ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 1, 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!


      Two retail art galleries with exhibit space and "extras" have started operations in Franklin County this year. The Artists in Residence Gallery and the Staart Gallery offer the opportunity to look at (and buy) art as well as to partake of other services.
      We are continuing to research the arts centers in other areas.
      Establishing a commercial gallery is the core approach many community art centers have taken--including two of the locations in last week's "Calls for Artists." One municipality in the Calls provided a former factory building. In both cases the community came together to support an entrepreneurial effort.
      A group of Ontario College of Art students opened Toronto's Propeller Center for Visual Arts more than a decade ago. This artist-run gallery began as a vehicle for graduating students to show their work. The gallery has flourished. It attracts more than 10,000 visitors annually to its shows in the heart of the Queen West gallery district.
      Propeller is a membership organization run by an all-volunteer board of directors.
      Propeller runs other artistic programs, such as Slide Review Nights, pot-luck meetings, artists talks, an annual curated exhibition, exchange shows, and more. It is a resource center for individuals and groups, and a networking center for and with other art centers.
      The City of St. Charles made a 36,800 square foot train car factory available support for the Foundry Art Center; the city also made a financial commitment for renovation and ongoing operating costs when a regional arts community came together around the 1940s structure.
      The Foundry Art Center has 5,000 square feet of Smithsonian caliber exhibition space to host national exhibitions. A Grand Hall stage provides space for performances and community concerts. There are studios on the mezzanine level with open glass fronts that allow visitors to see and talk with the artists at work. The Foundry Art Center is a significant tourist attraction, not only for its contents but also for its interesting reuse of the space.
      In the coming weeks, this column will continue to look for other arts centers and galleries in Vermont, in New England, and around the country. It is worth remembering that, while these other areas have different and often larger populations than the Franklin and Grand Isle County region, the art centers we visit have similar missions. Their boards have chosen remarkably similar functions--but different implementations--to meet their users' expectations.


     The Saint Albans Historical Museum and the Saint Albans Artists' Guild will host a pair of Vermont Arts Council Grant Seekers Workshop on Monday in the Bliss Auditorium of the Saint Albans Historical Museum. The first workshop, for Organizations will take place from 1 - 3 p.m.; the second workshop, for artists, will begin at 3:30 p.m.
      Admission (and the drinks) is free. The Saint Albans Artists' Guild will host a half hour reception between workshops. Click here for more info.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on Sandra Beaty, Karen Scheffler, Jaffa Paddon, and Jan Brosky. Their show continues through the end of November.
      "Every month, we have a reception for our featured artists," Nancy Patch said. "It is always the first Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m." That would be tonight in the A.I.R.
      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. to 5 p.m.

ST. ALBANS--The Staart Gallery (ST. Albans ARTs) is a place to show, sell, teach, create, and enjoy art. Artists hold "meet and greets" on weekends. Figure drawing sessions are coming soon and the gallery will hold two more receptions before the holidays.
      "We now have 20 Vermont artists and more than 80 works in oil, watercolor, photography, and prints," Stina Plant said. On exhibit (and for sale) now are the works of Harald Aksdal, Denise Beers, Kim Bombard, Patrick Coffey, Vitaly Garanzha, Maryann Godin, Barbara Hamm, Suzanne Kenyon, Marcin Kropiewnicki, Stacey Loiselle, Nelson Parker, Ron Peltier, Stina Plant, Jeremy Read, Amanda Reardon, Jennifer Steinmetz, Shanley Triggs, Karen Day-Vath, Bill Whitney, and Colleen Yandow.
      The Staart Gallery has a prime downtown location for weekly artist receptions, classes and artist talks, a comfortable upscale environment complete with couches and WiFi, a gallery with a dedicated marketing budget, and space to sell original works and prints.
      The gallery is next to the old post office at 42 South Main Street.

ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts photographer David Porter of Burlington this month. His matted and framed 35 mm color photographs of Burlington waterfront sunsets and the closeups of fungi and weathered hardware are his favorite topics.
      Mr. Porter is a full time Substance Abuse counselor/psychology instructor and criminology instructor. His work has been displayed at various venues in Burlington, including Uncommon Grounds, Dobra Tea, and Speeder and Earls. This is his first show at the hospital.
      The show continues through the end of November.


ESSEX JUNCTION----The Lincoln Inn presents the Jim Branca Trio rippin' it up tonight at 7 p.m. The singer-songwriter-guitarist creates music that wraps the blues with classic soul, jazz, gospel, funk, folk and rock.
      "Do something good for your soul," he said. "It's a great way to exorcize any remaining Milk Dud residue, the day after the Great Pumpkin's visit." And there will be Surprised Musical Guests.
      Click here or email for more info.

CRAFTSBURY--The Music Box presents Will Patton, Anna Patton, Dono Schabner and David Gusakov on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m.
      "It's always a wonderful and fine thing when I get to play with my daughter Anna!," Will said. The group will be in New York City this month for a series of showcase gigs. "It's all very exciting."
      Call 802.586.7533 or click here for more info.

NEWPORT--Music for a Sunday Afternoon presents Social Band in Idle and Blessed: Exploring Rest in a Restless World at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Sunday at 4 p.m. Call 802.334.7365 or click here for more info.

ST ALBANS--Save the Date. Area veterans and military groups will host Raise Your Flag next Thursday, November 8, at BFA. There will be plenty of music including the Champlain Echoes and the Citizens Concert Band and a collection for shipment to the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
      Admission is free. Call Joyce Jenkins (524.5290) for more info.


     Writer Shelby Hearon of Burlington is the author of fourteen novels, including Life Estates and Owning Jolene which won an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Literature Award.
      Ms. Hearon has no website of her own but, thanks to her publisher, she does have a web presence. The Random House page has a short biography and the ability to share her info on Digg This, Facebook, Yahoo, and more. Surprisingly, it does not have any information about her actual books or even an easy way to find them--that took Googling.


      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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