ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 17, 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.


      Having the World's Largest Palette in Franklin County has offered some logistical difficulties. The Palette needs a new home. Sticks and Stuff has hosted it in their in St Albans buildings. Franklin County Industrial Development has hosted it on Precision Drive in Swanton. Gregg Brown has kept it under the Clarence Brown canopy. I've even had it in my driveway.
      We need a new home for a couple more months. The technical requirements are a 14- or 16-foot tall ground level overhead door and room for the palette on its 18' x 8' flatbed trailer. Email the All Arts Council if you would like to volunteer your space or if you have seen a building that might do.


     Summer Sounds introduces a "new old band" to Highgate on Sunday as the Tyler Place presents the broad mix of classic to current rock, blues, alternative, and originals of Smokin Gun.
      "We mix it up musically," Bill Pike said. "We play rock, we play blues, we play pop, we play some soul, we play funky music, plus we have some originals. It's pretty much diversified." Listen for some Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, and Sheryl Crow as well as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. "We cover the whole gamut."
      Smokin Gun has serious experience with Mike Socha, lead guitar and vocals, Bill Pike, bass and background vocals, lead vocalist and guitarist Cynthia Sullivan, and Joey Provost, drums and background vocals.
      Since the early 1970s Mike Socha has played lead guitar and sung vocals for bands from his native Maryland to California and Florida. He enjoys playing various styles of music. Bill Pike started playing bass in the late 1960s. "I was impressed by Paul McCartney, John Entwistle and John Paul Jones," he said. He focuses on hard Rock n' Roll, Jazz/Fusion and Blues. Cynthia Sullivan has sung professionally since she joined 'Generation' with her brother, father and grandfather at age 12. She has been in bands in England, California and Vermont including the funky Room To Move and the Blues/Rock of Red House. Introduced to the drums by his musician father at the age of 5, Joey Provost began playing in clubs at 17. His musical influences include drummers Phil Rudd of AC/DC and Steve Smith of Journey. He has played in several successful Country, Blues and Rock bands.
      "We recorded a CD in '74. It's all original music," Mr. Pike said. "We sell that as well t-shirts of the band."
      They play Essex, Vergennes, Barre, Frannie O's and Nectars in Burlington, as well as the Dairy Festival and Shooters in St. Albans. "Being a club band, we like to mix it up to keep everybody happy," Mr. Pike said. They have never failed.
      Just before the concert, stop by for Treats in the Park at the M.A.H.A. Summer Sounds social starting at 6:30 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends, enjoy novel stories, and to eat finger foods and sweet delights.
      The concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, O. C. McCuin Sons, Pete Paquette Real Estate and Development, Ray's Extrusion Dies Tubing, and the Tyler Place. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. These All Arts Council concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in a town park, and always free.


     Palettes, palettes everywhere and nary a forklift in sight.
      The NMC Art Wall is one of the three major public art displays at the hospital. In August the Palettes of Franklin County, Vermont brings the art of Norma Bard, Humming Birds, Eric Bataille, Red Headed Wood Pecker, Jane Bower, Birch Grove, Elizabeth Cassavant, Friends in the Meadow, Art Christie, Shoreline Secrets The County Courier, Harper on the Palette Project, The Hunt Family, Angel, Julie Ruth, untitled, Robert Schackow, Blue, and Shelly Young, World Peace to hospital visitors and friends. The exhibit closes August 31.
      The Palettes of Main Street continues with displays in the downtown stores and businesses.


      Summer Music at Grace presents the final 2006 Village Harmony summer program at Grace Church on Wednesday, August 23, at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature a mix of Caucasus Georgian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Albanian, Serbian, South African, and renaissance pieces.
      This Village Harmony teen ensemble is led by Larry Gordon, Carl Linich, and Eva Primack. The 22 young singers come from throughout New England and as far away as California and North Carolina. They live together and rehearse intensively for eight days at a retreat in the Northeast Kingdom to prepare this concert program.
      Village Harmony’s many CDs and songbooks will be on sale at the concerts.
      A community potluck supper precedes the concert at 6 p.m. Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon. Suggested admission at the door is $8, $5 for students and elders. Click here for more info about Village Harmony. Call 802.326.4603 or click here for more info about Summer Music at Grace.


     The Lake Champlain Islands' creative economy project will hold a public forum on Monday from 6:30-9 p.m. in the Gordon Center House.
      The Vermont Council on Rural Development chose the Islands were one of two locations chosen to participate in the Creative Communities Program in May. A local steering committee began work this summer.
      The forum is a local chance to discover the statewide cultural, community, and economic development activities, share ideas for local projects, and be part of a project bridging the communities of Grand Isle County. Dessert will be served.
      Call or email Mary Harwood (802.372.4127 or or Ruth Wallman (802.372.8400 or for more info.



NATIONAL YOUTH VIDEO & FILM FESTIVAL (August 31)--The Community Art Center 2006 "Do It Your Damn Self!!" Festival will be shown at the Boston Public Library and the Brattle Theater. Entry fee. Call 617.868.7100 ext 17, click here, or email for more info

MUSEUM SHOW (September 7)--The St. Albans Historic Museum is accepting submissions for its third annual exhibition of fine art in the museum's newly refurbished third-floor Grand Hall. The group exhibit is open to artists working in all media. Artists living and working in Vermont are encouraged to contribute (no more than) two works. Pieces must be priced, framed, and ready to hang. Entry fee is $20. Call Dale Powers, 527.7933, or email for more info.

GLOBAL MATRIX II (September 8)--The Purdue Galleries international print exhibition is open to artists worldwide over the age of 18. Entries must be original fine art prints in any printmaking media, including artist books. Submit 35 mm slides or digital JPEG files Up to $5,000 in awards will be presented and sales are encouraged. Email or click here for more info for a prospectus or info on the traveling exhibition.

MAY SWENSON POETRY AWARD (September 30)--Utah State University Press wants book-length poetry collections for a $1,000 award and publication. Click here or email for more info.

BEWARE--Creative Horizons Online Art Magazine charges for submissions to its first issue because they "help emerging artists gain exposure among artists, art lovers and galleries." A fee of $5.00 is required. Many legitimate contests charge entry fees. No legitimate publisher does. If a publisher wants to disseminate your work, the deal is that they pay you.


     The Preditors and Editors guide is a simple compendium for the serious writer, composer, game designer, or artist. It provides information and contacts about legitimate publishers and also warns about known scams or problems within the industry. The warnings page includes some general rules for spotting a scam publisher.


      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.