ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 14 , 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 Art of PMS is a new show of Vermont artists. There will be an opening reception this Sunday at the Belfry Restaurant.
      Paule Gingras (the "P") will exhibit surrealistic acrylics, Melissa Haberman (the "M") has uplifting works in oil, and Sandra Vaillancourt (the "S") will show lighthearted acrylics and watercolors.
      "All our work is very different and very spiritual," said Melissa. The artists are all painters inspired by the winter, by nature, and by life. These three women came together, laughing, creating art, and living life. Melissa and Sandra are teachers and Paule owns the Gift Gallery.
      The opening reception is at 3-5 p.m. on Sunday at the Belfry on Route 242 in Montgomery Center The work will remain at the Belfry through the month of July.


BAKERSFIELD--The Bakersfield Historical Society will present a Summer Solstice Celebration next Thursday to start the summer music season off with a bang. John Cassel, the Lost Nation Valley Band, Tyrone Shaw and Friends, Luke Willey, Will Patton and the Spiders, Ben Patton, and Dave and Janice Carr will play continuously from 3 p.m. until the sun disappears at the Bakersfield ball field on June 21.

ALL AROUND FRANKLIN COUNTY--Summer Sounds, the county's premiere outdoor concert series is right around the corner with new performers, new venues, and even new sponsors. The series opens with Mister French on Sunday, June 24, in Highgate. The complete schedule is shown on the Summer Sounds page.
      For the eleventh season of Summer Sounds we have 15 free live concerts lined up for every Sunday evening throughout the summer. Concerts always alternate between the Highgate Municipal Park and Taylor Park in St Albans. The popular series also places individual concerts in Fairfax, Franklin, Richford, and St Albans Bay.
      The lineup includes a medley of a capella, bluegrass, classical, country, folk, pop, and classic rock-n-roll. Each summer concert is free. Settle in on your own blanket or lawn chair and enjoy outdoor family music. Bring your own bug spray.
      In a new venue, blues singer Nobby Reed formally starts our new relationship with St Albans Town as Summer Sounds offers concerts at the beginning and the end of the summer in the Bay Park. Country star Amy Gallatin and Stillwater will be there for Labor Day. Singer/songwriter Carol Abair was a finalist in the Vermont state song contest. She will be joined by Craig Anderson, Karen McFeeters, and John Gibbons in Highgate. North Country Fair will bring a 5 piece Celtic/Canadian/French/River Dance troupe for the first time to St Albans. The Burlington Ecumenical Gospel Choir is our first offering in Highgate. Singer/songwriter Josh Brooks has his own show in Fairfax. He will be joined by Jim LaClair. The Zucchini Brothers, PBS family entertainers, will finish the season in Highgate.
      "Free" concerts are expensive to stage. The six towns, local business sponsors, and the All Arts Council hire the bands, create the publicity, and set up all 15 shows. Summer Sounds also welcomes two new sponsors to the series: the Highgate Manor and Vermont Colleges. They join Chevalier Drilling, Dexter Products, Fairfax businesses, Franklin businesses, Main Street Merchants in St Albans, NMC, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies, Richford retailers, St Albans attorneys, St Albans new car dealers, St Albans Realtors, the Tyler Place, and our media sponsors, the Buyer's Digest, County Courier, and WWSR/WLFE. These businesses need your support to continue. Please remember to thank the hosts and patronize the sponsors.
      Besides the music, food is a big part of the fun of an outdoor concert. Local community groups will host each event with special activities, family fun, bake sales, grilled hot dogs, and even ice cream socials to make every Sunday a great family holiday in the park. This year, the Boy Scouts, BPW, the Congregational Church, Fairfax Bike Path Committee, Foster Grandparents, Franklin County Humane Society, Girl Scouts, Highgate Cares, Highgate Library, Highgate Methodist Church, Highgate Historical Society, Holy Trinity, and Modern Woodmen host the concerts in each town. Watch this space for the details.
      Summer Sounds concerts are always in a Town park, always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., and always free. The rain sites are the Methodist Church and/or the Highgate Manor, the Congregational Church in St Albans, and the Town Hall in Franklin. The rain sites will be announced in Fairfax, Richford, and St Albans Bay.


WILL'S CREEK SURVEY (June 30)--Allegheny Arts Council national juried exhibition for all media except installation, performance, or film. $5500+ awards and purchases. Entry fee. e-mail for info.
SPOOKY EXHIBITIONS (June 30)--Forest Hills, a 150 year old cemetery in Boston has two upcoming juried outdoor exhibitions which draw inspiration from their unique historical and cultural environment. They want installation work or sculptural pieces which hang from branches, wrap around trunks, or are sited in relationship to trees for Spirits in the Trees. They also invite artists to loan existing work or create new work for a year-long exhibit on their new Sculpture Path. Click here or call (617)524-0128 ext 22 for info
ANNUAL INLAND NEW ENGLAND (June 30)--Encircled by Art is open to regional artists whose work deals with the New England landscape (non-coastal) No fees. Call (802)646-2515 for info.
SANTA FE WRITERS PROJECT (July 15)--offers cash awards and a review by an established agent. Awards total $5,300. for details, plus tips and resources for writers. e-mail for info.
ANNUAL POETRY COMPETITION (July 31)--The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art will select two poets for chapbook publication and readings. Entry Fee $10. Click here for complete guidelines.


SUMMER AT GRACE--North Country Fair will perform at Grace Church next Wednesday, June 20. This traditional quintet plays Irish, Scottish, French Canadian, and Appalachian songs and tunes in a Northern Style to capture the folk heritage of Northern New England.
      This is the fourth season of Summer Music at Grace. Since last year, Grace Church has restored its 1833 Erben pipe organ, the oldest known pipe organ in New England. "It sounds great!" said Beth Crane. Wednesday, June 20, at 7 p.m. in Grace Church, 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon Creek. Call 326-4603 for info.


      After 15 years of bringing Afro-Caribbean music and culture to Vermont, the Vermont Reggae Festival committee has decided to cancel the 2001 festival to refocus on its mission and goals. The future of the Festival will be determined by those who attend meetings and by those who contribute to outreach and community events.


      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.