ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 17, 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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      The Summer Sounds concert series continues in Highgate Municipal Park as Chevalier Drilling presents Bob Degree and the Bluegrass Storm on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. The band plays original songs built from strong traditional roots. The Storm has a great connection from the past to the future of this family music genre.
      The Storm is Mr. Degree, guitar, mandolin, vocals; Kirk Lord, bass and vocals, Adam Frehm, dobro and vocals; Andy Sacher, mandolin and vocals; and Joe Cleary, fiddle, mandolin, and vocals. The group plays Bluegrass Night at the Lincoln Inn regularly. They appeared in June at the Rattling Brook Bluegrass Festival and will play the Colchester Music in the Park Series next week and the South Hero Applefest in October. Their current CD is Thunder n Lightning.
      The Highgate Historical Society will offer real food, a groaning board of desserts, and other fine sweets in the top-rated Summer Sounds Social.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin & Sons, Pete Paquette Real Estate & Development, Ray's Extrusion Dies & Tubing, Scotty's Taxi, and Stewart Title Guaranty Company.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in Highgate Municipal Park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair as you settle in to enjoy outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. There will be no Summer Sounds concerts in St. Albans City in 2008.


ST. ALBANS--The Champlain Collection presents The Swanton Connection beginning with an artists reception this evening at 7 p.m.
      "We have three Swanton artists who are very well liked," Champlain Collection owner Norm Choiniere said of his exhibition and sale of the work of Bob Eldridge, Gladys Nokes, and Linda Wirts.
      Bob Eldridge will show a diverse collection of realistic landscapes and wildlife in the Missisquoi Refuge, some historical pieces, maritime art, and "some quirkier stuff." He works in acrylic on board and pencil drawings. He also paints clear crystal Christmas balls, some of which will be in the show. Look for Ethan's Ride Home from his last ride atop his hay wagon crossing Lake Champlain. He is also a member of the Artists in Residence Gallery in Enosburg Falls.
      "It's my most comfortable media," Mr. Eldridge said of the pencil drawings. "I'll be present and accounted for."
      Gladys Nokes will show florals, Vermont scenes, and old barns. "I do a lot of flowers," she said. "I've been doing it for a long time."
      Ms. Nokes started in oil with knife and brush in 1972 but now works in watercolor. "It is so free and you can do so many fluid things." She is working in oil on Art Fits Vermont, the new statewide community arts jigsaw puzzle project. She is also a member of the Saint Albans Artists' Guild.
      "I call her the matriarch of Franklin County artists," Mr. Choiniere said.
      Linda Wirts paints with a lot of color. "I love purple," she said. "And I resonate with the water in the watercolors." Her paintings are mostly lanscapes; she will show a series of birches and sunsets. "I love birch trees, the suggestion of artistry and the birch is wonderful."
      Ms. Wirts studied with three Vermont watercolorists: Larry Goldsmith, Jeanne Carbonetti, and Kathleen Berry-Bergeron. She earned a Masters in Liberal Arts in Santa Fe ten years ago but returned to Vermont because, in the desert, she missed the water. She has recently bought a "treasure gem" of a new-to-her house in Swanton and is also a member of the Saint Albans Artists' Guild.
      The Champlain Collection is "tucked in" in the southeast corner of the Highgate Commons Shopping Center. The Swanton Connection exhibit will continue until the end of July. Call 802.524.3485 or click here for more info.

TAFTSVILLE--Apple Hill Inn hosts a Summer Art Show of new work by Vermont artist Corliss Blakely. The show and sale starts Saturday and runs through July 29.
      "This is a great opportunity to visit the Woodstock Area," Ms. Blakely wrote. Her show will include new oil paintings, giclees, and more.
      The Inn is located in Taftsville between Woodstock and Quechee. They serve Afternoon Tea daily. Call 802.457.9135 for reservations or click here for more info about the show.

WATERBURY--The Waterbury-Stowe Street Art Show has an exhibit of new work by Valerie Ugro downtown on Saturday 10-4 p.m. There will be new paintings, cards, and fine art prints. New this year, Ms. Ugro offers classes in watercolor painting in her studio and has added Pet Portraits to complement the Architectural Portraits in her artistic services.
      Click here for more info about the show.


HIGHGATE CENTER-- The United Methodist Church annual Ice Cream social features the Fairfax-Fletcher-Westford Band and some of the best ice cream and cake, all this evening at 7 p.m.

MONTGOMERY CENTER--The popular and eclectic Concerts By The Common series presents the Nisht Geferlach Klezmer Band on Saturday at 8 p.m.
      The rhythms and spirit of the klezmer music of the Jews of Eastern Europe forms the basis of the Nisht Geferlach Klezmer Band. The band plays songs from the golden age of New York’s Yiddish Theater plus freilachs, bulgars and instrumentals with a Dixieland influence. The jazzy, melancholy, thoughtful, ecstatic music is danceable and familiar. Translated colloquially from the Yiddish Nisht Geferlach means "Relax, it won’t kill you.
      All concerts begin at 8 p.m. in Pratt Hall, opposite the Black Lantern Inn. Admission is $12 or $10 for Montgomery Historical Society members. Tickets are on sale now. Call 802.326.4528 for information.

ST. ALBANS--St. Paul's United Methodist Church presents Tim Zimmerman and the King's Brass on Monday at 7 p.m. This popular brass ensemble presents hymn classics with a contemporary flair. The King's Brass blend three trumpets, three trombones, a tuba, percussion and keyboards to create an secular and sacred music for all generations. Click here for more info.
      Admission is free but you must have a free ticket to get in the door. Free tickets are available from St. Pauls, Bayberry Cottage, Sweet Nothings, and Ed White Auto Sales. A free will offering will be accepted at the door.


     ArtPerk creators Salam Dahbour and Missy Loewe wanted a folksonomy site to search for juried shows, save those searches, and track their results. Ms. Loewe is dean of Washington School of Photography and board president of Capitol Arts Network. Software developer Dahbour is a teacher and award winning photographer. The site is slick now with events searches, account tools, and more. It will feature articles, better ways to search, discussion forums, art related news feeds, and, of course, plenty of advertising.


      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.