ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 10, 2008


      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 important shows ongoing at the two major Franklin County galleries. Each features the work of some of the best student artists in the area; each gives us the opportunity to see these young artists as they begin their professional progress.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on students from Enosburg and Richford High Schools. The works are on display in the windows as well as on the featured artist wall. Gallery member and AAC artist Pam Voss teaches the Enosburg students. She works with fiber arts. Gallery member and AAC artist Pat Murphy teaches the Richford students. He is known for his large oil paintings.
      A.I.R. also features artisans this month. Tony and Gretchen Bittner, Phil and Carolyn Bronz, and Kelly Maddox. Mr. Bittner works in wood, and makes custom made furniture, cutting boards, and more. Mrs. Bittner works with fiber and paper. She creates framed abstract collages, journals, wine journals, note cards, accordion books, and similar items. Phil and Carolyn Bronz make stain glass lamp shades for Made in Vermont lamp bases. Kelly Maddox makes pottery and custom jewelry.
      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 Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts the photography of Oren Lane on the Art Wall this month. The setting sun is the common thread in this series of spiritual photographs. Rev. Lane is a retired Methodist minister who has also donated three photographs to the hospital; one is hanging in the NMC Chapel.
      The show continues through the end of January.

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.
      Staart hosts a rotating exhibit of student art with work by art students from BFA-St. Albans. This month's exhibit includes the photography of Jesse Meunier, pencil drawings by Milo Moyer-Battick and Madeleine Larrow, and an acrylic on cardboard painting by Emily Duffy. This show mixes technique and growing talent.
      The exhibit marks the first time the students have shown their work in a public gallery.
      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.


SQUEEZEBOX--Saturday is apparently National Accordion Day. It is an occasion for much rejoicing or sadness, depending on your point of view. Look for events all over the country.

FLETCHER--The regular Cambridge Arts Council Saturday night Family Contra Dance has been relocated this week only to Fletcher Union Meeting House. Caller Mark Sustic and musicians Frank Heyburn with members of Fiddleheads will hold forth on Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. Musicians with acoustic instruments are welcome to join in with the band.
      The dance will include contras, squares, circles, play parties, and singing games. All dances will be taught. Bring a partner, the entire family, or come alone. Everyone is welcome, including absolute beginners. No prior experience is needed.
      A donation of $5 per person and $10 for families is suggested at the door. Call Mark Sustic (849.696) or email for more info about this dance and others in the community contra dance series. Email for more info about the Cambridge Arts Council.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn hosts a Bluegrass Jam this Tuesday from 7 to 10 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Correction: The second annual Mardi Gras Dinner and Dance will be held on Saturday, February 2, at Chow Bella. Tickets include two Mardi Gras dinners and dancing to music by The Fabulous Spiders in this benefit event for Franklin County Court Diversion and Community Justice Programs.
      Call 802.527.5560 or email for more info.


      Accordionist, pianist, and composer Jeremiah McLane of Sharon is known for his Celtic, French and Quebecois to Swing, Blues and Zydeco performances. He studied accordion at the New England Conservatory of Music and piano at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the University of Massachusetts, the University of New Hampshire. He is a founding member of Nightingale, the Clayfoot Strutters, and Big Table. His site includes biographical info, his discography, bands, projects, contact info, and a calendar. Oddly, he has no performances scheduled on Saturday.


      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 © 2008 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.