ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 19 , 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 35th Vermont Maple Festival will be bigger than ever," said Maple Festival and Antique Show Chair Dennis Chrin. "There is more entertainment, more food, more art, and of course, more maple." The Maple Festival begins next Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29.
      St Albans City Hall will be jam-packed with good food and fine art on Saturday and Sunday as the Vermont Specialty Food Producers and the All Arts Council bring together a taste testing and an exhibit of works by Franklin County artists.
      Pottery sculptor Diana Herder Bennett will demonstrate hand building techniques in the City Hall AAC exhibit on Saturday, 12-3 p.m., and Sunday, 1-4 pm.. "I'll probably do some pinch pots, a coil piece, and continue work on a tree piece," Diana said.
      We will have painting, photography, sculpture, and original music from AAC member artists Eric Bataille, Bob Brodeur, Corliss Blakely, Connie Clay-Bickel, Alan DeMont, Josh Derner, Dan Green, Mary Harper, April Henderson, David Juaire, Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, Beth Maginn, Patrick Murphy, Ellen Fox Reardon, Meredith Roberts, and Wayne Tarr as well as newcomer (to us) Kate Ritz and more. The show will also feature works from the Elder Art program, impressionist works from VSA-Vermont, and an exhibit of upcoming young artists from area schools.
      Family entertainment is our theme all weekend. There are free shows at the Main Street stage plus two concerts at BFA, and a benefit weekend at the Kept Writer
      Starting at noon on Friday, April 27, the Main Street stage offers the Kids on the Block-Vermont; the BFA Chamber Singers, Turning Point, Tim Stetson and his Invisible Friends; and a preview of the Fiddlers Variety Show. Friday evening, the Maple Festival Youth Talent Show is held in the BFA Auditorium. This annual favorite brings together some of the most talented children in the County. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce.
      The Three Muses Weekend at the Kept Writer Cafe also opens Friday evening with performances by Colin Clary, Amanda Gustafson of Wide Wail, and The Most. This weekend of song, words, and art benefits the Abuse and Rape Crisis Center shelter project.
      The Saturday, April 28, lineup includes The Dares, the AAC Franklin County Performance Medley with the Roxy Dance Studio and the Maple Festival Talent Show winners, singer/songwriter Josh Brooks, the Green Mountain Cloggers, and the country music of South Junction. The Three Muses "Muse-ical" lineup at the Kept Writer includes Michele Choiniere; Karen McFeeters, John Gibbons and Craig Daniels; Jim Daniels; Josh Brooks; Michael Scott; Kate Barclay; and Patrick Fitzsimmons.
      The Fiddlers Variety Show in BFA Auditorium spotlights Canadian and American singers, dancers, comedians, pickers, cloggers, and fiddlers. Storyteller George Woodard will emcee.
      On Sunday, April 29, WLFE Disk Jockey Matt Henry warms up the Main Street Stage and leads into the 10K Maple Festival Parade. After the parade, Wit's End plays rock and roll music and the Green Mountain Wind Ensemble finishes the weekend with the classics. Story teller Peter Burns brings traditional and original tales, poetry and song to the Three Muses at the Kept Writer Cafe.


ST ALBANS-- The AAC and The Kept Writer present an open mike evening of acoustic music at the AAC CoffeeHouse next Wednesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. New work by AAC artist Alan Demont will be on exhibit. The artwork will remain at The Kept Writer through May.
      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.


KIDS CELEBRATE THE EARTH--The Flynndog's Second Annual Show is a multi media exhibit of art and writing by young artists. This show features all creatures great and small. The Flynndog is open to the public 10 am to 6 pm every day. This exhibit will remain through May 13. Young Franklin County artists are encouraged to participate.
      "The Flynndog is an accidental gallery," owner Bren Farrington said. After their first show at the Burlington Art Hop artists and guests in the community have encouraged the continuing exhibits. The gallery is named for John J. Flynn.
      An opening reception is Saturday afternoon, 1 to 3 p.m. Call 865-9292 for recorded info.

KITCHEN SESSIONS--St. Albans singer/songwriter and recording artist Michele Choiniere will lead the second of a series of traditional Franco-American Kitchen Sessions at the Kept Writer cafe/bookshop this Saturday afternoon.
      At this session, Michele will join her father Fabio and her mother Lucille and their guest artists to discuss the origins and development of traditional Franco-American music and song. They illustrate the music with vocals and instrumentals using traditional, and not so traditional, instruments. The sessions are co-sponsored by The Opera House at Enosburg Falls and the All Arts Council of Franklin County. For more information, contact the Opera House (933-6171), the All Arts Council (868 3351), or the Kept Writer (527 6242). Kitchen Sessions are free, but donations are always appreciated, at the Kept Writer, 5 Lake Street, 1-3 p.m.

PUBLIC RADIO--Patti Casey and David Gusakov of Redwing fame play Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion this Saturday evening. Franklin County's Will Patton will be in Italy.
      The Prairie Home Companion is broadcast locally on WVPR, 107.9 FM Saturday at 6 p.m.


      "The Americans of all nations at any time upon the earth have probably the fullest poetical nature," Walt Whitman wrote. April is National Poetry Month, a celebration of poetry among publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets world wide. Thousands participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.
      The Academy of American Poets invites us to celebrate National Poetry Month by nominating a poet for a stamp. The Academy itself has suggested Langston Hughes to mark the centenary of his birth in 2002. Their site has Postal Service guidelines, a list of twenty-two poets who have already appeared on U.S. postage stamps, the Top Ten nominated poets to date, and a nomination ballot.
      Today is a good day to read a poem or to write one.


      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.