ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 7, 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.


      Expo 2002 will feature Art when the Rotary Club of St Albans opens the Collins Perley Sports Complex doors tomorrow. Sheel Gardner Anand is the Rotary's featured artist in a major one-man show.
      "There was an immediate crowd reaction [last year] to having artists as a primary feature," said Home Expo Director Mike Curtis. "We tried to duplicate what we had from last year.
      "It took a real search to find an artist because we were again trying to find a Vermont based artist who had a large enough portfolio that we could feature. Steve Ste Marie toured most of the galleries in the area. "
      Sheel Anand, 30, was born in Richmond and lives in Essex Junction. He is a Mayflower descendant and ninth generation Vermonter whose father is from Kashmir. He has painted in oil since the age of seven.
      "What I have in the show are Vermont pieces," he said. "To me the work is about trying to capture light and how light plays on architecture and how light plays on landscape.
      "Some of it just environmental influence that I've had growing up here," he said. "As a boy I was aware of the natural beauty that is what this state is about and I've always had an interest in architecture. Probably if I wasn't a painter, I'd be an architect. It fuses my appreciation of landscape and, since I do have an interest in architecture, it shows that element, too. From a visual standpoint, I've always been fascinated with how light hits man made structures, how the form and color effects that result."
      His paintings are also commercially successful. He completed the painting of Stowe at 19. "It's the first edition that I published," he said. The paper edition sold out and he has now released it as a new limited edition on canvas.
      "A lot of the technique I use, you can trace back to some of the painters from the High Renaissance [the late 1400 through the mid-1500s], and to Titian in particular." Although Titian is best known to us for voluptuous women, Mr. Anand uses the same methods of charcoal underdrawing, underpainting, egg tempera, and oil paint.
      The Rotary will sell a print of Promise at the Home Show. The original is an 11"x 14" oil on canvas in a private collection. Mr. Anand will also have giclees of Stowe and Church Street as well as fine art paper prints for sale.
      His work is exhibited at the Luxton-Jones Gallery in Shelburne and the Sleeper House in Stowe. "Just in the last month, three galleries in California have begun trying my work," he said. A local collector sent one of Mr. Anand's postcards to a friend and agent in California who approached the galleries in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.
      "His work is just the quintessential Vermont," Mr. Curtis said. "When I see the townscapes he did, particularly the one in Stowe, if someone wants to know a little more about Vermont through the arts, I would point them to [2001 Rotary artist] Fred Swan and to Sheel.
      "We hope to continue the tradition again next year," he added.
      Home Expo 2001 also features cooking, crafts, and comfy computers for the home; construction and home improvement exhibits to remake your castle or build a new one, and almost every form of recreation, from stuff to watch to stuff to do.
      The Rotary Club of St Albans is an organization of Franklin County business and professional leaders. They participate in and administer community service, educational, and sports programs and activities. The 2002 Home and Recreation Exposition is the Rotary's principle fund raiser.
      The art exhibit (and all the others) at the Rotary Home Expo opens at 2 p.m. Friday, March 8 and continues through Sunday, March 10. The hours are
      Friday       2-8
      Saturday       9:30-6
      Sunday       10-4
Tickets are only $4 at the door.


CAMBRIDGE--the Cambridge Arts Council presents the Vermont Jazz Ensemble in a performance at the Cambridge Elementary School Auditorium on Saturday at 7 P.M. This is another example of world class musicians performing in a local community space.
      The 17 member Vermont Jazz Ensemble play list includes Jazz, Big Band, Latin, Fusion, and even a little Rock music. With five woodwinds, four trombones including a bass, four trumpets, plus drums, bass, piano, and guitar, the VJE maintains a library of about 300 selections This concert will feature ensemble work, soaring solos, and grand improvisation in the music of Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, and Maynard Ferguson,
      The suggested donation is $10 ($8 for CAC members), and $5/child/student/senior. e-mail for more info.


      Sheel Gardner Anand's site includes his biography, a representational gallery of his work, and an explanation of how Renaissance technique paintings start with a fixed charcoal drawing, are toned, and have Egg Tempera (a white paint that is water and oil soluble) and then oil paint applied.
      You can listen to samples of the Vermont Jazz Ensemble music. They feature excerpts from the new CD "25 Years in the Moonlight" as well as their 1986 album, "All of Us."


      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 © 2002 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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