ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 7 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 21, 2003


      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 live music and more at the Fairfax Music Sessions at the Foothills Bakery in Fairfax most Saturday afternoons at 1 p.m., at ChowBella in St Albans 8-10 p.m. most Wednesday evenings, at the Kept Writer in St Albans most Friday and Saturday evenings, at the Bayside in St Albans Town most Sunday afternoons, and the Cambridge CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month.
     These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. The booked performances and acoustic Open Mike Nights feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.


      Summer seems to still be with us bu the calendar dictates that our summer concerts draw to a close. The Tyler Place presents the Tammy Fletcher and the Disciples in the final 2003 Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds concert in Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday evening.
      In a surprise twist, the official Vermont Maple Festival/Summer Sounds weather forecast calls for mostly clear skies and high temperatures in the mid-70s in Highgate.
      Vermont has only one singer with the sultry lightheartedness of Eartha Kitt, the crystalline perfection of Joan Baez, and the raw, edgy power of Janis Joplin. Vermont's own "Diva of Soul," Tammy Fletcher has extraordinary voice and presence. She is powerful, soulful, bluesy, and sometimes politically incorrect. She sings straight to the heart of both the music and those who listen to it.
      Sunday's concert will include everything from funk and reggae to the traditional Wade in the Water, through Slippin' into Darkness from War, Janis Joplin's Piece of My Heart and to her own Give it Grace, Anything You Want and Count on Me.
      Tammy Fletcher is Vermont's most versatile and well rounded singer. She made an impromptu and legendary appearance with Phish at the Flynn. She sells out shows with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. And with the New Alpha Ecumenical Gospel Choir. She wowed Dublin on tour. Every Tammy Fletcher performance is honest, from-the-heart, pure soul. The second Disciples album is Live at the Mad River Music Festival.
      Stop by for the final Summer Sounds Social in the Park with the Highgate Public Library starting at 6:30 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends, wish for dry weather, and eat some delicious desserts.
      The Vermont Maple Festival has presented the Summer Sounds concerts in Highgate this season because music and maple go together year round. The concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate, and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, The Highgate Manor, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, and The Tyler Place. The nearby rain site will be announced on Sunday. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont with concerts throughout the summer that are always on Sunday evenings at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free.


      The Montgomery Historical Society and the Covered Bridge Garden Club present the annual Montgomery art and music extravaganza this Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the big tent on the village common and at Pratt Hall. There will be gardening seminars, art, and music throughout the weekend.
      The exhibit will include paintings by Eric Bataille, Michael Domina, Pam Fisher, Sue Harkey, Hank Reilly, Beth McAdams, and Sandra Vaillancourt-Beaty; rock paintings by Heather McKeown; and fine art photographs by Suzanne Dollois, Kevin Harkey, and George Lotchie.
      Eric Bataille uses harmonious colors and simple and strong composition in nature studies in acrylics and watercolor. He is an AAC member and president of the Alliance Francaise, a Canadian-American organization that promotes the learning of French.
      Suzanne Bollois' black-and-white Discovery large format photo series focuses the eye on deliberately lighted subjects.
      An AAC member and Montgomery native, Michael Domina returns to Montgomery each summer to teach art classes and exhibit his work
      Pam Fisher has a number of very decorative floral still lifes and photography and is moving into pastels.
      Former California studio cartoonist Kevin Harkey has recently moved to Montgomery and will show architectural and landscape photos and drawings. Sue Harkey is a portrait artist.
      Still life artist Beth McAdams paints decorative watercolors.
      Heather McKeown of East Berkshire paints "real Vermont scenes on Trout River rocks" that she personally harvests. She has painted on rocks commercially for about 10 years and has pieces on exhibit in Canada and Europe.
      Hank Reilly paints local landscapes in oil.
      George Lotchie is a landscape photographer.
      Sandra Vaillancourt-Beatty paints lighthearted acrylics and watercolors and teaches art in Franklin County schools.
      Call Eric Bataille (527-0440) for info.


ST. ALBANS--After three years in their Lake Street home, The Kept Writer is closing its Lake Street doors and moving to Main Street. The last shows in the old digs are this weekend. On Friday, the Kept Writer presents singer/songwriter Karen McFeeters at 7-9 p.m. Then Saturday evening, they celebrate the move with three hours of music from many of the favorite Kept performers.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella has also changed with new expanded space for music and art. Connie Warden offers live jazz every Wednesday night. Just to confuse regular readers, the Nouveau Jazz Quartet, the jazzy combo of Matt Clancy, tenor saxophone, Eric Bushey guitar, Justin Bedell, bass, and Tim Buckingham, drums, will perform August 23 (that's Saturday night) from 8-10 p.m. Then next Wednesday, August 27, the trio of Messrs. Clancy, Bushey and Bedell play Jazz, 8-10 p.m.

LOCAL TV--This is cool, but a little odd. After an enormous delay Channel 15 will air Mark Sustic's First Annual Farewell Concert today at 2:30 p.m., with repeats Friday at 6 p.m., and Saturday at 4 p.m.


CALL FOR DOILIES (August 30)--For an installation titled Stitches that Heal by Akiko Kotani. Artist wants to collect 2,000 traditional and non-traditional doilies for an exhibit at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. This collaboration will show the healing power of making doilies and the stories they tell. E-mail or Click here for more info.

GRANTS FOR ARTISTS (August 31)--Artist's Resource Trust has Grants range from $3000 to $10,000 for mid-career New England painters, sculptors, printmakers or mixed media artists in financial need. Nonprofit organizations that show, commission, or purchase works by mature artists living in NE may also apply. Call 800-969-2823 or Click here for more info.

ANNUAL POETRY COMPETITION (September 1)--Robert Frost Foundation offers a $1000 prize and publication for a poem written in the spirit of Robert Frost. Entry fee. Email E-mail or Click here for more info and guidelines.

POSTER CONTEST (September 8)--National Cherry Blossom Festival. The cherry trees that surround the Washington, DC Tidal Basin were a gift from the people of Japan in 1912. The annual poster contest selects a new image that expresses goodwill between the United States and Japan. $1,000 prize. Email E-mail or Click here for more info.

PUBLIC ART PROJECTS (September 30)--The Florida Art In State Buildings Program acquires artwork for permanent display as part of the State of Florida's permanent art collection. The program at UCF seeks slides from a selection of artists to update their database, used as a small pool from which to choose artists for new commissions. Click here for more info.


      As we re-enter the school year, it is timely to consider how art helps communities. That is "pretty much the purpose" of the Community Arts Network site. The Reading Room offers essays on community-arts topics, links to a wealth of other resources online, plus searching by category or key word for information and links.


      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 © 2003 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.