ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 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.


      Two workshops this weekend are "for anyone interested in working with fabric and color," St. Albans fiber artist Ann Levy said.
      Embellishing the Surface and Mud Pies for Adults will feature West Coast weaver and fiber artist Anita Luvera Mayer. Ms. Mayer has been designing and embellishing contemporary clothing constructed from simple rectangles and squares since 1972.
      Ms. Mayer looks toward ethnic garments to design and wear clothing with her finishes and embellishments done by hand. Her work has been included in national and international shows and one-woman retrospectives. She is the author of five books and her articles appear frequently in major fiber publications. Her mother-in-law, Seattle weaving instructor Marcelle Mayer, introduced Anita to looms and weaving. Her studio is located on Islewood Pond in Anacortes, WA.
      She presents workshops throughout the United States and Canada to introduce participants into ways to color and embellish fabric and paper. The materials can be used to make clothing, books, cards, and art.
      In Embellishing the Surface tomorrow participants will compile extensive references of techniques using mirrors, creative embroidery, beads and braids. No previous experience is necessary. The cost is $50 plus a $30 lab fee.
      A two-day workshop, Mud Pies for Adults, will be held Saturday and Sunday to sample a wide variety of innovative ways to decorate cloth surfaces. Participants will also dye two silk scarves using new techniques with silk dyes and paints in abstract and serendipitous patterns. The cost for the two-day workshop is $100 plus a $40 lab fee.
      The workshops will run from 9-5 at Gwen’s Wool Shop in the Ralston Building on Main Street, St. Albans. Participants should bring a bag lunch. Pre-registration is a good idea. Call Gwen Gallup (802.527.9900) or email Ann Levy to register and for more info.


     The Catalyst Theater Company will hold auditions this weekend for the Best Christmas Pageant Ever! The hilarious play will be performed at the Waterfront Theater in Burlington in December.
      The play centers on a church community's annual Christmas pageant traditionally directed by the elderly Mrs. Armstrong. When she becomes incapacitated, another church lady takes over and finds she must cast the six Herdman children, two girls and four boys, "the meanest, nastiest most inventively awful kids in the whole history of the wide world," Catalyst director Ronni Lopez said. "They're hooligans, they're free and unsupervised," and great fun to play. Ms. Lopez will direct the play.
      The roles include 25 kids from 6 to 13 and 11 adults from their 20s to elders plus six adult women for the church ladies, women "always dressed to the nines for the holidays." Rehearsals begin Sunday, October 22. Rehearsals are generally 2-3 week nights and always 12-4 p.m. on Sundays. Catalyst productions regularly include Franklin County performers and offer strong character roles. They welcome performers of all ages, abilities, and ethnicities. No previous stage experience is necessary.
      The audition schedule is Saturday and Sunday, October 14-15, from 11-2 p.m. at the Northgate Apartments Community Center at 275 Northgate Road, Burlington. There are no auditions without a reservation. Call Catalyst (802.862.2287) or email for a 30 minute audition slot and plan to arrive 15 minutes early to fill in the usual forms; bring a recent photo if available and your family/individual schedule to help fill in forms.


ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn presents the Nobby Reed Project tonight from 7-10 p.m.
      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 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."
      Click here or email for more info.

WATERVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents Mark Sustic calling a Community Dance with musicians Frank Heyburn, Michele Lajoie, and youth fiddlers including members of Fiddleheads on Saturday 7-9 p.m. at 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.
      Admission is $5 per person and $10 for families at the door. Call 802.849.6968 or email 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.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella offers jazz and improv with guitarist Jerry Levine on Monday evenings, 6-9 p.m., and virtuoso guitar with Tom Leshinsky on Wednesday evenings, 6-8:30 p.m. Click here for more info.

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.


     The Palettes of Franklin County, Vermont finale began at the great Palette Party Auction last Saturday at the St. Albans Historical Society. 45 palettes were sold for a total of $1,228. The proceeds will be split between the AAC and an arts program fund at SAFF. Most of the buyers attended the party and enjoyed the live music and wonderful food but 12 palettes remain on hand that need to be picked up.
      Some of the commentary included, "I liked the way the palette party was set up, the round tables with palettes displayed, the jazz music and refreshments."
      Eric Bushy and Justin Bedell played the guitar-bass nice and light mellow jazz. Jeff's Maine Seafood provided hors d'oeuvres and drinks.
      "I thought it was a good project that included the whole community."
      One of the Vermont Arts Council's palatable goals has been to help local artists help local arts projects by donating their palette for sale or auction.
      Postcards of the World's Largest Palette are still available from Karen Bresnahan at SAFF.
      Some palettes remain for sale either because not all were turned in on time or were available for the auction. They will be displayed and for sale downtown as well as through the AAC website.
      Click here for more info.


     Shaftsbury photographer Kevin Bubriski has done documentary projects on the elders of North Bennington and mill workers. On fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim, and Fulbright Foundations he has produced work on Nepal, India, Tibet, Bali and Japan. His site includes his Bodies of Work, Sales, Biography, Press, and Links.


      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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