ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 19, 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!


      Snow delayed the second Arts and Cultural Center for Franklin County public forum (and working meeting), so it will be held this evening to plan a summer program, examine survey results, and rethink the mission statement. The free gathering will be held in the Northwestern Medical Center, Conference Room 1, at 7 p.m.
      Meanwhile, the steering committee of volunteers from four major groups (the All Arts Council, the Bishop Street Artists, the St Albans Artists' Guild, and St. Albans for the Future) as well as other interested groups, and other individuals has been researching existing arts centers in other areas.
      The Frog Hollow Vermont State Craft Center has nationally known galleries in Burlington, Manchester, and Middlebury. They feature the work of over 250 juried Vermont artisans and a collection of traditional Vermont crafts. Each gallery hosts special exhibitions year round. The Middlebury gallery is located in a former 19th Century mill building with views of adjacent Otter Creek and the Middlebury Falls.
      Frog Hollow Craft Schools offer classes for students of all ages and abilities. The organization began as an after-school clay program in 1971. Its courses now include fiber, glass, metal, painting, photography and wood with programs for home school groups, local schools, private schools, college groups, children's centers, parent/child centers, alternative education programs and counseling services to meet the needs of our Vermont communities.
      Frog Hollow is a non-profit organization. Their self-titled "Vermont State Craft Center" name shows the group's statewide standards supporting fine crafts. Frog Hollow receives no state funding. click here for more info/

     In the coming weeks, this column will also look for other arts centers and galleries in Vermont and around the country. It is worth remembering that, while these other areas have different and often larger populations than the Franklin and Grand Isle County region, the art centers we visit have similar missions. Their boards have chosen remarkably similar functions--but different implementations--to meet their users' expectations.


     The ongoing Spring Fine Art Exhibit by All Arts Council and Art's Alive continues at Union Station in Burlington with the work of many Franklin County artists. The event spotlight is on the paintings of Franklin artist Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard and also features oil and watercolor paintings, fine art photographs, digital art, mixed media, and prints including the works of artists Jane Bower, Mary Harper, Joy Perrino, and Valerie Ugro, and photographers Janet Bonneau, Dick Harper, April Henderson, David Juaire, Gustav Verderber, and Lauren Young.
      The gallery 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 located at One Main Street at the western edge of Burlington. Admission is free.

      On Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6, the Saint Albans Artists' Guild will hold Franklin County's Art Exhibit of the season (that is the weekend following Maple Festival). The event will be held in the Bliss Auditorium of the Saint Albans Historical Museum. The free event is a chance to see a fantastic collection of fine art and to meet the artists.


HOME SCHOOLED ARTISTS (April 30)--FNESU is planning the annual District Art Gala next month with a theme of "Weaving The Arts." Area home-school students who want to participate should call Sandra fw Beaty or Pam Voss (802.933.7778 x160).

SPRING JURIED ART/PHOTO COMPETITION (April 30)--The theme for Memphis greeting card and calendar company Himme Productions is "Scenes of Spring: Flora and Fauna." Acceptable media include color drawings, paintings, or photography. Artwork should exclude any human figures. Cash awards. Entry fee. All images must be submitted on CD. Winners' artwork will also be featured on greeting cards. Click here or email for more info and a prospectus/entry form.

POETRY PRIZE (April 30)--University of Pittsburgh Press seeks a first book of poetry (48-100 pages) for $5,000 prize and publication. Entry fee. Click here or email for complete guidelines.

13th ANNUAL MOSAICS MISSOURI FESTIVAL FOR THE ARTS (May 1)--Located in historic Saint Charles, the three day juried festival is a unique, multi-disciplined art experience. Entry fee. Click here or email for more info.

FRENCH & FRANCOPHONE STUDIES BOOK PRIZE (May 1)--The Modern Language Association seeks outstanding scholarly work in French or francophone linguistic/literary studies published in 2006 for the Aldo & Jeanne Scaglione Prize. Click here or email for more info.

23rd ANNUAL ART COMPETITION (May 22)--The Artist's Magazine offers more than $25,000 in cash prizes and a feature in the December issue. Five categories include: Portrait and Figure, Still Life, Landscape, Experimental and Animal Art. Plus, there's a Special Student/Beginner Division for new artists. Click here or email for details and an entry form.

12TH ANNUAL PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION (May 25)--Photographic Center Northwest juried exhibition UP & NOW draws entries from and around the world. It is open to all photographers, all photographic processes, and themes. Entry fee. Cash awards. Click here for submission guidelines.

JEWISH BOOK ILLUSTRATIONS (May 31)--Artists Consider the Jewish Book seeks original illustrations for exhibition. Open to artists who have created original illustrations of Jewish Books. Click here for more info.


     The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) in a two-year initiative funded by Jane’s Trust, provided assistance to Vermont communities to strengthen their local creative economy. The creative economy perspective emphasizes the central role of culture in local economic development.
      The Creative Communities Program has selected Middlebury and Richmond as its final participants.
      Four St. Albans priority projects grew out of the Creative Communities Program: build an arts center; bring arts and community projects to Taylor Park; promote the digital culture through a St. Albans technology service provider; and organize evening events to bring activity downtown after dark.
      The three neighboring Lake Champlain Islands priority projects are to develop trails to tour local farms, arts, and other islands highlights; expand options for indoor community space; and form a task force on increasing off-season activity.


     A Singular Creation offers another new more-or-less-free Gallery For Artists and Photographers. The site has tools to create personal photo galleries and "share them with the world." There is "no cost and hardly any effort." All users will be able to rate images, add comments and post topics for critique.
      The photos become part of A Singular Creation's community forum gallery.
      Uh oh.
      I picked this site out of many, many others like it to make two points.
(1) All actors, artists, dancers, photographers, and writers need knowledgeable critique. Unfortunately the anonymity of the web means the artist has no way of knowing if the critic is the principal curator for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum or a third grader from Sing Sing. Despite the fact that both are deeply woven into our lives and both are in New York, you really really really don't want a critic who went "up the river."

(2) Publishing online is still publishing. Any work "posted" gives up the exclusivity (and value) of its first publication. That's not important if you never ever intend to sell the work; it is crucial (and expensive) if you do.


      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.