ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 3 * * All Arts News On the Web * * OCTOBER 7, 1999


      We have changed the ArtBits format from monthly to weekly. This issue includes the entire text of the weekly newspaper column
      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County.

      There is a free AAC Networking Meeting/Coffee House at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, and workshops every month at the The Northwest Transportation Network office in St Albans.


      Artrain USA, the nation's only traveling art museum on a train, will make its only stop in Vermont in this Century when the museum in motion rolls into St Albans on November 3. The Artrain visit is the centerpiece of a Railroad Days Festival that will fill downtown St Albans.
      Community events that follow the tracks of the past to the future of Vermont's Railroad City will fill the Festival throughout the first week of November. Railroad memorabilia and exhibits will be displayed at the Armory and the St Albans Historical Museum diorama will be open. A history tour in Taylor Park will bring the Civil War history of St Albans to life. Thanks to the Vermont National Guard, there will be tours of a Blackhawk helicopter and an M2 tank. We are also planning a cooking contest, downtown decorations, farm market, a flag ceremony, two Gate Players plays, a library event, a movie at the Welden, a NASA exhibit, quilt contest, railroad memorabilia and exhibits, and a Swing Dance. If your group wants to participate, e-mail Heather Streeter today or come to our weekly meeting this afternoon in the New England Central Railroad building at 4 p.m.
      The Artistry of Space exhibit on the Artrain is a collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sketches that reflect the excitement and energy of space exploration. Visitors can tour the gallery, take part in an interactive program, and meet Artrain's resident artist as well as AAC artists who will demonstrate their skills.
      The art is on loan from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Air and Space Museum art collections. Artists such as Peter Max, Robert McCall, Robert Rauschenberg, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and James Wyeth have documented the work of astronauts, engineers, and scientists beginning with the initial effort to put a man on the moon to recent endeavors such as the Mars Pathfinder Mission and the Hubble Space Telescope.
      The Artrain and other exhibits are free, thanks to a generous grant from the Vermont Department of Marketing and Tourism, and the assistance of local businesses such as the Northwestern Medical Center. DaimlerChrysler sponsors Artrain USA's Artistry of Space national three-year tour. The New England Central Railroad is transporting Artrain to St Albans.


      The Vermont Millennium Arts Project presents a beginning level Photoshop workshop that will review the online mentoring website and will give instruction on preparing imagery for posting on the site. "Photoshop and Digital Imaging" with instructor Debbie Lazar, will be held Thursday, October 21st, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Main Street Middle School, in Montpelier. Any interested teacher or artist is welcome. All workshops are free.
      The Vermont Millennium Arts Project presents similar workshops about every two weeks. Call William Hays (251-2055 or for info.


      All Arts Council members and friends are invited to the monthly AAC Coffee House in the Northwest Transportation offices (home of the Purple Bus) tonight at 7 p.m. With no agenda, this meeting is a good chance to see the other Franklin County artists you haven't seen all summer. Artists may bring works for show-and-tell or instruments to jam. Coffee is free; munchies and other finger foods are pot luck. The no business rule is still in force for our meetings.
      Sculptor Diana Bennett will give a workshop on pottery at about 7:30.
      Upcoming events include the Artrain visit, Crafts and Fine Arts tour, and our ongoing workshops. Committees will discuss concert schedules, exhibits, and shows in a short business meeting at 6:30 p.m. The Northwest Transportation Network office is at 44 South Main Street, St Albans.


ST ALBANS BAY--Here's a seasoned Franklin County artist who has paid his dues: Nobby Reed plays the blues at the Bayside, Friday and Saturday at 9.

WINOOSKI--St Albans own Just Shimmer plays Friday and Saturday at Champions Tavern on Main Street. Chris, Clement, Mike & Tim say you can count on a few special guests to perform with the band. including the lovely Kathleen in her first performance since returning to the States.


ROBERT PENN WARREN Prize for Fiction (October 15)--will be awarded in January by The Southerner Magazine. Only short stories with Southern themes, characters or settings will be considered. Prize winners will be eligible for cash prizes and publication in future issues of the magazine. Entry fee. First prize: $1,000.


      This series is a continuing look at web sites for the artists of Artistry of Space, the current Artrain USA exhibit of works from the NASA art program.
      According to the "Ivy League Regionalists," Paul Sample's work is an example of both Regional and Social Realist painting. Critics call this combination unusual for the period between the World Wars.
      Charles Ross' Pythagoras' Rainbow consists of a series of prisms which refract sunlight to create rainbows on both the exterior and interior surfaces of the Cook Institute. "This cylinder of light celebrates the positive energy of the many talented, inventive, and enthusiastic people working" in the Institute, Ross wrote. The images are very large.
      Swords into Ploughshares: Military Dress and the Civilian Wardrobe, which explores the extraordinary, pervasive, and longtime influence of the military on civilian dress for both men and women, features punk fatigues by Stephen Sprouse.
      Award winning aviation artist Stan Stokes' paintings are in the collections of most of the great aviation museums in America. The Palm Springs Air Museum is dedicated to the preservation, presentation and interpretation of the Air Power of World War II. Their display includes a collection of Stokes' work.


      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.
      In honor of the Railroad Days Festival, Bookshelf has most of the volunteers from the steering committee online.


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Dick Harper, Chair

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