ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 13 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 15, 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 Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents the Seventeenth Annual Talent Search with special guests all in a single show on Saturday evening at 7 p.m.
      "We have mostly vocal performers this year," Sarah Jo Willey said. In addition to lots of vocalists, there is a comedy routine, a fiddler, a pianist, and a band. The event also features a performance by Caroline Bright, Miss Vermont's Sweetheart 2009 and the Barbershop Quartet from Oklahoma.
      One of the premiere talent events in Vermont, this show is an evening of entertainment, celebration, and the arts with the most talented performers in the area. Each year the competition draws some of northern Vermont's most outstanding young amateur performers who perform vocal, dance, instrumental and a variety of other stage talents.
      The two divisions in the Talent Search encompass a wide range of youthful performers. The Junior Division includes ages 5-14; the Adult Division covers ages 15-24. Significant talent pass through the Opera House doors on these nights as may local performers go on to a national stage.
      The Talent Search has provided a showcase for hundreds of talented performers. Prizes awarded are in cash. First Place in each division $200, Second Place $100, Third Place $75. A special Optimist Newspaper Award is also given out in both divisions.
      With such a broad array of musical styles and abilities, judging a talent show can be as difficult as entering one. Each contestant competes only against him or herself. Judges Caroline Bright, Denis Lambert, and Bryant Reynolds apply criteria including originality or interpretation, weighted at 25% of the total, technical ability, 30%, performance and presentation, 30%, and costumes or props, 15%. The accompanist is not rated.
      Admission is $5 per person. Tickets are available in St Albans at Better Planet, and in Enosburg at Community National Bank, Enosburg Pharmacy, Merchants Bank, Parkside Grill, Peoples Trust Bank, Precious Things Jewelry, Somerset Inn, and TD Bank. Call 802.933.6171 or click here for more info.


     A new book by St. Albans writer Leon Thompson is either bad, not bad, not too awful or pretty darned good. One Federal will host Mr. Thompson's book launch party for Not Too Awful Bad, A Storyteller’s Guide to Vermont on Saturday at 4 p.m. He promises a vast array of duct tape, nudist campgrounds, toques and hipbillies. The "tourist guide" includes how to talk like a native; rednecks and flatlanders, and the rich history of this state. A formal but perhaps peculiar reading will be held at 5 p.m.
      The rumors he will read in an accent, speak in tongues, and offer wood duck recipes along with the duct tape all appear to be false. There will be free food. One Federal understands that booklovers are a hearty breed, so the outdoor event is scheduled on the covered, heated patio.
      "All the ice water is on me," he said.
      Mr. Thompson is a staff reporter and humor columnist at the St. Albans Messenger. He has won awards from the New England Press Association and the National Newspaper Association and is the author of two previous books, Good Junk and Dork. Another Look At My Junk.


ROUSES POINT--Lakeside Coffee presents singer/songwriter and bandleader Jim Branca in a special "uplugged and upclose" acoustic solo show tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. The show will be upbeat, soulful, and rooted in American music.
      There will be a $5 cover charge but those 18 and under are free. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The American Legion will host the annual Blue Jean Ball for Home Health on Saturday at 6 p.m. The ball includes music by Big Boots Deville, dinner by Bob Santini, and silent and live auctions.
      Known as "Burlington's Reigning Raucous Rock Bar Band," Big Boots DeVille has John "Boots" Haas, guitar, vocals; Keegan Farr, guitar, vocals; Chick Correia, bass; and Bob "Boom-Boom" Cayia, drums performing ultra high test, fire-breathing covers of yesterday's classics, current-day rock, and alternative favorites as well as their own originals.
      Wear your blue jeans.
      Admission is $45 per person which includes a $25 donation to Franklin County Home Health Agency. Call 802.527.7531 for tickets and info.

BELLOWS FALLS--Yankee Chank begins a busy weekend playing a Louisiana Saturday Night Dance Party at Boccelli’s on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Cajun dance band performs traditional dance music from southwest Louisiana. The group features traditional instruments and specializes in the two-steps and waltzes played in the dance halls and honky-tonks of Louisiana. With Bob Naess, fiddle and vocals; Cannon Labrie, accordion and vocals; Jim Burns, guitar; and Mark Sustic, bass and percussion, they have played dances, festivals, concerts, parties, and weddings throughout New England for a dozen years.
      Call 802.460.1190 or click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--Yankee Chank continues the weekend with a performance at the Bee’s Knees on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Call 802.888.7889 or click here for more info.


      The Fairfax Community Theater Company continues its two week run of Two Dragon Tales and a Taste of Saki: an Evening for Children of All Ages tonight at the First Congregational Church in St. Albans. The five short one-act family oriented plays include wit of Saki in The Storyteller, The Boar-Pig, and The Open Window, plus a master chef in Drrrragon Stew, and The Reluctant Dragon.
      The plays are adapted by Jerry Starks and Walter Mahany from stories by Tom McGowen, Kenneth Grahame, and H.H. Munro. The play is directed by Margie Cain and produced by Margie Cain, Walter Mahany, and Jerry Starks. The cast includes Peggy Bonesteel, Matthew Blow, Jen Carbee, Anna Dean, Michel Denizot, Pam Dewey, Gabe Grant, Rob Howard, Victoria Howard, Walter Mahany, Alisa Smith, Jerry Starks, and Harold Smith as Tarquin, the pig.
      This dragons burst forth tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday in the First Congregational Church at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a Saturday matinee at 2:00 p.m.
      Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for children and seniors. There is also a Family Ticket Special of four tickets for $30. Click here for more info.


ART HOUSE GRANT (October 20)--Complete a 4" x 6" painting, drawing, sketch, photograph. Exhibition viewers will choose the 100 best. $500 award. Click here for more info.

FALL SOLO SHOW (October 22)--International open call for dynamic, inventive and provocative work of all mediums. $1,000 cash grant, solo exhibition, 3rd Ward spread, and a 1-month residency. Click here for more info.

MAGIC SILVER 2010 (October 30)--The juried photography exhibition has $1,000 in awards for any artist 18 years or older working in traditional photography, experimental or non-traditional light sensitive processes, digital media, or video. Entry fee. Call Becky Atkinson Alley (270.809.6734), email, or click here for more info.

MAGAZINE ART and LITERARY CONTEST (November 1)--Open to Painting, Computer Graphic Art, Sculpting, Drawing, Mixed Media and Photography plus Fictional Short Stories, Non-Fictional Short Stories, and Poetry. All entries MUST have an ANGEL theme. Cash prizes. Email or click here for more info.

SIXTY SQUARE INCHES (November 13)--The 17th Juried Biennial North American Small Print Exhibition at Purdue University Galleries is open to artists over the age of 18 residing in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Entries must be original fine art prints in any media except straight photography. Image size may not exceed 60 square inches. Entry fee. Call 765.494.3061, email, or click here for more info.


     Vermont Council on Rural Development wraps up the 2-year Council on the Future of Vermont (CFV) project at UVM this evening at 7:30 p.m. Paul Costello and Sarah Waring will share the results.
      The CFV final report Imagining Vermont: Values and Vision for the Future reflects on 18 months of listening to Vermonters; it is a "call to all Vermonters and decision-makers to act toward specific targets for the future of agriculture, education, infrastructure and civic life."


     Photographer Robert Middleton of Waitsfield specializing in fine art original images of natural scenes in color and black & white. His site includes photography of Australia, Sweden, and America with a print store, notes, guest book, weather bugs, and contact info.


      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).
      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.