ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 18, 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!


ENOSBURG FALLS--Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on Harald Aksdal, Sean Dye, Norma King, and D.J. Pattullo.
      Architect and artist Harald Aksdal of Fairfax incorporates the abstract in his landscapes. The cornerstone of his art, he said comes from the detail and materials of architecture.
      UVM art professor Sean Dye is a multimedia artist, a member of the Pastel Society of America, and the author of Painting with Water Soluble Oils and the Mixed-Media Sourcebook. He lives and paints in St. George, Vermont.
      Outdoors person and farmer at heart Norma King paints landscapes and mood paintings in watercolor and oil. "I love barns and old buildings and historical places," she said. "I prefer to [paint] outdoors." The weather influences her strongly. "When the light is right early in the morning and late in the evening, it is a very creative time.
      "We've been selling very well," Ms. King said of the gallery. "We have a good group working together."
      Dan Pattullo of Sheldon wears three hats. "He is our framer," Nancy Patch said. He also prints fine art reproductions. He will exhibit his photographs, oils, and digital woodcuts from the New England countryside.
      The Artist in Residence art cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 45 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The Village Frame Shoppe is located within the coop as a resident framer. The Blue Crayon, a small private studio, is available there for individual or small group lessons. The gallery, located at 349 Main Street, is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts NMC Occupational Therapist Nancy Jacobus this month. Ms. Jacobus is exhibiting prints of her original water color paintings of whimsical dancers and flowers including some originals on silk fabric. The show continues through the end of October.

ST. ALBANS--Staart Gallery (ST Albans ARTs) owner and Messenger photographer Stina Plant calls it, "A gallery for the artists and for the community."
      The Staart Gallery has a prime downtown location to house the best local art; it offers artist receptions, classes, and artist talks. The environment includes free WiFi, comfortable couches, a gallery with a dedicated marketing budget, and space to sell original works and prints. It is the only full-fledged gallery on Main Street with more than 40 works by 15 local artists. The current exhibitors include Harald Aksdal, Denise Beers, Marc Choiniere, Patrick Coffey, Vitaly Garanzha, Mary Anne Godin, Suzanne Kenyon, Marcin Kropiewnicki, Stacey Loiselle, Ron Peltier, Stina Plant, Jennifer Steinmetz, Stanley Triggs, Bill Whitney, and Colleen Yandow
      The Staart is located downtown at 42 South Main Street, next door to the old post office. Call Stina Plant (524.5700) for more info or to reserve a space "on the walls."


VERGENNES--The Events for Tom Series and the Champlain Valley Folk Festival present the a capella harmony trio Craig Morgan Robson tonight at 7:30pm at the Park Squeeze. They weave their harmonies from traditional British material to create a variety unheard in folk music for many years.
      This concert will have dramatic ballads, songs of love and longing, contemporary songs, Shetland melodies and Ozark mountain hymns.
      Moira Craig, Sarah Morgan and Carolyn Robson came together as a trio four years ago after decades of experience as solo performers and singing lead. Their harmony ranges from dramatic traditional ballads to lilting love songs to the occasional cutting edge contemporary work.
      Moira Craig is a London nurse from East Kilbride where her grandfather, father and brothers were all singers and musicians. She has won the Sidmouth Singer of the Year award, contributed to the Pastimes albums, and has a solo album, On Ae Bonny Day.
      Sarah Morgan has adopted the county of Hampshire. She has more than thirty years of performing experience in folk music. She has sung harmony with Mary Eagle, Bread and Roses, and Hen Party, as well as with Mick Ryan and others in Fieldwork's production of A Tolpuddle Man and A Day's Work. Her Home Lads Home is a Cicely Fox Smith poem set to her own melody. She has published a number of song books with arrangements both for solo voice and in four-part harmony.
      Carolyn Robson specializes in traditional folk song and dance with a repertoire of songs from her native Northumberland and Scotland. She has worked as a radio presenter and regularly sings on radio. Her recent albums are All the Fine Young Men and Dawn Chorus. Her first album, the 1981 Banks of Tyne has been reissued on CD. She was featured in the HTV documentary on Cecil Sharp. She also sings on Kathryn Tickell's CD, The Northumberland Collection.
      Admission is $15 at the door. There are no advance tickets but reservations are strongly recommended. Email for reservations.

BURLINGTON--The Events for Tom Series and the Bosnian Lilies present Emerald Stream in concert at the College Street Congregational Church on Sunday at 3 p.m.
      Emerald Stream performs Bosnian love songs, Ukrainian lullabies, Russian Orthodox chants and many more songs from the rich musical traditions of the Balkans. They will perform romantic a cappella Croatian klapas, songs of the blue Adriatic Sea, contemporary compositions, and the lively kolo dance songs.
      Based in Saxtons River, Emerald Stream is led by accordionist and Fulbright Scholar Mary Cay Brass. Emerald Streamís members include blacksmith, archeologist, doctor and pilot. The group will be accompanied by instrumentalists on fiddle, percussion, clarinet and guitar.
      Admission is $12 or $6 for students and seniors at the door the day of the concert. There are no advance tickets. Reservations can still be made. Email for reservations.

      These concerts are the 66th and 67th presentation in the Events for Tom Series. Proceeds from the concerts in this series benefit the Tom Sustic Fund, which supports families with children with cancer. Proceeds from the concert benefit the Tom Sustic Fund, which supports families with children with cancer. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or email for more info about the Events for Tom Series or the Tom Sustic Fund.


     More than 7,500 sites across the country have the lights on after school this month to remind us that after-school programming is key to the success of our school children. Eight Franklin County programs will host events this week and next for the Eighth annual Lights On After-school celebration. Most involve the arts in one form or another.
      Two programs have open houses next Wednesday, October 24.
      The Franklin Elementary School will host a Open House to showcase programs in session. A "Crossroads Journalist" will interview community members. 3:15-4:45 p.m.
      The Swanton Central Elementary School invites the public in to taste some unique food creations made and served by students. 4:00-5:30 p.m.


      The Big Read: Vermont Reads The Maltese Falcon begins in Montpelier City Hall on Sunday at 2 p.m. The City Hall Arts Center will become 1920s San Francisco for an afternoon of mystery and fun to celebrate Dashiell Hammett's noir classic.
      The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). 117 organizations are participating across the country; Vermont's is the only project that encompasses an entire state.
      The Big Read kickoff here will feature speakers, a dramatic reading, a costume contest, door prizes, refreshments, and more. David Kipen, Director of National Reading Initiatives for the NEA, Montpelier author Daniel Hecht, and private investigator Susan Hansen will speak. Look for discussions of the mystery genre and how the mystery of the Maltese falcon would be solved using modern investigative techniques. Lost Nation Theater will perform a selection from the book.
      The Big Read in Vermont is presented by The Vermont Arts Council in partnership with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Lost Nation Theater, and Onion River Community Access Media (ORCA). Click here for info about how to involve local schools, libraries, or community organizations in The Big Read. Click here for a complete list of Big Read communities, a list of The Big Read novels, a full calendar of events for The Big Read in Vermont and around the country, program application guidelines, or more info on the program itself.


     Published Monday through Friday and most Saturdays, The Daily Cartoonist is a site for professional cartoonists. It is in color anyway. The site covers comic strip artists, editorial cartoonists, gag and one panel cartoonists, and newspaper industry trends. It has job listings, a Google search page, and a blog. The current In the News section includes stories about Funky Winkerbean, a firestorm of criticism about Charlie Hall, Oliphant's new book on the presidency, Carlos and Alvaro de la Vega, the winners of Miami Herald's "Great Cartoonist Search," and more.


      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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