ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 8 , 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.


      Expo 2001 will feature Art when the Rotary Club of St Albans opens the Collins Perley Sports Complex doors tomorrow. Seventh Generation Vermonter Corliss Blakely is the AAC's featured artist. Barre artist Fred Swan is the Rotary's featured artist in his largest exhibit in a decade.
      Both handball courts will overflow with fine oil and watercolor paintings and prints, photography, digital art, and sculpture. The AAC exhibit includes Eric Bataille, Diana Herder Bennett, Corliss Blakely Bob Brodeur, Connie Clay-Bickel, Alan DeMont, Dan Green, Mary Harper, April Henderson, David Juaire, Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, Beth Maginn, Joy Mashtare, Patrick Murphy, Carolyn Peters, and Wayne Tarr. The All Arts exhibit will also have three special focus areas: a raffle, student artists from area schools, and a Franklin County mural project. Most of the works will be available for sale.

      Featured Artist and AAC board member Corliss Blakely was born in St Albans. Her Vermont heritage shows in her detailed portraits of the homes, farms and antiques of her ancestors in northern Vermont.
      "I will introduce my new Roland giclee prints 'The Invitation' and the 'Berry Branch' at the show," she said. Her line of miniature oils is popular for executive desktops and she is working on new still lifes for a gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, and for the Gallery on the Green in Woodstock.
      Corliss studied at Vesper George Art School and The Museum School Of Fine Art in Boston. That academic experience gave her exceptional drawing skills. Yet, the intricately detailed paintings she is best known for evolve more from her natural experience and inner emotion than formal training. Although renowned for her watercolor paintings, "I'm exclusively working in oil now," she said.
      Corliss paints during the winter in her St Albans studio. In the summer she and her husband Barry live on Butler island in Lake Champlain where she gardens, paints outdoors, and enjoys nature.

      The AAC will raffle the Blue Cupboard, one of Corliss Blakely's latest limited edition prints, at the Home Expo. This limited edition still life captures an antique blue cupboard filled with antiques, vegetables and canned goods. It is framed in an antique gold hardwood frame.
      The raffle proceeds will help the AAC underwrite exhibits like this one. Tickets will be available exclusively at the Home Expo. We will draw the winner Sunday afternoon.
      The Franklin County mural design is a tightly guarded secret. A juried group of young artists will work on the main stage Saturday and Sunday to create a 20' "portable" mural. The finished work will be displayed at fairs, festivals, Town Halls, and public gatherings throughout Franklin County.

      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.
      The Rotary Club of St Albans is an organization of Franklin County business and professional leaders. They participate in and administer community service, educational, and sports programs and activities. The 2001 Home and Recreation Exposition is the Rotary's principle fund raiser.
      The All Arts exhibit at the Rotary Home Expo opens at 2 p.m. Friday, March 9 and continues through Sunday, March 11.


ST ALBANS-- WOW! performs everything from Elvis to Neil Diamond to Christian Country at the AAC CoffeeHouse at Simple Pleasures next Wednesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. Mark and Donna Shelton of WOW! are from Newport. (Special thanks to Sue Burton of the Upper Room for the booking.) The paintings of Meredith Roberts will be on exhibit. The artwork will remain at Simple Pleasures through April 11.
      The All Arts Council sponsors the CoffeeHouse with music, networking time, and "show-and-tell" at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. Admission is always free, but donations are appreciated.
      The stunning landscape portraits of AAC member David Juaire are featured this month at the Highgate Springs Welcome Center, immediately south of the U.S.-Canadian border crossing.


      Carolyn Peters won the Abenaki Website Artwork competition with the pencil sketch Basket Maker. "It shows a basket woven by a pair of gnarled, old hands with a little bit of a dress so you know it's a woman," she said. "The hands have worked for years and years, so you know how they have worn down." The AAC will exhibit Basket Maker at the Rotary Home Expo.
      The Abenaki Web Art contest was sponsored by the Abenaki Self Help Association and the Microbusiness Development Center for the new online trading post. It will help make local Abenaki artists successful starting a business and selling crafts.
      "We wanted a design or an image that captured the essence of the Abenaki people," Debbie Bergeron said.
      Carolyn uses primarily pencil and pastels for portraits that are in private collections in Scotland and around this country. She is entirely self-taught. She also plays guitar and sings at St Mary's Church.
      Second prize went to Robert Laroche of Swanton, for his sketch of an Indian Girl. The other winners included third place to Roger Livingston, Swanton, for the oil painting Sacred High Place; fourth place to Rachel May of St Johnsbury for a watercolor Three Indian Girls. Joy Mashtare of Swanton, received Honorable Mention for her watercolor Awaiting Spring. Rachel May also received Honorable Mention for her watercolor Two Native Riders.
      All the entries will appear on an Abenaki website soon.


      Using interactivity for literary ends, author Erik Loyer, 28, has abandoned the printed page for the Internet. Mr. Loyer is publishing his science-fiction novella Chroma as a 16-chapter serial on the World Wide Web.
      Chroma is not a basic e-book, with plain text on the white screen of your monitor or Palm Pilot. Here readers participate in the tale through Mr. Loyer's interactive animated images.
      In the third chapter, online this week, reader/viewers sort of participate in a swirl of brightly colored numbers and letters as a character reads his lines as a voiceover above electronic music. It does not (yet) swallow up the reader nor offer active imaginary participation, but it could be a look at what is to come.


      Robin Austin of Earthly Joy Statuary will be exhibiting in the Rotary Expo this weekend with concrete statuary from some of her 400 molds. "I've loved gardens my whole life," she said. She plans to start a full time business; "the statuary is just the first step. I would eventually like have gazebos, wood structures, a school, and a waterfall-pond business. in a store. I want to design gardens for people. I do the surveys with Steve, so I would take the transit out to make a site plan for people."
      The mother of two grown children has worked for Steve Brooks Surveying for 14 years.

CURRENTLY READING: Home Landscaping-Northeast Region by Roger Holmes and Rita Buchanan. "All winter I've been studying my garden books" she said. "I've got everything from the Time Life series to Building Gazebos. I'd like to expand in one of these areas."

VERMONT AUTHOR: One of the books I finished this winter was On the Crown Point Road (here in Vermont). If people are interested in a trail or in tracing history, that military trail has been documented and monumented.

FAVORITE WESTERN: All of Louis L'Amour.

KIDS BOOKS TO RE-READ: She just finished the Harry Potter series which she called absolutely fabulous. "I read a book a week to the kids for about 13 years," she said. They're both away at college now.


      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.


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      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.