ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 1, 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.


      The All Arts Council and the Town of St Albans continue the biweekly series of Saturday Arts Fests in the St Albans Town Park this Saturday afternoon. Each Festival offers special events plus a show and sale of local artworks and fine crafts.
      This weekend features fine crafts plus an exhibit of Digital Photography as well as two beginning/intermediate jazz classes offered by the Body In Motion Dance Center.
      Digital photography for this exhibit includes images taken with digital cameras as well as film-based images that the artist improves using computer software.
      Digital techniques are moving photographers toward significantly sharper images than conventional darkroom prints. Film photographers manipulate image brightness, dodge, burn, control contrast, and balance color in a darkroom. Digital photographers can accomplish those techniques with far greater precision in the computer and can see the results as instantly.
      On exhibit will be intimate and thought-provoking images by Wayne Tarr, the ethereal and often spiritual landscapes of Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, architectural collages by Ashley LaRocque, my own slightly skewed landscapes and architectural renderings, and more. The images shown will range from straight prints through mild enhancements to total fantasy.
      Denise Flinchum (nee St. Hilaire) owns the new Body In Motion Dance Center; she earned a BA in Dance technique, performance, and choreography at UNC-Greensboro. She has trained in Vermont, North Carolina, and New York City and has 16 years of dance experience in ballet, jazz, modern, improvisation, and gymnastics. Ms. Flinchum has most recently worked with children in dance projects at summer camps at Georgia Elementary and Middle School.
      Dance lessons for students entering grades 3-6 will be held at 12-1:30 p.m. and for students entering grades 7-10 at 2-3:30 p.m. in the Bay Park pavilion. The fee for the lessons is $10 per student. Register with Ms. Flinchum (524-5349) or E-mail for more info
      The Saturday Arts Fests take place rain or shine in and around the St Albans Town Park "bath house" from 2-8 p.m. Admission is free. All Arts Council for more info.


      The Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds concert series presents the Burlington Ecumenical Gospel Choir in Taylor Park this Sunday at 7 p.m. The concerts are always in a Town park, always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., and always free.
      The summer Burlington Ecumenical Gospel Choir is a sixteen voice chorus based in the Burlington area. They are led by John Hagwood and feature BFA's former chorus director, Evelyn Kwanza.
      "The program includes a combination of uplifting and ministering songs," Evelyn said. Some arrangements are taken from hymns and there will be plenty of contemporary African-American gospel plus an Island medley of gospel songs with a Jamaican lilt.
      The Burlington Ecumenical Gospel Choir was founded in 1992 by the New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church, to be a symbol of harmony as a racially, culturally and religiously diversegroup. The first Gospelfest that included the Choir was in 1993.
      Just before the concert, stop by for Dessert in the Park at the BPW social starting at 6:30 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends and eat sticky stuff and delicious desserts.
      Summer Sounds concerts are presented by the Vermont Maple Festival, the City of St Albans and the All Arts Council, and sponsored by Ben & Jerry's, the Handy Group, Northwestern Medical Center, and the St Albans Main Street Merchants. The rain site is St Paul's Methodist Church. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont.


      Franklin County Field Days has comfortable, well-known free entertainment all weekend.
      The Friday music lineup features original and traditional old-time country and bluegrass of Jim Daniels at 4 p.m. Silverback plays their rock hits and original, funky tunes at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday the Green Mountain Cloggers return to Highgate at 12:30, and hypnotist Ron Cote will mesmerize the crowd from 1-1:30 p.m. International touring stars 8-0-8-4 take over the stage at 7 p.m. The Sunday shows begin with Joey the Clown from 11-2 p.m. The North Country's premier western swing band, Rick and the Ramblers let loose at 1 p.m. The killer Blues of Nobby Reed Project run from 4-6 p.m., giving you just enough time to drive south for Summer Sounds in St Albans. Whew.
      Franklin County Field Days is held annually on Airport Road in Highgate. The grounds and exhibits open at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.


      Better Planet Books Toys and Hobbies has always sold music, but they have now begun to feature state and local recordings.
      "We have local and Vermont artists as well as music from around the country and around the world." said store owner Fred Kosnitsky. "It's always nice to support local artists and we like to have a good selection of Vermont musicians and story tellers."
      The store now has Every Mile, the new Nobby Reed Project release, in stock. The Project includes Scott Dubois, B-3, keys, and harp, Tim Comings, bass, and Eric Belrose, drums.
      Nobby has done it again. Every Mile is refreshing and fun and with a different outlook from his other CDs. This album "finds some peace, a little spirituality, and some fun. Scott Dubois is playing more harp and I think I'm coming into my own," he said about his singing.
      "All the guys are on the cover," Mr. Reed said. The cover was designed by Michelle Martel and the photo taken by his daughter, Angela. The CD was recorded, mixed, and mastered at West Street Digital.
      Other well known performers with albums at Better Planet include Absolute Zero, Banjo Dan and the Midnite Plowboys, logger Rusty Dewees, story teller Mac Parker, and the Woods Tea Company.
      "If people ask for certain artists, we'll certainly try to get them in." Mr. Kosnitsky said.


      The Matthews Duo returns for the Summer at Grace series at Grace Church tonight. This popular group will perform works by Bach, Schlossberg, Beaser, Coste, and more.
      The Matthews Duo is guitarist Peter Matthews and flutist Wendy Matthews. Mr. Matthews is a national solo performer and is the music director at Richford High School. Mrs. Matthews has performed as a soloist and in orchestras and chamber music groups. She operates a private flute studio and offers clinics.
      This is the fifth season of the Summer Music at Grace series. Tonight at 7 p.m. at Grace Church, 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon Creek. Admission to this concert is by donation. Call 326-4603 or Click here for more info about the concert series.


FRANKLIN--The Boonys Pub and Grill presents the Hub Cats in an evening of contemporary folk music, smooth vocals, and light humor on Saturday starting at 7 p.m.

ST ALBANS--The Citizens Concert Band plays in Taylor Park on Wednesday, August 7, at 7:30 p.m.


      The AAC is suffering some sponsor woes.
      Like most Franklin County volunteer groups, we leverage a combination of grants, volunteer sweat, business advertising, and Town appropriations to present events from the national ArtTrain exhibit to the new Arts Fests to the Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds concerts. A concert sponsor fell through this year, leaving a gap in our budget.
      The New York Times reports that arts festivals bring about $2 billion nationally in annual spending to local communities, plus any art purchases and lodging revenue.
      Summer Sounds points solid advertising directly at those buyers. We run display ads in the local media, maintain a popular web site, run enjoyable spots on WRSA-WLFE-WTWK, air announcements and some concerts on Channel 15, and poster the community. The series is listed in national calendars. All told, we provide 1.7 million advertising, editorial, and direct impressions in Vermont alone. Your "eyeball" is ours right now.
      If you would like to share that advertising bonanza and the opportunity to build the cultural events that attract visitors and keep residents in this part of the state, email the All Arts Council . It could be Your Name right here next week.


      A glossary is the resting place for the odd terms of specialized areas of work or knowledge. Fire fighters, software writers, graphic artists, and digital photographers all have their own lingo. Anyone--especially interested wordsmiths, scientists, and researchers--can appreciate a cool way to find definitions for the words, phrases, and acronyms figure these professionals use. Google has it. .

Here are links to this week's performers:


      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.