ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 5 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 19, 2001


      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 first and third Thursday 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.


      Tomorrow, on the 32nd anniversary of man's first step on the Moon, we also celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sterling Weed's birth.
      Join Mr. Weed and the Imperial Orchestra in a free outdoor concert in Taylor Park, Friday at 3 p.m. This is an event that comes but once in a century.
      Happy Birthday, Sterling!


      Concert goers can choose as Summer Sounds moves to both ends of the County with events in Highgate and Richford this Sunday. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair and maybe an umbrella as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities.

HIGHGATE--On Sunday evening, The Highgate Manor presents Redwing in the Summer Sounds series in Highgate Municipal Park at 7 p.m.
      Vermont's all-star acoustic trio, Redwing combines the vocal harmonies and fine instrumental work of singer/songwriter Patti Casey, violinist David Gusakov, and string wizard and mandolinist Will Patton of Fairfax. The trio delivers original material as well as exceptional covers of traditional bluegrass, Celtic, gospel, folk, and swing.
      Patti Casey won the 2000 Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Contest, won the Ray Markland toolbox in the 2001 Prairie Home Companion's Talent from Towns Under 2000 series, and performs across the country. David Gusakov has played with Emmylou Harris and John Denver and has belonged to the Vermont Symphony Orchestra for over 25 years. He is familiar in Highgate for his appearances with Banjo Dan and the Midnight Plowboys. String wizard Will Patton draws on jazz, gypsy, and Brazilian music. He has performed with Mose Allison and the Mothers of Invention, and opened for Bonnie Raitt and Van Morrison.
      Just before the concert, stop by for Dessert in the Park at the Vermont State Colleges social starting at 6:30 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends, think about going back to college, and eat some delicious desserts.

RICHFORD--The Davis Park Gazebo will rock out as Blouin's IGA, the Crossing, the Franklin Lamoille Bank, and Kaytek, Inc., present Tin Pan Alley in the Summer Sounds series at 7 p.m. on Sunday.
      Tin Pan Alley backs their pulsating guitar/hard driving rock with original lyrics and sound from Duane Carleton, guitar and vocals, Steve Mulholland, bass and vocals, and Jim Parvis, drums. This high energy trio from the capitol region of New York State has toured with Gov't Mule, opened for Ghost Riders of the Purple Sage, and play about 275 shows in New England each year. Their current CD is "Vegas."
      The Richford Cub Scout social starts at 6:30 p.m., while the band tunes up, and continues through the concert.

      The 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 bonus series presented by the Town of Richford and the AAC, and sponsored by the Franklin business community, a select group of Fairfax businesses, Blouin's IGA, the Crossing, the Franklin Lamoille Bank, and Kaytek, Inc.
      The rain sites are the Highgate United Methodist Church and the Town Hall in Richford. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont.


      Exit Stage Left is back! Their summer production, A Bad Year for Tomatoes by John Patrick, opens tonight at St Albans City Elementary School.
      "There's a lot inside jokes about Vermont," Peter Murray said.
      In A Bad Year for Tomatoes, Actress Myra Marlow, played by Kay King, relocates to rural Beaver Haven, Vermont, to get away from the Hollywood hubbub. Although Myra wants a quiet life to write her memoirs, nosey neighbors spoil her solitude. She invents a mad sister to keep callers away. The story degenerates with hilarious neighborly concern over the mad sister's murder and more. Playwright John Patrick also wrote Teahouse for the August Moon.
      "Teetotaler" Cora Gump is played by Jennifer Stockwell, Deb Bryan plays Reba Harper (think Baldwin sisters from the Waltons), 15-year-old Amanda Bryan plays Willa Mae Wilcox, Steve Irving plays Tom, and Jeff Hartmann plays the Sheriff. Peter Murray plays the manure salesman (fitting because he also does the P.R. for the play).
      The entire cast said, "Matt Peck is an incredible director. It's been a blast working with him."
      The play opens tonight and continues through July 21. Curtain time is 7 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2. Tickets are $6 and available at the door. For more information, call director Matt Peck (527-1937) or Peter Murray (434-5912).


FRANKLIN--Vermont State Colleges and the Vermont State Parks host the Wood's Tea Company at Lake Carmi State Park in Franklin tonight at 7 p.m.
      The Vermont-based Wood's Tea Company is a musical group that defies categorization but can be categorized as a bluegrass-Celtic-sea chant-folkie group with a dozen instruments (including the tin whistle), three or four or five voices, and some dry New England humor.
      Rumor has it they might even sing "Happy Birthday" to your favorite arts columnist.


7TH ANNUAL GULF COAST NATIONAL JURIED ART and PHOTO COMPETITION (August 1)--Paintings or photographs only. All work must be original and ready for hanging with wire (no sawtooth hangers) and must not exceed 48"x48" framed size. Cash prizes. Jury fee. SASE to: Texas Artists Museum, 3501 Cultural Center Dr, Port Arthur TX 77642
SCULPTURE EXHIBITION (August 10)--Open to regional artists with a theme of "Housework." Send 5-10 slides, resume, statement, price list and SASE to Encircled by Art, Young & Constantin Gallery, Box 882, Wilmington VT 05363 or call 802-646-2515


      The Vermont State Colleges, Missisquoi and Islands Region, and the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation have teamed up with a schedule of arts and musical events throughout the summer. This month, in addition to the Wood's Tea Company, they will present Sambatucada! and storyteller Sharon Lee in the state parks in our region. VSC will also sponsor the Labor Day Summer Sounds concert in St Albans Bay park.


      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.