ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 13 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 16, 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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      The Fairfax Community Theater Company presents An Evening of Durang, starting this evening Brick Meeting House in Westford.
      American playwright Christopher Durang is, well, loopy. Expect an appearance of Misty the Camel although I really doubt she will chew the swizzle sticks. Due to mature themes and language, this show is not recommended for children under 12.
      The three one-act plays include Mrs. Sorken with Walter Mahany as Mrs. Sorken; For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls with Vivian Jordan as Amanda Wingvalley, Mike Smith as Lawrence Wingvalley, Kevin Cahoonas Tom Wingvalley, and Carol Graves as Ginny Bennett; and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All for You which has Cheri Gagnon as Sister Mary Ignatius, Cynthia Littleas Diane Symonds, Amanda Graves as Philomena Rostovich, Mike Smith as Gary Sullivan, Kevin Cahoon as Aloysius Benheim, and Victoria Howard as Thomas. Cheri Gagnon directs. Linda Horner is the producer.
      Sister Mary Ignatius started life on a bill with one-act plays by Tennessee Williams and David Mamet. Elizabeth Franz won an Obie Award for the role as did Mr. Durang as playwright.
      An Evening of Durang runs through Sunday. The curtain will rise tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2pm. Admission is $10 and $8. Tickets will be available at the door. Call 802.849.2923, email, or click here for more info. Partial proceeds will benefit the ongoing restoration efforts at the Brick Meeting House.


     The Sound of Music opens tonight in the Trahan Theater at MVU with a cast of over 50 students from MVU and Franklin Northwest Elementary Schools.
      One of the most popular of Broadway musicals, this true story of the Trapp Family Singers stars Ashley Bourdeau as Maria and Ethan Bishop as the aloof Captain Georg Von Trapp. The cast includes Emily Cassavant, Eli Chevalier, Molly Hartman, Shannon McMahon, Katie O’Shea, Michelle Rainville, Jeff Renaud, Zack Scheffler, and Crystal Vaughn, plus Sean Culligan, Lindsay Daly, Justin Gates, Kathryn Gates, May and Autumn Gratton, Brianna St. Amour, and Zarley Zier.
      Harold Mitchell has returned to direct with assistant director Becky Phillips.
      The lights come down tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. only. Admission is $7 for students and senior citizens and $10 for adults. Children ages 4 and below will be admitted free of charge. Tickets are available in advance (call 802.868.2388) or at the door.


     Saint Albans Historical Museum hosts the third annual "Chocolate by the Pound (and Silent Jewelry Auction)" on Saturday from 2 - 4 p.m. This all-you-can-indulge-in chocolate extravaganza is a popular pet and pamper the pooch fundraiser for Franklin County Humane Society.
      Fiddleheads will play live music all afternoon. New this year is an auction of donated bling. Look for new and gently used pieces of "real" and quality costume jewelry.
      Admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. All proceeds benefit the animals at FCHS. Call 802.524.9650 for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Champlain Collection has moved from its former home in the far corner of Highgate Commons to a new storefront in Hungerford Plaza, directly across from the St. Albans Messenger. They will host Harald Aksdal, Robert Chaperone, and Barbara Pafume for their first show in the new gallery this evening
      Barbara Pafume moved from southern Vermont to Fairfax, Norm Choiniere said. "Nancy found her work on the Internet."
      "I paint to recall to myself and others the love and respect I have for the natural world and the people in it," Ms. Pafume wrote. Her solo exhibits include Becket Art Center in Massachusetts, Chaffee Art Center, Chester Art Guild, Shelburne Farms Annual Exhibition, and Southern Vermont Art Center.
      Mr. Choiniere has operated a custom frame shop, fine art gallery, and fine art publishing house in the St. Albans area for over 30 years. The Collection is the exclusive publisher for renowned artists Fred Swan and Sean Dye and shows the works of Vermont artists Corliss Blakely, Bob Eldridge, Barbara Pafume, Anna Vreman, and more. They carry original artwork, giclees, canvas transfers, limited edition prints, signature editions and posters.
      "Some folks from Long Island staying in Lake George have already made [the new gallery] a destination," Mr. Choiniere said.
      The Champlain Collection is now open every Monday through Friday, 9:30-5:30 p.m., and Saturday 9:30-4 p.m.


ESSEX JUNCTION--Founders Memorial School presents a Celebration of Community and Arts with dessert, contra dancing to live music by Fiddleheads, and art this evening at 6:30 - 8 p.m.

HINESBURG--The Third Fridays benefit dance series presents a contra dance with caller Mark Sustic and local youth fiddlers including the Lake Champlain Waldorf Contra Dance Band and Fiddleheads at the Town Hall tomorrow evening from 7:30 - 10 p.m. as a benefit for moving and restoring the Old Monkton Boro Schoolhouse.
      Call 802.453.3795 or email for more info.

BURLINGTON--ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center on Lake Champlain continues its annual two week celebration of Earth Day and Mud Season. Look for ecology presentations, Muddy MudFest activities, free chocolate treats, and Muddy Music at One.
      Listen to Colin McCaffrey today, Lewis Franco tomorrow, Jon Gailmor on Saturday, Tammy Fletcher on Sunday, Red Wing Puppet Theater on Monday and Tuesday, and Junk Music with the Junkman on Wednesday. Concerts are held at 1 - 1:30 p.m. and are free with admission to ECHO.
      Click here for more info.


     The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) will host the Summit on the Future of Vermont to unveil the findings of the recent statewide conversation on the values, goals, and priorities of Vermonters. Click here for the final report, Imagining Vermont: Values and Vision for the Future.
      The registration deadline is Monday, April 20. The fee is $40 for the Summit and Lunch. The Summit itself will be held May 11 at UVM.


     Sculptor Christopher Curtis of Stowe fell for the rocks that cover Mt. Mansfield's peak. He works with steel and glacial boulders to sculpt water sculptures and fountains. His site includes his portfolio, studiospace in Stowe, commissions, and info about the artist.


      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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