ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 27, 2005


      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.


      "I do a bunch of stuff," photographer Kris Jarrett said.
      He is a photography and multi-media production company doing studio and location photography, plus sound and lights for small theater events and bands. He does some demo recording. And he organized the recent Tsunami Relief concert at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls.
      "I would say I'm a photographer first but I like to be an artist," he said. "I look at the world with an artist's perspective so I do photography as my primary business, graphic design as well, web page design, and I dabble in music where my talents apply but that's more on the recording and the organization aspect. Photography is my art, my career."
      It runs in the family. Mr. Jarrett's grandfather, Wesley John Henry Williamson, was a professional photographer in St. Albans. "I grew up with him taking pictures and me wrestling the camera away from him as a little kid and taking pictures with his expensive cameras."
      His grandfather worked with film, of course. Mr. Jarrett works entirely digitally. "I haven't touched a piece of film since I left school," he said. "I was lucky that, when I was buying my equipment, when I was making that investment in studio equipment, digital was good enough to make the investment in that. I started off with that. I simply never had to buy it."
      He has a studio on Main Street in St. Albans. "It was used as an old copy machine/storage space," he said. He renovated for a year to have a workspace/office/sitting room and a separate shooting studio. Portraits pay the studio rent. He shoots seniors, head shots for actors and models and musicians, and family portraits, as well as imagery for web sites. Main Street is popular with artists. The Blue Eyed Dog Gallery as well as other photographers and artists have their studios there.
      "Location stuff is more what I prefer," he said. "I like to be outside but I do some still life in the studio, as well, more artistic stuff."
      Having an eye for detail and a camera to capture it is only part of the art of photography. After the light has exposed the film or been captured in a memory card, a photographer can change what the audience sees.
      Mr. Jarrett deliberately limits the digital processing he performs. "You can do some color adjustments, some contrast adjustment, some cropping" but he doesn't "touch it beyond the things you would do in a darkroom." For his nature photographs he tries to follow the National Geographic standards for editing. "what you saw is what you got. That's the real art in it, especially with nature photography because you are trying to capture something that is there," he said.
      "If I'm doing something more abstract in the studio in black-and-white, all bets are off. I might add things, take things away, put some effects on."
      The Lunar Eclipse during the Red Sox World Series is a good example of the effects he will use. "I took the pictures I took every half hour during the eclipse, cut them out and put them on one frame. I think that is a good use of the digital technology. It's something that would have taken days or weeks in the darkroom and multiple attempts."
      He does like the control he gains shooting digital photos rather than film. "I'm not sending it off to a lab and letting them do the color correction. I know exactly what I'm going to get. And the speed I get to look at those. If I do a shoot in the studio in the afternoon, that evening I'm editing on my laptop sitting on my couch. And the client gets to see them within a couple of hours. When I finish editing, they're up on my website and they can see the results immediately."
      He also likes working in this area where he gets "to do everything. One day, I'll be doing pictures for of renovated airplane engines at the airport and the next day I'll be doing a wedding or a family portrait. It's really varied."
      Mr. Jarrett also volunteers with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes. "I get out on a lot of their boats during the summer," he said, "and go to the different historical events with their 18th and 19th Century boats. I take some pictures and get some time on the lake." He will be sailing and photographing on the schooner Lois McClure on the lake and canal tour this summer.
      Kris Jarrett mixes his online gallery with his portrait work online at


      The Kept Writer is closing for good at the end of this week. It's been good fun with fine art and great musicians and wonderful books and nice people.
      Launie and Jedd have held the real world at bay for more than four years. Now they are holding the sale of all sales. As usual, slightly larger discounts will be given for people who bring us candy, flowers, or libations, they said.
      Thanks for a good run.


ENOSBURG--The FNESU Tobacco Free Coalition and the Opera House in Enosburg Falls present a Community Contra Dance on Saturday at 7-9 p.m. at the Opera House. Caller Mark Sustic, and musicians Erica Andrus, fiddle, and Eric Andrus, piano, will have the entire dance floor available in this benefit for the families of Franklin County Troops in Iraq.
      Call Joanna Jerose (933-8789) or Mark Sustic E-mail.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Cambridge Arts Council presents Tim Jennings and Leann Ponder Saturday evening 6-8 p.m. at the Cambridge Elementary School Auditorium in Jeffersonville. E-mail.


      The multi-directory Hollywood Creative Directory catalogue is commonly known as the "phone books to Hollywood."


      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 © 2005 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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