ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 5 , 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.


      The convergence of 05 and 05 and 05 today suggests either that the AAC should run right out to buy the winning lottery ticket or it will snow in Vermont.
      Cinco de Mayo is a party to celebrate freedom and liberty the day in which Mexican troops defeated the French. That defeat prevented France from resupplying the Confederacy during the American Civil War. The RiRa Cinco de Mayo Live! features Gordon Stone tonight on Church Street and Higher Ground will host a Latin Dance Party Cinco De Mayo Celebration with DJ Hector "El Salsero" tomorrow at 8pm in South Burlington.


      The Doll-Anstadt Gallery presents Convergence, a new solo exhibition by Fairfield artist Gail Salzman beginning with a public reception for the artist tomorrow evening. The exhibit will continue through the month of May.
      Working primarily in oils, Ms. Salzman creates richly layered paintings that suggest primordial rhythms. "Realistic painting is a category that we all understand," she said. "Representational painting which might not be realistic but it represents something recognizable is another category. And narrative painting is representational but does tell a story." She does not think of her work as at all narrative or as completely abstract.
      "A lot of my work relates to watery images, to something that has to do with water," she said "It isn't really all about what does water looks like. It's more about what does water do, the movement of the water, the reflective qualities, the aspect of water that forms itself into whatever contains it. That's more about what water does than what it looks like." Her imagery, the language she uses, connects shapes and movements to what she sees or has experienced in nature. "I'm not just interested in any old shape or color association with something from nature but that it relates to something of emotional content for me." The movement of water in the oval pond outside her studio window and the tidal pools of coastal Maine inspire recurring visual motifs in her work.
      Convergence refers to the turning point, the moment when a sensual experience intersects with the memories evoked by the art. She is now "struggling to say in words what I'm saying in paint," she said. "The paint is easier!"
      Ms. Salzman is an award- and grant-winning artist and teacher. She was among the first artists to receive a painting award from the National Endowment for the Arts. She received her BFA from Indiana University, studied at the Skowhegan School, and the New York Studio School in New York City. She has taught art at Community College of Vermont in St. Albans for thirteen years as well as at the Firehouse Center for the Arts, and has guided the VSA Arts of Vermont programs in St. Albans. She 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 the performance/exhibition Locomotion. Her Healing Legacies event "Healing with Visual Art" is a three-week workshop for women to experience how art and self-expression assists mending. She exhibits regularly on the East Coast and her works are represented in several permanent collections.
      Ms. Salzman will be one of only 15 national artists chosen for the New Turf exhibit at Fleming Museum, beginning July 5. The artists explore fresh and diverse approaches to the abstracted landscape. She is also one of five finalists in the National Museum Arts competition, Women in the Arts, and will be in the Women's Work: No Boundaries exhibit at Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, starting June 10.
      "Paintings are like music, where the possible combinations of notes are limitless," she said. "I have to be patient and pay attention when the right chord is played, the chord that resonates." In the next part of our interview, we will talk about modern music that has taken a huge step away from the language of music that we all understand. Ms. Salzman and I will discuss her studio, marketing, and how people approach non-representational paintings and gain the language to understand them.
      A reception will be held tomorrow from 68 p.m. at the Doll-Anstadt Gallery at 91 College Street.


JERICHO--Symphony Reel presents a Contra Dance at the Jericho Community Center tomorrow evening with caller Mark Sustic and Symphony Reel--Roy Feldman and Laura Markowitz, fiddles, and John Dunlop, bouzouki.
      "There used to be regular dances here," Laura Markowitz said. "We want to see if we can get that started again."
      A Family Dance starts at 7 p.m., then a Contra Dance from 8 to 11 p.m. Admission is $6 per person or $12 for families. Call 879-4606 for more info.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--The Events for Tom Series presents Buffy Sainte-Marie at 7:30 p.m. in the Higher Ground Ballroom.
      Academy Award winner Buffy Sainte-Marie became famous in the 1960s for her love songs and protest songs. Until It's Time for You to Go was recorded by Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Roberta Flack, Sonny and Cher, and over 200 other artists worldwide.
      Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

FAIRFAX--The regular Music Session continues Saturday with acoustic instrumentalists playing traditional songs at the Foothills Bakery, 1-4:30 p.m. Admission is free by donation.

WATERVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents community dances on Saturdays at 7 p.m. in the Waterville Town Hall. The evenings feature contras, squares, circles, play parties and singing games and all dances will be taught. Bring a partner, the entire family, or come alone. Caller Mark Sustic offers dance instruction. Frank Heyburn and Michele Lajoie play. Guest musicians with acoustic instruments are welcome. Admission is $5 per person and $10 for families at the door.

ST. ALBANS--The Overtime Saloon offers Open Mic with Abby Jenne and Friends every Wednesday at 8 p.m. Abby encourages performers of all kinds to attend. If you need instrumental accompaniment, e-mail with the title/artist of song you wish to perform. click herefor more info.


      April 22-May 1 was National Dance Week but organizers do spread the events beyond the calendar borders.
      Thousands of events have included the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to American Ballet Theater in Los Angeles to the American Dance Awards in Springfield, Mass.
      Kevin Laddison of First Step Dance will host a partner dance and lessons at Chow Bella in St. Albans on Friday. The evening will start at 7 p.m. with a 30 minute lesson in Waltz followed by a 30 minute lesson in Cha Cha at 7:30. Dancing will continue from 8 until 10 pm. The cost will be $10/person for the lesson and dance, or $5/person after 8:00. High school/ college students are $5 for the evening. Call 802.598.6757 or e-mail for info.

CLICK HERE: ART SITES OF THE WEEK, the Perpetual Preschool, and Friends Across America all offer free Cinco de Mayo holiday clipart, ideas, and lesson plans.


      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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