ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * September 19, 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 Opera House at Enosburg Falls and the All Arts Council present Sojourns in the Wild-Live at the Opera House on Saturday evening. This multi-media presentation features new images by Vermont nature photojournalist and naturalist, Gustav W. Verderber, choreographed to original compositions by international Celtic harpist and composer, William Jackson. Mr. Jackson will perform his compositions on Celtic harp and flute during the first part of the program. The program is part of the Opera House Mentors Series.
      Each Sojourns tour includes new photography from the natural world. This show will introduce the Spruce Grouse and Gray Jay from the boreal forests of the former Champion lands core ecological area; the asternmost sunrise of the U.S. from the bold coast of Maine where the rising sun is seen earliest; the nesting great blue herons at the Babcock Nature Preserve; and more.
      "The connection between Celtic music and the spirituality of the Earth derives from the Druids," Mr. Verderber said about the priests of the ancient Celts "who celebrated the spirituality of the Earth and the intrinsic value of Nature."
      Celtic harpist and composer William Jackson composed the lyrical accompaniment for this journey into The Wild. Mr. Jackson founded the Scottish band Ossian in 1976 and continues to tour with them. He is also a renowned solo performer and the composer of The Wellpark Suite, St. Mungo, a major motion picture soundtrack, and the modern Scottish national anthem. He has performed for HRH Prince Charles and is a frequently guest on Fiona Ritchie's Thistle and Shamrock on NPR.
      The exceptional photography is Mr. Verderber's portrayal of the spiritual value of Nature. This fantasia soars from a Maine tide pool to the verdant Northern Forest, then across the continent to Alaska, then on to the Amazon rainforest and the Galapagos Islands. The show will bring humpback whales, bald eagles, blue-footed boobies, iguanas basking in the equatorial sun and trundling giant tortoises to Enosburg Falls. When a whale suddenly explodes from the ocean deep, breeches, and then repeatedly pec-slaps and tail lobs the water, you can feel the splash. I haven't gotten wet. Yet.
      In the darkened Opera House, the combination of live music and cinematic imagery makes it appear that the audience, not the images, visit some of the most magnificent and pristine natural areas on Earth.
      Sojourns in the Wild has been shown at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, the Dibden Center for the Performing Arts, and as the keynote presentation at the 2002 New England Camera Club Council Annual Conference, and the 2002 Photographic Society of America Conference.
      Sojourns in the Wild will begin at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls this Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12/adults, $10/senior citizens and students, children under 12 free and are available at the Merchants Bank in Enosburg, at Swanton Rexall, and at Better Planet Books Toys and Hobbies and at the Kept Writer in St. Albans. Call 802-933-6171 or click here for more info.


      The Kept Writer has three artists on exhibit in September: Janet Bonneau of Fairfax with color and nature prints; Steven Broomall of St Albans with digital art photos; and Amy Jelan of St Albans with a series of pointillistic paintings.
      The style we call pointillism began with Georges Seurat in 1884. M. Seurat studied optical science and aesthetic theory, then analyzed the impressionist perception of light. He reproduced the light with small dabs or dots of paint that would blend into a single color when seen from a distance. Although the style was short-lived, we see the blending of points of color in every television image or ink jet print today.
      These works will remain on exhibit until the end of the month at 5 Lake Street, St Albans.


ST ALBANS--The Kept Writer presents Josh Magis, a soulful contemporary singer/songwriter, on Friday 7-9 p.m. His new CD is Blacktop Serenade.

FRANKLIN--The Boonys Pub and Grill present Pat Murphy, Chris Conti, and Mike Willey of Blue Sky. They will perform an eclectic mix of country and more on Saturday starting at 7 p.m.


PHOTOJOURNALISM AWARD (October 14)--The 60th annual Missouri School of Journalism competition is open to all photographers published in newspapers, magazines or online. There are 46 categories and many cash prizes. Click here for more info or E-mail for more info.
BBC SHORT STORY CONTEST (October 31)--The BBC World Service holds a short story contest every other year. They accept e-mailed entries. No fee. Click here for moe info.


      The Whitney Museum of American Art has commissioned 12 small new digital artworks. Codedoc is an online exhibition of digital artworks that focuses on the underlying computer code behind the art. It offers visitors the chance to see not only the expected interactive elements and animation but also the programming techniques the digital artists used to create their works.
"Codedoc takes a reverse look at 'software art' projects by focusing on and comparing the 'back end' of the code that drives the artwork's 'front end'."       It is, in a way, akin to studying the way an artist holds a brush and mixes his or her paint. We looked at George Seurat's technique above. This is discovering the difference between Seurat and Van Gogh by examining their the brush stokes.
      The online-only exhibition opened Monday in Artport, the Whitney's virtual gallery.


      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.