ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 19, 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.


      Everybody wants one.
      It takes a lot of work
      Planning for an Arts and Cultural Center began at the Creative Economy forums last Spring when community members selected four major projects to take the St. Albans area into the future. Creative Economy forum attendees and other interested community members volunteered to form a steering committee.
      The committee initially discussed visions for an arts center. We then chose to analyze what functions an Arts and Cultural Center should perform. That choice is the basis for our Functional Analysis
      The Functional Analysis has let us think "outside the building," to focus our attention on WHAT the Arts and Cultural Center should do, rather than how or where arts and culture happens or the things we think an Arts and Cultural Center needs.
      Over the coming weeks, this column will report on the progress the committee has made and I will go on a road trip to some southern arts centers and galleries.


     Heroes Welcome and FAUVE present Blurring the Distinction, crossover paintings by Don Wilkinson. The exhibit opens Saturday with a reception from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Heroes Welcome in St. Albans.
      Don Wilkinson of St Albans was "trained as an painter and print maker." He doesn't generally do a lot of cartooning but the subject of this exhibit makes "a point of this 'high culture/low culture' stuff which is pretty silly, so I am interjecting super hero characters and romance comics into Picasso and da Vinci."
      Mr. Wilkinson started FAUVE (the Fine Arts Union of Vermont) with four other area artists. They have held "porch shows" on Ferris Street and want start a co-operative gallery in downtown St. Albans.
      The show runs through November, "Unless I sell out the first night."


     The Friends of the Opera House at Enosburg Falls present the Fourteenth Annual Talent Search on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Opera House. The Junior Division will perform only on Friday evening; the Adult Division takes the stage on Saturday, at the Opera House. Both shows open at 7:30 p.m.
      One of the premiere talent events in Vermont, this show is an evening of entertainment, celebration, and the arts with the most talented performers in the area. The Talent Search is a Fall tradition that started in 1993 as a fund raiser for the restoration of the 114 year old historic landmark. Each year the competition draws some of northern Vermont's most outstanding young amateur performers who perform vocal, dance, instrumental and a variety of other stage talents. The growing number of contestants made expanding the show to two nights possible.
      This year's show's are co-hosted by the 2005 Winners Emily Butson and Morgan Soule in Junior Division and Danielle Yandow of the Adult Division. Miss Vermont 2006 Sarah Watson of Enosburgh will make a special performance appearance. She won the Talent Search 1998 Junior Division and 2004 Adult Division. Miss Vermont's Outstanding Teen 2006 Heather Bartlett of Jericho who will appear at the Junior Division show.
      The Talent Show has provided a showcase for hundreds of talented performers. The 2006 show will feature jazz, classical violinists, fiddlers, piano soloists, modern dance, flutists, and more. Prizes awarded are in cash. First Place in each division $200, Second Place $100, Third Place $75.00. Special Optimist Newspaper Awards are also given out in both divisions.
      With such a broad array of musical styles and abilities, judging a talent show can be as difficult as entering one. Each contestant competes only against him or herself. The criteria include originality or interpretation, weighted at 25% of the total, technical ability, 30%, performance and presentation, 30%, costumes or props, 15%, and accompanist, 0%.
      Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and free for those under 12. Tickets are available at the All Arts ticket centers, the Enosburg Pharmacy, Merchants Bank Enosburg, and Better Planet in St. Albans. Call 802-933-6171 or click here for more info.


     Cardiac Capers 2006 opened last night on the BFA-St. Albans stage and continues its run tonight through Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. each night. The production includes an abundance of dance numbers and solos.
      The cast of about 70 includes past performers and new people all dedicated to putting on a great show and raising money for Northwestern Medical Center.
      Tickets for the shows tonight, Friday, and Saturday cost $ at the door. Cardiac Capers started as a community hospital fund raiser in 1980. This is the 14th biennial show.


MILTON--The Alley Coffeehouse presents Rebecca Padula on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. She plays original jazzy lounge-folk music with a shot of bluegrass. This is a solo show with no cover. In a nice play on words, it's the best bean in Milton. Click here for more info.

MONTPELIER--Capitol City Contra Dance this Saturday features caller David Kaynor and Northern Routes (Tom MacKenzie, David Carpenter, Colin McCaffrey and Mark Sustic) at the Capitol City Grange at 8 p.m. The dance is part of series on the first, third and fifth Saturdays. Call Todd and Cindy (802.744.6163) for info.


HANDCRAFTED (October 27)--This Rocky Mount Arts Center juried exhibition of Ceramics, Fiber, Glass, Metal and Wood offers $1,600 in prizes. Call 252.972.1163 or click here (see Artist Opportunities) for more info.

22nd ANNUAL COASTAL ARTS LEAGUE SHOW AND COMPETITION (November 10)--Juried exhibition in the non-profit, cooperative gallery run for and by artists and the Coastal Arts League in Half Moon Bay, CA will be held Dec 7-29. Click here for more info.

CALL FOR ENTRIES (November 15)--The Baker Arts Center of Liberal, KS, National Juried Art Exhibition has almost $10,000 in cash awards for 2 and 3-dimensional Fine Art and Photography completed within the past 2 years. Call 620-624-2810, email, or click here for more info or a prospectus.

ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL POSTER ART CONTEST (November 1)--International Wildlife Film Festival seeks entries on the theme, "Crisis, Vision, Hope: Solutions for Planet Earth" for a film festival poster. Artwork will be adopted as the face of the 30th Annual IWFF in 2007. Call 406.728.9380, click here, or email for more info.

CALL FOR ART ABOUT AUTOMATION (November 4)--Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit wants proposals for all-media interdisciplinary, juried exhibition, "Automation," in January, 2007. Entry fee. Call 313.899.CAID or email for more info.

COLLEGE GALLERY (November 20)--Parkland Art Gallery of Parkland College wants proposals for solo and group exhibitions for its 2007 - 2008 exhibition season and beyond. Exhibition proposals in all genres of contemporary approaches to art making by single artists, collaborative groups, or curators will be considered. Call Emily Klein (217-351-2485), click here, or email for a prospectus.


     Howard Wooden of St. Albans has been active in the national folk scene for many years as a musician, performer and composer. His site has a brief intro, biographical, and contact info.


      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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