ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 11 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 13, 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!


      There are now just a dozen days left until Christmas and gifts of art keep on giving throughout our lives. This year, Franklin County has about 80 artists represented in three excellent galleries as well as online.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month with 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 Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts artist Debbie Peatte this month. Ms. Peatte is exhibiting ten pieces watercolor and one pastel "from my travels in Germany, Scotland and all over," she said. "I like to paint outdoors when I can." Probably not on snowy Monday of this week when I spoke with her. Her work is mostly still lives and outdoor scenes. Ms. Peatte is an ultrasonographer in NMC Diagnostic Imaging.
      She comes from a family of talent; with her three siblings, she has shown across New England, Upstate New York and parts of Canada. "We exhibit as the four sisters," she said.
      The show continues through the end of December.

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.
      "We have framed originals and prints, holiday cards, handmade jewelry, and books by Leon Thompson, "Stina Plant said. The artists represented include Harald Aksdal, Denise Beers, Kim Bombard, Patrick Coffey, Karen Day-Vath, Kelly Duprat, Vitaly Garanzha, Maryann Godin, Barbara Hamm, Suzanne Kenyon, Marcin Kropiewnicki, Stacey Loiselle, Nelson Parker, Ron Peltier, Stina Plant, Jeremy Read, Amanda Reardon, Scott Staples, Jennifer Steinmetz, Stanley Triggs , 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.

      The All Arts Council has a host of additional gift ideas by area artists at . The site also includes Corliss Blakely, Janet Bonneau, John Cassel, Kris Jarrett, Jesse Potts, Will Patton, Nobby Reed, Valerie Ugro, and me.


COLCHESTER--The VYO Chorus and Concert Chorale offer their first public performances tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. at the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michaelís College.
      Conductor Jeffrey Buettner will lead the choruses in a multicultural seasonal program with the themes of harmony and understanding. Rollo Dilworth composed Trilogy of Dreams to words by poet Langston Hughes. Sung in Hebrew, Five Hebrew Love Songs by Eric Whitacre is an arrangement for chorus and string quartet. Give Us Hope and Kolenna sawa by Jim Papoulis blend Middle Eastern and Western rhythms with language celebrating harmony and understanding. The program concludes with Handelís And the Glory of the Lord from Messiah, and Leroy Andersonís holiday classic, Sleigh Ride.
      Eighty-five middle and high school singers from across Vermont make up the mixed-voice Chorus and the treble Concert Chorale. The Franklin County singers include Jordana Churchhill, East Fairfield, Rosemary Rogers, St. Albans, Tobin Martin, St. Albans, Elise Wadsworth, Enosburg, and Brittany Wieland, St. Albans.
      Maestro Buettner also serves as the Director of Choral Activities at Middlebury College. This is his inaugural season as Conductor of the VYO Choruses.
      Admission is $5 for adults and seniors, and $2 for students. Tickets will be available only at the door. Call 802.655.5030 or click here for more info

BURLINGTON--Events for Tom and the Bluegrass Gospel Project present a Benefit for Betty at the College Street Congregational Church tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. Their combination of downhome secular and sacred music brings human emotion and the American musical tradition to the stage.
      Betty is a five-year-old with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia; she is in the early stages of three years of chemotherapy. The community has rallied to support Betty and her mother, Jennifer Faul, as they confront the disease and its treatment.
      The seven traditional acoustic musicians and vocalists focus on the free improvisation and sublime vocal harmonies of the spiritual side of Appalachian string band music. The BGP is Taylor Armerding, mandolin, vocals; Patti Casey, vocals; Jim DiSabito, bass, vocals, guitar, banjo; Steve Light, Banjo, vocals, guitar; Paul Miller, guitar, vocals; and Gene White, Jr., fiddle.
      The music is a sub-genre of the bluegrass developed in the mountains of the southeastern U.S. during the twentieth century. Bluegrass gospel has evolved outside of the church as a populist form of spiritual music.
      Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, with children Betty's age and younger free. All proceeds benefit The Betty Fund. Call 802.86.FLYNN or click here for more info.
      The Tom Sustic Fund supports families with children with cancer. Additional contributions to the fund can be sent to: Tom Sustic Fund, PO Box 163, Fairfax, VT 05454. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or email for info about the Events for Tom Series or the Tom Sustic Fund.

SHELDON--Full Circle Recorder Consort returns with recorders, voices, hammered dulcimer and percussion to Grace Church on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. This concert will feature music for the season.
      The group of five friends make music together a professional quintet that specializes in medieval and Renaissance music as well as baroque, folk, Celtic, Appalachian, and 20th Century songs. The group sings and plays guitar, percussion, harp and hammered dulcimer as well as five sizes of recorders although the harp and dulcimer can not make the voyage to Burton Island. The members of Full Circle are Susan Reit, Linda Rodd, Mary Ann Samuels, Beth London and Maeve Kim. Full Circle has appeared at First Night Burlington, the Lane Series, Summer Music at Grace and more.
      Grace Church is located at 215 Pleasant Street, Sheldon. The suggested donation of $8 benefits the performers. Call 802.658.0832 for more info about the performers or 802.326.4603 for music at Grace Church.

ST. ALBANS--An Eklectik Zurn Christmas brings a great way to get in the holiday spirit to Holy Angels Church on Monday evening at 7 p.m. This performance will feature holiday instrumentals on harp, cello, and wooden recorders as well as a Cappella vocals: The sisters will harmonize traditional and uncommon favorites.
      The Eklectik Zurn sisters', J. Brooks Zurn, Mary Zurn Herrera and Bridget Zurn, appearances include First Night-Burlington, the Trapp Family Lodge, "Hildene," the Robert Todd Lincoln House, the White River Junction Opera House, Church Street Marketplace, and on Channel 15.
      Tickets are available at the door for a donation of $5. All ticket proceeds go to Holy Angels parish organ fund.


     Public art is important to Franklin County. This week's site showcases a series of murals that we could emulate right here.
      Trust is a mural unveiled July 1 at the Cochrane Ranch House, a Super 8 motel nestled between Calgary and Banff in Cochrane Alberta, Canada. Start with a close look at the horse's eye. The system uses a series of 1-foot square tiles; each is an individual picture created by a different artist. All of them together form the finished mural. Click on each tile to see it in detail.
      The other links show the current list of finished murals and the King of Kings mural presently being formed.
      Projects like this need a wall, a lead artist, municipal support, and sponsors. We will be looking for all of those as the New Year begins.


      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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