ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 16, 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.

      This week more than three-quarters of the column is devoted to local calls for artists in all media and disciplines.


     The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant has funded a new series of after-school programs in the Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union.
      Your favorite arts column has the scoop because the arts can play a vital role in the program.
      The Crossroads After School Program begins its first eight week session at Franklin Elementary, Highgate Elementary, Missisquoi Valley Union High School, and Swanton Elementary schools on March 27. Named for the interconnection between the three towns, Crossroads will offer afternoon adventures in learning for students in the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grades. The Spring session will run through May 26 and Summer session planning is underway now. It is free.
      Carol Lizotte is the Program Director. The school site coordinators are Nancy Wilson in Franklin, Joyce Ashton in Highgate, and Tiffany Renaudette in Swanton. Ms. Lizotte is still looking for an MVU coordinator.
      "The academic activities could include a homework café, after school visual arts, interactive literacy, hands-on science, a technology lab, and a reading and research component which could be like a junior Great Books." Joyce Ashton said about the Highgate plans. "We plan to be open Monday through Thursday from 2:45-4:30 and busing will be available. There will be a snack time." All the schools have very similar plans. Franklin also wants to offer interactive literacy and the MVU list includes arts enrichment and guitar lessons.
      "We're trying to define programs now," Ms. Lizotte said. "We are looking for drama and things that can tie in to reading and to math standards."
      The coordinators are excited about a visual arts program that would be a change from normal classroom opportunity.
      "The homework center is running and a cribbage club is planned. That can go toward a math component," Ms. Ashton said.
      Using music to teach math or theater to teach reading is called back door academics. It is where "S.C.U.B.A. science would have physics," Ms. Lizotte said. "We have a lot of flexibility."
      The Crossroads After School Program needs artists, artisans, and community members with skills and experiences to share with middle school students in the new program.
      "We want to hire someone as soon as possible," she said of the MVU opening. "We're going to be doing this for three to five years." Call or email Ms. Lizotte (802.868.4967 x 21) for more info about setting up or participating in the Crossroads sessions.
      Nationwide, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers are federally funded through state appropriations; they provide academic enrichment activities to help students meet local and state academic standards in core subjects. The Centers also offer youth development activities, drug and violence prevention programs, technology education programs, art, music and recreation programs, as well as counseling and character education.


MAPLE ARTISTS NEEDED (March 15)--The AAC will again host a major arts exhibit of area artists when the 40th annual Vermont Maple Festival comes to St. Albans on April 28-30. More than 50,000 people attend this annual event, making it the largest Spring showcase in Vermont.
      For 2006, the All Arts exhibit at the Maple Festival moves to the St Albans Historical Museum. The show is open to all Franklin County area artists in any media except video and installations. No entry fee. Exhibit space is free. Commission is charged on sales.
      Entries can be downloaded here or email the All Arts Council for more info.

PALETTES OF VERMONT (March 31)--Palettes of Franklin County is on its way to being the largest area art show as well as the biggest statewide arts exhibition ever. Artists in every possible media have pledged to adorn, bedeck, create, decorate, and embellish more than 6,000 palettes statewide. The state has no more palettes available.
      The AAC and S.A.F.F. already have reservations for about half the palettes we ordered. Franklin County artists may reserve a palette now. Call Alisha Sawyer (802.524.2444) or email to catch yours. The Vermont Arts Council expects to ship them by the end of February.
      "We will have our initial showing at the Maple Festival," said S.A.F.F. Executive Director Karen Bresnahan.
      Palettes of Franklin County (Vermont) will include work donated by AAC members, the Bishop Street artists, S.A.F.F. friends, area students, and individual artists, photographers, writers, and community members. There will be a new Guinness record attempt in St. Albans as well as exhibits and an Art Train, and even an auction.

NOT TO SCALE (March 3)--Artists may submit work that investigates all aspects of size and scale including literal or conceptual interpretation for a show beginning in April. The exhibition is open to all artists in the United States and abroad working in any medium. Entry fee. $500.00 in awards. Call 703-838-4565x4, email, or click here for more info.

2006 GATEWAY TO IMAGINATION (March 16)--The Farmington Museum national juried art competition will consider all types of media. Entry fee. Cash awards. Email or click here to download a prospectus.

DIGITAL PHOTO CONTEST (March 20)--The Photo Workshop Contest Go to Extremes is open to everyone over 18. No entry fee. Prizes include equipment and memberships. Submit an Official Online Entry Form together with a qualifying photograph. Only online entries will be accepted. Click here for complete entry guidelines.

Fine Art of Craft (March 24)--The Studio Place Arts exhibit in Barre showcases original, non-production crafts that demonstrate high levels of craftsmanship and imagination by regional artisans. Application fee (waived for SPA members). Click here for more info.


     Contemporary artist Tom Konieczko has shown his work for years in Maine and is now establishing himself in Vermont. His site includes self-portraits and paintings that "present visual metaphors ... [and] depict an exaggerated sense of life."


      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.