvious that you can find art in the grocery store, the bank, the garden center, your favorite restaurant, the Town library, or on the radio.
      Price Chopper-St Albans hired AAC artists to create the luscious chalkboards throughout the store. It's a good program and good use of illustrators, since people compliment the artwork regularly.
      Chittenden Bank in Swanton has the works of Patrick Murphy on display.
      Hamlen's and Larry's Garden Centers both had major exhibits this summer with oil and watercolor paintings side by side with music, floral arrangements, and finger foods.
      The Country Pantry in Fairfax has a permanent exhibit of Celine Hargraves.
      Richford's A.A. Brown Public Library has the watercolors of Blanche Thayer this month.
      WWSR sponsors regular live poetry readings featuring local and national poets on the air.
      This fall, we will go looking for live art, live music, live theater around Franklin County. If you know of something happening,e-mail the All Arts Council .


      Bethany's Children Foundation wants essays written by Franklin County public school students in a joint project with the Foundation and arts councils around the state.
      Students in grades 6-12 should write about the importance of any artistic medium such as acting, music, dance, painting, sculpting, and writing, in your life. Students in grades K-5 can select a musical instrument and write a description of the instrument and the feeling of playing it in front of an audience. Younger students, and those that may not wish to submit a written essay, may submit drawings, paintings, sculpture, video or audio tapes of performances, or any other means of self-expression relating to the arts.
      Three students will receive tickets to the Wynton Marsalis concert at the Flynn Theater; their schools will receive an assembly, performed by Vermont artists, sponsored by Bethany's Children Foundation.
      The essays should be 500 words or less. The deadline is October 15. For more information call or email Charles Thomas (1.802.863.0454)


      Teens are making art and history again in Franklin County. In St. Albans nine young artists finished the Houghton Skate Park mural on Saturday, September 12. Six more young artists are painting a mural in East Fairfield. On Sunday four more began a mural in Swanton and on Tuesday another group began one at the family center.
      AAC vice chair Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard developed and perfected the projection and transfer techniques the young artists use to create these murals. Work started in July and continued on nights and weekends through August. The artists typically projected their sketches at night and occasionally worked in the glow of car headlights.
      In the St Albans skateboard mural on the end of the Houghton Park storage building, four kids catch air and clouds as they beat a storm. The artists designed the theme; tricks in the mural include a backside grind, kick flip, and a hand flip. Look for the optical illusion of the Lincoln penney and excellent shadows and shading. Peter Chevalier, Corey's father, wants to open the building again with a wood stove, pinball, an outdoor ice area in the winter.
      The Houghton Park mural is dedicated to Nate Bushey, a skater who passed away. Ken Capsey, Ross Chamberlain, Corey Chevalier, Craig Chevalier, Richard Gonzales, April M. LaRocque, Kristen Mahoney, Dan Mcrae, Kevin Wetherby designed and created the piece.
      Patrice Havreluk-Hemingway and six teenagers from Bakersfield and Fairfield have a community theme mural in the works at the East Fairfield Community Center. The painting shows children holding flags around the world and cartoon characters at pre-school height, all against the backdrop of the Community Center playground and the mountains of East Fairfield. Nathaniel Hemingway, Samantha Jones, Jessica Jones, Jeremy Lawyer, Vincent LePelletier, and Madeleine Tanner.
      The Swanton project started September 13 on a 16 by 60 foot pale cream wall at the Marble Mill Cafe as the team painted water and sky into faux archways. As the work progresses they will fill the archways with Gothic images of a waterfall, trees, vines, and a garden. Chris Bouchard built a special step stool to allow the artists to work from the sloping ground. Swanton Community Caring leader Jackie Quilliam wants more artists to participate.
      On Tuesday, September 15, a new group of artists began a trompe l'oeil mural with a family and teenagers theme in the third floor hallway at the Family Center in St. Albans.
      The mural projects are sponsored by the Vermont Youth Development Corps, the Caring Community Committees, the city of St Albans, the Village of Swanton, Project Phoenix, the Vermont Arts Council, and the AAC.


Save your shekels for the first weekend in October. Not only will Cardiac Capers kick off its tenth annual performance September 30-October 3, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra's Made in Vermont music festival also returns to St. Luke's Episcopal Church in St Albans on October 1.


      The Made in Vermont music festival will return to St. Luke's Episcopal Church in St Albans on October 1.
      The VSO program includes Mozart's Concerto For Flute and Harp featuring VSO principles Ann Bobo and the Heidi Soons. The program will also include University of Vermont composer Thomas Read's new commission, and Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings. Cellist Bonnie Klimosky of Fairfax, violinist Caroline MacDoraki of Underhill, and violinist Mary Gibson from Stowe will also be in the orchestra. Soloist Heidi Soons of Colchester is well known around Franklin County for her recent appearances in 93 Strings.
      These VSO performances are sponsored by Northwest Medical Center, A. N. Deringer, Banknorth Mortgage Company, the Franklin Lamoille Bank, Vermont Public Radio, the Vermont Arts Council, the St Albans Messenger, and the All Arts Council of Franklin County.
      VSO tickets are $17 for adults at the Franklin Lamoille Bank in St Albans, Spears Pharmacy in Enosburg Falls, and Swanton Rexall. Thanks to a generous grant from The Tyler Place, a limited number of tickets for children under 18 are available for only $3 from the VSO's ticket line at 1-800-VSO-9293, ext 12.


      The 10th anniversary Cardiac Capers is bringing the Swinging Forties to the stage at BFA-St Albans. Most of the music will be familiar, including Sentimental Journey, Chattanooga Choo Choo, and I'll Be Seeing You in this benefit for the Northwest Medical Center.
      Director Ron Treece brought this show, costumes, skits, and sketches to St. Albans Sunday night. Treece works for the Cargill Company, a company which presents benefit productions around the country. Directors travel over the United States with their own shows. Reece tours from city to city fitting local talent into each year's show. In 2-1/2 weeks the show goes on.
      This year, Cardiac Capers has a chorus and needs a huge cast. "We need 75 to 90 people for the cast and backstage," said Helen Biggie.
      Auditions for soloists will be held Tuesday September 15. The first general rehearsal will be Wednesday September 16. There will be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday rehearsals for dancers, couple dancers, and showgirls. The chorus, soloists, and skits will rehearse Tuesday and Thursday. All rehearsals start at 5:30 p.m. in the BFA Auditorium, but different parts of the cast will rehearse at different times throughout the evening.
      "If you want to be in just one sketch," said Helen Biggie, " the rehearsals are in half-hour increments."
      Diane White will sing Moonlight in Vermont. NMC administrator Jeanne Begnoche will sing Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Dave Chambers of the Georgia Gate Players will sing Chattanooga Choo Choo with Helene Biggie, Annette Crawford, and Joanne Chambers. Kathleen Hoffman will sing Love Is a Lonely Clown, an original song written by the director. Margarita Falivene will sing All of Me. Some of the skits include the Clem Kadoodlehopper skit, the Bickersons, and the Nasty Little Kids. There will also be couple dances including the jitterbug, the polka, the tango, ballroom dancing, and clowns.
      "This is our 10th anniversary show," said Helene Biggie. "We're really putting a lot of effort into it." The playbill will include a section of memories with old-time cardiac paper pictures, directors, and cast members.
      First started by Jonette Ducham-Hartnett and Bev McGinn, Cardiac Capers is presented each year by the NMC auxiliary. The Company will sell roses at the door for audience members to give to their favorite cast members as a tribute to the 10th anniversary performance.
      Wednesday, September 30, is bargain night with $6 tickets. Tickets for the October 1, 2, and 3 are only $8 and are available at Blouins IGA, Champlain Collectibles, Harp Market in Fairfax, St Albans Free Library, Simple Pleasures, Spears Pharmacy in Enosburg Falls, Swanton Rexall, from cast members, and at the door.


      AAC member Jesse Potts performs Friday October 2 in the Pub at the Somerset Inn in Enosburg Falls, starting at 7 p.m. Jesse plays eclectic, original, acoustic music.
      Owners Bob and Avis Anderson are promoting live music regularly at the Inn.


      20 local artists including AAC member Valerie Ugro are part of a Community Art Show in Jeffersonville Saturday and Sunday, October 3-4.
      "It's in a really big tent," Valerie said, so weather is no problem.
      The foliage will be close to peak and the paintings will be great. Meet the artists and explore their work Saturday and Sunday, 10-5pm, in the field behind Jana's Cupboard at the junction of Routes 15 and 108.


      Enosburg Falls' three-day Celebration of the Arts is Franklin County's biggest gathering of performers and friends of the arts this year.
      The opera house at Enosburg Falls has been a cultural center since 1892 with traveling and local entertainment, community meetings, and prominent school events. The stage is intimate and the acoustics match any of the great music halls.
      A new restoration started in 1993 with grants to repair the roof and foundation, paint the exterior and the auditorium, and install accessible bathrooms (they flush!). The original restoration committee has grown into the non-profit Friends of the Opera House. This weekend, the Friends kick off a $350,000 capital campaign to complete the restoration.
      Friday evening, October 9, the Opera House stage hosts Miss Vermont Aimee Rzewuski, a rock band, the Enosburg Middle School Jazz band, a One Act Play, scenes from the Diary of Anne Frank, and Common Denominator, all on the Opera House stage. The performances are free.
      Saturday, October 10, the activities spread over to Lincoln Park with a fashion show, dance, musicians, yo-yos, and juggling, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The morning starts in Lincoln Park with Dawnland at 10 a.m., and continues with a morning of free performances including Mark Sustic and Mary Ann Samuels, and Julie Benay. In the afternoon, the free entertainment moves to the Opera House stage with Jon Gailmor, Jennifer and Jackie Baybrook, Norm Blouin, Fabio and Michelle Choiniere, and Bob Gesser.
      Saturday evening, October 10, is the really big show, a delicious buffet Dinner Dance. The primary social event begins at 6 in the Opera House followed by the reservation-only buffet at 7 p.m. Then we dance the night away with the Vermont Jazz Ensemble from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Dance tickets are $10/person; the Dinner-Dance is $35/couple.
      Sunday, October 11, begins with a walkathon on the rail trail and a pancake breakfast at the Legion Hall. The official kick off of the capital campaign begins at 11 a.m. with a parade, obligatory speeches, and more great music. Sterling Weed's Band plays on center stage at noon in the Opera House (Mr. Weed also directed the Enosburg Town Band for 45 years), followed by fiddler Ron West, the Grandmas and the Grandpas, Eklectic Zurn, and Le Cords a Vent. The Champlain Chorus and The Northwest District Music Teachers will perform at the Methodist Church beginning at 2 p.m. The Sunday concerts are also free.
      The Opera House is looking for new events. They currently host such popular events as the annual Talent Search, Opera House Association plays and musicals, major concerts, local variety shows, and the Miss Vermont and the Dairy Princess Pageants.
      "We want everyone in the County to use the building year round," said John Whiting.


      Montgomery has a down home country variety show each year with everything from good acts to lip synch to the world famous Sorel Ballet. The 21st annual Montgomery variety show is a fund-raiser for the Montgomery recreation center
      "The real star the show is Bobby Anderson," Peg Doheny, a director of the recreation center and member of the Sorel Ballet. "Bobby has been the our creative talent. He does the backup routines, the finale, and one or two theater pieces of his own. He does a great Jackie Gleason, he can be Art Carney, and he does one-man vaudeville classics."
      The acts have included the guy who plays the saw, a fiddler who came over from Newport, a belly dancer who came from Montreal (that was actually a man in a top hat with a belly painted on the space). The pit band will back up some performances and play for the audience between acts and during intermission.
      "The show has changed with the Times," Peg Doheny said. "It started as a spring fever/cabin fever relief show but it turned out that so many people were gone in the spring, we've changed it to the fall."
      The Montgomery variety show is Friday and Saturday, October 9 and 10, at 7 p.m. in the Grange Hall on Main Street in Montgomery. Admission is $4.


      If you love to close your eyes when hearing a drama, try the Sci-Fi Channel's Seeing Ear Theater site. The rotating shows include originals, classics, modern radio theater troupes, and readings by science fiction and fantasy authors such as The Hitchhiker performed by Orson Wells and Harlan Ellison's own adaptation of Wanted In Surgery. The site requires a free RealAudio or RealPlayer plug-in for your Internet browser and its bandwidth requirements may keep it from loading.
      An AltaVista search on "radio theater" also pulls up nearly a thousand Golden Age hits, original performances, and more. It's a nice way to use high-tech to revisit our low-tech shared memories.

      In ArtQuarter, Werner Stuerenburg has created a site "designed for the true lover of Fine Art and for those who are anxious to learn about it." A Frequently Asked Questions section includes answers to the difference between an original print and a reproduction, when to buy fine art, and more. There are essays discussing whether art can be bad or good, defining modern art, and how to judge art. The site includes galleries with artists of different styles and several electronic magazines.
      Joe's Art Journal - A Close Look at Great Art is one of the magazines. A free subscription to this email journal offers one outstanding work at a time on a journey through every age and culture. Joe looks at medieval, stone age, modern, and primitive art; he offers either full graphics or text only mailings. The next issues will cover Chagall's Cattle Dealer.

      Muriel Gray interviewed Stephen King live for the Observer and included questions from thousands e-mailed from around the Internet. King discusses writing his new novel Bag of Bones, writers' block, and obsessive fans. The interview page includes the entire transcript as well as some sound bites on cricket, scaring himself, the film made from The Shining, sex in fiction and on Stanley Kubrick. This seems to be the fastest site with a King interview

      Created by musicians for musicians and music fans, Tourdates.Com has a free, searchable database of groups playing around the corner and around the world.
      Three nice features for regular site visitors. Critic's Corner invites reviews of favorite shows. Surfers can buy, sell, or trade tickets on the Ticketboard. Any band can list playdates via an On-line Submission Form and can create a free digital poster. The site also includes music previews and links.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or nightstand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site.


Dick Harper, Chair

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