ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 16, 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.

      The members of the All Arts Council of Franklin County, Inc, will hold the 2000 Annual Meeting in the Northwest Regional Transportation Network office (home of the Purple buses), 44 S. Main St, on Thursday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m.
      Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard's term as a director expires in 2000. Corliss Blakely was elected to fill an open position. There are still three open position to be filled. Nominations will be taken from the floor.
      Control of the Arts Council rests with the membership. Members will report on major projects including the Artist Register and the ArTrain, and plan the 2000 season.


      Art students in over 100 Vermont schools have created artwork with a message for a statewide show. Postcards from students all over the state mix original imagery with powerful comments about art.
      MVU art students have two projects going on during Youth Art Month.
      "On the back [of each card] they've talked about what art means to them and how important it is," said art teacher Martha Leech. Talking about art is often similar to talking about political candidates. Neither absorbs every moment spent at the Quick Stop. Mrs. Leech's students wrote on the cards what they rarely say to friends or family.
      "Art inspires me to be myself and express myself." -Carrie
      "Art to me is a release of ideas and a collection of collaborations neatly arranged in an interesting yet intriguing sense. It soothes the soul, and relaxes the mind and body. Art means more then anything in the world to me." -Amanda
      "Art means life, peace, harmony, sadness. If you boil it down." -Takara
      "Art is what one feels about life, and it is a way for one to show their thoughts to others." -Shauna
      "Art is a great way to express yourself and to find a talent you didn't know you had." -Lynn
      "Art is in the eye of the beholder. Art is expression. Art is beauty. Art is the little doodles you drew in your notebook in English class. Art can be happy. Art can be sad. Art can show feeling. Art is you. Art is me." -Elizabeth
      Art education is more important than drawing lines and mixing paint. Art students develop their creativity and learn to bring that ability to problem solving and to critical thinking. The studies reinforce learning in the core subject areas and brings that knowledge to life. In proclaiming March as Youth Art Month, Governor Howard Dean emphasized the "powerful educational benefits to all elementary, middle, and secondary students" of a complete and integrates arts education.
      Activities this month also include the design and construction of a state flag, visits by legislators to school art rooms, and a month-long art show. In 1997, art students designed the AAC logo that appears at the top of this column.
      Ten MVU students are also working on the next phase of the Web Project. The Web Project sponsored two training sessions with students to work in PhotoShop and to learn the principles and elements of design and some simple animation. That core group will peer tutor the rest of the students in the project.
      The web project brings a trainer into the school, and integrates the training and the technology into the classroom. The project affects all students who are interested in art and the computer. I look for kids who are gung ho and want to communicate, Mrs. Leech said.
      The Artrageous Art Show will be on exhibit in the Statehouse cafeteria in Montpelier through March 31. The show is free and open to the public.


      The All Arts Council will exhibit works by Franklin County artists at the Vermont Maple Festival, April 29-30. e-mail the All Arts Council for information if you would like to show.


NORTH HERO--The North Hero Piper's Gathering is sponsoring a visit by piper Richard Shuttleworth at the North Hero Elementary School on Wednesday, March 22.
      Shuttleworth will discuss traditional Celtic music and demonstrate the Northumbrian smallpipes, the Uilleann (Irish) pipes, the tin whistle, and the Scottish smallpipes. The North Hero school band will play after his presentation.e-mail for more info.
      The North Hero Piper's Gathering has presented Celtic music on the Champlain Islands for 15 years. The Gathering offers hands-on teaching of the Northumbrian smallpipes, Uilleann pipes, English pipes, and Scottish smallpipes plus lectures, a dance, mini concerts, and the Grand Piping Concert. This year, the Gathering will be held August 26-28, 2000 in North Hero, Vermont.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The annual meeting of the Friends of the Opera House at Enosburg Falls will be held Thursday, March 16,in the Municipal Conference Center at 7 p.m. The Friends of the Opera House are managing the restoration of Franklin County's only operational Fine Arts center. The meeting is open to the public.


PEN/AMAZON.COM SHORT STORY AWARD (March 24)--A prize for first-time and unpublished writers. The award-winning story will reach millions of readers and earn a $10,000 grant. There are no subject-matter restrictions or entry fees but all rights for submissions do go to

AIM FOR ARTS (March 31)--An International Competition Celebrating Artistic Achievement with over $CDN40,000 Awards. Entry fee. A prospectus is at

INTERNATIONAL POETRY (March 31)--48th annual competition for The Stand Magazine, a literary quarterly published at Leeds University. Prize money is 2,700 pounds sterling; the top winners will be published in Stand. Note that April is National Poetry Month here.

SUMMER WRITING FESTIVAL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA--Writers come from all over the the world for sessions in poetry, fiction, children's books, screenwriting, magazine article writing, creative non-fiction, and more.

OPERAPLUS (April 15)--International Summer School for young singers at the Old Abbey of Kortenberg, Belgium, in August. The teachers will be Vera Rozsa and Sarah Walker, under the patronage of Sarah Walker, Kiri Te Kanawa and Tom Krause.


      Barry Swires owns a drywall company in Washington State and competes in sand and snow sculpture competitions worldwide. He has won awards in Russia, Switzerland, Canada and the United States. The site has images from San Moritz, Moscow, Archangel, and the Portland Zoo.


      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.


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Dick Harper, Chair

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