ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 1, 2007


      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.

      Find links to these events and more in our Spotlight!


      The All Arts Council spring Fine Art Exhibit moves to Burlington this year as the AAC and Art's Alive host a month-long Franklin County Art Exhibit that begins with the monthly Art Walk tomorrow evening at Union Station.
      The exhibit and sale has expanded to a full month and has spotlight on the paintings of Franklin artist Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard. "I work in both traditional art and computer generated art," Ms. LaRocque-Bouchard said of her home and business murals, Trompe L'oeil murals, and custom logo design. Her work includes acrylics on canvas and airbrush with puppies and wild animals, florals, landscapes and skyscapes, animal portraits, and much more. She works as a graphic artist at LG Printing and is available for freelance work. Ms. LaRocque-Bouchard and her daughter Alisha LaRocque also led the design and painting for the World's Largest Palette.
      The March show also offers exceptional oil and watercolor paintings, fine art photographs, illustrations, digital art, mixed media, and prints by more than a dozen other Franklin County artists including fine artists Eric Bataille, Jane Bower, Mary Harper, Patrick Murphy, Joy Perrino, and Valerie Ugro, and photographers Janet Bonneau, Dick Harper, April Henderson, Wayne Tarr, Gustav Verderber, and Lauren Young.
      The show is the first time this large group of local artists will exhibit together in Chittenden County. The schedule will include the Burlington Art Walk tomorrow evening and a reception on Friday, March 16.
      The Art's Alive Gallery at Union Station on the Waterfront in Burlington is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Union Station is a Beaux Arts building built of buff brick in 1915. Located at the western end of Main Street, the station no longer has rail passenger service.


     Rotary Club of St. Albans presents its annual fundraiser, the Home & Recreation Exposition, tomorrow through Sunday at the Collins-Perley Sports and Fitness Center.
      Fred Swan will return to sign his new painting, Blowin' in the Wind, as well as three of his new miniatures plus many featured prints and original oil paintings on Saturday. Blowin' in the Wind is this year's Rotary print and is also available as a full-sized giclee. Look for the Champlain Collection on the floor.
      New this year are a full-sized display of a J-22 sailboat and the U. S. Coast Guard's 25-foot response boat. The 2007 Home & Recreation Exposition will also feature a huge silent auction, sponsored by Ben & Jerry's Homemade, and seven seminars about Lake Champlain recreation and home gardening plus over 200 booths of exhibitors all under one roof. Mr. Swan and the Champlain Collection have donated signed open edition poster Blossoms and Bees for the auction.
      Admission is $5. All children under 12 are admitted free. The doors open at 2 p.m. on Friday, 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. The Collins-Perley Sports and Fitness Center is located just off I-89 at Exit 19.


SOUTH BURLINGTON--Events for Tom presents Waterson:Carthy in concert at Higher Ground on Monday at 7 p.m.
      British folk group Waterson:Carthy has Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy, the two godparents of modern English folk music, their fiddler daughter Eliza, and star accordion player Tim Van Eyken. The European headliners appear in the US only occasionally; this is the final event in their five-concert 2007 tour.
      Ms. Waterson and Mr. Carthy were awarded Best Group in the BBC. They have recorded dozens of albums individually and in other combinations including six in the Waterson:Carthy format--Waterson:Carthy (1994); Common Tongue (1996); Broken Ground (1999); A Dark Light (2002); Fishes And Fine Yellow Sand (2004); and Holy Heathens and the Old Green Man (2006). Eliza Carthy on fiddle was recruited by Johnny Depp for the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Tim Van Eyken on melodeon also has a new band.
      The concert is the 59th presentation in the Events for Tom Series with support from the Vermont Violins/Burlington Violin Shop, the Comfort Inn, the Social Band, All Arts Council, and others.
      Admission is $25 the day of the concert and $23 in advance through Higher Ground (888.512.SHOW) or

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn features Coffeehouse Singer/Songwriter Night with Lafe and Coco on Monday at 7 p.m. Coco Kallis played Summer Sounds in Highgate with her popular Lonesome Road Band. Call 802.879.3309 or click here for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents Colin McCaffrey, Patti Casey and Jim Patton in the Jeffersonville Pizza Department on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Call 644.6632 for 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--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. and Piano Bar with Dawna Messier every Friday at 7:30 p.m.
      Abby encourages performers of all kinds to attend the Wednesday performances. If you need instrumental accompaniment, email with the title/artist of song you wish to perform. Armand Messier joins the Piano Bar every third Friday. Click here for more info.


     Save the Date! The initial Board of Directors of the Arts and Cultural Center for Franklin County will host a public forum to meet Alex Aldrich and Paul Bruhn, hear about Art Center progress, and discuss community needs with the Board.
      The free gathering will be held in Northwestern Medical Center Conference Room A on March 15 at 7 p.m.


     Jeh Kulu Dance and Drum Theater is a multicultural ensemble performing traditional West African music and dance. The ensemble includes internationally acclaimed artists from Guinea and Senegal, West Africa. The site includes troupe offerings Festival info, class listings, 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 © 2007 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.