ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 24, 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.


      Highgate Community Cares presents a free End of Summer Block Party Saturday night in Highgate Center with live music from Absolute Zero and Wit's End on a public highway!
      "We will close off Old Mill Hill Road at Route 78," said Community Cares Director Joyce Ashton.
      Wit's End stars Charlie Couto, vocals, Dan Larrow, guitar, Jim Bose, guitar, Kevin Holmes, bass, and Cheryl Driver, drums. Absolute Zero plays modern hard rock, funk, and everything in between; it features Mike McCarthy, guitar and vocals, Chris McCarthy, drums, Matt Gadouas, bass guitar, and Adam Desrochers, guitar and vocals.
      The Block Party is an open party from 7-10 p.m. Admission is free. The Caring Community Committees sponsor alcohol and drug free events for residents in most Franklin County Towns.


      This Sunday, Northwestern Medical Center presents the Champlain Echoes in their first Got Milk Summer Sounds appearance in Taylor Park. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free.
      Vermont's premiere female barbershop touring company, three times the International Harmony Women's Barbershop champions, the Champlain Echoes have compounded chords for almost 40 years. Barbershop singing and Jazz are the two recognized American musical art forms. The unique sound comes from the singers' close, four-part a capella harmony. Their diverse repertoire always includes toe-tapping, finger-snapping choreography.
      40 voices strong, the Champlain Echoes are actually 10 superb barbershop quartets. Their first set will be Forties and Jazz with a Glenn Miller medley and Bad Al's Jazz Emporium. After the intermission, the Chorus will sing an eclectic mix of favorites such as Beautiful Baby and San Francisco Bay Blues. Two of the featured quartets in the second set are Charisma (Pat Heise, Carol Hathaway, Sally Boutin, and Anne Nichols) and The Troublemakers (Becky Senesec, Vicki Ferris, Nancy L'Ecuyer, and Carol Hollenbeck).
      Barbershop companies like the Echoes donate their time for concerts and contribute their fees to medical research. "We sing to find a cure for autism," Becky Senesec said.
      Before and during the concert, the Foster Grandparent program will hold a delightful ice cream social. Meet some old friends and make new ones as you picnic in Taylor Park.
      Got Milk Summer Sounds in St Albans are presented by the Dairy Farmers of Vermont, the City of St Albans, and the All Arts Council of Franklin County, and sponsored by select St Albans Attorneys, Main Street Merchants and Businesses, Northwestern Medical Center, the St Albans New Car Dealers, and the St Albans Area Realtors.
      The rain site is the Congregational Church in St Albans. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont.


      The annual North Hero Pipers' Gathering will fill the North Hero Town Hall, this Saturday through Monday. Saturday features the Ceilidh and dance. A Ceilidh (pronounced KAY-lee) is a gathering for folk music and song. Sunday is the Grand Piping Concert by the instructors and special guests. There will be French pipes, hurdy gurdy, and plenty of early music to go around.
      Workshops and demonstrations by Benedict Koehler, Mike MacNintch, Jim McGillivray, David Quinn, and many others will punctuate the three-day weekend. The program also includes professional instruction on Irish pipes by Jerry O'Sullivan and Al Purcell; Scottish Smallpipes by Gary West and Iain Mac Harg; Northumbrian pipes by Dick Hensold and Ian Lawther; and English pipes by the Goodacre Brothers.
      This festival also features international vendors and pipe makers including Bruce Childress, Mark Cushing, Michael Dow, Seth Gallagher, Julian Goodacre, Michael Mac Harg, Hamish Moore, Celtic Fire, and Andy's Front Hall.
      Check out Celtic Fire or e-mail for more information.


      An exhibit of paintings from the recent Can Do Art III workshop opens with a public reception Monday afternoon (August 28) in the City Elementary School Gallery. The Gallery is a skylit space next to the cafeteria. VSA-Arts Vermont and Northwestern Counseling and Support Services/Developmental Services (NCSS/DS) sponsored the eight week workshop led by Fairfield artist Gail Salzman. This important program makes the arts accessible to people of differing abilities.
      Called Drawing and Painting from Nature, the class "started by looking at flowers and animals," Gail said. "Some of the participants freely express the joy of color and shape and texture and others concentrated on telling specific visual stories painting pictures of plants and animals that they have observed and enjoyed."
      The artists developed a wider variety of techniques as they learned to layer one color over another, and work more with compositional elements. Some paintings may again appear abstract, but they are strongly representative to the artists.
      The artists include Hilda Bonnett, Robert Deming, Teresa Duggento, Dorothy Johnson, Susan Lagrow, Patrick Loiselle, Michael Longe, Andrea Magnan, Francis Parah, Christine Sanders, Joel Surrell, Mary Lou Tracey, and Sherrie Trombley. Hilda Bonnett, Andrea Magnan, and Christine Sanders also participated in the spring workshop, Painting Your Personal Stories.
      "The atmosphere in room was wonderful," Gail said. "The positive creative energy in the art room is infectious. People leave the room infused with optimism." Gail leaves each session "ready to grab a paintbrush and start spreading color around." That's a good sign for such a colorful, bold, energetic exhibit that "cures the rainy day blues."
      The artists will host a public reception at St Albans City Elementary School on Monday, 10-11 a.m. The public is invited to this free exhibit. The paintings will remain on display through September 25; the City School Gallery is open to the public 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. This is a great opportunity to come to the school for a "grown up" program.
      City Feed and Lumber, Sherwin Williams Paints, Newton's Decorating Center helped with paint rollers and large brushes. Fonda Group donated all of the heavy large paper. St Albans City Elementary School donates work and exhibit space. Interested artists may call Kelly Errion (802.524.6555, extension 462), the coordinator of the project in Franklin County, for info.


FRANKLIN--Rick and the Ramblers are winding up the 2000 State Park Tour at Lake Carmi State Park on Saturday (August 26), 4-6 p.m.


      This week, we continue to explore the museums and galleries of two more United Nations countries.
      Romania's leading art museum, the National Museum was founded in 1948 to house many collections including the former Royal Collection in the nation's capital. It provides a comprehensive view of Romanian art from the early Middle Ages to the present. The site includes Collection Highlights, Future Plans and an exhibits Calendar.
      Located in the center of St Petersburg, Russia, the State Hermitage Museum owns five exquisite buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries. The Hermitage collections include over three million items that represent the development of world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. The Museum is now creating a digital mirror of that collection. The site is an IBM Corporate Community Relations project with the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. It allows visitors to experience these masterpieces from anywhere in the world using IBM Digital Library technology.


      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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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2000 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium.