ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 3 * * All Arts News On the Web * * NOVEMBER 4, 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 Railroad Days Festival follows the tracks of the past to the future of St Albans, the Railroad City of Vermont. The Artistry of Space exhibit aboard Artrain USA is the Festival centerpiece.
      Artrain USA's Artistry of Space exhibit has over 80 paintings, drawings, prints, sketches, and costumes from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Air and Space Museum art collections. 78 Artists, including Jim Alford, Deborah Deschner Iazzo, Theodore Hancock, Attilla Hejja, Peter Hurd, Peter Max, P. A. Nisbet, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol, and Jamie Wyeth, depict the spirit and vigor of space exploration in this collection. WWSR followed a class from St Albans City Elementary through the Artrain this morning. That program will be rebroadcast on Comment this evening.
      Artistry of Space is open to the public Saturday and Sunday at the New England Central Railroad, off Market Street (a block from the Railroad offices), in St Albans. Admission is Free.
      Railroad Days in St Albans will also feature the All Arts Council Exhibit in the former Sherwin Williams building on Saturday and Sunday. The twenty displays include oils by Alice Astleford, oils and watercolors by Corliss Blakely, new sculpture by Delano Bransfield, Vermont photographs by Bob Brodeur, works by Linda Bryan from NVAA, watercolors by Mary Harper, oils by Patrice Havreluk-Hemingway, the intricate photographs of April Henderson, the whimsical sculpture of Diana Herder-Bennett, etchings and other works by NASA artist Deborah Deschner Iazzo, the Vermont photos of David Juaire, acrylic paintings by Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, paintings by Donna LaRochelle, Marti Leech, and Beth Maginn, new sculpture in bronze and plaster by Ania Modzelewski, oil and pastels by Patrick Murphy, Sean Peters, Gail Salzman, and Pam Voss, and the award winning portraiture of Wayne Tarr.
      Renowned St Albans artist Corliss Blakely portrays the homes, farms and antiques of her ancestors in northern Vermont in intricately detailed oils and watercolors.
      NASA artist Deborah Deschner Iazzo of Middlesex, Vermont, was first commissioned to cover the Space Shuttle Challenger for the NASA art program. Her Challenger artwork is a tasteful, effective series on permanent display at the NASA Art Gallery at Kennedy Space Center. WWSR will interview Deschner Iazzo live Friday morning between 8 and 9 a.m.
      The Gate Players present Civil War Skits in the BFA-St Albans Theater, tonight and Friday at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5.
      On Saturday only, the events include a Civil War Bank Raid at the Franklin Lamoille Bank, the St Albans Diorama in the Historical Museum, and a Flag ceremony in Taylor Park. The raiders will queue near the Armory and approach the bank across Taylor Park. Their escape route follows Main Street to Bank Street and then out of the City.
      On Saturday and Sunday Railroad Days in St Albans will also feature a Farmers Market in Taylor Park; self guiding History Tours in Taylor Park; plus Railroadiana, the Northwestern Vermont Model Railroad and a quilt display in the Armory. The Vermont National Guard will offer tours of a Blackhawk helicopter and an M1 Abrams tank at Artrain USA. These events are all free.
      The week long Festival celebrates art, history, and science in the aptly named Railroad City.
      St Albans resident John Smith began to assemble a rail system in the 1840s. The Central Vermont Railroad moved its headquarters to St Albans in the 1860s and expanded through the turn of the Century.
      St Albans City swarmed with trains and railroad workers in the latter half of the 91th century. By 1902, 23 parallel rail lines crossed Lake Street, making St Albans the largest rail freight center East of Chicago. The 1,700 CVRR employees dispatched 50 trains daily. The CV Railroad carried manufacturing and agricultural products as well as tourists throughout the country. Workers manufactured and repaired locomotives and rolling stock; the woodworking shops could start with sawmill logs and finish entire cars. Two roundhouses handled 38 locomotives.
      National rail traffic declined precipitously after World War II. The 154-year-old Central Vermont went out of business and was reorganized as the New England Central Railroad in 1995.
      "We've seen a steady increase in traffic since NECR took over," said Mike Olmstead Assistant General Manager
      The NECR now carries mostly forest products, lumber, and grain in 36,000 cars annually on a route map that spans from the Canadian border to New London, Connecticut. There are 92 employees today.
      DaimlerChrysler sponsors Artrain USA's Artistry of Space national three-year tour. The New England Central Railroad transported Artrain and housed in St Albans.
      Thanks to generous grants from the Vermont Department of Marketing and Tourism and the City of St Albans, and the of support Blouin's IGA, Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Chow! Bella, Clarence Brown, Comfort Inn and Suites, Drummac, Franklin Lamoille Bank, New England Central Railroad, Northwestern Medical Center, Ponchos, Price Chopper, St Albans Historical Museum, S. B. Collins, Subway, Ultramar, and the Vermont National Guard, admission to most Railroad Days events is free.


      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 Lia Roozendaal, will be held next Thursday, November 11, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Proctor Middle/High School. 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. We will put the finishing touches on the AAC exhibit and discuss upcoming events such as the Crafts and Fine Arts tour and our ongoing workshops. Coffee is free; munchies and other finger foods are pot luck. The Northwest Transportation Network office is at 44 South Main Street, St Albans.


      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 Artrain collection. This week, we look at a single site with several of the artists: the motherlode itself, the NASA Art Gallery.
      A mixed media work of acrylic paint and marble dust on artist board by Tina York, Fluid Dynamics, shows studies at the Ames Research Center that learn more about what happens to a solid body such as a plane or Shuttle encountering resistance as it speeds through the gases of the atmosphere or the clouds of deep space.
      The Light Ship, an oil by Attila Hejja, depicts the first night launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983.
      Lonny Schiff's Satellite in Space monoprint chine colle is an abstract rendition of the future Space Station.
      Most images in the collection cannot be downloaded or reproduced without permission from NASA.


      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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