ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 13, 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!

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      Rotary Club of St. Albans presents its annual fund raiser, the Home & Recreation Exposition, tomorrow through Sunday at the Collins-Perley Sports and Fitness Center. The presenting sponsor--and the theme this year--is Efficiency Vermont.
      More home improvement will happen this year than new home construction; that home improvement can easily help showcase your own collection of art.
      Artist Harald Aksdal will paint in the Champlain Collection display from 10-2 p.m. on Saturday. "I will have the three downtown St Albans prints by Sean Dye," Collection owner Norm Choiniere said. There is also the new Fred Swan poster, Spring Flowers, as well as That Special Place, a new print with the golden winter sun.
      This year the Expo features seminars about recycling, improving energy efficiency, gardening, stress management, live raptor encounters, and more, plus over 200 booths of exhibitors all under one roof. Mr. Swan and the Champlain Collection have donated the miniature giclee Spring Gate for the Rotary auction.
      Admission is still just $5. All children under 12 are admitted free. The doors open at 2 p.m. on Friday, 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. The Collins-Perley Sports and Fitness Center is located just off I-89 at Exit 19.


     The 13th season of the Burlington Irish Heritage Festival offers the entire northern Vermont community a week of activities leading up to St. Patrick's Day. The days (and nights) of music, lectures, movies, drama and dance continue today in this celebration of Irish-American culture and community.
      Most events are presented with free admission There is also a fund raising raffle with prizes that include two round-trip tickets to Ireland. Click here for more info.

COLCHESTER--St. Michaelís College Irish Concert tonight at 8 p.m. features Summer Sounds favorites Atlantic Crossing, plus the Highland Weavers with Robert Resnik, the Celtic Knights Stepdancers and others in Alliott Hall at St. Michaelís College. The concert benefits Parent to Parent of Vermont. Email for more info.

BURLINGTON--On Saturday, the Fletcher Free Library hosts Childrenís Stories, Crafts and Arts at 10 a.m. and Pennywhistle Workshops with Bob Quadra at 1 p.m.

BURLINGTON--First United Methodist Church hosts an Irish Fiddle Workshop on Saturday at 5 p.m. and a concert with Sarah Blair at 7 p.m. Ms. Blair has worked as a session leader in Boston, performs as a solo fiddler at sessions, festivals and concerts from Alaska to Florida, and teaches private students in Montpelier. The workshop and concert are the 74th presentation in the Events for Tom Series.
      The workshop will focus on traditional Irish fiddle style and repertoire and is meant for intermediate to advanced players. There will be a $10 workshop fee. Email to register in advance. The workshop is co-presented by Fiddleheads.
      Concert admission is $10.

BURLINGTON--Festival Ceili takes place in Contois Auditorium at City Hall on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Ceili is the Irish word for a music, dancing, hand clapping good time.

BURLINGTON---Events for Tom and the Burlington Irish Heritage Festival present the second annual Irish Music Showcase at Contois Auditorium at City Hall on Sunday at 6 p.m. The line up includes the Croppies, Fiddleheads, and Jim McGinniss and the Redeemers, as well as Patti Casey with Susannah Blachly and George White, Longford Row, Maryís Lane, Muddy Boots, Oh'Aneigh, Trinity and the United Celtic Dancers, and emcee John Murray.

BURLINGTON--The culminating St. Patrick's Day Concert features Leahy at the Flynn on Monday at 7:30 p.m. presented by the Lane Series, the Flynn Theater, and the Burlington Irish Heritage Festival.
      Leahy would be the group, not the Senator. They mix traditional Celtic music, Irish-flavored pop and folk-rock, and lively step-dancing on the stage.
      Admission is $27 and up.

     Tickets for the Sarah Blair Concert, the Music Showcase, and Leahy are all available through the Flynn Regional Box Office (802.863.5966) or by clicking here.


ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn presents the Nobby Reed Project tonight in the WCLX Blues Night at 7 p.m. On Monday, the Inn hosts 3 Left Feet appropriately at 3 p.m. and Longford Row at 7 p.m. There will be a Bluegrass Jam next Tuesday at 7 p.m. And Clan O'hanleigh closes out the most Irish week on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents the Croppies for Patrick's Day on Monday at 6 p.m. Click here for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Village Tavern hosts Open Mic at 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

FAIRFAX--The regular Music Session continues Saturday with acoustic instrumentalists playing traditional songs at the Foothills Bakery, 1-4:30 p.m. Admission is free by donation.

WATERVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents community dances on Saturdays at 7 p.m. in the Waterville Town Hall. The evening will feature contras, squares, circles, play parties and singing games and all dances will be taught. Bring a partner, the entire family, or come alone. Caller Mark Sustic offers dance instruction. Frank Heyburn and Michele Lajoie play. Guest musicians with acoustic instruments are welcome. Admission is $5 per person and $10 for families at the door.


     The Staart Gallery will host a reception tomorrow night but you won't read the details in this column because gallery owner Stina Plant has instructed me not to publicize her events. I will sadly accede to her wishes not to include her storefront in any future reportage, calendars, or promotion, but that hurts all of us even more. The world of artsy stuff just got smaller.
      Henry Kissinger is widely quoted as saying, "University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small." That's true in real life, too.
      I have long helped grow arts opportunities and I promote having more activities, not fewer. I am sorry Ms. Plant and her friend believe it necessary to build walls around some of them.


     Nationally recognized Vermont artist Corliss Blakely has new oil paintings, giclees, a blog, biographical info, and links to her other sites online. The gallery features a slide show of all her latest work.
      Ms. Blakely is best known for her photo-realistic style of portraying the homes, farms, and antiques of northern Vermont. She studied at Vesper George Art School and The Museum School Of Fine Art. She lives in St. Albans.


      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.