ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 5 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 18, 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 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 Friends of the Opera House at Enosburg Falls present the 9th Annual Talent Search on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Opera House. This showcase for talented area amateur performers also helps raise funds for the ongoing operation of the Opera House itself.
      The autumn tradition attracts participants from across Vermont with a great hall, appreciative audience, bragging rights, and cash awards for first place ($100), second place ($75), and third place ($50) plus Honorable Mention ($25). Contestants appear in either the Junior Division (age 14 and under) or Adult Division (everybody older than that). By tradition, the adult division winners cannot return to compete, but they do reappear. Last year's first place winners Riley Kempton and Emily Burbank and 1995 winner Sarah Jo Willey will emcee the event.
      The performers include a variety of vocalists and instrumentalists with violin, clarinet, and keyboards well represented as well as artists, jugglers, dancers, and generally funny people.
      Tickets will be available at the door but I recommend getting your ducats today, not only for the discount but also because the show usually sells out. General admission is $9 for adults, $7.50 for students and seniors, and $5 for children. Advance tickets save you a buck at the Merchants Bank, Spear's Pharmacy in Enosburg, and Swanton Rexall. Call 933-6171 or Click here for more info.


      An Open House will benefit the national September 11 Fund at the St Albans American Legion, Post 1, tomorrow evening. Popular singer and disk jockey Valerie Chagnon will donate the entertainment. She and a growing list of other local artists plan songs, good guitar picking, bagpipes, and even spinning some well known tunes with her DJ setup. "100% of the proceeds will go to the fund through the United Way, "she said.
      Ms. Chagnon, now 41, won the True Value Country Showdown in 1995 and 1998. She sang with John Conway's Band in the regional Showdown in Massachusetts, and has performed in the Summer Sounds concert series and in the recent benefit at the Collins Perley Sports Center. She is also a regular volunteer entertainer in local nursing homes and at the senior center.
      "I've been fortunate through the showdowns to sing around New England," she said.
      The author of about 70 original songs including 20 gospel numbers, she is now in the long process of making a Christian CD and working with other local artists on a benefit CD that will include her song, The Park. That CD is expected to be ready in time for Christmas giving.
      Mother of three, grandmother of one, Ms. Chagnon lives in Franklin with two of her daughters, Shauna and Mariah. She works at Ben & Jerry's Homemade as a maintenance planner.
      The Legion will have a cash bar and food. "There will be raffles, dancing, snacking, and a generally good old time," she said. "We want to have a great crowd."
      The Open House will be held in American Legion, in the new building near Paquin Motors and Eveready tomorrow evening from 7-11 p.m. Admission is free for all and donations accepted at the door.


ST ALBANS-- The AAC and The Kept Writer present an open mike evening of acoustic music at the AAC CoffeeHouse next Wednesday, October 24, at 7 p.m. The paintings of XX will be on exhibit. The artwork will remain at The Kept Writer through
      The paintings of AAC member Eric Bataille are featured this month at the Highgate Springs Welcome Center, immediately south of the U.S.-Canadian border crossing.
      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.


HANDCRAFTED (October 29)--$1,600 in prizes for a juried exhibition of ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood at the Rocky Mount Arts Center in North Carolina. e-mail for guidelines.
CALL FOR ENTRIES (November 1)-- The Art Department of Sinclair Community College seeks proposals for exhibits on a four to six week rotation in the 2003 exhibition season for four separate, professionally designed galleries. Sinclair provides return shipping or an honorarium Click here (check out the Art Department site) or e-mail for info.
THE G. S. SHARAT CHANDRA PRIZE FOR SHORT FICTION and THE JOHN CIARDI PRIZE FOR POETRY (November 30)--BkMk Press of the University of Missouri-Kansas City offers $1,000 and publication. Click here or e-mail for guidelines.
ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL (November 10)--50 artists, 2500 visitors. Spend Thanksgiving in St Thomas, VI.. Entry fee. Click here for info
SCULPTURE COMPETITION (November 28)--The Urunday Foundation and the government of Chaco, Argentina, have organized Outdoors Contests of Sculptures since 1988. This juried online contest will produce awarded works in full scale. Click herefor info
NATIVE AMERICAN PLAYS WANTED (November 30)--A three year theater initiative offers playwrights who write from or about the indigenous experience in North America the opportunity and arena to work. Five scripts will be selected for workshops, public readings, an honorarium, travel, room and board. Two scripts will be chosen for production. Plays must be full length. e-mail for guidelines.


      California film maker Richard Cohen produced and directed Going to School, a new documentary about empowering children with disabilities in the Los Angeles schools. The film was commissioned by the class member review committee of the Chanda Smith Consent Decree and sponsored by LA CASE.
      Going to School will be shown Sunday at the Vermont International Film Festival. The Festival begins today and runs through Sunday at 12 different venues around Burlington from Champlain College and CCV to the Nickelodeon to the Unitarian Universalist Church and UVM. Click here for passes, tickets, and program info.


      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.