ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 21, 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!


      At Thanksgiving time, I like to round up some area artists to share what they are grateful for at this time of year.
      Jim Branca thinks he had nothing "too newsworthy or printable this year," but he is "incredibly grateful for the basics: wife, children, friends, family, love, health, air in lungs, and the beauty of Vermont."
      "I give thanks for good acoustics! (And the musicians aren't bad either.)," said Beth Crane of the Summer Music at Grace Church in Sheldon.
      "I am grateful for the now annual Mardi Gras Dinner Dance," Pat LeBoeuf said. It is held at Chow Bella in St. Albans to benefit Franklin County Court Diversion and Community Justice Programs. The next event will take place in February with music by The Fabulous Spiders.
      The Catalyst Theater Company is looking at another year of a full house for the Best Christmas Pageant Ever as Ronni Lopez writes, "I am thankful for our ongoing supporters -- both in the seats and on our stages. I am thankful for parents who support their children's interests in 'trying on' the production experience. I am thankful for the new folks who have come around Catalyst on the strength of our reputation and who commit their precious time, energies and talents for the sake of being involved in making theatre a viable readily accessible option for our community's education and entertainment. I am so very thankful to be in Vermont doing theater that matters."
      Ms. Lopez is a self described old hippie and the Producing Artistic Director of Catalyst.
      Leon Thompson sent a list. "I'm thankful that..." he wrote,
"1. my dear and talented friend Stina Plant is living her passion and dream with the STAART Gallery in St. Albans City;
"2. Norman Mailer's obituaries have proven that the world still appreciates its deeply troubled icons;
"3. Van Halen is actually making it work this time;
"4. Cousin Chris and I finally saw our first show together -- just the two of us ('Wilco' in Shelburne, over the summer);
"5. I'm selling books, and writing more;
"6. my wonderful friend Suzy finally helped me overcome my fear of MySpace;
"7. my daughter has fallen in love with Shel Silverstein;
"8. and, finally, I'm thankful for anyone who had the stomach to take that risky idea and put it out there. Naked. Now do it again. And again. And again."
      A personal note: Regular readers may know that I have been traveling a lot this year; in fact, I'm writing this from the Keys where there is a vibrant art scene with galleries, concerts, performances, and organizations everywhere you look. I am especially thankful that the Franklin County art scene has grown so vibrant over the years, particularly in the past 12 months with two fabulous new galleries at opposite ends of the county adding to a busy calendar of events. For the record, I do not have a naked beach, no matter what Mr. Thompson says.


ST ALBANS--Start off the holiday week with holiday gifts, art receptions a book signing and live music at the STAART Gallery. The Gallery hosts the hot jazz trumpet of Fabian Rainville live on Saturday evening, 5-7 p.m., at 42 S. Main St.
      Call 802.524.5700 or click here for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--It's a busy week at the Lincoln Inn as they present Vermont singer/songwriter Stephanie Keesler on Monday at 7 p.m. and Bluegrass Night with Winding Road on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.


SUMMER RESIDENCY PROPOSALS (November 30)--Creative professionals, visual artists, film makers, writers, dancers, musicians, theater performers will gather for eight weeks for intensive collaborations between each individual artist and a small group of six to eight local teen participants, culminating in a final exhibition. Artists-in-Residence invent the remaining structure, working together or individually on projects. The residency includes housing and a budget. Click here for the prospectus.

SCULPTURE RESIDENCY (December 1)--The funded, full two-month work stay residency with housing will include twenty new artists with daily, 24-hour studio access, all at Sculpture Space in Utica. No entry fee. Call 315.724.8381, click here or email for more info

22nd INTERNATIONAL JURIED SHOW (December 1)--All artists in all media for Visual Arts Center of New Jersey exhibit. New Best in Show cash prize with round trip travel and a hotel stay to have lunch with juror Carter Foster of the Whitney Museum. Slide and CD entries accepted. Entry fee. Email or click here for the prospectus.


     A Pew Research Center report on Technology and Media use shows that 57% of online adults now watch or download video and 57% of that group share their favorite videos with their friends. [Editorial note: please send a link to the video, not the entire file, to your friends.]
      One of the great hopes of all website advertisers is that what they post will "go viral," meaning millions of people email a link to the video to the millions of people on their email jokes list. A "viral video" is the current marketing Holy Grail, a message that blankets the connected world for no cost; it's the high tech version of word-of-mouth.
      A friend sent this youtube link to three performances by regional singer/songwriter Roy Hurd.
      Send this column to a friend, please.


      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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