ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 9, 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.

      Stop in for the AAC CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and workshops. We come together on the first Thursday for a booked musical performance and an art exhibit at Simple Pleasures in St Albans. On the third Thursday come to the Kept Writer in St Albans for acoustic Open Mike Night featuring music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.


      Montgomery author Joe Sherman will ponder the changes Vermont has experienced and read from his book, Fast Lane on a Dirt Road: A Contemporary History of Vermont, next Wednesday at the A.A. Brown Library in Richford.
      Never meant to be a history, the book is "a memoir of my family and some of the larger events that went on around us," Joe said. Its appeal is personal. "It's not great history, but I touch on environmental legislation, that growth of sprawl, the decline of agriculture, and the growth of ski business and tourism, those well known forces of change here in the last few decades. My book tends to give them a face because I deal with individuals and follow the issues over several decades."
      Joe Sherman likes the issues that impact the future.
      "Fast Lane is really about change in rural America and some of the forces that are bringing about those changes." Like most reporters, he followed the money and discovered rural places that have been robbed of their power and vitality. "We like them as sinks for nostalgia, places to get away to, but rural America has lost its sense of leadership throughout the Twentieth Century."
      For new writers, he said, "It's such a rough way to make a living. Write a lot so you get a style and write about things that move you emotionally. Don't plan on making a living until you get very good and pretty lucky. Maybe the people who do the best writing are the ones who don't go into it for the money. They go into it because they like the work and like telling the story and lo and behold suddenly somebody pays them."
      If he had it to do all over again, "I'd be a painter or a performance artist. In some ways, I'm a better talker than I am a writer. I like to blab."
      That should make it a fun evening.
      Joe Sherman appears November 15 at the A.A. Brown Public Library in Richford at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Joe's current novel, Snow in Hell, is an environmental thriller that his agent is offering for sale to publishers now.


      The lives of Bakersfield dancer/weaver Carol Crawford and Fairfax visual artist Gail Salzman have many parallels. They both have two grown sons, both live in the country, both do artwork in near-isolation, both are teachers, both love to sing and dance. Their performance art piece, Fell Line, is a visual and movement improvisation presented as one of six performances in New Works Revealed, in the intimate FlynnSpace tomorrow evening.
      Gail will create an abstract painting behind a 7x12 translucent screen while Carol dances in front of the screen."It's mostly about how gesture becomes line and line becomes form," Gail said. The line is the key player in this piece, the essential thread of their creative lives and the foundation of their art forms. As a weaver Carol cris-crosses millions of lines; artist Gail paints within and around lines. "We're using it as a metaphor of the changing nature of our connections in our art and in our lives."
      New Works Revealed also features five other very short dance, visual art, and theater pieces by Vermont artists and dances by members of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in the newest theater at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. Many of the artists will showcase part of a larger piece or the seed of a new work. The Clayplain Dance Project, co-directed by Jane Elin and Glennis Gold, is a newly formed company from Addison County. Neth Urkiel-Taylor will perform an excerpt from his Dance Hall History project. Gail Marlene performs Thinly Veiled, a solo theater piece that explores issues of marriage and female identity. Tracy Penfield created and performs Wedding Dresses, a story dance with Ellen Powell on acoustic bass and Phil Thorne on clarinet.
      Liz Lerman is world renowned for bringing people of all ages into dance. Her pioneering techniques in the Dance Exchange use dance and movement for teaching, for personal expression, and for wellness.
      New Works Revealed will be performed tomorrow at 8 p.m. in the FlynnSpace, 149 Main Street, in Burlington. A critical response discussion will follow the production. seating is limited, so Gail recommends calling ahead for tickets. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students at the Flynn Regional Box Office. Call the Flynn (802-86FLYNN) for info.


      The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange is now completing its four-year Vermont residency with the Hallelujah Project at the Flynn Center next March.
      Liz and other members of the Dance Exchange will hold movement and chorus workshops in Burlington to develop the multimedia dance Hallelujah, a work that celebrates Vermont history, stories, and personal experiences.
      Three free dance workshops take place this weekend, and the Dance Exchange needs Franklin County singers for a chorus to complement one dance piece.
      This event is part of a series of collaborations with Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and the St. Albans Area Community Arts Network, funded by a four-year grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund.
Singers wanted for Hallelujah Project: Chorus Workshop/Rehearsal
Saturday, Nov. 11, 11-12:30pm at Flynn Center Gallery, 147 Main Street in Burlington
Free of charge; call the Flynn at 652-4539 to register or for more information. Open to participants of all levels, ages 8 and up.

Community members/ Dancers for Hallelujah Project:
Movement Workshops/ Rehearsals
Saturday, Nov. 11, 1 - 4pm at UVM Dance Studio at Patrick Gym in Burlington
Sunday, Nov. 12, 12 - 4pm at UVM Dance Studio at Patrick Gym in Burlington
Monday, Nov. 13, 5:30 - 9pm at Flynn MainStage in Burlington
Free of charge; call the Flynn at 652-4539 to register or for more information. Open to participants of all levels, ages 8 and up.


ST ALBANS--The Kept Writer has another busy weekend planned. Peter Matthews plays classical guitar Friday at 7 p.m., then Nick, Cole, Pat and Calvin, the no-name band from BFA that wowed the crowd at the AAC the open mike perform again Saturday at 7 p.m.

ST ALBANS--The St Albans Free Library Fall Film Festival concludes Monday November 13 at the Welden Theater.
      In an Affair of Love (Une Liaison l'Amour), an unnamed man and woman find each other through the personal ads. This very European film examines the intimacy of a dalliance that progresses from a sexual fantasy to a mature relationship. The R-rated drama is in French with English subtitles. Monday, November 13, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $4 with any valid library card

JEFFERSONVILLE--Join Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith for an historical live theater performance of The Shipman Family Dilemma of 1881 in the Cambridge Elementary School auditorium on Tuesday, November 14, at 7 p.m. Co-Sponsored by Cambridge Arts Council and the Vermont Council on the Humanities, admission is free for this family event but donations are appreciated. e-mail Margo Rome for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Cambridge CoffeeHouse presents Open Mike Night (acoustic) at Dinner's Dunn at the Windridge Bakery on Wednesday, November 15, 7-9 p.m. The Cambridge Arts Council sponsors the CoffeeHouse on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Admission is free but donations are appreciated.e-mail for info.


      The ongoing exploration of the museums and galleries of two more United Nations countries.
      Visit a series of precis of Swedish culture with well-known artists, musicians and writers.
      The commercial site ArtNet Geneva offers browsing in online exhibit space for their own artists plus space for independent artists to present their work. Sylvie Verschoote is artist of the month. The site is in English and French.


      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).
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