ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 13 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 2, 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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      Traffic dragged to a crawl in the southbound lanes of I-89 yesterday with the erection of the one-day Drive-Through Art Gallery at mile marker 118. The gallery, a project co-sponsored by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the All Arts Council, was conceived by exhibit curator Michel Beauregard as a "free one-two minute introduction" to Dutch artist Kees van Dongen as well as a showcase for Franklin County fine art.
      Vermont Agency of Transportation erected cones, concrete barricades, and Fitch barriers to slow southbound traffic and funnel all vehicles into a single lane. Crews rigged a series of peaked white tents from shoulder to shoulder along 528 feet of the roadway.
      "We use 'speed dating' as the model to create this exhibit," M. Beauregard said.
      Drive through art viewing is a new concept, but one that fits well in a mobile society.
      The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts owns and promotes the work of Canadian and international artists to a broad segment of the public. Founded in 1860, the Museum has an encyclopedic collection that includes about 35,000 paintings, photographs, prints and drawings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art objects. The collections include Ancient Cultures, Canadian Art, Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, European Art, Inuit and Amerindian Art. Admission to its galleries displaying works from the collections is free.
      van Dongen was born near Rotterdam in 1877. While studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts he began in oeuvre of bohemian eroticism with scenes of sailors and prostitutes. He soon turned to the style and vivid colors of the Fauves and is known for his garish and sensuous portraits.
      "Our Museum exhibit is called 'Painting the Town Fauve,'" M. Beauregard said, "so I hope this exhibit will help paint Franklin County the same way."
      The Museum reproduced their originals on ten foot panels for better viewing from cars. The tents held 16 properly spaced van Dongen reproductions as well as 12 works by prominent Franklin County artists. The exhibit opened at daybreak yesterday, April 1, and was cleared and empty by midnight. Vermont State Police estimate that 1,860 cars and trucks from 11 states and Canada viewed the works.
      Note the dates. The one-day Drive-Through Art Gallery did not actually take place yesterday, April 1. It's that time of the year again and we fooled you. On the other hand, van Dongen--Painting the Town Fauve is real. It continues at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts through April 19. Admission to that exhibit is free.


     The Franklin County Quilters Guild hosts the 11th Annual Quilt Show this weekend in St. Albans City Hall. Over 100 quilts, all the quilts made by the members, will be displayed including bed quilts, wall hangings, baby quilts, and miniatures. The Purple Heart Quilts, Breast Cancer Quilts, and the 2009 Charity Quilt for the Franklin County Relay for Life will be exhibited. The show is free; quilting traditionally reuses fabrics to create functional beauty.
      Guild members and vendors will demonstrate quilting techniques all day.
      The free admission includes a chance to win a door prize basket of maple syrup, candles, lotions, gardening gloves, tea, coffee, and more. The show also includes a silent auction and a raffle as well as vendor booths with fabric and sewing notions and other quilting items. The quilt show will be open Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., and while Sunday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
      The event is free and open to the public. The Franklin County Quilters Guild has almost 100 members. Call 802.326.3135, email, or click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts the artists at CarePartners Adult Day Center this month. CarePartners is exhibiting Spring Flowers.
      The show continues through the end of April.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery spotlight is on Rebecca Bennett, Jim Foote, Toby Fulwiler, and Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard. The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with refreshments tonight from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. The exhibit continues through the end of April.


     Events for Tom and the Old Time Music Club present the UVM Old Time Festival at the University of Vermont. Concerts and workshops begin Friday and continue through the weekend.
      The Festival focuses on North American folk music with its roots in England, Scotland, Ireland and Africa as well as ballads and shape note singing. It is often grounded in dance music played on acoustic fiddle and 5-string banjo. The concerts offer performances by three international masters and several well-known local performers.
      Alan Jabbour and Ken Perlman appear in concert with an opening set by the Pickpockets Bandin the Billings North Lounge on Friday at 7:30 p.m. They will host an open session after the concert. Admission is by a $10 suggested donation.
      Saturday brings a series of Old Time Fiddle and Banjo Workshops. Fiddle with Alan Jabbour, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., and then with Bruce Molskey, noon - 3 p.m. Ken Perlman will lead banjo shopping from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. All workshops will be held in around Billings North Lounge. The fiddle workshops cost $25; the banjo workshop costs $35. There is a $5 discount per workshop for those attending the morning and afternoon sessions.
      Bruce Molsky appears in concert with an opening set by Katie Trautz and Julia Wayne as Mayfly in the Billings North Lounge on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Open session after the concert. Admission is by a $10 suggested donation.
      Ian Smiley will teach a Shape Note Singing School at Ira Allen Chapel on Sunday afternoon, 2 - 5 p.m.
      There are no advance tickets for the concerts. Support is also provided by UVM Student Government, UVM Global Village, UVM Arts Initiative, Champlain Valley Folk Festival and Vermont Violins/Burlington Violin Shop. Email or click here for concert and workshop reservations. Email for singing school info.


     Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents another Highbrow to Hoedown concert and skit night on Saturday at 7 p.m. Look for Jay Leslie of the Tokens, The Mississquoi River Band, and The Nobby Reed Project, plus Kathleen Ansari, Cathy Noftz, Betty Curboy, Darryl Goodwin, Margaret Harrington, Dee James 'n Marvin, Marc Kamhi, Lindsay Larivee, Samantha Ovitt, Marcia Perry, Garth Priest, Carlton Purdie, Sugar House, Sarah Jo and Jared Willey, and more surprised guests to take the stage for what Heather McKeown called a "rock 'n roll, blue grass, operatic, comedic ride."
      Admission is $8. Tickets will be available at the door. The proceeds will be divided between BFA-St. Albans, Mary Brouillette's leadership course, EFHS Drama Program, MVU Drama Program and RHS Music Department.


     Carraig Binn is "a site for poets and those who love poetry." The home of poet and non-fiction writer Angela Patten and of poet Daniel Lusk, the site has publications, poems, selected readings, and workshops for Mr. Lusk and for Ms. Patten, plus news, a photo album, and a contact link.


      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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