ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 25, 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.


      Mary D. Harper of Key Colony Beach, Florida, has died at age 82. She died of complications due to cancer on April 22 in Florida.
      An award winning and popular artist, Mary painted with oil, watercolor and pastel. Her striking watercolors and scratch boards often portrayed landscapes and portraits from the mid-Atlantic dunes to the bright sub-tropical sun of Florida to the soft colors of the southwest; they hang in collections across the country. She was a member of the All Arts Council of Franklin County, the Bougainvillea Artists Cooperative, and the Florida Keys Art Guild.
      She was my mom.
      A private memorial service and burial at sea will be scheduled at the convenience of the family. The complete obituary appears in today's paper.


      The 36th annual Vermont Maple Festival begins tomorrow with arts and entertainment all over downtown St Albans.

ART--The All Arts Council will fill City Hall with an exhibit of works by Franklin County artists on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m until 5 p.m. The display will include oil and watercolor paintings and prints, fine art photography, sculpture, and original music from AAC member artists.
      The featured painting was donated by artist Louise Bellows Cuonos for a raffle at St Luke's Episcopal Church. This still life will be on exhibit all weekend at City Hall. The raffle proceeds will help the St Luke's underwrite upcoming programs of their own. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.
      Eric Bataille paints nature studies in acrylics and watercolor, achieving harmonious colors, and simple and strong composition in his work.
      Bob Brodeur's lifelong love of photography will be displayed in his warm and intimate scenic Vermont landscapes.
      Connie Clay-Bickel says "Life is a work in progress." She hope her oil paintings will "convey all the effort we humans expend in expanding the knowledge of ourselves and the environments we inhabit."
      Watercolor artist and teacher, AAC member, and Montgomery native Michael Domina summers in Montgomery each year to teach art classes and exhibit his work.
      Puppeteer Sarah Frechette is an honors scholar graduate from the University of Connecticut's Puppetry Arts Program. She builds and performs with life sized puppets, hand puppets, characters from children's literature, and a puppet she invented for use with Sign Language for the American School for the Deaf.
      Writer/photographer (and arts columnist) Dick Harper: I am a serendipitous photographer with an interest in architectural details, beaches and boats, landscapes, skyscapes and sunsets, and fireworks. Three photographs in this exhibit will show off my growing use of the digital darkroom in landscape and architectural photography.
      Mary Harper was a member of the All Arts Council and the Florida Keys Art Guild. Her striking watercolors and scratch boards often depicted sub-tropical Florida and she recently completed a series of watercolors of the American southwest. She was one of the first AAC/Sugar Mill Gallery feature artists.
      Sculptor Peter Hawksworth of Enosburg has created a new work in his ongoing Agri-Art series. The sculptures, made from abandoned farm implements, tie our art, heritage, and agriculture together. He will display the Clock.
      Photographer April Henderson, known for her whimsical still life closeups, will show some new very large works including Mending a Fence, and Webster's Barn in the Fog.
      Vermont Life photographer David Juaire of Georgia is a self taught scenic photographer. He is now shooting with a medium format Pentax camera for the exceptional clarity it brings his enlargements.
      Working artist and former AAC Vice Chair Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard paints primarily in acrylic on large canvas, makes trompe l'oeil murals, and creates digital art. Her pieces often bring a spiritual feel to landscapes or skyscapes.
      Watercolor artist, poet, and AAC board member Joy Mashtare spends much of her time getting people into the arts and supporting the arts. Her abstract paintings are an expression of her heart.
      Painter, singer, and teacher Patrick Murphy has an historical, architectural mood in his oil paintings.
      Self taught "from library books," Helen O'Riordan calls herself a late bloomer. Her watercolor paintings capture the spirit of the barns in Vermont as well as boats and flowers.
      Kate Ritz paints mostly bright and full bodied landscapes to "document perspective with color and harmony." Her world is full of color and she also paints still lifes in oil.
      David R. Southwick has fine art photographs that he prints and custom frames with in native wood and wood veneer. Some include his poetry.
      Photographer Wayne Tarr specializes in portraiture professionally and in thought-provoking black and white fine art images for exhibit.
      Valerie Ugro's architectural watercolor paintings and prints feature the historical buildings in the landscape around us.
      Nature photographer and environmental interpreter Gustav W. Verderber is well known to Franklin County readers for his stunning images. This exhibit will include poster-sized photographs of a humpback whale's fin, a tree frog, and more
      Darla White's paintings show Vermont sports and hunting scenes, stories told by Vermonters and "anything that can go wrong with men in sports."
      Poet/photographer Lauren Young of Enosburg Falls creates custom poetic photography. She scans her own photos and prints them with her poetry.

MUSIC--The Maple Festival/All Arts Main Street stage offers the largest showcase of the season for the best Franklin County bands, individual musicians, ensembles, storytellers, and dancers. The continuous entertainment begins at noon tomorrow and runs through Sunday after the parade. Here's the alphabetical lineup.
      Claire Hungerford will officially open the 36th annual Maple Festival at 11 a.m. on Saturday with the National Anthem.
      The Roxy Studio Dancers are a young troupe from all around Franklin County under the leadership of Roxy Bissonette. Saturday at 10 a.m.
      Country rock trio Borderline plays everything from old country to top-40 country and some classic rock dancing music with Howard Ring, guitar and vocals, Kevin Bockus, bass and vocals, and Stanley Ring, drums and vocals. Friday at 12 and 2 p.m.
      The BFA Chamber Singers perform Renaissance and Baroque music, requiems, and new choral music. They are directed by Armand Messier. Friday at 3 p.m.
      There will be a free preview of the Fiddler's Variety Show on Saturday at 3 p.m.
      Magician Tom Joyce puts on a zany show filled with audience participation. The Vermont Maple Festival and Success by Six sponsored these magic performances as part of their ongoing literacy-based programming. Saturday at 11 a.m. on Main Street plus two more free shows Saturday afternoon at 1 and 3 p.m. in the BFA Auditorium.
      The nationally known educational puppet troupe Kids on the Block-Vermont production returns with their Japanese Bunraku-style puppets that look like real kids. Each play covers contemporary issues and puts out a positive message to help kids deal with the scarier aspects of life. This year's themes are Cultural Diversity and Cerebral Palsy. Friday at 1 p.m.
      The Most is the funky, punky, jazzy, sunny, sound of Ben Patton and Matt Peck. Their independent, sixties-tinged pop has developed a strong local following. Saturday at noon.
      Obediah is an exceptional Christian rock quintet that first played for the AAC during the 9-11 Benefit. Ray Burton, vocals and rhythm guitar and Peggy Town, vocals, Dan Chamberlain, bass, Mark Washburn, drums, Larry Beaudry, lead guitar, will start the show with a Bachman Turner twist, "God is Takin' Care of Business." Larry and Mark are famous for jamming with Lynryd Skynryd. Obediah, the smallest book in the Bible, means "Servant of God." Friday at 4 p.m.
      Silverback headlines Sunday afternoon with a broad range of hits and original, funky tunes. Ben Weed, lead guitar, Dan Marcotte, bass, Mike Stebbins, vocals and trombone, Sarah Willey, vocals, and Chad Sandvil, drums, bring gutsy vocals, blaring trombone, and jammin' guitar riffs to the music of Rolling Stones and Tracy Chapman and Phish. Sunday after the parade.
      Musician, teacher, and extraordinary concert organizer Mark Sustic begins a Farewell Tour at the Maple Festival to celebrate the end of his 20-year tenure in Franklin County as Coordinator of Early Childhood Programs. With dancer Sharon Gouveia, Mark will offer an hour old time acoustic family folk music with banjo and guitar, harmonica and fiddle while Sharon step dances and clogs to enjoy with your children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends. Saturday at 1 p.m.
      WRSA and WLFE General Manager Jane Silk will be the official Maple Festival disk jockey on the Main Street stage. Jane will entertain the crowd with country music favorites and the platter patter beloved of her radio audience. Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
      Saturday's headliners are Yankee Wild with a mix of slow, old time country to good snappy modern country music (and maybe even a little rock thrown in if you ask them nicely). The group is Willie Hughes, lead guitar and lead vocalist, Bob Corbiere, bass and vocals, Steve Sweetser, rhythm guitar and fiddle, and Tim Michel, drums. Saturday at 2 and 4 p.m.

      Friday evening features the annual Talent Show in the BFA Auditorium. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce and at the festival office.
      The Fiddlers Variety Evening Show in BFA Auditorium on Saturday spotlights Canadian and American singers, dancers, comedians, pickers, cloggers, and fiddlers. Storyteller George Woodard will emcee.
      CDs from the Main Street Stage performers will be on sale in City Hall.
      This lineup of arts and family entertainment is sponsored by the Vermont Maple Festival and presented by the All Arts Council of Franklin County.

THREE MUSES-- This Festival and Silent Auction benefits the Abuse & Rape Crisis Program with performances by Jim Daniels, Josh Brooks, Jim Branca and Zach Ward at the Kept Writer Cafe and Bookshop. "Muse music" is Friday, 6-9 p.m., and Saturday 2-6 pm. The Silent Auction will occur Saturday afternoon


      The Fairfax Community Theatre Company spring show, Don't Dress for Dinner, opens tonight and runs through Saturday only in the Old Gym at BFA-Fairfax. Directed by Bob Martin, this fast paced comedy takes place in a converted French farmhouse where Bernard is making arrangements for a romantic rendezvous. His plans quickly go awry and every time he solves one problem another crisis arises. Both helping and hindering him are his friends, his wife, and the cook that has been hired for the evening. Mistaken identity is the norm, and just when things couldn't get any worse, they do.
      The cast and crew include Myles Cahoon as Bernard; Pamela Dewey as Jacqueline; Peter J. Harrington as Robert; Jenna Basiliere as Suzette; Jasmine K. Paige as Suzanne; and Tom Townsend as George. The Stage Manager/Producer is Margie Cain; Tom Townsend is Co-Producer. Terri Kneen manages Set Construction/Set Dressing and Jesse Dunham-Friel handles the lights.
      Don't Dress for Dinner will be shown April 25-27 at 8 p.m. in the Old Gym at BFA-Fairfax. Tickets are $7/adults, $5/students and seniors, and are available at the door. e-mail for more info.


      The Vermont Department of Agriculture is soliciting submissions for a traveling exhibition of ten major works. Ten Vermont visual artists will be commissioned.
      The works will center on Vermont's agricultural heritage and activities. The Department of Agriculture will also select one artist's work of the ten and purchase rights for the use of that image in print and electronic promotions for as much as the next ten years.
      All visual artists working in two and three-dimensional media are eligible to apply. Digital work printed on suitable substrate for exhibition in a traditional wall hanging style is eligible for consideration. This project open to Vermont residents only; the deadline is May 10.
      A prospectus is available from the All Arts Council or online at the Vermont Arts Council.


      The nation's attic should be either the first or the last place we look for a craft show. The Smithsonian Institution Craft Show starts today and runs through April 29.
      The Smithsonian show underscores composition, color, design, line, texture, materials, and pattern and form. Vermonters are well represented. The basketry exhibit includes Jackie Abrams of Brattleboro, Zelma Loseke of East Corinth, and JoAnne Russo of Saxtons River. Ikuzi Teraki & Jeanne Bisson of Washington have ceramic sculpture. Robin Mix of Tunbridge shows a glass vase and there is a checkerboard wooden bowl by Michael Mode of New Haven.


      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).
      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.