ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 1, 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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      It is a busy weekend in Enosburg Falls with a gallery reception and a major concert.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on Harald Aksdal, watercolor, pen and ink; Rebecca Ann Bennett, mixed media, watercolor, oil, acrylic, pencil, and photography; Corliss Blakely, oils, landscapes, and still life; and wood turner Toby Fulwiler, bowls.
      The A.I.R. Gallery has a reception for featured artists with wine, food, and sometimes music from 5 to 8 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. That would be tonight in the A.I.R.
      The Artist in Residence 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.

GUILFORD--Southeastern Vermont Welcome Center has begun an exhibit of Lauren Young/Lauren's Lyrics poetry and photography.
      The Welcome Center is located on I-91 north in Windham County, through May 31.

ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts Shirley Cary of Milton this month. Ms. Cary is exhibiting photography, some of which are combined with dried flowers for a three-dimensional effect..
      The show continues through the end of May.

ST ALBANS--Student artists in the Open Doors art program created a dozen decorated sap buckets for the Maple Festival. The buckets are now on display at participating merchants in Downtown St. Albans. Teachers Amanda Parker Bates, St. Albans Town Educational Center, and Kathy Brown, City School, lead the project.
      The artists have donated the maple-themed buckets to S.A.F.F. to support community programming.
      Open Doors is a 21st Century Community Learning Center program that offers enrichment activities to help middle school students meet state and local academic achievement standards. Call 524.2600 or click here for more info.


     The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Mark Shelton in Concert in a Tribute to the Music of Elvis Presley on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Award winning vocalist Mark Shelton sings the music of Elvis Presley, Perry Como, Bobby Darin, Neil Diamond, Rick Nelson, Roy Orbison, Andy Williams, and more with "nightscaped" sets, dancers, lights and special effects. The first half will be the crooning songs with an old school, classy performance. Watch for the girls to come out to give roses to the ladies in the audience.
      Bubbles may fill the Opera House.
      "It's all fun stuff," Mr. Shelton said, "a really good show with the girls dancing, a city lightscape, and amazing sets."
      After intermission, Mr. Shelton does a compete program of Elvis Presley. They have a jail and correctional officers on stage for Jailhouse Rock. They will perform An American Trilogy at the end for the soldiers and the troops. "It touches a lot of hearts," he said.
      Mr. Shelton was named "Best International Christian Male Artist of 2007" by the Toronto Exclusive Magazine Online.
      Admission is $15 at Door or $10 in advance. Tickets are available online at


BURLINGTON--Events for Tom presents Mehr and Sher Ali with Qawwali Music of Pakistan tomorrow evening at 8 p.m.
      Qawwali is the traditional Islamic song of the prophets and praises of God. Based on the mystic poetry of Sufi masters, the music defines the spiritual and artistic life of northern India and Pakistan. The word itself means "axiom" or "dictum"; it is derived from the Arabic "Qaol." A qawwal is one who sings qawwali. The music has soaring vocals, strong rhythms, and percussive hand-clapping.
      Qawwali Music of Pakistan is an ensemble of 12 musicians, led by brothers and master qawwals Mehr and Sher Ali who are, in turn, students of Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn.
      Adam Nayyar, director of Research at the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, will host a free pre-performance lecture in the Amy E. Tarrant Gallery at the Flynn Center tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. Mr. Nayyar will explain the poetry and philosophic symbols in qawwali music.
      Admission is $36 or $29. Children under 17 and students with ID save $4. Call 802.86.FLYNN or click here for info, music clips, and to order tickets.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Lincoln Inn kicks off the weekend with local favorites. Tonight Jim Branca plays the WCLX Blues at 7 p.m. Bob Degree and the Bluegrass Storm play Tuesday and the Celtic Party on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.

UNDERHILL--The United Church presents Fiddleheads in concert with Duncan and David Yandell on Saturday at 7 p.m. Email for more info.

BRADFORD--Middle Earth Music Hall presents the Nobby Reed Project on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
      Middle Earth begins the merry month of May with three benefit shows for Vermont Foster Children. The shows feature three of Vermont's favorite musicians: Sandra Wright tomorrow evening, Tammy Fletcher on Saturday, and Mr. Reed on Sunday.
      Admission to each event is $15 or Buy All Three Shows For $30. The admission proceeds will benefit Vermont Foster Children. Call 802.222.4748 or click here for reservations and info.


     Gregory Albright of North Hartland works in the bold colors of the landscape. He is one of the founding teachers of the Upper Valley Waldorf School. He uses Blogspot to host his pages of sculpture, painting, classes, and biographical info but draws all those links together in a single portal.


      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.