ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 2, 2000


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County. Each issue includes the entire text of our weekly newspaper column.

      Regular AAC CoffeeHouses with networking time and "show-and-tell" are held in borrowed space at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, and workshops every month. This spring, we will gather in a different AAC member's home around the St Albans area starting February 6 at Corliss Blakely's. Watch this space for details.


      Regular AAC CoffeeHouses with networking time and "show-and-tell" are held in borrowed space at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. Tonight, the CoffeeHouse is at Alice Astleford's home in St Albans. Come to see Alice's work, enjoy coffee and finger foods, and talk with artists, musicians, and friends. e-mail Ed Astleford for directions.
      This spring, we will gather each month in a different AAC member's home around the area. Watch this space for details.


      Linda Kwiatkowski makes art with paper pages, leather covers, and pressed flowers.
      "I absolutely love bookbinding," she said. Linda started by restoring old books and now studies with Nicole Villard of Montreal. "She has been an inspiration. She lets my creativity go. As much as restoration is satisfying, creating new things and letting my imagination go is really what I like."
      Linda often creates photo albums, journals and guest books with pressed flowers incorporated in the covers. "I've always loved gardening and drying flowers," she said. "This is a way to do both."
      That bookbinding hasn't changed for thousand of years is part of the fascination for Linda. The Copts in Egypt probably first practiced bookbinding in leather. The earliest known leather bound European book is the English bound Gospel according to St. John, found in the tomb of St. Cuthbert of the 7th or 8th century. Early bookbindings from Europe were the elaborately bound and bejewelled altar Bibles. Each country took the craft in a subtly different direction. Hand bookbinding is generally divided into the English, French, and Danish styles, although the difference is subtle. "There is more of a difference between commercial binding and hand bound books which are sewn" than between the country styles, she said.
      Linda works part time at a commercial hand bindery (there are two in Vermont) restoring books. A big part of their work is repairing old town records because they are frequently used and can easily feather away into dust.
      She has lately added decorative boxes to her collection. "I construct the box, cover it in a cover material, and do the same pressed flower inclusion in the top."
      Linda's work is one of about 200 pieces selected for the juried Mountain Lake Arts Auction this year. "It's an album that is quite a bit more decorative" than her usual books, she said. She started with a hand rubbed leather cover and added a relief of small tree branches around a budding cherry blossom flower design. "I did the relief to make it very special." Click here for an image.
      The WCFE collection will be in the McCord Museum in Montreal this month; it returns to the Plattsburg Art Museum in April. The auction will be held on the air April 27-30.
      Linda is affiliated with the Artisans Gallery in Waitsfield and "sells nicely" in Manhattan stores.
      She and husband John live in a "leaky old boat," an 1837 farmhouse in Sheldon where they were pumping the cellar on Sunday. "He has a passion for wooden boats. The house is a land version thereof." They also have a 1968 Comet and a 1958 runabout, both wooden, of course. "I'm the jib girl," she said.


      Fontella Bass and the Bosman Twins will visit St. Albans for a three-day residency March 7-9 as part of the ongoing St Albans CAN! and Flynn Theater partnership. Last year, Fontella visited St Albans with her husband, jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie. She returns this year to continue the legacy he left in the hearts of thousands of Vermont school children and local musicians all over Vermont. She will work with the BFA-St Albans bands and choirs.
      On Tuesday, Jeff's Maine Seafood Restaurant hosts a Welcoming Reception for Fontella and the Bosman Twins at 5:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
      Mark your calendars for next week, too. The work in the St. Albans schools will culminate in a Special Tribute to Lester Bowie: Performance and Community Jam with Fontella Bass and Friends will be held Thursday, March 9 at BFA Auditorium. Fontella and the Bosmans will perform with the BFA high school jazz band and choir. Fontella encourages audience members to bring instruments as the evening will end with a hot gospel and jazz Jam Session. Tickets are available at Jeff's Seafood, Better Planet, and Rail City Market. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students/seniors. Call the Flynn (802.652.4539) for more info.
      This residency is generously supported by the Comfort Inn and Suites of St. Albans and Jeff's Maine Seafood Restaurant and funded by a grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. The Audiences for the Performing Arts Network (APAN) project is developing national models for audience expansion through extended artist residencies.


      This week, we continue to explore the art and music of some United Nations countries.
      The Reiff Museum in Aachen, Germany, has always been a museum of copies. Named originally for Franz Reiff, museum is also an ambiguous acronym for "Realized-Electronically-Illustrated-Fast-Frame." The new Reiff-II stands for "Interactive Information," an electronic museum (in German) established as part of Info-Bus. Reiff II has exhibition rooms with artists and their recent works.
      Ghana's popular music, an upbeat, horn-inflected sound has had a long evolution since its 1920's beginnings as Highlife. It blends European foxtrots and Caribbean kaiso, with indigenous rhythms as osibisaba (Fante), ashiko (Sierra Leone), dagomba (Liberian guitar style). and gombe (from Sierre Leone via Jamaican Maroons). This site discusses the history and provides links to artists, a music chat, and a Ghana chat.
      Every museum of Greece and Cyprus is listed on the Ariadne Network. There are listings for art museums and galleries, historical and maritime museums, museums of natural history, science and technology, theater, and even cartoons all from classical to modern art with image databases. This is entirely a gopher menu (as opposed to a www interface) but the results are stunning.


      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.


AAC dancing logo

Dick Harper, Chair

Support Free Speech on the Internet
All Arts Council of Franklin County
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
e-mail us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

Copyright © Richard B. Harper, 2000. All Rights Reserved.