ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 9 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 26, 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.


      Vermont's thirteenth annual Open Studio Weekend begins Saturday at 10 a.m. This statewide celebration puts Vermont artists and craftspeople "on exhibit" in their own studios. The event begins the summer season during Memorial Day Weekend each year. More than two hundred and sixty-four sites will be open with more than three hundred artists and artisans participating this year.
      Some of the artists open their working studios to the public only during this weekend. It is an opportunity for them to talk about their work and to demonstrate the skill and processes used to make it. The participating artists plan to be trying to get work done as well as teaching while visitors poke around.
      The educational component "is actually a requirement," Fairfax artist Valerie Ugro said. "Our studios have to be set up at least so we can demonstrate our art. I thought that was fun and I might actually get some work done at the same time I'm doing the show."
      Elizabeth Boudreau's Victorian Touch is a riotous spray of dry floral and garden art in East Berkshire.
      David Derner splits his time between copper and steel sculptures and landscape paintings in Windy Hollow Studio. Mr. Derner will also host Josh Derner, landscape paintings, of Fairfax, and Dennis Provencher, Architectural iron, of Milton VT
      Nancy Hayden creates paintings, masks, gourds inspired by nature at the Northwind Studio and Gallery in Jeffersonville.
      In Milton, Painter Lorraine C. Manley creates colorful oil and acrylic, impressionist paintings.
      Rick Russell has studio furniture in progress at Redfield Woodworking in a barn in Fletcher.
      Woodturner Alan Stirt crafts turned wood bowls and platters on Enosburg Mountain Road in Enosburg Falls.
      Meta Strick Gets Away With Art Carved, with painted wood figures and ornaments at her studio in Fairfield.
      Tursini Woodturning and Bowl Works is the home of Ralph Tursini's unique green-turned wooden bowls in the Cambridge Business Park.
      Valerie Ugro specializes in Vermont landscapes in watercolor and acrylic, and in artistic portraits of homes and business businesses at her Vermont paintings and Prints studio in Fairfax. She will demonstrating painting and stained glass. "I've been doing it a long time but I only do it by commission. Pretty much because my joints can't handle all that heavy work," she said.
      Other statewide participants include furniture makers, glass blowers, ironworkers, jewelers, quilters painters, potters, printmakers, sculptors, weavers, and wood carvers. Many galleries will host gallery talks and feature special exhibits in conjunction with this event.
      Directions to the area studios are in the sidebar but there is an easy way to find east artists. Get somewhere near each studio and "follow the yellow signs," Ms. Ugro said.


      The first Vermont Cultural Heritage Tourism Month begins May 28 and runs through June 27. This month-long collection of events will explore Vermont's people, history, artistry, inventiveness, community, and humor. In addition to the Studio festival, the Vermont Cultural Heritage Month will feature about 1,000 events including Vermont Days and the Vermont History Expo. Vermont is home to a greater percentage of artisans and inventors than anywhere else in the U.S., according to the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.
      Cultural Heritage Month will celebrate all types of music, visual art, theater, concerts, and food. Open Studio Weekend begins the month-long exploration but, wait, there's more! The month of June also includes the kick off of two other major festivals in Franklin County, the Vermont Dairy Festival and the Summer Sounds Concert Series.
      Human culture began in Vermont when humans first arrived here 14,000 years ago. European explorers brought our current past here some 400 years ago. That history will be showcased through the exhibits and interactions in the St. Albans Historical Museum and will culminate at the Vermont History Expo, June 25-26, at the Tunbridge World's Fair Grounds.


      The 49th Annual Vermont Dairy Festival begins next Thursday, June 2, and continues through June 5 in Enosburg Falls. The Festival includes live entertainment every day, starting next Thursday evening with the Vermont Dairy Festival Scholarship Pageant. Borderline headlines Friday and Saturday evenings playing Rock and Roll and country favorites. Saturday will include a marching bands contest, the country/country rock of Yankee Wild, Tom Sabo's Musical Memories, and the Northeast Fiddlers Association. Dan the Puppet Man kicks off a Sunday full of awards, entertainment and family fun.
      Call 933-4625 or click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Overtime Saloon features Armand Messier in the Piano Bar on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Messier teaches choral music at BFA-St. Albans and operates a professional recording studio in Swanton. It is a rare treat to catch him exercising his own chops at the keyboard.
      Vermont Singer/Songwriter Paul Douse will play unplugged on Saturday at 9 p.m.

WAITSFIELD--The Third Annual May Rain Blues Festival features the Nobby Reed Project plus the Charlie Hunter Trio, Vorcza, and Seth Yacovone on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Eclipse Theater. Call 434-7650, e-mail, or click here for more info.

MONTPELIER--The Will Patton Quartet on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at the Black Door. The Quartet brings the mandolin into the context of Gypsy jazz, be-bop, Brazilian sambas and choros. E-mail for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The BFA-St Albans Music Department will present a Patriotic Concert next Thursday, June 2, at St. Mary's Church in St. Albans. The choral concert will support U.S. troops and honor local Armed Forces members past, present, and future. Admission is free although audience members are encouraged to bring items that can be sent to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Call BFA Music (527-6538) or click here for more info.


      The Burlington Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, (formerly the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartets in America) includes calendar info, the Holiday show, a Members Only page, Valentines and links. Their annual show is Friday Night at the Barre Opera House and Saturday at South Burlington H.S.

      The Vermont Studio Tour Map contains directions to participating sites (click here). The route to each studio should be marked with yellow signs.

Victorian Touch--Elizabeth Boudreau. 2814 Route 105, East Berkshire. (802) 933-6730. Travel north from Enosburg Falls towards East Berkshire on Route 105 for 5 miles. The studio is on Route 105 across from the intersection of Route 105 and Route 118 in East Berkshire.

Windy Hollow Studio--David Derner, Josh Derner, and Dennis Provencher. On I-89 take exit 18 and go south on VT Route 7, for .2 mile. Turn left onto VT Route 104 A and go for 1.7 miles. Continue east, just past the train bridge turn right onto bridge over the Lamoille River. Turn right onto Arrowhead Lake Rd. and travel for 1.2 miles. Turn right at the railroad tracks onto Cooper Rd. and travel for .1 mile. We are on the left. From Milton Village go north on VT Route 7 (River St.). Turn east onto Main St. and go for .6 miles. Turn left onto North Rd and travel for 1.9 miles. Turn left onto Cooper Rd. and go for .1 mile. The studio is on the left.

Northwind Studio and Gallery--Nancy Hayden. 3727 Route 15, Jeffersonville. (802) 644-8332. On Route 15 between Cambridge and Jeffersonville at The Farm Between. This farm is just west of the Maple Outlet.

Lorraine C. Manley. 36 Manley Rd, Milton. (802) 893-7860. On I-89, take exit 17. Go north on Route 7 through Milton. Go over the bridge and take the next left onto Lake Rd across from the Dam Store. Go up Lake Rd 1/2 mile to a curve. Go straight onto Manley Rd. Go 1/4 mile to the studio, #36, which is on the left, a white farmhouse across from a large red barn.

Redfield Woodworking--Rick Russell. 586 Shaw Rd, Fletcher. (802) 849-6875. At the only blinking light in Fairfax on Route 104, turn onto the Fletcher Rd. Take the immediate left around the brick church. Go 5 miles to a 4 way intersection with white church on the corner. Go straight up Shaw Rd (gravel) which runs along the side of the church .6 mile. The studio is in a barn on the right.

Woodturner--Alan Stirt. 1267 Enosburg Mountain Rd, Enosburg Falls. (802) 933-2125. From Enosburg Falls, take Route. 108 south for 2.5 miles. Just past Ovitt's Quick Stop on the right, turn left onto Tyler Branch Rd, and travel for 2.2 miles to a stop sign on Boston Post Rd. Continue straight on Tyler Branch Rd. for 1.3 miles and turn right onto Horseshoe Circle Rd (gravel). Travel 1.2 miles to a 3 way intersection and bear right onto Enosburg Mountain Rd. Do not make a sharp right over a bridge. Travel 1.3 miles on Enosburg Mountain Rd to the yellow house on the left, with a black mailbox, #1267. Park in the driveway or across the road. Studio is wood sided and a 100 ft walk from the house.

Get Away With Art--Meta Strick. 460 Cronin Rd, Fairfield. (802) 527-7846. From St. Albans, go east on Route 36 for about 6.7 miles to Fairfield Center. Turn left at Fairfield Center, onto North Rd. Travel about 3.7 miles. Turn left onto Pond Rd. Go one mile and turn right onto Cronin Rd, directly across from Reynolds Rd, and travel .5 mile. Bear right at the Y. Park in front of the log house and log studio.

Tursini Woodturning and Bowl Works--Ralph Tursini. 184A John Putnam Drive, Cambridge (802) 644-5131. From I-89 take exit 15, and Route 15 W to Jericho. Go through Jericho and pass Clark's Truck Center on right, then the gas station/general store on left. From gas station travel 9.3 miles more to the "Business Park in Cambridge". Turn left into business park Make next left on John Putnam Memorial Drive. Turn right into second (and last) drive. Studio entrance is the last door on the right when facing building from parking lot.

Valerie Ugro, Watercolor, acrylic, landscape and architecture painting. 266 Huntville Rd, Fairfax. (802) 849-6185. From I-89 take exit 18, and go south on Route. 7. Take a left onto Route 104A east and go to the end, about 4 miles. Take a right onto Route 104 S., and go 1.3 miles to Huntville Rd. on your left. turn onto Huntville Rd and travel for 1.3 miles. Stay on the pavement as there is an S turn past Hillcrest Trucking Firm, studio is on the left in a white house with a porch, #266. Traveling from the east, follow Route. 15 W through Cambridge. Take Route. 104 W, go 8 miles, through the village of Fairfax. About 1/4 mile from the blinking light in Fairfax, take a right onto Huntville Rd and follow the directions above. If you pass Nan's Mobil, back up two streets.


      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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