ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 13 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 12, 2009


      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 opens the doors to its annual fund raiser, the Home & Recreation Exposition, tomorrow through Sunday at the Collins-Perley Sports and Fitness Center.
      The Champlain Collection has had a major exhibit at the Home Show for several years. 2009 marks the fifth year they have published a new Fred Swan poster, Gathering Apples with a wide front Ford tractor, from one of his early paintings. Mr. Swan will attend the gallery showing from 11-4 p.m. on Saturday. "Fred will sign new pieces and chat with his fans and friends," Collection owner Norm Choiniere said.
      Mr. Choiniere will also introduce the work of watercolor painter Barbara Pafume. The Vermont Watercolor Society artist brings beauty, power, mystery, and peace to a work. She is the only Vermont artist featured in Splash, A Celebration of Light, The Best in Watercolor.
      The Home Expo gallery will also include works by Harald Aksdal and Sean Dye's popular downtown St. Albans prints.
      The Champlain Collection will move to a new home in the Hungerford Plaza around April 1 (no fooling).
      Significantly more home improvement will happen again this year than new home construction; that home improvement can easily help showcase your own collection of art.
      Admission is still just $5 and all children under 16 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.


     And everyone is Irish this week as the 14th annual Vermont Irish Heritage Festival comes to Burlington with Celtic music that ranges from traditional dance tunes to rousing Irish-American pub favorites and award-winning original compositions from performers who live in or often play in Franklin County.
      The "really big shew," the third annual Showcase of outstanding Vermont musicians, takes place in Contois Auditorium at Burlington City Hall on Sunday at 7 p.m. Fiddleheads will play as well as Sarah Blair, Jake Greico, Benedict Koehler and Hilari Farrington, Geordie Lynd, Owen and Elly Marshall, the McFadden School of Irish Dance, Marty Morrissey, John Murray, Anthony Santoro, and Triskele.
      Admission is $15. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The Showcase supports the Tom Sustic Fund and is co-presented with Events for Tom and Young Tradition Vermont.
      Vince Feeney will lecture on "When Champlain was an Irish Lake" at noon tomorrow in Fletcher Free Library. Admission is free but donations are welcome.
      There will be Children's Stories and Crafts for all ages at the Fletcher Free Library on Saturday at 10 a.m. This event features classic Irish tales, a chance to learn a few words in Gaelic and to create Irish-themed crafts. Admission is free but donations are welcome.
      The Saturday evening concert brings Summer Sounds favorite Atlantic Crossing to First Congregational Church on Saturday at 7 p.m. Atlantic Crossing thrills audiences and contra dancers with traditional songs and acoustic instrumental music from New England. Their music is rooted in the British Isles and in French and Maritime Canada. The performance is partially underwritten by a Masterpiece Performance grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Admission is $15. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The church is located on South Winooski Avenue in Burlington.
      In Irish, a Ceili is a hand clapping good time of music and dancing. The Annual Festival Ceili is fun for the whole family with Irish step dancing and some of Vermont’s finest Celtic musicians, all in Contois Auditorium on Sunday at 1 p.m. Hear fiddles and flutes, Irish pipes and pennywhistles, and the bodhran, a traditional Irish frame drum. Area musicians are welcome to bring their instruments and join in for a lively seisun. Admission is free but donations are (always) welcome.
      There are many more events in the Queen City. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The 40th Army Band, Vermont Army National Guard, presents a special St. Patrick's day concert at St. Albans City Elementary School on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      Originally organized in 1907, the band is stationed at Camp Johnson in a state-of-the-art rehearsal facility in the new Green Mountain Armory. Nearly one-third of the members have earned a Bachelors or Masters degree in Music. In civilian life, members of the 40th Army Shootin’ Tootin’ Band work in technology, law, insurance, government, and education.
      "Please come and enjoy a program that the audience gets to choose," Kevin Loomis said. "We're trying something different."
      Admission is free.

ESSEX JUNCTION--Tonight is WCLX Blues Night at the Lincoln Inn featuring the Nobby Reed Project at 7 p.m. The Inn will host Carol Jones and the Superchargers on Wednesday at 7 p.m. They remain closed for Winter Solstice on Mondays.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.

KILLINGTON--The Killington Grand Ballroom hosts a benefit event on Saturday with Starline Rhythm Boys playing at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The event helps the Vermont Adapative Ski and Sports' Ski Challenge. Call 802.786.4991 or 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.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella offers the jazz and improv of Vern Colburn on the Piano on Fridays at 5:30 and dynamite jazz duo of Ted Crosby and Fabian Rainville at 7 p.m. on Saturdays. Call 524.1405 or click here for more info.


     The Green Mountain Cloggers Exhibition Dance Team offers professional modern and traditional clogging and Irish step dancing instruction in Randolph and Barre. The troupe raises money for Vermonters in need and helps other dance groups with performances and lessons. They have brought the only clogging workshop back into Vermont. Their site has images and videos as well as a blog, contact and calendar info, and much more.


      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 © 2009 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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