ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 5 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 15, 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 Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Natterjack for an evening of jazz, Latin rhythms, rock, and the Celtic traditions of Europe on Saturday at 8 PM. Named after an endangered Irish toad, the six-piece group plays "Celtic music with a groove," said Steven Lambs-Ames.
      The proficient Natterjack members are Allen Church, fiddle, hammered dulcimer, guitar, and vocals; Heidi Wagner-Voskochler, vocals, flute, whistles, and guitar, Steven Lamb-Ames, piano accordion; Dave Didomenico, guitar; Brian Woods, bass; and Joseph Goins, Latin percussion.
      Natterjack arranges traditional dance music as concert music. Their presentation is delightful not only for their varied instruments but also because they love to jam and to do improv which highlights "their tendencies toward jazz, and pop, and rock and roll," Allen Church said.
      Like many committed artists in Vermont, the Natterjack players also have day jobs. Mr. Church teaches violin, Mr. Lamb-Ames is a ski instructor, Ms. Wagner-Voskochler is a full-time mom, Mr. Goins a computer guru for the state of Vermont, and Mr. Woods and Didomenico work in the hazardous materials field. "We're dreaming," Mr. Church said. "We'd like to do music full time in three to five years.
      "Our first CD was intended to be a demo," he said, "but we got such encouragement, we released it and are into our second thousand in sales." The concert will feature some pieces from album and about half the music from a new CD they are working on now.
      Tickets are $9 general admission, $7.50 seniors (over 60) and students, $5 children 12 and under. Save a buck on tickets purchased in advance at Spears Pharmacy, Merchants Bank in Enosburg Falls, and at Swanton Rexall. Call 802-933-6171 or click here for more info.


ENOSBURG--The Opera House Gallery has an All Arts Council exhibit of Vermont Photography on display. The landscapes, portraits, seascapes, and fine art imagery include the work of AAC member artists Bob Brodeur, Dick Harper, April Henderson, David Juaire, Gustav Verderber, and Wayne Tarr. The display fills the downstairs gallery and will remain on exhibit through Christmas. Many of the photographs are available for sale.
HIGHGATE--The watercolor 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 display will remain on exhibit through Christmas. All of the paintings are available for sale.
SWANTON--AAC member artist Darla White of Richford is hanging around the Swanton Library. Her paintings show Vermont sports and hunting scenes, stories told by Vermonters and "anything that can go wrong with men in sports." The exhibit continues through December 9. Many of the paintings are available for sale.


      The season for buying exceptional crafts and fine arts begins Saturday with four renowned shows. These shows showcase a different group of fine artists and artisans from around the area with handmade gifts for Christmas and for your home. Take in all foru for a nice "Franklin County tour." Look for crafts, photographs, pottery, quilts, fudge, plants, home-baked goodies, and even the odd white elephant. All shows are this Saturday.
BAKERSFIELD--The Tri-Church Holiday Bazaar in the Bakersfield Elementary School, 10-3. Soup-and-sandwiches.
FAIRFIELD--Holiday Bazaar at the East Fairfield Community Center, 10-4.
RICHFORD--Silver Tea and Christmas sale at the Richford First Baptist Church, 1-4 p.m.
ST ALBANS--the Catholic Daughters annual Christmas Crafts Show in St Mary's Parish Center, 10-4.


BURLINGTON--The Vermont Hand Crafters hold their 49th Annual Holiday Craft Show at the Sheraton Conference Center in South Burlington today through Sunday.
      Over one hundred and seventy five juried Vermont artisans will offer dolls, dried arrangements, fabric applique pillows and quilts, handmade baskets, lampshades, pottery, note cards, clothing and accessories, fine, gemstone, titanium, silver and polymer clay jewelry, furniture, photographs, and much more.
      VHC's Franklin County exhibitors include weaver Carol Crawford of Bakersfield who produces fine handwoven scarves and pillows of rayon and silk.
      Enosburg Falls residents Susan Delear, Cynthia Humiston Weed, and new members Mark and Sarah Guertin will be on hand. Ms. Delear makes functional pottery/jewelry/clocks at Heart of the Mountains Pottery and Ms. Weed creates exotic and native wood jewelry and barrettes. The Guertins have a line of glass on metal jewelry and Christmas ornaments.
      Pauline Nye and Sara Nye Vester own Weed's and Things in Georgia; they will show a line of dried flowers & pressed flower pots. Michelle Carroll will sell high quality canvas and tapestry bags.
      Richford's Christine Fichman and Prudy Marchessault will show their hand painted silk scarves and hand knits, including felted knits hats, respectively and
      Sheldon artist and AAC member Meta Strick will dazzle shoppers with her angels and other inspirational, one-of-a-kind wood carvings.
      The Holiday Craft Show is in the Sheraton Conference Center in South Burlington from November 15-18. Show hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. today and tomorrow, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3.00/adults; children under 16 are free. Vermont Hand Crafters is a statewide non-profit that promotes and sells Vermont crafts that add to our economy and communities. Call Cynthia Humiston Weed (933-2545) for info.


      The AAC/WWSR Feature Artist Showcase spotlights songs from Ben Patton's new album, Dessert, his new jazz/swing recording, tomorrow morning. The Feature Artist Showcase is broadcast on Fridays at 6:20a.m. on WWSR-1420AM, when there is a new release by Franklin County artists.
      The Kept Writer will also host Ben Patton's CD release party for Dessert on Friday at 7 p.m. Joining Ben will be the Fabulous Spiders, Will Patton, Anna Patton, Debbie Patton, Marcia Brewster, Pat Austin, Tom Steele and other surprise guests.
      Ben Patton, heir of the Franklin County musical family, was born in Bakersfield where he grew up "listening to the Beatles, different kinds of jazz, and lots of Motown and R&B that his parents' band [The Spiders] played."
      Dessert is his fourth CD. It is available at Snarf's, the Kept Writer, Pure Pop, and at


JEFFERSONVILLE--Cambridge CoffeeHouse presents an evening of "open mike" music at the Cambridge CoffeeHouse at Dinner's Dunn at the Windridge Bakery on Wednesday, November 21, 7-9 p.m. The Cambridge Arts Council sponsors the CoffeeHouse on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. e-mail for info.


      The Kept Writer wants your short (20 minutes or less) film in VHS format for an independent film night on November 29. Films should be short.
      "The Sanctuary: A Night of Independent Film and Laughter Off of the Cold Streets of St. Albans" will feature short videos and films in the genres of documentary, narrative, music video, experimental art, political propaganda, animation and more, but all entries need to be at the Kept Writer by November 22. e-mail or call Jedd and Launie (524-6242) for more info.
      Did I mention that films should be short?


      We are checking out the sites of Vermont artists, performers, and performance spaces.
      Vermont's opera houses offer both a short step into history and some of the best performing arts spaces in the state. The century-old Barre Opera House is the cornerstone of history and culture in the granite capitol of the world. The Opera House hosts 70-100 events each year. The site includes that history plus an events calendar, member links, and more.


      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).
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