ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 24, 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!


      Vermont's fourteenth annual Open Studio Weekend begins Saturday at 10 a.m. This statewide celebration puts Vermont artists and craftspeople "on exhibit" in their own studios. The event begins the summer season during Memorial Day Weekend each year.
      Some of the artists open their working studios to the public only during this weekend. It is an opportunity for them to talk about their work and to demonstrate the skill and processes used to make it. The participating artists plan to get work done as well as teach while visitors poke around.
      Hundreds of other sites will be open with more than three hundred artists and artisans participating this year including these spaces in and around Franklin County:
      Diane David of Smiling Bright Studio does mixed media, landscapes, dogs, and dreamscapes, all in Alburg.
      Pam Fischer's Hummingbird Studio offers her paintings, drawings, photographs, and wool works in Montgomery Center.
      Marcia Hagwood at the Chasworth Pottery and Farm has pottery, clay buttons, and handspun yarn on Polly Hubbard Road in Georgia.
      Meta Strick Gets Away With Art in Sheldon. Her carved, painted, wood figures, and ornaments in her log studio.
      Valerie M. Ugro, is showing new work including a full watercolor and acrylic series of Utah mountains, and new miniatures of Pets I have known and loved at her studio in Fairfax.

     And in other studios close by:
      Amy Cook combines abstract paintings and handmade books in her Amicus Studio in Milton.
      David Derner splits his time between copper and steel sculptures and landscape paintings in Windy Hollow Studio in Milton. Mr. Derner will also host Josh Derner's landscape paintings, and Barbara Hamel Derner's photography, pictures, cards.
      Nancy Hayden has sculpture, painting, gourd art at Northwind Studio and Gallery between Cambridge and Jeffersonville at The Farm Between.
      Lorraine C. Manley paints colorful impressionist works in oil and acrylic in her Milton studio.
      Barbara J. Pafume does Watercolors of dramatic Vermont landscape at Four Seasons Studios in Cambridge.
      Ralph Tursini builds unique green-turned wooden bowls at Tursini Woodturning and Bowl Works in Cambridge.
      Other statewide participants include furniture makers, glass blowers, ironworkers, jewelers, quilters painters, potters, print makers, sculptors, weavers, and wood carvers. Many galleries will host gallery talks and feature special exhibits in conjunction with this event.

     Open Studio Weekend began fifteen years ago as Vermont's contribution to the national celebration, The Year of American Craft.The crafts and art of Vermont is created in studios upstairs in the downtown, in the small villages, at the ends of dirt roads, up mountains, by rivers, and all in the natural beauty of the Vermont landscape. That community and the landscape is reflected in the work and is shared during Open Studio Weekend.
      This year, directions and map details have moved to a booklet instead of the voluminous folding map. The new format features county maps that show the sites and directions. There is an index in the front of the booklet.
      Directions to the area studios are also in the sidebar but the easiest way to find these artists remains unchanged. Get somewhere near each studio and follow the yellow signs. Admission is free.


      Big Heavy World will hold a CD Release Concert for ‘In Silver Light: Music of Vermont’ tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. at FlynnSpace in Burlington. The performance celebrates the release of a critically acclaimed CD and the Vermont Music Library's work to preserve the state's contemporary musical heritage.
      The 16-track compilation of Vermont music is a fund-raiser for the Vermont Music Library and Shop and a way to become acquainted with Vermont music and musicians.
      In Silver Light is an exceptional sampler of Vermont's singer-songwriting and acoustic guitar or piano instrumentals. The album and the concert feature Native Daughters Michele Choiniere and Deb Flanders, the Cush, Lar Duggan, Aaron Flinn, Kris Gruen, Ken Mahren, Karen McFeeters, Spencer Lewis, James O’Halloran, Social Band, Paul Webb, and others.
      The Vermont Music Library and Shop archive currently holds over 3,000 recordings of commercial releases and live concerts by Vermonters. All 3,000 are available for listening. also includes an online store with about 500 titles available for purchase. The Vermont Jukebox Project, a collaboration VMLS and the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services, places the music in 15 of the 20 Vermont welcome centers. VMLS has begun restoring a 100-year-old general store in Starksboro village to house and preserve the collection. The organization is also building a low-power FM radio station to broadcast local music in Burlington. VMLS is staffed by volunteer high school and college students.
      Admission is $17 for adults, $14 for students and seniors. Tickets are available through FlynnTix or at the door. The performance was made possible by the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. Call 802.865.1140 for info.


     The Vermont Youth Orchestra Association holds annual auditions for placement in a VYOA orchestra or ensemble. Those auditions are in full swing right now and will continue through tomorrow at the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michael s College. Audition appointments for new students are still available. Call 802.655.5030 for more info or to schedule an audition appointment.

      The VYOA is also accepting applications for Music Day Camp held daily, Monday, June 25 through Friday, June 29, at the Elley-Long Music Center. The deadline for registration is May 31.
      The Music Day Camp Director is Timothy Buckingham, band program director at Edmunds Middle School in Burlington. The Music Day Camp faculty includes some of the finest music teachers in the state.
      Tuition for Music Day Camp is $235. Financial aid is available. Call 802.655.5030 for more info, to register, or to obtain financial aid forms. Music Day Camp is sponsored by Ellis Music.


     Book artist Amy Cook owns Amicus Studio on the Lamoille River near the Sandbar Wildlife Refuge on the way to the Lake Champlain Islands (the studio is open this weekend). She an artist and teacher. Her site includes the interestingly named Arts Counsel, plus Design Services, an art gallery, and info about her studio.


      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).
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