ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 4, 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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ST. ALBANS--The Champlain Collection presents second annual Holiday Art Show beginning with an artists reception from 1-4 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Artists include Harald Aksdal, Sean Dye, Fred Swan, Anna Vreman, and nature photographer Robert Chaperon
      "They will all be here," owner Norm Choiniere said.
      Norwegian by birth and an architect by education, Harald Aksdal has always loved to draw. The cornerstone of his work comes from architecture. His attention to detail shows in his combination of pencils, pen and ink, and watercolor in rural and natural landscapes.
      Hiker and nature photographer Robert Chaperon studied electrical engineering at UVM. He plans to evoke physical sensations--the spray of a waterfall, the glow of a sunset, the smile of a child--with his photography. His body of work includes a series from the Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge.
      An award winning multimedia artist, Sean Dye teaches at the University of Vermont and conducts workshops throughout North America on pastel, oil painting and mixed-media. He earned his MFA at Pratt.
      Barre artist Fred Swan creates meticulously detailed, photo-realistic paintings filled with nostalgia. They hang in public and private collections including CVPS, Johnson & Johnson, and the Vermont Arts Council. He is a winner of the Saturday Evening Post Cover Contest, an engineer, and a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy.
      Anna Vreman of Milton captures Vermont landscapes using water-based media on paper, canvas or board. Her paintings have been shown throughout Vermont, including the Bryan Memorial Gallery, the Basin Harbor Resort, the Helen Day, and the Southern Vermont Art Center. She originally trained as an electrical engineer.
      "All the artists will have new work to show," Mr. Choiniere said.
      The Champlain Collection is "tucked in" in the southeast corner of the Highgate Commons Shopping Center. The store will also be open 11-4 every Sunday through Christmas. Call 802.524.3485 or click here for more info.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on Robert Anderson, Gretchen and Tony Bittner, Robert Fletcher, Karen Scheffler, and Henry Trask-Reilly. The Gallery will host its monthly reception this evening from 5 - 8 p.m.
      The Gallery of Gifts sale offers 10% off all paintings, prints, and hand made gift items (unless otherwise marked). During the reception tonight, The Village Frame Shoppe offers a 20% discount on custom framing and a chance to win a $50 gift certificate.
      The Artist in Residence art cooperative features fine painting, photographs, prints, ceramics, basketry, puppets, fabric art, and much more including the handmade portfolios of 20 selected 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, has expanded hours for the holiday season: tomorrow from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., then Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 - 5 p.m. Click here for more info.

MIAMI--Art Basel Miami Beach, self described as the most important art show in the United States begins today and continues through Sunday.
      It brings renowned artists and cutting-edge newcomers, a selection of more than 250 galleries, special exhibitions, parties, music, film, architecture and design to Miami Beach. The exhibition sites are located in the Art Deco District, within walking distance of the beach.
      So, what makes an international show in Florida interesting in Franklin County? It will set the stage for how much art is sold around the world in 2009.


BURLINGTON--Events For Tom presents the Guy Mendilow Band in a Benefit for Betty concert at the College Street Congregational Church tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.
      The Guy Mendilow Band is a world music group that make inter-cultural connections with song. They use creative arrangements, instrumentation, and humor, to take the audience to Israel and South Africa, to Mexico, Brazil and the United States, all the places Mendilow has lived. The quintet performs in six languages and plays nineteen instruments including electrified berimbaus, percussion, and jaw harps. Expect vocal harmonies that tie together ancient Sephardic romanceros, Brazilian rhythms, Middle Eastern inflections.
      Mr. Mendilow aligns his music with causes. He holds benefit concerts for Congo refugee families, protest songs in Columbus, Georgia, and has recorded an album with musicians from nine nations to support survivors of a paramilitary massacre in Mexico.
      The award-winning Guy Mendilow Band has lived and made music around the globe. The band was voted Boston's Best World Music Band and wowed the audience at the 2008 Champlain Folk Festival. Mr. Mendilow began touring internationally with the American Boychoir at age ten. Click here for more info and to hear their music.
      Admission is $20 but children 10 and under may attend for a donation. General admission tickets are available through the Flynn Box Office (802.86FLYNN) or but no advance tickets are available for donations--young children will need to get those at the door.
      Betty is a six-year-old with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL); she is in her second year of a challenging course of chemotherapy. She has a community of family, friends, specialists, care givers, and supporters. Her mother, Jennifer Faul, is a veterinarian and single parent.
      The Betty Fund helps defray expenses while she undergoes treatment.
      The concert will raise Betty's spirit, raise money to help her fight against leukemia, and bring an evening of memorable music to the College Street Congregational Church. Funds raised by this concert will go directly to the Betty Fund, held by the Merchant's Bank. Donations can also be made directly to The Betty Fund c/o Merchants Bank, attention: Prielle Kane, 275 Kennedy Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403.
      The concert is the 114th in the Events for Tom series. It has support from the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, the College Street Congregational Church, the Vermont International Festival and others. The series, through the Tom Sustic Fund, supports families with children with cancer. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or email for information about the series or the fund.

RICHMOND--On the Rise Bakery presents Jim Branca and the Mystic Mojo Men with high powered originals, timeless classics, and special "holiday jams" on the menu tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.
      "This will be my last band gig until the new year," Mr Branca said, "so don't miss it!"

      MARK YOUR Calendars--The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! offers eight performances beginning December 11. Hope for the Holiday$? by G. Richard Ames will have five 60-minute shows beginning December 13. Both Catalyst Theater Company productions will be staged at the Black Box Theater in Burlington. Tickets for both productions are available at the Flynn Box Office. Call 802.86FLYNN or click here for tickets.


     Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild is a Vermont artisans cooperative featuring beautiful collections of fine handmade crafts and fine art by more than 100 artisans. The site includes info about the Guild, exhibitors, special exhibits, jury info, and contact links.


      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).
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