ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 10, 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!


      Franklin County lost an artist, a friend to artists, and friend when Gwen Gallup was murdered inside her Fairfax home on Monday. Ms. Gallup was a St. Albans fiber artist and member of the Artists' Guild. She owned Gwen’s Antiques & Wool in downtown St. Albans. She exhibited in the Guild Gala last weekend and appeared on Neighbor to Neighbor recently to promote the first major fiber workshop in this area.
      The investigation, and our loss, continues.


     Work on an Arts and Cultural Center will continue tonight as the steering committee meets to look at survey results to date, the summer program, the Culture Bus, organization of committees, and a first look at a Fall program.
      The committee meets tonight in Northwestern Medical Center, Conference Room 2, at 7 p.m. "This is a working meeting," Mike Curtis said "Anyone interested in shepherding a project is invited to join us."


     The Vermont Arts Council has announced the selection of artist David Brewster of Halifax, Vermont, to receive the public art commission for the new Vermont State Police Barracks in St. Albans. A St. Albans Local Review Committee examined proposals from around area and around the state and recommended Mr. Brewster. The Legislative Advisory Committee approved the recommendation last month.
      Mr. Brewster paints the history and current use or disuse of a space, building, or environment and calls himself a "descendent of the oil sketch tradition." He is the recipient of the Mary Van Hughes Award and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant. His work is found in galleries in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Manchester, VT.
      Public art enriches the landscape; the Vermont Art in State Buildings Act of 1988 assured support and promotion of the work of Vermont artists. The Act requires that $50,000 be allocated each year to include art in two selected public buildings or facilities capital construction projects. More than two dozen projects have been installed since the Act was passed. The program is administered by the Vermont Arts Council and the Department of Buildings and General Services.
      Mr. Brewster is currently working with the Vermont State Police, the St. Albans committee, and other community members to research and develop thematic content for the new commission. His suite of five paintings for the facility will be installed this Fall.
      Three Finalists chosen by the committee also included a team of artists headed by Natalie LaRocque Bouchard and a team headed by Karen Scheffler. Their work met " … high artistic merit and inherent quality of work; and demonstrated experience and ability to work with design professionals, engineers, community leaders, and other artists within a collaborative team context."
      The St. Albans Local Review Committee included Karen Bresnahan, Dee Christie, Mike Curtis, Lt. Rob Evans, VSP, state Senator Sara Branon Kittell, and Mickie Richard, as well as members of the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services design team.


     And the floors, ceilings. stage, and tabletops as Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union presents the annual District Art Gala beginning Monday at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls. The exhibit will include over 300 pieces of art. All Schools will be represented with art works from grades K-12 at Bakersfield, Berkshire, Enosburg Falls Elementary and High School, Montgomery, and Richford Elementary and High School.
      The theme is Weaving The Arts.
      "It can be taken many ways," teacher Pam Voss said. "We weave different cultures together, or different media, or different curricula."
      The Gala opens Monday morning and continues through May 19, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. daily plus 5-7 Thursday evening. Saturday 9-noon. Admission is free.


HINESBURG--Join a Contra Dance with caller Mark Sustic and the String Collective (Katie Trautz and others) in the Hinesburg Town Hall on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Email James for more info

MONTPELIER--The Vermont Folklife Center and Vermont Life Magazine present the 2007 Governor’s Heritage Awards Ceremony on Wednesday at 5:30pm in the Cedar Creek Room in the State House. A reception will follow the ceremony (RSVPs are due today).
      The Awards honor an educator who is dynamic and involves students in heritage, history and cultural identity in innovative ways; and a traditional artist whose work exemplifies a commitment to perpetuating an art form that has deep roots in his or her family or community.
      Call 802.388.4964 or click here for more info.


     The Fairfax Community Theater Company will hold auditions for the summer production Cotton Patch Gospel by Tom Key and Russell Treyz with music by Harry Chapin. The Greatest Story ever retold set the story of Jesus--with added music and reverent humor--in modern day Georgia.
      There will be an informational meeting on Monday at 7 p.m. at BFA-Fairfax; auditions will be held Tuesday through Thursday. Additional auditions and call backs, if needed, will be on Friday, May 18. All will be at 7 p.m. at BFA-Fairfax.
      Cotton Patch Gospel will be staged July 19-22. Call 802.864.0111 or 802.849.6638 or click here for a character list and more info.


     Show Christina Smith of Milton a bare wall and she’ll show you how quickly it can be transformed into a piece of art. The muralist's works range from from a whimsically painted children’s nursery to a detailed view of the Italian countryside. She also works with colored pencils to capture the light and shadows that define an image. Her site includes a galleries of murals and colored pencil works 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.