ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 7 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 20, 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.


      The Blue-Eyed Dog Framing and Gallery opened last week at 1 Lake Street, St. Albans.
      "We're going to do custom framing," owner Jack Welch said.
      "It's a very small space," he said, "but I have half of it devoted to gallery space." The gallery will exhibit and sell fine art, photography and possibly sculpture in a varying exhibit with new artists rotating in every month or so. "I like to change the scenery a bit."
      The gallery section has three artists on display, Corliss Blakely, Jeannette Fournier, and Michael Hurley of Oregon.
      Vermont's premier artist, Corliss Blakely of St. Albans portrays the homes, farms, and antiques of her Vermont ancestors in oil.
      Wildlife artist Jeanette Fournier works in watercolor and draws in pen and ink with dots or short strokes called stippling to create detailed works of domestic and wild animals. She was born in the White Mountains, lives in St. Albans, and has been a painter all my life but professionally for 20 years. Her exhibit includes a brook trout in watercolor and a pen-and-ink of a calf in the straw.
      Folkie-shaman songwriter and artist Michael Hurley of Oregon is known for his Cornbread illustrations, Boone and Jocko, and Uncle Gaspard comics. Boone and Jocko now appear in his watercolor paintings. Mr. Hurley spent the 70s in St. Albans.
      Jack Welch worked on the railroad, worked at the Ruby Gallery, made violins, worked in foundries, and has been a building engineer. "I've lived in St. Albans most of my life," he said. "But I've also lived in California, Texas, Colorado, Montreal, and Georgia."
      He will be making frames from scratch.
      "I have what's commercially available" he said of his framing stock, "but I'm also going to be doing stuff made out of local wood. I was cutting up some red cedar this morning at home. The cost of molding is so high. I don't intend to start a price war, but I'm going to do what I can for people and still make a profit."
      The gallery will also feature custom cut mats.
      Sadie, the blue-eyed dog herself, is bouncy like a puppy but actually 18 months old and very friendly. The Blue-Eyed Dog Gallery is open Monday through Saturday 10-6. Call 802-524-4447 for info.


      After three years in their Lake Street home, The Kept Writer has moved upstairs to the Sugar Mill at 50 North Main Street, St. Albans. They have new cafe, gallery, and performance space on the mezzanine and the bookstore has expanded.
      "It's a lot more space, more books, more room for artwork," Jedd Kettler said. "And we have more comfortable places to sit."
      The focus has changed slightly. The Kept Writer will still have music, but with a focus on special events rather than a regular schedule of performances. They are also concentrating on sweets such as cookies and brownies and "still doing all the coffee and espresso.
      "We're selling used CDs now," Mr. Kettler said, "and we will be doing used records." There is a small but dedicated market for vinyl.
      On Friday, December 5, the Kept Writer will present one of the first special events: Vermont singer/songwriter Josh Brooks in their new digs at 7-9 p.m.


ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls Vermont presents Vermont & Quebec together, Michele Choiniere and Le Vent du Nord on Saturday, November 29. Michele and Le Vent du Nord will share the stage to create a true "house party" with a concert of traditional and original Quebecois and Franco-American music, and traditional step and quadrille dancing
      Advance sale tickets are available at the All Arts ticket centers, the Enosburg Pharmacy and Merchants Bank in Enosburg Falls, Better Planet in St. Albans, and Swanton Rexall. For $10/adult, $8/seniors and students, and $5/children. (Buy now. Prices will be two bucks higher at the door). Call 802-933-6171 or click here for more info.


ART ABOUT DNA (November 30)--The Institute for Research in Art at the University of South Florida, Tampa will host a unique, international juried show on the subject of DNA. All media -- painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, video, digital. Selected works in this exhibit will be presented only as projected images in a special, one night event throughout the USF Contemporary Art Museum. The "exhibition" will also be available on the USF CAM web gallery. Entry fee. Click here for info.

6TH ANNUAL NEW HAMPSHIRE ALLSTATE ART FESTIVAL (December 12)--The Currier Museum of Art invites professional artists to serve as workshop facilitators for approximately sixty high school juniors of exceptional artistic potential to work with artists in an intense, two-day collaborative studio experience, using the Currier collections as inspiration. Participating artists will receive an honorarium of $500 and room and meals during the Festival. E-mail Susan Leidy for info.

EXHIBITION PROPOSALS (December 15)--The Humanities Fine Arts Gallery of the University of Minnesota Morris is planning for exhibition in the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 academic years. E-mail for info.

4TH ANNUAL SHORT SHORT STORY COMPETITION (December 1)--Writer's Digest wants fiction that is bold, brilliant and brief. 1,500 words or less. Prizes range from $2,000 for first place to $100. Click here for info.


      Long retired from dance, Colorado sculptor Maggie Parker casts bronze sculpture in Loveland, CO, a town that has become famous as a center for the art. Her works show dancers in mid-flight, graceful, and catch the subtle changes to a dancer's body after years of training.
      Her site includes a sculpture showcase, biographical info, a list of galleries, and a discussion of the lost wax process.


      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).
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