ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 29, 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 or at the Overtime Saloon in St Albans 8-10 p.m. most Wednesday 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.


      Sandra Vaillancourt-Beaty is having a February art show in Montgomery, starting with a wine and cheese opening reception tomorrow night at the Montgomery Town Library. She calls the exhibit A Decade of Tell-Tale Art: Read Between the Lines of Color.
      "I'm doing a retrospective," Ms. Vaillancourt-Beaty said. "It's fun when I pull out all the pieces I've done, it's like an autobiography."
      The exhibit will showcase a variety of media, genres, and will include her bathtub scenes, landscapes, women, self-portraits, still lifes, monoprints, and more. With prints, recent acrylics, watercolors, and colored pencil, "it's quite a mixed bag," she said.
      She had a house in Montgomery "with a great back deck" before she married a year ago. "When we redid my mother's house, she had an old claw foot bathtub. I set it up on the back porch and it would take five five-gallon pails to fill it. I had curtains all around it. I could take baths in the winter and I got this idea. I did a calendar drawing with pen-and-ink and watercolors." Those drawings had birds and snowshoes and "different little slippers on the claw feet."
      The drawings caught the Town of Montgomery and have been popular fundraisers there.
      Some of her other works are small. She has painted on canvas bags and made miniatures and art prints.
      "I love to do 'paper cuts,'" she said. Instead of painting, "I cut paper into very thin strips and create a whole painting with paper." She uses papers in various colors from around the world.
      Ms. Vaillancourt-Beaty has taught "art for several years longer than my Enosburg high school students are old." She finds great personal pleasure in the creative process. She has a life filed with her graphic design business, four grown children, one grandchild, lots of travel, laughter, the outdoors, dinners with friends and creating art.
      A Decade of Tell-Tale Art: Read Between the Lines of Color begins tomorrow at the Montgomery Town Library and continues through the month of February. The opening reception is tomorrow night from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Library.
      "I'm excited," she said


ST. ALBANS--The Blue-Eyed Dog Framing and Gallery series of All Arts Council exhibits continues with a Black-and-White show of Vermont fine art photographers Roxanne Firkey, Chuck Meunier, and Wayne Tarr at the Gallery through February.
      Roxanne Firkey will show one image she calls Diane's Brook because "it is in back of my friend Diane's home."
      Chuck Meunier shows an exceptional painter's eye in his photography.
      Wayne Tarr specializes in portraiture and in thought-provoking black and white imagery. He is an award-winning member of the Vermont Professional Photographers and is working toward a Master of Photography degree, the Professional Photographers of America designation for top professionals.
      The AAC exhibit at the Blue-Eyed Dog Gallery is open Monday through Saturday 10-5 at 1 Lake Street in St. Albans. Call 524-4447 for info.

ST. ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center rotating exhibit wall features Roxanne Firkey of St. Albans for January.
      Ms. Firkey is a photographer. Her hospital exhibit is scenery from around the state; It includes landscapes, skyscapes, foliage, covered bridges, and Lake Willoughby. She has images from Mt. Philo, and from Fairfield Hill of the lake.
      Most of her current work is digital.
      "I think of myself as an amateur," she said. "This started as a fundraiser. We had to raise some money for equipment at church, so I went through my pictures and decided to enlarge some of them and frame and mat them and I made $300 toward the fund."
      She just crossed the line.
      Her work was also available at the Sugar Mill for two years.
      Ms. Firkey is a para-educator in the South Burlington school district working in Special Education. She has lived in St. Albans for ten years, has three kids and a five year-old grandson, and is a drummer at Church of the Rock


ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella presents a weekend of music. There will be a reprise of the special Latin Salsa and Swing Party tomorrow evening. David Larson and Rebecca Brookes will teach a free beginning class in both salsa and East Coast swing at 8:30 p.m. Then on Saturday Funkestra plays at 8.

ST. ALBANS--"We had to postpone the Healing Arts workshop," Fairfield artist Gail Salzman said. She will lead the Healing with Visual Art workshops for women of any age who have faced breast cancer and want to experience the transforming qualities of art and self-expression. On two Saturdays, February 7 and 14 at 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., in the St. Albans City School there will be two longer workshops to explore writing, verbalizing, movement, drawing and painting. The exhibit will be postponed until March 6.
      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 e-mail to register.


      The Arts and Healing Network is a resource that connects art and healing. This site is an international resource for anyone interested in the healing potential of art including those challenged by illness. The network Bulletin Board is an online forum with community based projects, AHN classes and conferences, inspirational stories, networking, and even funding opportunities.


      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).
      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.