ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 2 NUMBER 11.5 * * All Arts News On the Web * * NOVEMBER, 1998


      The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis is at the Flynn Theatre in Burlington, on Tuesday at 8 p.m.
      Bethany's Children Foundation began life with Summer Stage, a summer theater residency the AAC sponsored for teens here in Franklin County. Foundation President Charley Thomas wants to underwrite more opportunities for the children of Vermont to become involved in the arts, which means we'll get some neat programming here.
      "It's going to be incredible," said Thomas. "It's the best jazz orchestra in the world and the kids get all the money."
      For ticket info, call 86-Flynn (863-5966).


      New Orleans actor and storyteller John O'Neal comes to St. Albans Tuesday, as part of the ongoing Flynn Community Partners Project. O'Neal will work with students at BFA and St Albans City School to their stories of St Albans history into theater.
      He will also lead "Turning Stories Into Theater," a community workshop, on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the BFA-St Albans Auditorium. The workshop cost is $5; no previous acting experience is needed. This is a new opportunity for Liz Lerman participants as well as everyone else in Franklin County to continue the gathering and sharing of St. Albans stories.
      O'Neal's "Junebug Jabbo Jones," a mythical black Southern character, tackles oppression with modern stories. A former civil rights activist and a storyteller for over 50 years, O'Neal was artistic director of Free Southern Theater in New Orleans and founded Junebug Productions, a the theater company that works for social justice using storytelling and theater.
      These events are an ongoing collaboration between the Flynn Theatre for the Performing Arts and the St. Albans Community Arts Network, and are funded by a grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. For more information, email Telos Whitfield.


      Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday, is a time to reflect on good health, family ties, and other blessings. I asked some artists, musicians, and friends of the arts to tell us what in the arts made them thankful.
      "I'm so happy that I finally found an arts group," said clay sculptor Diana Herder Bennett, "and for my husband who takes care of the kids while I sculpt."
      Several BFA students exhibited at the Crafts and Fine Arts Festival last weekend. Lynde Yandow feels blessed by the "supportive family and the talent I've been given." Jess Longway was thankful for her "good health, talents, family, and friends."
      Corliss Blakely is thankful "to live in the state of Vermont."
      Natalie and Chris Bouchard have seven kids ranging from 7 to 15. "All of them are tremendously talented visually and musically and they all all love each other," Christopher said. He is thankful to be able to play and perform (his band played for over 10,000 people at the Sanbornton, NH, annual fireworks)
      Photographer Bob Brodeur spent the fall portraying our magnificent scenery and is "thankful for a breathing space to look at [his and other people's] photos."
      Musician and primo sound guy Lyle Glidden is happy to be getting healthy.
      "I'm thankful to live in such a picturesque area," said photographer David Juaire.
      Teacher and musician Jim LaClair appreciates that Bob Dylan is "still on the road making music that I believe is as great as any he has produced in his career."
      Donna LaRochelle is a painter and cartoonist who survived a burst aneurysm. "Life in general," she said. "I'm so glad to know my granddaughter and to have the gift of art."
      Kam Malone of Enosburg Falls is a student at Johnson State and "thankful that I can paint, that I have good friends, and [Betsy] a beautiful fiancee."
      Photographer Chuck Meunier is newly retired, so he is happy he is "healthy for my age and able to start new projects."
      Celeste Pecor teaches art at BFA. "So many people seem to have the flu at school this year," she said, "I'm happy being healthy." She eats plenty of spinach and oranges to stay that way.
      "I am happy for people who think they don't look dumb in hats," said Evan (Moon) Petrie. Apparently many people won't wear a hat because they are afraid of how they look. In a Vermont snowstorm, everone looks good in a hat, especially one of Moon's warm and funky ones.
      Betsi Reginball, a new exhibitor with the AAC, is "thankful for my coming first grandbaby and for my husband who is a well of patience and support." Many artists rely on the support and help of a spouse to become successful.
      "I'm thankful for the beauty of Vermont, the love of my family, and the opportunities to create [particularly in school drama]."said Bilijean Smith, teacher and guiding light of St Albans CAN.
      In real life, AAC treasurer Tim Stetson is Director of Emergency Services for the American Red Cross. "I'm most thankful for not being on disaster," he said.
      "My kids are such good teachers," said teacher and photographer Wayne Tarr. "that if you pay attention, they show us how to react to the world."
      Artist, crafter, and singer Megan Willey is grateful "for my friends, family, music teachers, and my big Samick piano."
      There you have it. Gather round with family and friends tomorrow for a feast of thanks and fellowship and joy.


      The first Gala Dinner Dance for the Mary Ellen Gerber Foundation will be held Thursday, November 5, in the Opus Ballroom of the Hotel Sofitel in Los Angeles as a fundraiser for medical research for Tourette Syndrome.
      Mary Ellen Gerber rented a car in Montreal to visit St Albans recently where she fell in love with Not Only the Wind Remembers by AAC Vice Chair Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard. The painting was on exhibit at the AAC Gallery at the Gift Gallery.
      She bought the five-by-seven foot painting for the Gala.
      Remembers is an image of a woman standing on the edge of a stone cliff looking out at mountainous terrain. An opening in the sky fills her world with light. "The woman isn't really there, but is shown by the wind," Natalie said. "The wind is there; it's apparent in the fabric that drapes her." This spiritual painting evokes our physical remembrance, the wind's recollection, and God's memory of our loved ones.
      The high points include an auction for Not Only the Wind Remembers and a tombola for accommodations for a week in Paris and accommodations for a week in Nice. The evening also features the Jean-Michel Danton Project Sound, a unique fusion of electronic and acoustic instruments and vocals, with 20 musicians and singers; Argentine tango dancers Juan Lopez and Johanna Siegman; with actor Michael Wise, familiar for his stage, television, and film work, as M.C.
      The dinner, served with homemade French bread, will start with Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée. Duck Magret is the main course, followed by a spinach Salad with homemade French dressing, mushrooms, and bacon, then a French cheese plate of Roquefort, Brie, and Goat Cheese served with Butter, Strawberries, and Apples, and a Ménage à Trois, a trio of miniature desserts, lemon tart, chocolate terrine, and Paris Brest with pralinee.
      Originally from France, Ms. Gerber conducted the sale in French and wants Natalie to exhibit there.
      "This story is even more interesting because I've always felt a strong pull toward France," Natalie said. Although she was born in Texas, her sister Sheila was born in France at her mother's childhood home on the Cote D'Azur.
      Tourette Syndrome is a neurological involuntary movement disorder. This syndrome can appear during childhood or even later in adolescence. Any child can contract it. It is not fatal. The first symptoms are typically frequent and repetitive movements of the face (eyes blinking, facial grimacing, head jerking). The arms or trunk and vocalizations can also be affected.
      Mozart had Tourette Syndrome. Other sufferers have become musicians, doctors, surgeons, lawyers, teachers, and scientists. The Mary Ellen Gerber Foundation helps medical research find an appropriate cure for Tourette's.
      The Gala Dinner Dance for the M.E.G. Foundation will be held Thursday, November 5, 7 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Tickets are $150 and reservations are required.


      All Arts Council members and friends are invited to the first AAC Coffee House in the Collins-Perley Sports Complex Thursday, November 5, at 7 p.m. A good chance to network and to have fun with other Franklin County artists, this meeting has no agenda. Artists may bring works for show-and-tell or instruments to jam. Coffee, donuts, and cider are free; munchies and other finger foods are pot luck.
      Although the Coffee House is a new venture for the AAC, the gathering marks a return to a "no business" rule at the meeting. Committees will discuss the Grand Holiday Art and Crafts Tour, concert schedules, and upcoming exhibits and shows in a short business meeting at 6 p.m.


      The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange returns to celebrate the stories of St Albans next week, with a program of shows, performances and workshops around the city. The Dance Exchange visited St Albans three times last year. Over three hundred local artists, students, seniors, and community members participated in movement workshops and shows.
      Franklin County artists are more involved in this project than ever. Gail Salzman has developed a series of large paintings inspired by Liz' work with the community while Judith Karstens and Manon Pellman are developing a major dance performance. That work will begin after next week's workshops.
      Connecting... is an exhibit of visual work inspired by Liz' assemblies last year with local students and seniors. "The work is mostly large charcoal drawings of people in our community making connections with each other through dance," Gail said. The most moving drawings are images of elders working with teenagers. "One of my very favorites is a portrait of John Finn with a teenager standing behind him intimately, tenderly holding his head." A piece called Hands, shows a teen curled up on the floor embraced by hands of another.
      Under an opportunity grant from Vermont Arts Council, artists will hold workshops through the next 6 months to develop community stories in dance, visual arts, and music and build toward a major community performance. Dancers Judith Karstens and Manon Pellman are working with a mixed group of Historical Society volunteers and students from New Beginnings alternative high school. In workshops with Liz Lerman, the two groups will gather stories of railroad history to create Locomotion 2, a community dance performance, scheduled for next spring.
      "People from last year and from this week's workshops will continue to pursue this on a more intense level and will form a core group" for the ongoing project, Gail Salzman said.
      There will be an opening reception at Jeff's Seafood Restaurant in St Albans on Monday, November 9, at 5 p.m. to debut Gail Salzman's work and to welcome Liz Lerman. The public is invited to this free event and refreshments will be served. Connecting... will remain on display at Jeff's Seafood throughout November.
      This Dance Exchange project includes a series of workshops that lead to an informal Community Sharing on Friday, November 13.
      Liz Lerman will lead a Community Storytelling and Movement Workshop for community members ages eight and up, on Tuesday, November 10, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Parish Hall, St. Albans. No dance experience is needed for this free event. Want to work with the company throughout the week and to perform at the sharing? Come to the community workshop Tuesday evening for more information.
      These events are part of a series of collaborations between the Flynn Theater and the St Albans Community Arts Network, and are funded by a grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation.


      The second annual Grand Holiday Crafts and Fine Arts Tour of Franklin County will be November 21 this year.
      Six exceptional shows are working together to bring a large audience of early Christmas shoppers to the area. The shows are the All Arts Council Crafts and Fine Arts Festival in St Albans City Hall, the Catholic Daughters annual Christmas Crafts Show in St Mary's Parish Center, the Franklin Historical Society Craft Show and Luncheon at the Franklin Homestead, the Holiday Bazaar in the Fairfield Community Center, the MVU Ice Hockey Boosters' first Crafts Show in the MVU Commons, and the Tri-Church Bazaar in Bakersfield Elementary School. All shows will be open 9 a.m.-4 p.m.


      The Vermont Arts Council is seeking visual artists and artist teams in all media for a new $20,000 public art project at Castleton State College. The artwork will be located in or near a new academic building on campus. The complete guidelines are available from Bill Botzow. The deadline is December 7.

      The Grand Holiday Crafts and Fine Arts Tour offers shows in Bakersfield, East Fairfield, Franklin Highgate, and two in St Albans. All shows will be open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Setup times vary.
      We need artists, crafters, musicians, floral arrangements, and purveyors of good food, and grog. If you want show and sell your goodies or to add your show to the tour, e-mail the All Arts Council.


      Dancers whirl on the floor.
      Singers remember hometowns and lost loves.
      A hot honky tonk band rocks the stage.
      The Vermont Good Time Country Music Club continues Sunday afternoon, November 15. Ever wanted to sing your favorite old time country song? There's a hot new band with guitar, fiddle, steel, drums, and bass waiting to follow your lead. If you play, the band invites you to sit in. This club has a dance floor and stage that are open to all.
      "The Club is an alcohol free, non-competitive environment," said organizer Doug Salisbury.
      The house band, Classic Country features Mary Ann Medeiros, lead vocal and rhythm guitar; Jack Medeiros, lead guitar and vocals; Elie Laroche, fiddle, steel guitar, and vocals; Dennis Lanpher, drums and vocals; and Doug Salisbury, bass guitar. Having a house band means guest vocalists and musicians have easy access to a professional sound system and the services of a good back up band.
      "We hope seniors will come to enjoy the happy times of yesterday," Salisbury said, "and that young singers and musicians will join us to perform live."
      The Vermont Good Time Country Music Club will appear on Sundays October 25, November 15, and December 13, from 1-5 p.m., in the Knights of Columbus Hall in St Albans. A canteen will provide coffee, tea, soda, and cookies. Admission is $3 at the door; children under 12 are free.

      The Fall Film Festival of foreign films concludes Monday, November 9, with Ma Vie en Rose, a beautiful portrait of Ludovic, a young cross dresser who acts like a girl and cannot understand everyone's surprise at his choices. The film is in French with English subtitles.
      The films in this series are presented Mondays at 7 p.m. by the Welden Theater and the St Albans Free Library, through November 9. The proceeds benefit the library.


      Our meeting focus will change to a more relaxed and informal "coffeehouse style." We are looking for a congenial place to meet and also a coffeepot.
      The St Albans site for our Holiday Crafts and Fine Arts Show will be available for set-up at 8 a.m. AAC will not charge commission on artwork sold.
      The Enosburg Apple Fest exhibit was canceled for weather concerns.
      Is there any artist listing on the net available from AAC? Yes.
      The AAC site links to artists, dancers, musicians, thespians, writers, and more. We list artists in several places. All artists with a web site can have a general listing on the Art Links page as well as an AAC members spot. Our profiles and portfolios page includes bios mostly from this column. the Featured Album page has music CDs and the Featured Artist page includes the scanned art of AAC members who sell their work. If you want a listing, we need your URL. e-mail the All Arts Council for more info.
      We are running out of the lovely AAC T-shirts we offer as promotional items for new members; the consensus at the meeting was to continue with T-shirts or canvas "book" bags.
      Jesse Potts offered the Brownway Residence in Enosburg Falls for our Rotating Art display. There is space available for artists to hang their work, room for a coffee/tea/social to meet the residents and visitors. Jesse wants volunteers for this project. Verdelle Village was also mentioned as a place to hang some of our artwork. Our own Mary Astleford does an artist show now at Holiday House. The general consensus was favorable. It would get us involved with the community and the community would have another chance to see what Franklin County artists have to offer.


      Aristotle's Thanksgiving on the Web is an Arkansas-based Internet Service Provider's site that publishes its customers' Most Memorable Thanksgiving Day stories. It's an interesting, anecdotal site.
      The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign always has interesting thematic pages. Ann Salzmann at the Language Center has created a series of Thanksgiving links with the basic history of our most American holiday, quizzes, a collection of information about the Mayflower, the pilgrims, the Indians, their myths and their history. You will find Longfellow's poem, "The Courtship of Miles Standish," and the story behind the poem. There are crossword puzzles, a virtual tour of Plimoth Plantation, Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation, and much more.

      The impressionist works of Claude Monet in the 20th Century are on exhibit at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts through December 27.
      The exhibit features more than 75 remarkable paintings from about 1899-1926, the last 26 years of Monet's life. Explore Monet's World offers a virtual trip through the areas of London, Venice and Giverny where Monet worked. The website includes rare footage of Monet painting in his garden, interactive games, an introduction by MFA Director Malcolm Rogers in AIFF, WAV, or Real Audio, a selection of Monet paintings, and even Monet digital postcards.

      Violin historian Cheniston K. Roland is an authority on violin players and the history of violin recordings. He studied violin with J E Matthew, Helga White and Gerhardt Drechsler, organized the Merseyside Arts Festival, was a contributor to "The Book Of the Violin," and the first person to photograph Beatles when they changed their name.
      His site includes a liveography of his collection, films in which violinists have appeared or recorded the sound track, a service for dating violin recordings, and the Cremona Chronicle, a regular commentary on the Violin World that emphasizes violin related items on the Internet. With obits, great recordings and great violin sites, it is gossipy but interesting.

      The Mining Company offers net links, special features, bulletin boards, chat, claendars, and newsletters on a wide range of cultural interests. I searched for French-Canadian music.
      There are links to the music catalog of Acadian artists Chanson Musique; Edith Butler's French web site with music in RealAudio; audio clips of Francophone music from groups across Canada in; a group of musicians from Cape Breton; and a compilation of francophone artists from Western Canada, complete with biographies and sound clips.
      Have you looked for lyrics to the old French songs Dad used to sing? The words to some of the most popular chansons … r‚pondre are linked here along with a music catalog of Franco-Ontarian artists and Joie de Vivre where people make music in the vibrant Franco-Albertan music scene.

      The In Space Gallery features contemporary abstract paintings by a man whose great, great grandparents were artists and inventors. Alan Urban began by winning a Disney drawing contest at age eight. He has since won awards from The University of South Florida, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and the Latham Foundation and has exhibited at the 41st Annual Contemporary American Painting. He also holds a patent on an electro-mechanical antenna device.
      Urban's work addresses mans' lack of respect for nature. He enjoys process and experimentation and, by mixing oil, enamel, acrylic and alkyd paints with solvents, creates textural pieces of boiling oceans, raging fires and distressed landscapes. Journey, for example, is created by forming the wet canvas over a structure of tubes and then methodically rinsing layers of paint away.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or night stand 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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