ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 13 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 3, 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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      Let us not forget that, other than a new washer and dryer, nothing makes a better Christmas present than local art. Buy a painting or a photograph or a print. Buy a new CD. Ask Santa for theater tickets. Buying locally means local artists can keep making the art you enjoy day in and day out.


      Ann Levy has dreamed of the Green Arts Bus for many years. "Driving at night an parking is a pain in the neck," she said.
      "We need a way for people to go from St. Albans to cultural events at the Flynn and in time to other venues," Ms. Levy said. This is a St. Albans Society for the Performing Arts project. "It's a pilot project that is all part of making the arts accessible."
      The Flynn Center presents A Canadian Brass Christmas on Tuesday, December 15. The Green Arts Bus will leave the Franklin County Senior Center at 6:30 p.m. The program includes winter music, Christmas favorites, Hanukkah tunes, and other cherished compositions.
      The Canadian Brass quintet has celebrated its 39th season recording classical repertoire. The musical structure and brilliance of baroque music has become their trademark. Along with their sneakers. More than 15 of their most recent CDs are currently available.
      Admission including the ticket and a round-trip bus ride is $50 per person. The deadline to purchase tickets is this Monday, December 7.
      "We must sell 20 tickets for the performance to cover our costs," Ms. Levy said. Tickets are non-refundable once purchased. The other six seats may be available for people with existing or season tickets. The cost of the round trip bus ticket alone is $10.
      The three-show season of music, dance and drama includes the dance program Serenade/The Proposition by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company on January 26, 2010. The lively rumination on the nature of history commemorates the 2009 bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. The season will conclude with FDR by Ed Asner on March 6. Asner delivers a fearless performance of this beloved president and the events that shaped the nation.
      The Green Arts Bus is a local 26 passenger bus provided by Buddy's Taxi with support from the St. Albans Society for the Performing Arts and the Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
      There have been earlier similar efforts around Franklin County. The county Art Center Bach Bus was a luxury coach; its first trip went to the Vermont Mozart Festival for The Virtuoso Violin Bach Concerti. Vermont Public Radio President Mark Vogelzang and BFA Choral Music Director Armand Messier led concert discussions. That effort lost money and was not repeated.
      Call Jim Walsh at the Chamber (802.524.2444) or email for more info about the Green Arts Bus or to suggest other performances. "It's Green because 20 people riding the bus rather than driving individual cars will use a lot less gas," Ms. Levy said.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on Harold Aksdal, Lenny Christopher, Nancy Hayden, and Loraine Pike. 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 December.
      A.I.R. will host an Artists Workshop in Relief Printmaking with instructor Lyna Lou Nordstrom on Saturday, December 12. The cost is $45 plus a $5 materials fee. Call Ms. Nordstrom (802.658.0019) or email for more info and to make a reservation.
      The Artist in Residence art cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 45 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, is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. A.I.R. will stay open, along with other downtown merchants, until 7 p.m. tomorrow evening for the Enosburg Christmas tree lighting.

ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts watercolor artist Ann Bissonnette this month. Ms. Bissonnette is drawn to watercolor for its "beautiful glow."
      "I think that painting, like writing," she said "asks others to share a personal experience, a moment in time, a treasure of thought."
      The show continues through the end of December.


ESSEX--The Essex Community Players present the original Christmas Show Neezer: A Dickens of a Comical Re-Telling of A Christmas Carol beginning this evening at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall.
      The town of Walnutville tucked away on Walnut Mountain is the home of the Committee of Repertory Unconventional Drama (C.R.U.D.) This small community theater company is readying their holiday production of Neezer (very) loosely based on Charles Dickens Christmas Carol. There will be adventure.
      Meredith Roberts plays Millicent Principle who bushwhacks the star Sir Jonathan Wall A.K.A. John Boy Bob.
      The holiday offering for the whole family continues tomorrow and Saturday, plus December 10-12 at 7 p.m. with matinees Sunday and December 13 at 2 p.m.
      Admission is $10 for adults and seniors or $5 for children under 12. All seats are reserved. Call 802.878.9109 or click here for tickets and info.

MILTON--Irish Annie's Pub presents Bluegrass Revisited tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. Email for more info.

BURLINGTON--First Baptist Church presents the Bella Voce Women's Chorus of Vermont in concert Glad Tidings: Songs of Joy of Peace in the church on St. Paul Street on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
      Bella Voce is a group of 40 women committed to promoting choral music of quality through performances of high artistic value. Our members serve as role models to women singers of all ages and promote the value of singing as a life long avocation.
      Admission is $15 for adults or $12 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at 802-86-FLYNN or .
      Admission is $15 for adults or $12 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at 802-86-FLYNN or visit for Saturday seats or for Sunday.

BURLINGTON--The Vermont Youth Orchestra presents Orchestrapalooza on the Flynn MainStage on Sunday at 4 p.m. The program includes classical and seasonal selections. VYO soloist Owen Tatum, oboe, will present the first movement of the Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto. The side-by-side Finale features over 100 students from all four orchestras. Asiat Ali, Anne Decker, David Gusakov, and Andrew Massey conduct.
      Admission is $10 for Adults and Seniors or $5 for Students. Tickets are available at 802-86-FLYNN or

BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont and the UVM Old Time Music Club present Soul Beat Africa in the Billings North Lounge at the University of Vermont on Sunday at 7 p.m.
      Musician Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa have synthesized African roots and world music, added traditional and modern instrumentation, and become the voice of Ugandan music. Their traditional African instruments include koras, kalimbas, adungus, endongos, ngonis, and drums.
      Admission is by $15 suggested donation. Click here or here for more info.


     Contemporary artist Don Hanson of Stowe is an abstract painter, printmaker and photographer. His site includes his portfolio, galleries of the Blues, Insecta, Memphis, Scar Tissue, and more, plus an artist's statement, his biography, 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.