ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 3 NUMBER 2 * * All Arts News On the Web * * FEBRUARY, 1999


      The new Arts/First Register will be northwestern Vermont's open guide to professionals in the literary, media, performing, and visual arts, plus cultural events and other local resources. It will include brief biographies, images, historical resources, and regular calendar updates. A matching Internet catalog will have the same biographies and resources, additional images, and an events calendar with easy access for all local community groups to post events.
      Every artist, dancer, musician, photographer, sculptor, theater person, and writer living in Franklin or Grand Isle County is eligible. Your work must be available for sale, performance, or exhibit. Listings are free.
      "You have to send in your information to be listed," said Lyle Glidden of the AAC.
      Residents, tourists, promoters, and schools will be able to choose artists by media, audience type (such as all ages, young child, or senior); schools will find artists listed by lessons, workshops, or seminars offered.
      The registration form asks for your own name as well as your business/band/gallery or d.b.a. name; address; phone number(s); email and web address, agent information (if you have one) and your specific interests from a list that includes folk arts, experimental photography, holography, illustration, chamber and rock music, technical and sound production, puppetry, poetry and more. The Internet database will include a keyword index that searches for nearly 100 topics. The listing will also include a short description of your work and/or your biographical information as well as fees and the distance you are willing to travel.
      "Volunteers are typing in the listings, so we really need people to use the registration forms," Glidden said. "You can pick up a form from the AAC Gallery at the Gift Gallery, the St Albans Chamber of Commerce, or from any public library in Franklin or Grand Isle County." The form is also available for download in WordPerfect format. Just print it out and mail it in.
      Advertisers will receive a matted reproduction print from one of our exceptional local artists. This will put more regional art on community walls and also say Thank You to the people who make the publication possible. AAC artist Ania Modzelewski is collecting those images now. If you want to advertise, call Phil Knight at WWSR/WLFE 802.524.2133.
      This project was made possible by a major Cultural Heritage Tourism grant and the generous assistance from the Vermont Community Foundation. It is a collaboration between the All Arts Council, the St Albans Area Chamber of Commerce, the St. Albans Historical Museum, the Comfort Inn, the Opera House at Enosburg Falls, Island Arts, students at MVU, and other community groups. If you want to volunteer, e-mail the All Arts Council


      I've started a new feature in the column to promote local exhibits, concerts, gigs, and other public performances. This will be a more-or-less-monthly roundup of who's hanging around our gallery spaces, the local library, and anywhere else there is a whitewashed wall, plus who's playing live at our renowned eatery/drinkeries. If you are doing something in public (and you want people to know about it), call me at 868-3351.
A.A. BROWN PUBLIC LIBRARY--An exhibit of still lifes and portraits in pastels and watercolors by Rebecca Bennett continues through the end of this month.
ALL ARTS GALLERY at the GIFT GALLERY--New artists include Lisa Mossey with a barn door and floral watercolor paintings, and whimsical sculptor Diana Herder Bennett. The Gift Gallery also features Bob Anderson, watercolors; Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, acrylics and cards; Del Bransfield, metal ships; Bob Brodeur, photographs; Roslyn Brown, jewelry, Louise Counos, oils; J. J Dandurand, oils; Theresa Duffy, watercolors; Barbara Flack, digital art and photo cards; Mary Harper, watercolors; Patrice Havreluk-Hemingway, Ukranian eggs; April Henderson, photographs; Kathy Kimball, cards; Chris LeBaron, sculpture; Meta Strick, fairies and Santas; Valerie Ugro, watercolors and reproductions; Sandra Vaillancourt, mosaics and shirts; and Pam Krout-Voss, pens and pencils.
JEFF'S MAINE SEAFOOD--Gene Rybicki Judkins of Jeffersonville is displaying Vermont landscapes and floral watercolor and pastel paintings in the dining room.
      "I go in there for the artwork," Natalie said.
NORTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER--Nancy Jacobus of South Hero paints primarily florals in watercolor and landscapes in pastels that exude color and energy. Her exhibits always include one or two paintings of dancing women. An occupational therapist at NMC, Nancy's exhibit will continue through February.
SUGAR MILL ANTIQUE MALL-- The new third floor gallery space is a gracious, white, beautifully lighted hall. Corliss Blakely has two exhibits here: her Showcase on the second floor and a Gallery display upstairs. Mark Tougas' oil paintings and Corliss' exhibits "anchor" the Gallery. The Sugar Mill Gallery features Lisa Bouffard, oil paintings; Jeannette Karns pen and ink sketches; Lorraine Manly, oil paintings; Jean Villeneuve, watercolor paintings; and Lauren Young, poetic photos and poetry.


      Heather McKeown of Berkshire now has a permanent exhibit in the Frederick Amsden Art Gallery in Stanstead, PQ.
      Her Amsden pieces are of "historic buildings that they want me to capture," painted on indigenous rocks, Heather said. She usually paints commissions. "People say, 'Here's a picture of my house, here's a picture of my barn, here's a picture of my favorite church.'
      "My son came up with the idea that I should paint in the round so they can be centerpieces for tables," Heather said of her Rock On Art series. She works in acrylic on rocks that range from silver dollar size up to 80 pound pieces.


      Pamela Krout-Voss teaches art Mondays and Tuesdays in Berkshire Elementary School.
      "I like three dimensional forms best," Pam said. She trained originally in pottery at UVM. "I had gotten away from it for a long time, and now do hand building." Hand building is sculpting by hand without a wheel.
      She also enjoys watercolor paintings and other media.
      "I did a series of Mandalas with colored pencils." That series was a study of light and energy.
      Teachers study. Most of the workshops and classes Pam takes are school related. "My favorite has been 'Imagery and the Writing Process' which engages the kids making different textured papers. The outcome is to trigger the kids' creative process and they can create a story." Last year she took a ceramic class at UVM and did a study in Chinese pottery. "That's a dream of mine, to go to China."
      "A couple of times a month a group of us gets together to paint and draw in our houses," she said. They often attend lectures at the Studio Art Center at Johnson State. "We enjoy hearing about other artists and seeing their work."
      Pam grew up in Hanover, NH. "I used to go over to Norwich for private lessons in pottery in high school." She also loves to read, cook, and garden, used to sew her own clothes, and now makes quilts and curtains.
      The Web Project at Berkshire Elementary is in its third year in Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union. Pam thinks her students are more comfortable with digital art than she was at the beginning of that project. Students create art on the computer and scan in works they have done by more traditional methods. The student artwork then becomes part of a growing online gallery. "We have just one computer in the art room, but we have a beautiful lab in the library."
      Pam is also holding the third in a series of workshops on clay whistles for students at Sheldon Elementary next week. Sheldon doesn't have a full time art teacher, so the classroom teachers invite professional artists to give workshops, residencies, and seminars. The clay whistle project was funded by a grant.
      Her upcoming second annual district wide art show will bring together student and professional art at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls in May.
      She is also a recruiter in the Rural Education Program, a Federal project administered by the University of Vermont. This program helps children of farm families who have moved across school districts in Franklin and Grand Isle counties.
      "Orchards do have some migrant pickers but generally most of the children don't come with the pickers," Pam said. "Most of our migrants are dairy farmers who move from one dairy to another." That may not sound like migrant work, but the nature of some jobs and some of our farms means "families might stay as little as three months on a local farm."
      Pam and husband George live by the falls in Enosburg Falls in an old house surrounded by lilacs. They have three kids and are expecting their first grandchild in early June. Son Michael lives in North Carolina; Bendtsen, 17, and Owen, 11, live at home.


The AAC needs members who want to assemble art exhibits, book bands, evoke events, and to paint or dance or sing or write. We began our annual membership drive last month. 1999 members will receive a reproduction of a fine oil or watercolor painting donated by AAC artists. Member benefits also include networking with artists and other members, a member night celebration, regular news of local cultural happenings, priority seating or discount admission to AAC events, advance notice of events, educational and cultural opportunities, as well as other parties and discounts. Residents, businesses, and visitors can join at the saint, patron, donor, benefactor, sponsor, or general member Level. Student memberships are free; our student members complete community service projects to fulfill their membership.


FAIRFAX COMMUNITY THEATRE--The spring production will be Twentieth Century Song and Dance. FCTC will hold auditions for this retrospective on the popular music and dance of this Century in the Fletcher Union Meeting House on Sunday, February 7, at 4 p.m. and at BFA-Fairfax on Monday, February 8, at 7 p.m. "We need lots of song and dance people," said Dennis Getty. "There is also a narrator to tell the story of music." Margie Cain is the director.

GEORGIA GATE PLAYERS--The Gate Players will perform a Carol Burnett variety show in March. This seven skit variety show will also include comedians, a Steve and Edie act, and other sketches. The auditions are Sunday, February 7, at 2 p.m. in St Paul's United Methodist Church in St Albans. Skit directors are David Chambers, Tanya Saunders, John Streeker, Becky White, and Kristin White; Tanya is also the producer.
      "We need standup comics, singers, dancers, and anyone else who wants to go on stage," said Tanya.
      The Gate Players elected a new board in January. Sue Nadeau, Chair, Tanya Saunders, Vice Chair, Steve Irving, Secretary, Kristin White, Treasurer, and David Chambers, member-at-large.
      Busy Sue Nadeau will choreograph both the Burnett show and Brigadoon, this year's MVU musical. She is also assembling a group of student programmers for the AAC Artist Register and Community Calendar project.
      Email the Gate Players for information.


GREAT GATHERING--All Arts Council members and friends are invited to the monthly AAC Coffee House in the Collins-Perley Sports Complex Thursday, February 4, at 7 p.m. With no agenda, this meeting is a good chance to network and to have fun with other Franklin County artists. Artists may bring works for show-and-tell or instruments to jam. Coffee and juice are free; munchies and other finger foods are pot luck.
      The gathering continues our "no business" monthly meetings. Committees will discuss concert schedules and upcoming exhibits and shows in a short business meeting at 6:30 p.m.
      Members of the All Arts Council will hold an Annual Meeting on March 4. Five Directors must be elected. Now is a good time to join the AAC and to nominate people interested in the arts for a term on the board.

CAMBRIDGE--The Cambridge Arts Council presents Cabaret Shakespeare, a bawdy and boisterous performance by James Hogue as he brings the Bard to the Cambridge Elementary School, Friday evening at 7 p.m.


      Nobby Reed is back in town. His new CD, It's All About the Blues, was (finally) released this week.
      Most of the words and all of the music are by Nobby, with "great lyrics by Tim Comings" on three cuts. The fourteen new songs are richer, with full backup from the Project (Frank Barnes, bass, Eric Belrose, drums, and Phil Graziano, guitar) and from some of Vermont's great musicians as guests: Ray Bushey, keys, Smokestack Curry, harp, Andre Maquera, guitar pyrotechnics, Joe Moore, sax, and Mr. Charlie, plus vocals from The Spiders (Pat Austin, Marsha Brewster, and Debbie Patton), Amanda and Jonathon Gage, Maghon Julien, Angela Dylan Reed, Michelle Young and Joe Moore. Nobby's exceptional guitar work is still the star. Special note to Nobby: the cover graphics are outstanding.
      Lots of AAC members were involved. "Andre Maquera [of West Street Digital] and I were the producers." Lyle Glidden produced several songs and brought "good things to the project," Nobby said.
      This is the blues, so the lead song may say it's Sad Times; it's definitely glad times for the rest of us. All about the Blues is available at Jukebox CDs and Tapes in St Albans and at Barnes and Noble in Burlington.


      "Dancing is practised to reveal whether lovers are in good health and sound of limb, after which they are permitted to kiss their mistresses in order that they may touch and savour one another, thus to ascertain if they are shapely or emit an unpleasant odour as of bad meat. Therefore, from this standpoint, quite apart from the many other advantages to be derived from dancing, it becomes an essential in a well ordered society," wrote Thoinot Arbeau, in Orchesography in 1589.
      Greg Lindahl's SCA Music and Dance Homepage explains Arbeau, and has articles and links for Renaissance dance, early music, songs, minstrels, and the Bardic arts, non-Western music and dance, as well as links to mailing lists and online archives. He offers MIDI files, instrument-specific resources, academic organizations and societies.

      I found Rockwood Designs by searching for Vermont sculpture. This firm designs and builds stonewalls, patios, steps and outdoor fireplaces in the hills of central Vermont. "Our goal," they write, "is to create beautiful fixed stone pieces on the landscape." The site designer used an animated GIF toy for a series of whimsical "favorite photos" that include a stick figure bungee jumper, dancing skeletons, a familiar yellow man working construction sign, and more.
      By the way, they are also looking for Hector Luiz Santos.

      "Vermont is home to some the world's most creative writers," writes the editor of Vermont Living, Vermont's premier electronic magazine. The site has more than just words in a row. Since cows outnumber people in many Vermont towns, one page is dedicated to the cow with an ever changing collection of cow photographs plus the odd moo from your speakers.
      Vermont Living salutes writers in a special section with new work by yet to discovered amateurs and professionals alike. The January issue features Imagine, a short story about traction on the wintered road by flatlander Nancy Senior, and Little Chalet, an essay by Charles Baril from Westminster, Massachusetts.


      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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