ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 1 , 2002


      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 second and fourth Wednesday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and workshops. We come together on the second Wednesday for a booked musical performance and an art exhibit at Simple Pleasures in St Albans. On the fourth Wednesday 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.


      The Annual Meeting of the members of the All Arts Council of Franklin County will be held this evening at 7 p.m. in Conference Room 1 at the Northwest Medical Center in St Albans.
      Melissa Ewell, Lyle Glidden, secretary Anne Harper, Albert Perry, and treasurer Tim Stetson's terms as director expire in 2001. There are also five open position to be filled. Nominations will be taken from the floor.
      The Arts Council membership controls our programming and strategy. Members will report on major projects including the Rotary Home Show exhibit and our four festivals, and plan the future of the AAC. The Annual Report and more information about our activities are available online at
      The All Arts Council has three great challenges for 2001. We are still digging out from the Art Train financial losses, our actual membership has declined, and not enough volunteers are working on projects. At the same time, Franklin County wants more arts programs. We need your participation to continue art exhibits like the Rotary Home Show and Maple Festival, music programs like the Got Milk Summer Sounds, and technical assistance to other presenters like St Albans CAN! Please join us tonight.


      Expo 2001 will feature Art. The Rotary Club of St Albans will fill both handball courts of the Collins Perley Sports Complex with fine oil and watercolor paintings, photography, digital art, and sculpture. On one side, the Rotary has the largest exhibit of Fred Swan's work in a decade. On the other, the AAC will feature the best Franklin County artists. Artist Mary Harper and photographer April Henderson are among the AAC exhibitors. Most of their works will be available for sale.

      A Native Vermonter and part Native American, photographer April Henderson finds ample photographic opportunities here in Franklin County. She may tramp through the woods or drive the back roads.
      "I love the dewy grasses, flowers, and dawn silhouettes, but it's the abandoned railroad tracks, rusted barbed wire and peeling paint which offer real fertile ground," April said. She captures the cows and horses, and other objets we take for granted.
      The Vermont Department of Agriculture included April's work in Vermont Makes It Special. She has sold magazine covers and calendar photos. Her work is available at The Gift Gallery on North Main Street.

      Watercolor painter Mary Harper moved to the Florida Keys 17 years ago but she maintains a close, personal relationship to me (she's my mom).
      Like many artists, Mary has had a life full of other-than-art. She acquired a degree in English from Swarthmore, studied fashion design at Spring Garden, and chaired the Auxiliary for the hospital I was born in. After many years of, "When I have time, I'm going to paint," she really did have the time. She bought watercolors and went to work. She will show the two-piece Vermont Covered Bridge set and her new Red Peppers.
      Largely self-taught, Mary later studied with Connie Hauk and has taken a number of workshops. She is a member of the All Arts Council, the Florida Keys Art Guild, and the Florida Watercolor Society.
      She exhibits at the Bougainvillea House Gallery in Marathon, Florida, and with the AAC. Her works hang in many private collections throughout the United States.

      The All Arts exhibit at the Rotary Home Expo opens at 2 p.m. Friday, March 9 and continues through Sunday, March 11. Expo 2001 also features crafts, cooking, and cozy computers for the home, construction and home improvement exhibits to remake your castle or build a new one, and almost every form of recreation, from things to watch to things to do.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Cambridge CoffeeHouse presents singer/songwriter Gregory Douglass in an evening of music at the Cambridge CoffeeHouse at Dinner's Dunn at the Windridge Bakery on Wednesday, March 7, 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.


FAIRFAX MUSIC SESSION--Mark Sustic is leading acoustic instruments, and (mostly) traditional music at 1:30pm-4pm on Saturday at the Foothills Bakery. The program will continue on Saturdays through the Spring.

HALLELUJAH--Liz Lerman Dance returns to Burlington Saturday, March 10, for Hallelujah Community Day with movement, art, and history workshops plus a chance to "Dance with your Dog" and a parade. The six free activities will be lead by Vermont artists and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Mark your calendars.


      Crossroads Arts Council of Rutland is one of eight Local Arts Service Organizations in Vermont that we are visiting in our virtual tour of the online homes of arts groups, galleries and artists, film and theater sites, and musicians. Their brand new site has stage and film info, poetry, school programs and a new Flash movie.


      Mike and Lisa Thibault have been married 17 years, live in St Albans Town, and enjoy family time, travel, and camping. They both work in the family-owned Bob Thibault and Sons,.a St Albans appliance sales and service business that has exhibited in the Rotary Home Expo since the first show. "We keep the same spot each year and have the same routine," Lisa said.
CURRENTLY READING: They are both reading the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Lisa is also reading the novel Greece, inspirational love stories set in the mystery of today's Greece by Melanie Panagiotopoulos.
RE-READ: "My favorite book of all time is the Bible," Lisa said. "It's what God gave us for his plan for my life."
FAVORITE KIDS' BOOK: Mike and Lisa have two children, Jonathan, 14, and Sarah, 12. Lisa's choice is The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams Bianco. Mike likes the Hardy Boys series. "I got one for every birthday," he said.


      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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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2001 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.