ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 26, 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.


      The Palettes of Vermont project came to St. Albans City Hall last Friday. More than 30 people from all over Franklin County joined folk artist Warren Kimble to kick off individual and group projects in area exhibits and events. The AAC, A.C.E., the Bishop Street artists, the Maple Festival, S.A.F.F., two schools, and individual artists, photographers, writers, and community members were on hand with ideas ranging from a new giant Guinness Record palette to palette crop circles to scrapbook palettes.
      We need more ideas and more volunteers. Although the time table includes a statewide gallery showing from July through October, Franklin County will have at least two early events in the Spring with an official kickoff at the Maple Festival and a possible school exhibit in late-March.
      "Artists will be working on it in February and March," S.A.F.F. Director Karen Bresnahan said. A steering committee will form in St. Albans City Hall next Thursday, February 2, at 6 p.m. Call Ms. Bresnahan (802.524.1500) for info.


     "I go out in my backyard and shoot pictures," Dennis Holsopple said. "There is so much out there so a lot [of his work] is closeups from the garden." His portfolio has snow scenes, foliage, sunrises and sunsets. "Whatever is out there that catches my eye."
      Mr. Holsopple's photographs are on display in the Northwestern Medical Center gallery. This is not only his first exhibit at the hospital, it is his first professional show.
      "I'm sure you've heard, Stop and smell the flowers," he said. "It's the same as stopping to look at them. You find some things you just didn't realize were there. It amazes me."
      He shoots with a digital camera. "Digital cameras are amazing. When I was a kid, I played around with a camera but I never had the money to develop film. My brother and I dabbled with developing black and white pictures but I could never get into color the way I wanted to." Burning film was always a tremendous expense. Now no photographer thinks twice about "burning" 50 or 100 shots to get one keeper. "You can just weed out the not-so-good ones."
      Mr. Holsopple works at the hospital. His photographs will remain on exhibit through the end of this month.


     When Songwriter Thomas Toof called the AAC this week. "I wrote a song about Johnny Leclair," he said.
      Mr. Toof is not a professional songwriter. He isn't a member of a band. "I knew there was a hockey song out about Bobby Orr a while ago," he said. He would like "someone from Hollywood to hear" him, to "write songs for a band."
      When Mr. Toof asked for help, I discovered how few resources for songwriters I know about here in Franklin County. There are a few concerts and open mic nights throughout the year. Moving farther afield, tonight is Songwriter Night at the Langdon Street Café in Montpelier. What else is there? If you have suggestions, email the All Arts Council . We will put together a list for everyone.


PUTNEY--A benefit contra Dance featuring caller David Kaynor and musicians Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, Anna Patton, and Carrie Ferguson will be held in Pierce's Hall on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. There will be a workshop for beginners at 8 p.m. The suggested donation is $7 for this fund raiser for the Building Fund. Email for more info
      "She's got more work than I do," proud dad Will Patton of Bakersfield said of Anna. "She tours all the time and has a number of other upcoming New England gigs."

JEFFERSONVILLE--Cambridge Coffeehouse presents Professor Fairbanks and Tracy Wolters on Wednesday at the 158 Main Restaurant and Bakery at 7 p.m. Call Ron Carter (802.644.6632) for info.


     The Vermont Council on Rural Development has moved a library of Creative Communities Program materials online. Their site includes the most recent application for participating in the Creative Communities Program with its April 21 deadline. The application has a good description of the program. The 2004 Advancing Vermont's Creative Economy report by the Vermont Council on Culture and Innovation has entered its third printing. That report is also available online. The site also includes the new report from the Vermont Council on Planning with its summary of the history of planning in the state. click here for more info.
      Two other statewide programs will also involve all of Franklin County in arts and culture in 2006. The Vermont Arts Council launched Palettes of Vermont last week and the Vermont Humanities Council has chosen a new book for its popular Vermont Reads project, As Long as There Are Mountains by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock.


     The Vermont Humanities Council has been "Sharing Our Past and Shaping Our Future" since 1974. In addition to Vermont Reads, the site has a guide to fiction set in Vermont, information about the 2006 Spelling Bee for Literacy, a poetry project in Vermont’s prisons, the Victor R. Swenson Humanities Educator Award, the Speakers Bureau, and more.


      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).
      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.