ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 3 * * All Arts News On the Web * * OCTOBER 21, 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.


      The Artistry of Space is a collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sketches on loan from the National Air and Space Museum and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration art collections. Artists such as Deborah Deschner Iazzo, Peter Hurd, Pamela Lee, Norman Rockwell, and James Wyeth have followed the work of the astronauts, engineers, and scientists who put a man on the moon and a probe on Mars.
      Artrain USA, the nation's only traveling art museum on a train, brings the Artistry of Space collection to St Albans' Railroad Days Festival in November.
      Franklin County, Vermont artists will also be featured in a major gallery exhibit and as they demonstrate aboard the Artrain. The AAC Annual Fine Art Exhibit brings additional oil and watercolor paintings, digital art, photography, and sculpture to Railroad Days. The gallery will also have special focus tables highlight artists in the Northern Vermont Arts Association and the work of young artists in the area.
      Corliss Blakely, Bob Brodeur, Diana Herder Bennett, Mary Harper, and Ania Modzelewski are a few of the 20 featured AAC artists. Alice Astleford, Patrice Havreluk-Hemingway, and Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard will join Deschner Iazzo to demonstrate artistic technique aboard the Artrain. Deschner Iazzo of Middlesex is showcased in both exhibits.
      From a one-woman show at the Pen and Pallet Gallery, to the NASA art team, to Ringling's international exhibit "Reaching Toward Space," to several exhibitions at the Ritter Gallery in Florida, artist and psychologist Deborah Deschner Iazzo of Middlesex has used etchings, collages, multimedia, and pure form to create meaningful images that blend realism with symbolism.
      NASA commissioned Deschner Iazzo to cover Mission 51-L, the ill-fated flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger, for the NASA art program. She was selected for the art team as the program moved from realism into emotionally expressive art. Her works "tend to be less representational and symbolic," she said. She observed every step of the Challenger preparations but was not present for the launch. Her resulting Challenger artwork is a tasteful, effective series on permanent display at the NASA Art Gallery at Kennedy Space Center.
      Following the Teacher in Space program, the Civilians in Space program was to include journalists and artists. She had a strong bid because NASA prefers every astronaut to be multifunctional; her PhD in Psychology would have allowed her to go as a Mission Specialist as well as an artist.
      "I wanted to do an art project I had designed using weightless paint blobs inside different shaped cylinders," she said. "There was a recognition [on NASA's part] that the collection could and should include many different styles of expression of what it means to be in space."
      She views the NASA art collection as a combination of real art and beautiful illustration.
      "It's ironic because ['Belly of the Bird'] is one of the more realistic, representational pieces of my work, and yet I feel I did it in a way that could almost trick you and that you don't know what it is."
      Belly of the Bird, a closeup look at the ablative tiles of the Space Shuttle Columbia, is one exhibit in the Artrain. Reentry heat created the subtle patterns on these protective pieces. "The tiles are this wonderful blanket that wraps the Shuttle and holds it in safety," she said. "The patterns are extraordinary."
      The paintings, drawings, prints, and sketches in the exhibit capture the excitement and energy of crafting the space vehicles as well as of space exploration for the Railroad Days Festival in St Albans, Vermont.
      "I had the honor and privilege to spend four days, me by myself, inside the VAB [Vehicle Assembly Building]. It's a huge, huge thing which I have" portrayed many times. She was in that amazing space with the Shuttle Columbia. "My work in the VAB was so formative for me because a lot of my artwork after that was about the VAB not about the Shuttle or about space itself, but the building that went into the creation of the Shuttle and of the other space vehicles."
      She worked so intensely in the VAB that it became her major focus.
      "It's such an experience to be in the inner sanctum, [to] spend four consecutive days just being loose in the building. That kind of access was one of the high points of my career, my life."
      The great-granddaughter of world-renowned architect, etcher, and author George T. Plowman, Deschner Iazzo studied intaglio and oil painting in Athens, Greece. She followed up that artistic training by studying the emotional meaning of shapes while pursuing a PhD in Psychology. She created the Diagnostic Drawing Test. Deschner Iazzo's artistic emphasis is on experimental etchings, collages, and mixed media. She creates images related to the space program, childbirth, Russia, and mangrove trees.
      DaimlerChrysler sponsors Artrain USA's Artistry of Space national three-year tour. The New England Central Railroad is transporting Artrain to St Albans. The Artrain USA exhibition is free, thanks to a grant from the Vermont Department of Marketing and Tourism, and the generosity of local businesses such as the Northwestern Medical Center; Comfort Inn and Suites; Franklin Lamoille Bank; New England Central Railroad; Drummac, Inc; S. B. Collins Fuels, Clarence Brown, and Ultramar; donations are encouraged. The art exhibits will be open to the public November 6-7. For more information on Artrain USA's visit, check the AAC web site at .


      Gate Players will present Curse of the Werewolf, a comedy for Halloween, at BFA St Albans. This Tim Kelley Production is a mystery-farce. Show dates are October 28, 29, and 30 at 7:30 p.m. with an added 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, October 30. Tickets are available at Tanya's Boutique and Video King. Admission is only $5.
      Curse of the Werewolf is the first event in the upcoming Railroad Days Festival.


      Bad Horsey brings its own country to the Bayside, Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m.

      Just Shimmer shakes across ShaBooms, Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m.

      8084 wails the walls of the Barnboard in Rumford, ME, Saturday only at 9 p.m.

      Claire Hungerford and the VSO Ah! Cappella choir give a residency performance at Swanton Elementary next Wednesday with three shows during the day. The residency is this year's educational offering from the orchestra. Ah! Cappella (which really is spelled correctly) includes Claire Hungerford, soprano, Roger Grow, tenor, Linda Radtke, alto, and Brett Murphy, bass. They are taking bookings for programs with music and discussion of their voice types.
      "They also perform a fabulous verion of 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame,'" said Melissa Ewell.


EMERGING ARTISTS 2000 (October 30)--Tenth annual international competition at the Limner Gallery. $1,000 cash awards. E-mail for info.
WORCESTER ART MUSEUM (October 31)--Artists from a variety of disciplines as teachers/mentors for high school juniors at two day annual Art All-State program in June, 2000. Honoraria, meals and housing. Call Gillian Bonazoli 508-799-4406, extension 3055, for info.
RESEARCH & ARTISTIC CREATION FELLOWSHIPS (October 31)--For poets & fiction writers of unusually distinguished achievement and promise. Prizes over $30,000 each. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, or for info
NATIONAL JURIED DRAWING EXHIBITION (November 5)--The College of New Jersey offers purchase awards. SASE to: ND 2000, Art Dept - HH 407, The College of NJ, Box 7718, Ewing NJ 08628-0718
NATIONAL DRAWING EXHIBITION (November 5) Juried. Entry fee. Purchase awards. For an entry form and complete guidelines, contact: National Drawing Exhibition, College of NJ Art Dept, Box 7718, Ewing NJ 08628
DRAWN FROM LIFE (November 15)--Invitational and juried show of New England based artists in all drawing media. Entry Fee. DRAWN FROM LIFE, PMB 216, 955 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02139-3180 NATIONAL DRAWING EXHIBITION (November 15)--"What is Drawing Now?" Juried. Entry fee. Open to all US artists. All traditional/nontraditional approaches to drawing considered. SASE to: National Drawing Exhibition, Visual Arts Dept, Weber State U, 2001 University Cir, Ogden UT 84408
ANNUAL PEACE ARCH PARK INTERNATIONAL SCULPTURE EXHIBITION (November 30)--Artists from the United States and Canada are invited to submit outdoor sculptures. Juried. Entry fee. OR


      Artistry of Space, the current Artrain USA exhibit, features works from the NASA art program. This series is a continuing look at web sites for the artists in the collection. This series is a continuing look at web sites for the artists in the Artrain collection.
      The Christian Science Monitor thinks Christian Vincent is a "perfect end-of-the-millennium artist." The painter "evokes art from across the centuries, from Bible themes to the skill of the Great Masters. Yet, the central dilemmas of his canvases are profoundly of the post-industrial moment."
      Young Rob Tims wanted his "15 minutes of fame for the Tims web page (as Andy Warhol said each person should or could have)." Here it is, Rob. That sentence got him to the top of Alta Vista's search results.
      For the real thing, try the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts established with a bequest from Warhol to advance the visual arts, foster innovative expression and support cultural organizations.
      The Brandywine School molded the Golden Age of Illustration. Many of the NASA artists, including George Weymouth who studied under Howard Pyle, sprang from that school. These artists were strongly influenced by Pyle's work and by the rich history of the Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania.


      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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