ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 5, 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.


      Summer Sounds returns to Highgate as Dexter Products presents Vermont singer/songwriter Carol Leddy Abair in Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday at 7 p.m. The concerts are always in a Town park, always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., and always free.
      Carol is a comfortable, confident artist whose song My Home Is Vermont was a finalist and top vote getter in the Vermont state song competition. Her music ranges from the sounds of elemental Irish folk through acoustic folkie to a gospel/soul mix. She will be joined by the trio of Craig Anderson, John Gibbons, and Karen McFeeters.
      Carol grew up in a large musical family in Burlington (her brothers have also performed in Summer Sounds). She is a Registered Nurse at Fletcher Allen Health Care.
      Another skilled soloist, songwriter, and St Albans native, Karen McFeeters has performed with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra chorus; she has played her original music in the Taylor Park Concert In The Park series and on the Children's Miracle Network Festival of Trees. Guitar builder Craig Anderson and classical musician John Gibbons add harmony and depth.
      Carol Abair calls herself an aspiring songwriter and musician. "I wanted to write a timeless song," she said about My Home Is Vermont. She did. It has lyrics that remind us why we live here and a comfortable, smooth melody to make sure we stay.
      With songs like My Home, Frost, and Filling in the Spaces, she has arrived.
      Just before the concert, stop by for Dessert in the Park at the Highgate Cares social starting at 6:30 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends and eat some delicious desserts; don't forget to add an extra notch to your belt.
      Summer Sounds concerts in Highgate are presented by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and sponsored by Chevalier Drilling, Dexter Products, the Highgate Manor, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, and The Tyler Place.
      The rain site is the Highgate Methodist Church. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. Click here for more info about the Summer Sounds series and here for more info about Carol.


      After thunderstorms (the lightning struck St Albans Bay), several downpours, and serious winds attacked, the Bay Days Summer Sounds and the Fireworks were delayed until Monday evening.
      I need a little feedback. In the past, we have moved indoors when weather threatens and the audience diminishes. Last weekend we the Summer Sounds concert followed the Bay Days Fireworks to Monday night. The crowd packed the park. E-mail the All Arts Council to let us know whether you prefer to move a rained-out concert inside on Sunday or hold it on a different night.


      The A. A. Brown Public Library will host its annual Open House and Art show on Saturday. Beginning before the parade at 10 a.m., the book sale on the front porch and the art exhibit offer browsing time and "great deals," said Annette Goyne. The sale includes some new, donated books as well as old favorites. The Library also has an ongoing sale in the back room with 20 cent books (6 for one dollar).
      "We have some really good titles," said Hugette Lambert
There will be refreshments in the library following the parade.


      We are looking at Vermont arts groups and individual artists this year.
      A few years ago mason/sculptor Norman Benoit discovered he could carve faces from stone and mortar. Norman chose stone sculpture as a change from lifting heavy stones and working in Vermont's weather. He works with Indiana limestone, marble, mortar and clay and is a listed artist with the Vermont Arts Council.


      R. A. "Deck" and Alma Hromic Deckert are writers from Florida visiting Franklin County this week. Harper-Collins is releasing Alma's two-book fantasy series, Changer of Days. Their novel Letters From the Fire, the story of two people who never met but fell in love, was published in 1999.
      "Both of us read three or four books each week," Deck said.
CURRENTLY READING: A couple of titles from the book box in the back seat. Alma chose Samarkand by Amin Maalouf, a Lebanese author who writes in French. Maalouf created a fictional history of Omar Khayyam's manuscript of the Rubaiyaat to show Persia from a southwest Asian perspective.
      "Thomas Perry's 'Jane Whitefield' series is marvelous," Deck said. Jane Whitefield is a freelance "disappearer;" she helps people in a jam find safe haven.
THE BOOK TEST: "Alma told me 'Captain Correlli's Mandolin' [by Louis deBernieres] is excellent. I think it was a test," Deck said.
      "I'll read anything deBernieres writes," she said. Fortunately, Deck liked it, too.
MORE FROM THE BOX: Callahan's Key by Spider Robinson and The Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
      "'Summer' is not the same as 'The Poisonwood Bible'," they both 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.