ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 8 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 22, 2004


      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 mostly once each month, 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 All Arts Council and other area groups are developing a new home for our free regional events calendar and database of artists and we need your help to get it done. See for what needs to be done.


      Fifty (50) genuine Vermont sap buckets are being painted, decorated, and transformed into three-dimensional works of art in a program organized by St. Albans Town Educational Center art students, the Vermont Maple Festival, and the All Arts Council. The buckets will parade proudly through downtown St. Albans, Vermont, at the Maple Festival in April.
      Children at the St. Albans Town Educational began painting the buckets with scenes of Vermont. The buckets will be sold at the Maple Festival as a benefit for a local non-profit.
      The students, from one fifth grade class, one sixth grade, one seventh, and one eighth, have challenged Franklin County artists to pick up and paint the buckets of their own. Up to 20 buckets are available for area artists. The buckets are primed and ready at SATEC.
      Call grades 5-8 art teacher Kathleen Redman (802-527-7191) for info.


      Healing Legacies presents Healing with Visual Art, a three-week workshop for women to experience how art and self-expression can assist mending.
      Starting Saturday in the St. Albans City School, Fairfield artist and teacher Gail Salzman will meet women who have faced breast cancer. She will guide participants through activities that help them create a visual language to relate their experience with cancer.
      "Participants do not need prior art experience," Ms. Salzman said.
      About 5,000 Vermont women have experienced breast cancer; about 400 more will be diagnosed this year. The workshops will explore writing, verbalizing, movement, drawing, and painting and will explore both individual perspective and the commonality of this shared experience.
      This workshop is sponsored by a grant from the Vermont Women's Fund, and will be followed by an exhibit and public reception designed to promote public awareness of breast cancer and to provide an intimate glimpse of the relationship between art and healing. Each participant will create a permanent work that tells her own cancer story.
      The non-profit Healing Legacies arts organization helps women heal from breast cancer. The group provides outreach and education to women through its art registry, art exhibits, workshops, slide shows, video presentations and website. The art and the stories motivate people to think, to talk, and to take action in the fight against breast cancer.
      There are other local examples of using the power of creativity in healing. Georgia shore potter Deb Shell integrated sculpting with her studies for her Masters in Counseling and licensure as a clinical mental health worker. In the NCSS Program for Adaptive and Expressive Arts, Cheryl Kerr Finch and Chris Gauthier deliver therapeutic music services to children and adults ranging in age from 3 to 87 in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties. It is not a counselling program; it works on fine and gross motor skills, communication skills, and even new behaviors.
      Ms. Salzman teaches art at Community College of Vermont and Burlington City Arts and has developed several innovative art workshops including the series for all ages that incorporated dance and visual art in a celebration of St. Albans' community history, culminating in a performance/exhibition called "Locomotion."
      Ms. Salzman holds a B.A. degree in Fine Art from Indiana University and also studied art at Skowhegan School in Maine and the New York Studio School. She received a National Endowment for the Arts award in painting, as well as grants from the Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Arts Endowment Fund. Her work has been exhibited in galleries throughout New England and the East Coast.
      The Healing Legacies workshops will be held on Saturdays, January 24, 31, and February 7, at 9 a.m.-noon. Tuition is $15 and scholarships available. No previous art experience is needed; the maximum number of participants is 12. Call Healing Legacies (802-863-3507) or email E-mail to register.


ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella presents Big Joe Burrell with Rob Guerrina and Justin Rose in a Saturday night filled with the art of music.
      From the Flynn Center to Halvorson's, from Lyric Theater to Summer Sounds, gravel-voiced Big Joe Burrell brings sensational jazz playing to every audience.
      "We'll just be playing regular jazz and blues at Chow Bella's," he said. This is his second gig there since they expanded. "It's a nice room."
      Big Joe and I both moved to Vermont about 25 years ago. Of course, he is a professional saxophonist and singer, and I'm not.
      "A friend of mine, Charles Duncan, was playing at the Rooster Tail, and I was coming through from Montreal going back to New York. He said 'come down to Burlington. I'm playing in this club the Rooster Tail and it's not too hard. You play businessman bounce music.' I had a nephew who was a teacher at the college lived here and I stayed here with him."
      Big Joe toured with B. B. King and is renowned for his work with the Unknown Blues Band (better known as Kilimanjaro). He has played for St. Michael's College where the students were "his gang" and at festivals and concerts and social events.
      Acoustic bass Justin Rose performs regularly with Big Joe Burrell. He has performed with the Vermont Jazz Ensemble and the Vermont Philharmonic Orchestra and is a regular bassist for musicals with Lyric Theater.
      Franklin County's best jazz pianist Rob Guerrina of Swanton was on the Alfred McEwen CD, For the Love of Sean along with Paul Asbell of the Unknown Blues Band. A jazz musician for more than 40 years, Mr. Guerrina is a founder and continuing member of the group Just Jazz. He has also performed and given workshops and lectures in Grenada for the Grenadian Jazz Society.
      Big Joe Burrell and Friends play at Chow Bella, 28 N Main, Saturday evening starting at 9 p.m.

      Chow Bella's Connie Warden has one of Franklin County's biggest music lineups for 2004. Next week regular solo jazz guitarist Jerry Levine plays on Monday, the "rotating" pianist on the baby grand on Tuesday, and Bob Gagnon and Will Patton play jazz on Wednesday, January 28, at 6 p.m.


      Vermont artist Mike Mayone lives and creates photorealistic oil and acrylic paintings in East Middlebury. His site includes a gallery and marketing information.


      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 © 2004 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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