ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 29, 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 Vermont Maple Festival Summer Sounds concert series finished the season last Sunday with a rousing concert by the Woods Tea Company. The concerts will resume for our thirteenth season with a potpourri of Broadway, old time and modern country, ethnic dance, folk, jazz, singer/songwriters, rock and roll, and a reprise of the gospel choir in June, 2003. Each outdoor family concert is free.


      The award-winning black and white photography of Wayne Tarr is on exhibit at the Swanton Free Public Library.
      The photograph Dancing With Spirits earned the Court of Honor Award from the Professional Photographers Association of New England (PPANE) Convention and was selected for the cover of this year's PPANE Convention book. The PPANE also submitted Dancing With Spirits along with three other prints to the Professional Photographers Association of America national convention in New Jersey. To Pointe, Balance, and Spider Woman were included in the general exhibit. The PPA seconded To Pointe and Balance to the PPA Loan Collection. Those photographs are available to museums and galleries around the world. All the Loan Collection prints are also published by the Professional Photographers Association
      Although Mr. Tarr started his photography career in 1978 as a freelance sports photographer for the St. Albans Messenger, as a professional photographer he now specializes in portraiture. He opened his downtown St. Albans studio in 1990. He has received the Mack Derick Memorial Award and is working toward a Master of Photography degree, the Professional Photographers of America designation for top professionals.
      The Swanton exhibit features Balance and also includes Waiting, Forgotten, and In Another Place. All are 16" x 20" silver gelatin prints and each is priced at $295.
      The Swanton Free Public Library hours are
         Monday-Tuesday 2-8 p.m.
         Wednesday-Thursday 10-6 p.m.
         Friday 10-3 p.m.
         Saturday 10-1 p.m.


      The Belfry presents the guitar duo of Doug Perkins and Steve Blair tonight at 8 p.m. They play jazz standards in an improvisational, interactive, and conversational style.
      A well known jazz guitarist around Burlington, Mr. Blair is Assistant Professor and head of the jazz program at Johnson State College. He performs, records, and composes music in a broad spectrum of musical styles. Mr. Perkins is a renowned bluegrass player who has worked with Gordon Stone, Jamie Masefield, and Smokin Grass.
      They will appear at the Belfry in Montgomery tonight at 8 pm. Call 326-4400 for info.


      Retailers in downtown St Albans have an excellent selection of the art and music produced by Franklin County artists and performers. As the outdoor concert season wanes, this is a good time to think about capturing some "indoor" music.
      As the Crow Flies has Nobby Reed's latest album, Every Mile.
      Better Planet Books Toys and Hobbies is beginning to feature local and statewide musicians with selections from Absolute Zero as well as Banjo Dan and the Midnite Plowboys. Banjo Dan Lindner has a camp on Fairfield Pond. The Better Planet Vermont collection has tapes and video from "Logger" Rusty Dewees, Mac Parker's storytelling tapes, Fred Tuttle, and the popular Woods Tea Company.
      The Kept Writer Bookstore and Cafe has the widest selection of local and statewide musicians in the St. Albans area including the Croppies new release, Pad; Bob Gagnon, Apple for the Teacher; Karen McFeeters new release, Bachelor Girl; Will Patton, Latitudes and Departures; and Tyrone Shaw and the Oleo Romeos, Maalox Mylanta and You--A Gastrointestinal Love Story. Their Vermont collection includes Laura Breterton, Waters Edge; Josh Brooks, Born to Run; Rev. Nathan Brady Crain, Blow It All; Jim Daniels, Old Time Country and Blue Grass; Gregory Douglass; the Hub Cats, First Snow; and Charlie Messing, Once Around.
      The Kept Writer has also released Live at the Kept Writer, Volume I, a compilation CD with cuts from many of their regular weekend performers including Jim Branca, Josh Brooks, Jim Daniels and Jim McGinnis, Gregory Douglass, Patric Fitzsimmons, The Most (Ben Patton and Matt Peck), the Shrinking Violets, and Zach Ward. 10% of the Live CD proceeds benefit the Abuse and Rape Crisis Center.
      Rail City Market offers tapes by Fabio Choiniere, Mademoiselle Voulez Vous Dancez by Michele Choiniere and Friends, Karen McFeeters, Mike Kelley and Ray Bushey's first CD, From the Banks of the Mighty Missisquoi, and Will Patton.
      Local musicians control most of the process of creating a CD and often become a small wholesale company to keep the store shelves stocked. Nobby Reed formed NRP Living Room Records as his own production company and Revreed Music as a publishing company to manage distribution and to take advantage of ASCAP royalty payments from radio stations.
      The Woods Tea Company also manages their own album sales and have hired a part-time assistant to fill orders and keep the albums on the shelves. "I don't know of other groups that do it this way, but it's working well for us," Rusty Jacobs said.


FRANKLIN--Singer/guitarist Bob Gesser of Richford plays The Boonys Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Mr. Gesser, who has 30 years experience on the guitar, will play 50s and 60s music from soft rock to country to blues. Call 933-4569 for info.
ST ALBANS--The Kept Writer Bookstore and Cafe presents Meg Willey singing her jazzy, introspective originals tomorrow evening from 7-9 p.m.


      Americans for the Arts is a 40-year old national nonprofit dedicated to advancing the arts in America. The work to increase public and private sector support for the arts; ensure that children have access to high-quality arts education; and strengthen communities through the arts. They provide extensive arts industry research and information and professional development opportunities via live programs and a content-rich website.
      Art. Ask for More." is a national arts education public awareness campaign produced by Americans for the Arts and its campaign partners. This campaign gives people the information and resources to establish the arts as a full academic subject area and as empowering activities that carry over into other areas of life and study.


      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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