ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 11, 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.

      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 Simple Pleasures in St Albans.


      Jessica Barney is the AAC featured artist for May at the Simple Pleasures Cafe in St Albans. Two paintings, St Michael and Contemplation will be on exhibit until May 30. At 16, Jessica may be the youngest artist we have featured. She lives in Highgate and is a student at MVUHS.
      "For 'St Michael,' I was looking through an angel book of my mom's, saw that image and knew I had to do it. I was drawn to the picture," she said. St Michael won Best of Show at the Franklin County Field Days. That was her first Best of Show award.
      Contemplation is a chalk pastel of a cat experiencing the freedom of the vast universe. Jessica enjoys painting wildlife, portraits of people and animals, and fantasy, particularly unicorns and dragons.
      She painted most of the Man of La Mancha stones at MVU and decorated the three foot Easter candle for St Louis church. The candle will be used for special services through 2000.
      "I like Prisma colored pencil best," Jessica said. Prisma colored pencils have a very fine lead and can be laid one color over the other to get a third value in much the way an oil paint blends. Pressed lightly, they give a delicate shade; hard pressure yields a heavy coating. She also works in chalk pastel, regular pencil, and oil paint.
      Jessica has taken private art lessons from Sister Liliosa at the Sisters of Holy Cross convent for two years.
      "She is really a born artist," said Sister Liliosa "She has a natural gift and is beyond many other students.
      "My job is simply to guide the students along," Sister Liliosa said. She lets her students choose their subject matter "because unless they fall in love with what they are doing, they can't do it well."
      Jessica also wants to explore sculpting and photography with an emphasis on wedding portraits and pictures from life. "You see a couple sitting on a bench and take the picture because it's art. I like black and white film. I'd like to have a job in art as perhaps a mural painter doing landscapes or stenciling in homes."
      This shy, old fashioned girl "won't just go up to someone and start talking. I'm an eccentric person," she said. "I enjoy more time to myself than with other people, but I do like to talk and visit. I enjoy nature walks in the woods and spending time with family." She listens to Irish and Scottish music and has two dogs (one is named Barney). She says a dog named Barney in a house named Barney is not confusing "because Barney [the dog] is a stupid beagle."
      Jessica has been painting since she was old enough to hold a crayon. Someday she would like to live by the ocean and to be known as an artist.
      She is half way there already.


      The Franklin Chorus is recruit cheerful singers to participate in the annual Franklin Memorial Day program. The Chorus will sing a a variety of popular music and the new Vermont state song.
      "We're glad to have folks from other communities who would like to sing with a Town Chorus," said Diane Gates. "We have pretty good songs. The more the merrier!"
      The Chorus will practice in the Franklin Town Hall on Wednesday, May 17, and Monday, May 22, at 7 p.m Memorial Day is celebrated in the late morning on Tuesday May 30.


      AAC member Lauren Young's 24-piece poetic photography exhibit Through My Eyes is on display in the State House cafeteria through May 31. The show has four special photographic Illusions on the Shore including a wooden "heron" and a man wearing a huge cape and hat seen in the shoreline.
      "It's on three walls," Lauren said, "and is the biggest show I've ever done."

      We have found a number of Franklin County musicians and bands playing local events with new albums. In the coming weeks, we'll introduce several of them here and on the new AAC-WWSR/WLFE Feature Artist Showcase.
      The Feature Artist Showcase spotlights songs from Fuzzy Goodness for Your Whole Family from Absolute Zero tomorrow morning on WWSR-1420 AM. The Feature Artist Showcase is broadcast on Fridays at about 8:20 a.m.
      Fuzzy Goodness is already attracting the attention of producers in New York and California for a band that was showcased at the Maple Festival. Absolute Zero is Michael McCarthy, vocals and guitar, Adam Desrochers, guitar, Matt Gaduouas, Bass, and Chris McCarthy, drums. Mike McCarthy wrote eight of the ten songs on the CD which was recorded and mastered at Eclipse Recording by Joe Egan. He co-wrote the other two with Adam Desrochers. The CD is available at Jukebox CDs and Tapes in St Albans.


JEFFERSONVILLE--The Cambridge Arts Council invites you to try your hand at ceramic sculpture in a workshop and performance by folk craftsman Pat Picciano.
      The Central and South American Folk Art workshop offers ceramic sculpture with craftsman and puppeteer Pat Picciano on Tuesday, May 16, at 7 p.m. in the Second Congregational Church Community Room. The workshop is free and open to the public; no pre-registration is needed but donations will be accepted.
      The Puppet Showcase, a unique blend of folk-art and theater with Pat Picciano on Wednesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. in the Cambridge Elementary School auditorium. Suggested family donation $10 non-members, $8.00 members. Call Margo Rome (644-2233) or Dodi Gomez (644-5660) for more info.


      This week, we continue to explore the museums and galleries of some United Nations countries.
      The Kenya Gallery of Contemporary East African Art provides space for East African artists to display and sell paintings, prints and sculptures.
      The Kuona Trust is a museum art studio
      The Tareq Rajab Museum in Hawelli, Kuwait is divided into sections of calligraphy, pottery, metalwork, glass, wood, and ivory and jade carvings plus the costumes, textiles, embroideries and jewellery of the Islamic world.


      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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