ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 12, 2006


      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.


      Palettes of Vermont is a statewide community arts project designed in the broad style of the marshmallow bales of Barnet, pigs of Brandon, moose of Bennington, and horses of Manchester. The bales, the pigs, the moose, and the horses have added significantly to the tourism traffic in their communities and across the state. They make pretty good folk art, too.
      Governor Jim Douglas, S.A.F.F. Executive Director Karen Bresnahan, Brandon folk artist Warren Kimble, and artists from across the state were on hand Tuesday as the Vermont Arts Council launched the Palettes of Vermont in the Vermont State House.
      "It was packed," said Ms. Bresnahan.
      Palettes of Vermont will be the largest statewide arts exhibition ever. Folk artist and VAC trustee Warren Kimble conceived the year long community arts project. The Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association has produced more than six thousand blank Vermont maple artist palettes for distribution to individuals and organizations around the state.
      The launch included an exhibit of completed palettes and demonstrations by painter Liza Myers and textile artist Judith Reilly plus demonstrations by Art Costa, mask-making, Chris Jeffrey, glass, Anni Mackay, textiles, and Janet Van Fleet, mixed media.
      "It was exciting to see the artists' perspective on the palettes," said Ms. Bresnahan. "Chris Jeffrey took the wooden palette as a template and cut one out of glass, so he made a whole stained glass palette. It was awesome A chocolatier did an entire palette in chocolate with truffles which represent the different colors and a paint brush.
      "S.A.F.F. is very excited to announce that Palettes of Vermont is coming to St. Albans," said Ms. Bresnahan. "This is an exciting opportunity."
      We want to see how thousands of Vermonters can turn a bare slab of wood into art. Sample palettes by Vermont artists include Patterns of Vermont by Warren Kimble as well as Vermeer's Cats by Joan Curtis, Hunting Scene by Dolores Furnari, Spike by Robin Kent, Peonies by Edward Loedding, Marsh Eggs by Liza Myers, and The Tenor by Peg Racine.
      S.A.F.F. will host Warren Kimble in a working session next Friday, January 20, at 6 p.m. at St. Albans City Hall to discuss how individuals and groups can participate in the exhibitions. Mr. Kimble will explain the details and answer questions about the statewide project. The first major Franklin County exhibition will occur during the Vermont Maple Festival.
      Palettes of Vermont is open to all Vermonters, not just professional artists; it offers an opportunity for people to become engaged in their local communities.
      The palettes will be exhibited by the All Arts Council, A.C.E., S.A.F.F. plus other organizations throughout Vermont.
      The palettes will spawn exhibits, charity auctions, a palette parade float, and more.
      The statewide Palettes of Vermont project was made possible with support from the Chittenden Bank and the Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association


     The Events for Tom Series presents Huun-Huur-Tu, the remarkable throat singers of Tuva in concert in FlynnSpace on Monday at 7 p.m. The group produces the sounds of the steppe, the cries of animals, the songs of birds and the chanting of spirits with the ancient voices of their past.
      Huun-Huur-Tu translates as "sun propeller," the first rays of the sun that rise from where the steppe and the mountains meet the sky.
      To the members of Huun-Huur-Tu, that refraction of light seems analogous to the "refraction" of sound in their articulated harmonics. Tuvans sing of the nature by imitating its sounds. They create "sonic maps" of their landscape with throat singing, whistling, and even traditional songs. The group preserves some of the world's oldest forms of music-making. They have made several tours in North America as well as concert and festival performances in nearly every country of Europe.
      The group and their nomadic horsemen ancestors have lived on the limitless steppes and cloud-clad mountains for thousands of years. Tuvans are a South Siberian Turkic people who number about 150,000.
      The concert is presented by the Events for Tom Series with support from the UVM Asian Studies Program, the Champlain Valley Festival, Parent to Parent of Vermont, Howard Johnson’s, Three Tomatoes and others.
      Admission is $20 in advance and $23 the day of the show. Tickets are available through the Flynn Regional Box Office (802.863.5966) or click here for more info
      The concert is the 43rd presentation in the Events for Tom Series. Proceeds from the concert benefit the Tom Sustic Fund, which supports families with children with cancer. For more general information about the series and the Tom Sustic Fund, call Mark Sustic (849.6968) or e-mail for more info.


DURHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE--The 19th Annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend features Northern Spy, Rodney Miller, Peter Barnes, Marko Packard, Old New England, Lisa Greenleaf, David Millstone and Tod Whittemore. The weekend begins tomorrow and continues through Sunday at the University of New Hampshire. Click here for more info.

MONTPELIER--Jae C. Steele and Speedbumps play the Langdon Street Café tomorrow at 7 p.m. Click here for more info.

WATERVILLE--The Cambridge Arts Council hosts a Family Contra Dance with caller Mark Sustic and Frank Heyburn, Michelle Lajoie, members of Fiddleheads and other youth musicians at the Waterville Town Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m. E-mail for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Cambridge Coffeehouse hosts the final Open Mic Night hosted by Rockin’ Ron at the 158 Main Restaurant and Bakery next Wednesday, January 18, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call Ron Carter (644.6632) for info.


     My fingers got running before my brain engaged in my roundup of upcoming arts activities.
      Artists may meet at St. Luke's but they do have a name I left out: The Bishop Street Artists. The group is growing and will indeed showcase area artists at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. That exhibit will be later this year.
      I created some confusion about the St. Albans Historical Museum schedule. The elevator project is on track for completion at the end of January. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is scheduled to begin February 8. The Museum will host a series of events, including a major All Arts Council exhibit, in the Robert Bliss Memorial Auditorium on the third floor this year.


     The Shelburne Museum houses one of the finest collections of American folk art in the world plus impressionist paintings, miniature circus figures and circus posters, and the steamboat Ticonderoga.
      The Bennington Museum houses "a cornucopia of American folk art" plus the largest collection of Grandma Moses art and memorabilia available to the public alongside collections of paintings, pottery, historical objects, and fine furniture.


      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 © 2006 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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