ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 4, 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!


      The Fairfax Music Festival brings live music to Swanson's Farm and Nursery on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in a benefit concert for Fairfax organizations. The Music Festival features the Hubcats, FM, Alzona Watson, Mzz Watson and the Puddle Jumpers, and PW and the Arrowhead Ramblers.
      Organizers Shelly Pottala and Jeff Chapman grew the Music Festival out of July's Art in Bloom festival in Fairfax. "My plan is to have this be a yearly event just as the Art Festival," Ms Pottala said.
      The acoustic duo of Stewart Foster and Fred Brauer play a mix of guitar, mandolin, bass, and vocal harmonies as the Hubcats. The Cats first CD is First Snow. FM plays the classic rock covers of four decades with Bill Hill, guitar and vocals, Mark Goldstein, guitar and vocals, Jeff Chapman, guitar, Michele Bolz, bass, Felix Anderson, drums, and Otto Funke, guitar and vocals. Jeff Chapman, guitar, Eric Alzen, drums, and Felix Anderson, bass, back up vocalist Mzz (Meredith) Watson's outstanding vocals in a mix of soul, blues, and rock. Alzona Watson (Alzona Watson, Willie Watson, Dillon Day, and Dave DuPratt) is a young band with high energy instrumentals. Paul Wood and the Arrowhead Ramblers bring danceable, classic country to the fray.
      Admission is free but donations are welcome. "There is no admission charge this year," Ms Pottala said, "but the different organizations will be raising monies for different things."
      Concert proceeds will go to the Fairfax Recreation, Park, Fire, and Rescue. Fairfax Business Persons Association will have deserts to benefit BFA Scholarships and Shelly Salads will sell Greek Salads to benefit Fairfax Fire and Rescue.
      Call 802.849.2758 or email for more info.


     The Saint Albans Historical Museum presents the Fourth Annual Fine Art Exhibit starting tomorrow through Sunday in the third-floor Robert Bliss Memorial Hall. Jeff’s Maine Seafood will cater the opening reception tomorrow evening from 6 - 8 p.m.
      The exhibit spotlights new works in all media as well as objects selected from the Museum’s collection of historic artifacts, textiles and paintings.
      The refurbished Bliss Hall has become a perfect location to display local art. Housed in the former Franklin County Grammar School lining the Taylor Park Green, the Museum has served the town for over one hundred years in a variety of guises: Civil War enlistment center, war volunteer center, dance hall, educational center and now, fine art exhibition space.
      "The museum will be open," Museum Director Dale Powers said. "It's so nice to turn on the lights and open the doors."
      The Fine Art Exhibit will continue Saturday 1-3 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Admission is free.


ON THE AIR--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 Jim Branca and the Mystic Mojo Band Almost Live at Summer Sounds 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.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn offers some favorites this week. The Phil Abair Band begins at 9 p.m. on Saturday followed by Billy Caldwell and the Aimless Drifters at 7 p.m. on Monday and finishing up with Big Spike Bluegrass at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

AROUND THE AREA--There are Open Mics tonight at Middle Earth in Bradford, at Skunk Hollow in Hartland, at Salt Hill Pub in Lebanon, and at The Village Tavern in Jeffersonville, but none in Franklin County.

MONTPELIER--The Vermont Fiddle Orchestra plays a fall foliage concert tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Church. Call 877-FIDDLE-1, click here, or email for more info.


GRAND ISLE--Island Arts presents First Thoughts Writing Workshop with Michelle Demers at Gordon House on West Shore Road on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
      Ms. Demers teaches poetry and writing at CCV, UVM, and other venues across the country. Her award-winning chapbook, Epicenter, will be published in spring 2007 by Blue Light Press. She has studied with poets Galway Kinnell, Stephen Dunn, Robert Pinsky, Ellen Bryant Voigt, David Huddle, Carol Frost, Chase Twichell, Michael Collier, and Toi Derricotte. She received a grant from the Vermont Arts Council to attend the writing residency at the Vermont Studio Center and earned her MFA in poetry from Vermont College.
      The price per attendee is $25 and the event is limited to 12 seats. Bring a brown bag lunch. Coffee or tea will be served. Call Joyce Borthwick-Leslie (802.372.4370) or email for reservations. Click here for more info.


     John DiGeorge is an independent film- and videomaker from Dummerston. His digital feature project, Redbelly, is in post-production. He has also collaborated with Brattleboro director Michel Moyse, Newfane sculptor Johnny Swing and Brookline painter/filmmaker Gabriel Smith. He teaches filmmaking to middle and high school students. His sites, and, require broadband connections and offer a look at the feature as well as sample multi-media portfolios 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.