ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 30, 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 various restaurants around Franklin County throughout the week, 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!


      "As an arts community weíre finally coming together," Stina Plant said. "Now itís time to show our stuff!"
      The entrepreneurial spirit drives the Creative Economy; Ms. Plant has it. The St. Albans Messenger photographer is opening a new art gallery downtown. This gallery will complement the Artists in Residence cooperative in Enosburg Falls.
      The new Staart Gallery (ST Albans ARTs) will hold an Open House next Saturday, September 8, and opens September 29 downtown.
      "The weekend of Celebrate St Albans, I'm going to have an open house all day for artists to come check it out," Ms. Plant said. Her timing is perfect. St. Albans City will be full of people all day to take in the activities in Taylor Park, at the St. Albans Artists' Guild art show, and at the Bishop Street art show.
      The Staart Gallery is a place to show, sell, teach, create, and enjoy art. Artists will be on hand for artist "meet and greets" on weekends. Ms. Plant's initial call for artists will offer discounts on wall rentals for two-dimensional works.
      "There's quite a bit of room because we have a lot of wall space," she said. They expect to have room to average about 40 artists.
      The Staart Gallery has a prime downtown location for weekly artist receptions, classes and artist talks. Ms. Plant has created a comfortable upscale environment complete with couches and WiFi, a gallery with a dedicated marketing budget, and space to sell original works and prints. They are looking for another entrepreneur to sublet the coffee bar.
      "The bar is built and there will be furnishings for people who want to sit and enjoy coffee," she said.
      By January, the gallery will introduce a dynamic, full-service website with an online store.
      The Staart Gallery is next to the old post office at 42 South Main Street. Call Stina Plant (802.524.5700) for more info or to reserve a space "on the walls."


     Northwest Access TV and the All Arts Council produce Almost Live, a series of live concerts that airs each week on Comcast Channel 15. One set of Rumble Doll Almost Live airs tonight at 9:30 on Channel 15. The concert will repeat at 9 a.m. tomorrow and next Thursday morning at 2 a.m.
      Rumble Doll appeared at the Summer Sounds Bay Day concert at St. Albans Bay. Videographer Mike Montanye produced a "front row seat" show of the concert and the Bay Day fireworks.


RANDOLPH--The Chandler Center for the Arts presents the 15th Annual New World Festival on Sunday at the Chandler. the series celebrates Vermontís Celtic and French Canadian heritage with traditional music and dance with five performance stages, all-weather tents, childrenís activities, food and crafts. The Festival begins at noon and runs through midnight. This art center program is one of the Top Ten Fall Events in Vermont.
      The 2007 featured performers include Atlantic Crossing, Sarah Blair, Cantrip, Dominique Dodge, Paddy Keenan, Mango Jam, the McDades, the No Strings Marionette Company, Reveillons, April Verch, and many more! Many of the acts are familiar from the Summer Sounds and other AAC concerts.
      Admission is $30 for adults, $10 for students 18 and under, and $5 for children under 12. Tickets purchased after 6 pm are just $15. Tickets are available at the Festival or online at
      Profits benefit ongoing programs for children and youth at Chandler. This column profiled the Chandler in February.

ISLE LA MOTTE--The Fisk Farm presents Spencer Lewis in the Barn on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in a benefit concert for the Isle La Motte Preservation Fund. click here or here for more info.


     Vermont isn't the only place interested in the creative economy.
      A national creative economy conference will take place in Fairfax, VA, October 24-25. Visit for more info. An international conference will occur in England, November 9-14. Visit the Events section at for more info.
      Twelve communities participated in Vermont's Creative Communities Program. Through a series of public forums, they selected priority creative economy projects and established initial action plans for those projects. Hardwick, the Lake Champlain Islands, Rutland, and St. Albans have projects specifically focused on the arts: Hardwick plans to create a business incubator and arts space; Lake Champlain Islands will develop trails to tour local farms, arts, and other Islands highlights; Rutland plans to establish rutland as an arts destination; St. Albans is working to build an arts center.


     The VCRD summer conference, Advancing Vermont's Creative Economy, drew over 200 participants from across the state. Notes from the conference speakers and a summary of priority projects identified in the break-out groups are available online at


      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.