ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 13, 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.


      Creative Economics surfaced in two St. Albans projects that have regional implications this week. BFA gathered a committee of community leaders to consider building needs of the school and the community on Tuesday morning. St Albans for the Future hosted a brainstorming session Tuesday afternoon and evening. Both events are tangible evidence that the community is moving from talking about the economy to improving it.
      The BFA workshop formed the Auditorium, BFA/NWTC, Collins-Perley Research, and Finance Committees on Tuesday morning. The committees broke out into research groups to identify projects and pick followup people. The discussion included building a separate facility off school grounds as an auditorium or civic center or renovating and enlarging the existing auditorium. The committee examined architectural plans developed in the past. Sheri Moore of the St Albans Artists Guild represented the AAC at the meeting.
      The St Albans for the Future session generated a bushel basket full of ideas at the Let's Get Creative About Our Future pancake dinner Tuesday afternoon and evening.
      "We worked on a vision for St. Albans and the important projects people think we should focus on," S.A.F.F. Executive Director Karen Bresnahan said. "The resouce team got a good sense of community interests. The people were very engaged and enthusiastic."
      The scribes from that meeting will return with as many as 90 different ideas. "The May meeting will whittle those ideas down to four" workable projects, Mike Curtis said.
      Upcoming, there will be a community forum in the BFA Gymnasium next Tuesday, April 18, at 7 p.m. to get input and ideas about the projects and to involve community members in the process. A second Let's Get Creative meeting to define and begin four specific new projects will be held on Tuesday, May 2, at the People's Trust on Kingman Street. The BFA Strategic Planning Committee and the Research Committee will meet again May 9. The final Let's Get Creative meeting later in May will build the plans and begin implementing the four downtown projects.


ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn Pub and Grill presents the Nobby Reed Project tonight from 7-10 p.m.
      Vermont's most popular power-blues man Nobby Reed has always been about playing the guitar on stage. The Project plays the best original music in the soul-shakin'-electric Texas and Chicago blues styles with a Vermont touch. The band includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals. He has recorded and performed in a host of bands and has built an international audience. The Project played the Ben and Jerry's One Heart Festival, opened for Eddie Money, and has headlined every Franklin County Festival. The original NRP CDs include Guitar On My Back," "Best of (at Middle Earth), Moonlight Drivin,' and his newest, The Nobby Reed Project Live at The Harpoon BBQ Fest.

      Next Wednesday, the Lincoln Inn presents The Croppies. The "not even close to traditional" American-Irish band performs Irish, English, North American and contemporary songs, ranging from the jigs and reels of Gaelic dance to Breton melodies and the baroque flavored compositions of O'Carolan. Named for the rebels of the 1798 Irish Rebellion, the Croppies are Cheryl Kerr, fiddle, bodhran, mandolin, banjo, vocals; John Murray, bouzouki, vocals; Padrick Smith, button accordion, 4 string banjo, cittern, mandolinola, and vocals; Steve Foley, mandolin; and Chris Gauthier, bodhran, percussion, and vocals.

      Email the Lincon Inn or visit or for more info.

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 evening will 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, email with the title/artist of song you wish to perform. Click here for more info.


MUSIC CAMP (April 17)--The Second Annual Floating Bridge Music Camp is a weekend workshop for accordion, fiddle and guitar, held May 26-28 at Camp Pasquaney on Newfound Lake, near Plymouth NH. It will feature instruction by Sarah Blair on fiddle, Jeremiah McLane on accordion, and Adam Larrabee on guitar. Call 802.765.9904, email, or click here for more info.

FIBER FEVER (April 21)--Foundry Art Centre of Charles, MO, is accepting artwork by working artists that explores the expressive uses of any kind of fiber. May be functional, non-functional, traditional, contemporary, woven, felted, knitted, twined, paper, quilted, stitched, or unexpected. Awards one "Going Solo" or $1,000 cash and one Group 4 Award. Entry fee. Call 636.255.0270 or click here for more info.

ARTIST'S MAGAZINE'S 23RD ANNUAL ART COMPETITION (May 1)--Five categories include Portrait and Figure, Still Life, Landscape, Experimental, and Animal Art. There is a Special Student/Beginner Division for new artists. More than $25,000 in cash prizes. Top Award Winners will be featured in the December 2006. 13 finalists receive 2007 Calendar slots. Call 513.531.2690 x1328, email, or click here for details and an entry form.

ART QUILTS (May 11)--This juried feature of the Lowell (MA) Quilt Festival is open to residents of New England and New York State. Click here for a prospectus.

19TH ANNUAL NORTHERN NATIONAL (May 19)--Juried art competition is open to U.S. Artists 18 or older. Three $1,000 Awards of Excellence and over $8,500 total in prize money. All proceeds from sales go to the artists. Entry Fee. Call 715-365-4556, email or click here for more info.

4th ANNUAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING VISUALIZATION CHALLENGE (May 31)--The National Science Foundation and the journal Science invite participants for the international competition which recognizes scientists, engineers, visualization specialists, and artists for producing or commissioning innovative work in visual communication. Photographs, Illustrations, Interactive Media, Non-Interactive Media and Informational Graphics. No entry fee. Click here for more info


     Anna Vreman of Milton uses water-based media to capture the essence of the Vermont landscape on paper, canvas or board. Her site includes a gallery of medium & large paintings, Selected Small Paintings, Greeting Cards, Reproduction Prints, Purchasing info, Exhibits, and biographical info. She will participate in Open Studio Weekend May 27-28.


      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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