ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 3 NUMBER 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * OCTOBER, 1999


      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.


      America' s museum in motion, ArTrain USA is the only museum that rides the rails. Artrain 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 spread the Festival across the first week of November. A history tour in Taylor Park will present the Civil War history of St Albans. Railroad memorabilia and exhibits will be displayed at the Armory and the St Albans Historical Museum diorama will be open. 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, email Heather Streeter now.
      The ArTrain USA railcars house a fine arts exhibition, an interactive area, an artist studio, and a gift shop.
      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.
      Our October 30-November 7 schedule includes an opening reception, two days of educational tours, and two days of open Artrain USA exhibit, along with a bank robbery, and a NASA exhibit that will mix history, art, trains, and the furure for grownups and kids alike. Take a look at all the activities on the Railroad Days pages.


      All Arts Council members and friends are invited to the monthly AAC Coffee House in the Northwest Transportation offices (home of the Purple Bus) October 7 at 7 p.m. With no agenda, this meeting is a good chance to see other Franklin County artists and start planning your Fall projects. 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.
      Upcoming events include the VSO concert, the Artrain visit, and upcoming workshops. Committees will discuss concert schedules, exhibits, and shows in a short business meeting at 6 p.m. The Northwest Transportation Network office is at 44 South Main Street, St Albans.


      The Fall Foliage Festival and Open House at Carman Brook Farm hosts the first AAC show of the season on October 2-3 in Highgate. The show will feature the landscape portraits of AAC members Bob Brodeur and David Juaire, oils by Cam Malone, and a pastel by Chuck Meunier.
      Success by Six will have a weekend full of children's activities. Karen and Dan Fortin have harvest decorations. They also promised coffee, cider, maple cream, and donuts from the Steinhour Cafe. Although foliage at our house is still muted, early stage colors, the change should be approaching mid-stage at the Fortin's farm with perfect viewing weather: fair skies and high temperatures near 60. That's close to perfect for maple tours at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m.
      Carman Brook Farm is on the Fortin Road in Highgate. From Route 78 in Swanton, turn north onto the Frontage Road. Drive three miles to the four corners, then straight through intersection onto Fortin Road. The farm is 1.2 miles farther on the left.


      The Gate Players have two performances scheduled for the Railroad Days Festival in November. The Return of the Werewolf takes place over Halloween weekend. The Gate Players Civil War Skits will follow on November 4-5.
      "We're looking for performers, and ideas, and talent, primarily for our Civil War and old time acts," said Tanya Saunders. "We also need some Cardiac Capers people and other dancers for a Virginia Reel."
      Email Tanya for info.


      Artists, musicians, and tour guides needed.
      Tour guides?
      We have planned a history tour, railroad history, and three different art exhibits for the Railroad Days Festival with Artrain USA in St Albans. Although we don't need quite 400 guides, we will need lots of interested helpers in November.
      There are three other events drawing near: the annual VSO Made in Vermont Festival, a show at Carman Brook Farm in Highgate in October, and the annual Crafts and Fine Arts Tour around Franklin County before Thanksgiving. The VSO musicians eat prodigiously; AAC volunteers have fed them before each performance for the past three years. And we need artists of all disciplines for all the exhibitions.
      Email Heather or me for more info.


      Bethany's Children Foundation is a non-profit organization that sponsors art and music programs for the public schools in Vermont; they underwrote the successful AAC Summer Stage theater workshop at MVU last year. Bethany's is holding a statewide bottle drive to raise funds and awareness for their programs.
      "Our goal is to collect 600,000 bottles and cans by November 1," said Executive Director Charlie Thomas. "If every Vermonter donates just one bottle, we will meet our goal."
      The foundation needs local businesses to designate a receptacle for empty bottles and volunteers needed to collect and return empty bottles and cans. Call Charlie (802-878-3462) for info.


      Artrain USA is an art museum that will ride the rails to St Albans during the first week of November. Artistry of Space, the current Artrain exhibit, features works from the NASA art program. Here is a look at web sites for some of the artists in the collection.
      Jim Alford dreams about a void filled with gradations of simple, pure color. Alford explores the heavens in his distinctive sky images that use mirrors to add an architectural component to a compositional design.
      Serendipity, Chakaia Booker's project for the MetroTech Commons, is a 60' long perforated wood screen richly textured by salvaged (and treated) automobile, bicycle, and moped tires at
      Paul Calle's work often reflects the dramatic era of our western heritage.
      Portraitist Henry Casselli's cover art is on the American Society of Portrait Artists Portrait Signature Magazine
      The Bureau of Reclamation painting collection includes Grand Coulee Street Scene and Construction Tower, two of Hereward Lester Cooke's drawings of the Grand Coulee Dam project.
      The emergence of the nation out of mourning for Challenger was marked by a jazz suite composed by Jane Ira Bloom who appears on 1522 web sites that I found. This site has biography, discography, and some cutting edge jazz from a sax person who went to the edge of space and the edge of Carnegie Hall.
      Visual journalist Alan E. Cober wanted us to witness the unexpected. His work compels us to look at and to pay attention to subjects we might try to ignore.
      Named for the NASA artist, the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia guides student to achieve the maximum artistic and academic potential.
      Linda Draper's photo realistic style shows in her portraiture. With four paintings in the NASA collection, she now specializes in Rottweilers as pets and models.
      Mary Edna Fraser is one of many artists on display in the One Small Step: Exploring America's Adventures in Space, 1959-1999 exhibit at the University of Delaware.
      Peter Hurd is one of America's dynasty of fine artists. Four generations of works by all of the family members can be seen together again, at the Wyeth Hurd Gallery.
      Five western landscape triptychs by Wilson Hurley in the Cowboy Hall of Fame museum's permanent collections span 50 feet and are 16 feet tall. His Monument Valley Triptych and Late Summer Sunset are at
      Mitchell Jamieson traveled to Key West and the Virgin Islands in the 1930s to paint under the Treasury Department's Art Project. His works are in collections at the White House, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum, the NASA collection, and the US Bureau of Reclamation.
      Chet Jezierski does traditional illustration, some design, realism, history, montages, maps, and animals.
      Known for his portrayal of America's architectural heritage, Howard Koslow regularly contributes paintings to the U.S. Air Force Historical Program and NASA and has designed stamps for the U.S. Postal Service including The Brooklyn Bridge 100 Anniversary Commemorative, the Tennessee Valley Authority 50th Anniversary Stamp, the Rural Electrification Administration Stamp, and the Signing of the Constitution stamp.
      Once the pop poster child of the 1960s, Peter Max now brings his vibrant colors to "dynamic neo Expressionism." Along the way, he has become part of the fabric of contemporary culture. His playful, pop art, Man on the Moon is also on the AAC site.
      Robert McCall shows his life-long interest in space and flight in spectacular paintings depicting the wonders and possibilities of space. One of America's best known space artists, McCall's work ranges from U.S. postage stamps to murals at the Smithsonian Institution and Epcot Center.
      John W. McCoy was a student of N.C. Wyeth (we will see Wyeth's grandson Jamie later in this series). His work is displayed at the Brandywine River Museum in Pennsylvania, as are works by his wife, Carolyn Wyeth, N.C. Wyeth's daughter. This image is the site of the largest annual concentration of waterfowl in North America.
      Greg Mort hangs still-life and landscape watercolor paintings in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Brandywine River Museum. Mort's landscape paintings of comets streaking across a night sky can be seen in The Blue Dot by Carl Sagan.
      "My paintings are not exclusively about nature. They are about my relationship with nature," writes Peter A. Nisbet. In Nisbet's paintings, nature is enigmatic, cerebral, passionate, and spiritual.
      Starting in 1916, the Saturday Evening Post cover was Norman Rockwell's showcase; with over 300 covers he had an audience larger than any other artist in history. Click here to visit a collection of those Post covers and here for the Vermont Rockwell museum.
      A former director of the NASA Fine Art Program, Robert Schulman has exhibited at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio, the Society of Illustrators, New York, Cornell Fine Art Center, National Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Mitsukoshi Gallery in Tokyo.
      Illustrator and portrait artist John Solie's work is in shows, museums, sculptures, magazine covers, movies posters, and book covers. He has created over two hundred movie posters, painted a "dead on likeness" of more than fifty stars, and created covers for every popular magazine in print today as well as 175 book covers for every New York publishing house.


      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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