ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 21, 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.

Programming note: we are changing the CoffeeHouse to a new date and time in January.
Watch this space for details!


      The nine-voice Vermont choir Counterpoint begins a three-performance Christmas program in northern, central and southern Vermont this evening at UVM. Counterpoint features sopranos Claire Hungerford of St Albans and Colleen Flynn Campbell, altos Louise deCormier, Linda Radtke, and Melissa Chestnut-Tangermann, tenor Roger Grow, basses Piero Bonamico and Brett Murphy, and is directed by composer-conductor and VSO Chorus Director Robert deCormier.
      The program is Christmas carols from around the world; it features Robert deCormier's own arrangement of Away in the Manger plus popular music such as The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy and early music including Hodie Christus Natusest by Polanc.
      "We're also doing a mixture of carols from the southwest in Spanish and English, an Austrian carol, and a Puerto Rican carol," Claire said. Tom Toner, percussion, John Muratore, guitar, Cynthia Huard, piano, and Tor Shekerjian, flute, will accompany the chorus. There will be a sing along, so bring your own voices.
      A poignant Wealdon Trio features Claire, Colleen, and Melissa. "It tells the story of a family who has no food and no money at Christmas time and wonders how can people sing carols and be so happy," Claire said. "it comes around to 'He was as poor as us, but He watches over us and we will survive.'"
      The Counterpoint Christmas program starts tonight in the UVM Recital Hall on the Redstone campus at UVM, Friday at the Barre Opera House, and Saturday in the Unitarian Church in Rutland. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $14 and are available at the door(s).

      Be sure to tune to your local Public Radio station on Christmas night at 8 p.m. Counterpoint will be featured on National Public Radio (NPR) with choral groups from around the United States. Claire Hungerford of St Albans should have one of the solo pieces.


      The bi-monthly AAC CoffeeHouse is filled to the brim with new opportunities for good music, gossip, and "show-and-tell" at the Kept Writer in St Albans tonight at 7 p.m.
      The Kept Writer and The All Arts Council sponsor an acoustic Open Mike Night with the best new artists in Vermont on the third Thursday of every month. Admission is always free, but donations are appreciated. Call Jedd or Launie (527-6242) for info.
      Programming note: both AAC CoffeeHouses will change to a new date and time in January. Watch this space for details.


      The Kept Writer has a regular poetry reading on the first Sunday of each month. Starting in January, Jedd and Launie will also host a new Writer's Workshop on the other Sunday afternoons.
      The idea is to bring work, read some work to other writers, and critique work "We're going to be getting writers together and letting them define how they would like it to be," Launie said.
      This will be a self directed workshop. "We don't see this as a standup reading," Launie said. "We'll push two or three tables together and let people do their thing."
      The workshop is for anyone who puts words in a row: novelists, textbook writers, poets, short story writers, and even arts columnists. "Bring what you are working on and want opinions on," Launie said. There will be homework. Writers should bring current work to the Kept Writer Workshops on Sundays at 2 p.m. starting January 14. Call Jedd or Launie (527-6242) for info.


ON THE RADIO--WWSR-AM 1420 is broadcasting continuous Christmas carols all week. On Saturday morning from 8-10 a.m., they will present the original radio broadcasts of It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and Miracle on 34th Street.

ST ALBANS--The Kept Writer invites the community in for Caroling on Friday at 7 p.m.

ST ALBANS--Singer/songwriter and St Albans native John Nichols returns for the holidays to read A Child's Christmas in Wales and some excerpts from A Christmas Carol on Christmas eve at the Kept Writer at 2 p.m.


"SMALL WORKS" THE 24th NATIONAL EXHIBITION AT HARPER COLLEGE (December 31--I couldn't resist)--National juried show of artwork no more than 20" in largest dimension. All media except jewelry, film and video. Download the prospectus from here.

NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS (December 31)--Annual competition honors photographers whose talent and expertise are unmistakably evident in the images they produce. Over 50 photographic categories. Click here for info.

SOLO ART EXHIBITIONS (January 10) --Illinois Central College will host solo shows for two galleries. Applications should include a letter of interest, resume, artist statement, show proposal & 20 slides. Barbara Gingell-Farris, Gallery Curator, Art Department, Illinois Central College, 1 College Drive, East Peoria IL 61635-0001

BEECHER CENTER DIGITAL ART COMPETITION (January 31)-- 1st prize $1,000; 2nd prize $500; 3rd prize $250. Work must be original and have been created by using a computer. Artists may submit work as slides or on disk Winning entries will be on display for 6 months at the Beecher Center. Click here for info

FLORIDA OUTDOOR SCULPTURE COMPETITION (January 31)--This joint project of the Polk Museum of Art and the City of Lakeland is a Public Art exhibition in downtown Lakeland. 10 works will receive $1,000 to cover transportation. $3,000 Best of Show. Non-refundable entry fee. Prospectus and details from 863-688-7743 ext 286 or click here.


      Finding noncommercial links is ofttimes difficult. This week, I searched on "Christmas art" + national + gallery -sale - screen saver and found a page of Christmas related art links on Australia's Cultural Network. Here you can find links to Botticelli's Cestello Annunciation, nine nativity paintings, Raphael's Epiphany and some Australian Christmas images from the National Library of Australia.


      I caught up with Santa Claus shortly after the Santa Train. Santa (often known as Mike McCarthy) is also Chief of Police in Swanton Village. Mike is on his second generation as Santa. "I've been doing it for over twenty years for family and for co-workers' kids and people whose children are now grown and have kids of their own," he said.
CURRENTLY READING: "Santa reads cop novels," he said with a laugh, "as long as they have a good story." He particularly likes James Patterson, author of the Alex Cross mysteries.
VERMONT AUTHOR: Archer Mayer who writes good stories featuring Brattleboro's Joe Gunther.
RE-READ: Mike has always been interested in the War Between the States. "Anything on the Civil War," he said.
BEST CHRISTMAS BOOK: Polar Express by by Chris Van Allsburg. "It's a great kid's story of a magic train going to the North Pole." Mike has three sons.


      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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