ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 8, 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!


      Save the date!
      The Arts and Cultural Center board will host a free public forum to meet Vermont Arts Council Program Manager John Zwick and Preservation Trust of Vermont Executive Director Paul Bruhn, to hear about Art Center progress, and to discuss community needs with the initial Board. The event will be held in the Northwestern Medical Center Conference Center on March 15.
      Mr. Bruhn, Mr. Zwick, and Art Center board member Mike Curtis will discuss art centers in other communities and the steps to establish one locally. They will lead a discussion of whether people agree with the Mission Statement to questions about the need for performance space, rehearsal space, studio space, or gallery space. The survey will also ask about specific community interests, issue a call for volunteers, and look for suggestions for an Art Center name.
      Volunteers from the All Arts Council, the St Albans Artists' Guild, and St. Albans for the Future, as well as members of the Bishop Street Artists and other interested groups, and other interested community members began planning an Arts and Cultural Center at the Creative Economy forums a year ago.
      Assistant City Manager Liz Gamache of St. Albans asked, "Does 'build an arts center' indicate actual construction, or using existing space to create one?" That question sparked a change in thinking as "build" changed to "create an arts center" to leave options more open.
      The committee analyzed what functions an Arts and Cultural Center should perform. The Functional Analysis has let us think outside the building. We focused 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.
      A Mission Statement and a community survey grew out of the functions: "Our mission is to establish artistic expression as the focal point of our community. To create and sustain a demand for art and culture, by encouraging and educating artists and the community so that it may enhance and enrich the lives of all."
      The initial board of directors includes Creative Economy and SAFF member Mike Curtis, Art Guild president Jay Fleury, AAC Chair Dick Harper, Art Guild director Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, Ann Levy, Historical Museum director Charles Moore, Sheri Moore, Joan Ostiguy, and Bridget Zurn.


     The All Arts Council Spring Fine Art Exhibit continues at Union Station in Burlington as the AAC and Art's Alive host a month-long Franklin County outreach event.
      The exhibit and sale has its spotlight on the paintings of Franklin artist Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard. The exceptional oil and watercolor paintings, fine art photographs, digital art, mixed media, and prints including fine artists Eric Bataille, Jane Bower, Mary Harper, Patrick Murphy, Joy Perrino, and Valerie Ugro, and photographers Janet Bonneau, Dick Harper, April Henderson, Gustav Verderber, and Lauren Young.
      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. There will be a reception next Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m. Admission is free.


BURLINGTON--St. Anthony’s Hall will hold a Family Contra Dance with caller Mark Sustic and musicians Geordie Lynd, Roger Kahle and others on Friday at 8 p.m. There will be a beginner’s workshop at 7:45 p.m. Bring clean, soft-soled shoes. Call 802.434.2446 for info.

WEST RUTLAND--The Chaffee Art Center Jazz Café presents the Will Patton Ensemble and the West Rutland High School Jazz Band tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center. Call 802.775.0356 or click here for more info.

MONTPELIER--WINTERINTOSPRING: the Champlain Valley Folk Festival benefit concert and dance series presents Twist of the Wrist, Deb Flanders, Michele Choiniere and Felix Sonny Boy Wilson tomorrow evening at 9 p.m. in the Langdon Street Cafe. Call 802.652.0245 or click here for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Cambridge Arts Council presents Woods Tea Company with their lively mix of folk, Celtic, sea chanties, bluegrass and dry New England humor at the Second Congregational Church on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church. The suggested donation is $10. Call Margo Rome (802.644.2233) for info.

HINESBURG--Caller Mark Sustic has another Contra Dance with musicians John Mullett, Molly Presson, Ben Taska, Maria Naumann and other members of Fiddleheads on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Town Hall. Email or click here for more info.


     Native Vermont fiddler Scott Campbell learned to play from his father, Ken Campbell, as well as other Vermont fiddlers and Canadian fiddlers. His album Freirish lets the French + Irish music sound natural. His site is slow loading on dialup but includes a baker's dozen MP3s to listen to, links to all his CDs, plus info about custom compositions, weddings, parties and other occasions, 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.