ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 25, 2010


      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 Latin actually means "time flees" although I doubt that even Einstein would think our clocks and calendars hitch up their skirts and run away from us. At any rate, time is indeed flying past and the deadline for the first Stop Drunk Driving Music Campaign approacheth.
      "We're asking artists to donate their own music and to add comments to our blog to raise awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence," Franklin County Caring Community's Beth Crane said. The deadline is March 30. There is no entry fee. Email entries in MP3 format to
      Up to 30 musicians will appear on the digitally distributed "CD" with the music available for free downloading. Sound engineer Lyle Glidden, West Street Digital's Andre Maquera, and Armand Messier of Messier's Recording Studio are available with help and advice to submit works. Email Mr. Glidden at, Mr. Maquera at, and Mr. Messier at for more info.
      This project is sponsored by the All Arts Council, Franklin County Caring Communities, and Common Ground with assistance from other area businesses and community groups. Click here for more info.


     The Arts Council will conduct only two workshops for grant seekers this year--one is at the St. Albans State Police Barracks on April 7. VAC will host a session for individual artists from 10 a.m. - 12 noon and for organizations and schools from 1 - 3 p.m. The workshops are free.
      The sessions will cover not only the ins and outs of granting but also the new application platform; every grant application will be submitted online this year. The Arts Learning Grants deadline for organizations and schools is June 1. The Community Arts Grants deadline for community organizations is also June 1. The Creation Grants deadline for individual artists is May 3; artists may only receive one Creation Grant in a three year period.
      RSVP to Susan McDowell (802.828.0152) or email if you plan to attend. Click here for more info.


     In 1971, American electrical engineer Ray Tomlinson created the world's first email system for a contract from the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense to help in the development of ARPAnet.
      @ the time was an underused symbol hiding on the shifted number 2 key on typewriters. Tomlinson appropriated it for his email addressing because could locate any individual using the now familiar username @ such-and-such an organization-dot-com. It helped that nobody ever used it.
      And now it is art.
      The Museum of Modern Art has acquired the @ symbol for its collection at the Department of Architecture and Design. They are mounting an exhibition within their contemporary art, architecture, and design collection. I am (reasonably) sure this is not a story for next Thursday.
      Click here for more info.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap at the Lincoln Inn presents the Bob Stannard blues band with Jason Corbiere in Blues Night at tonight at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or click here for more info.

COLCHESTER--Saint Michael's College, Mad Robin Callers Collective, and Young Tradition Vermont present Contras Squared tomorrow evening in the Elley Long Music Center.
      The Old Time Square Dance, 7 - 9 p.m., features callers Will Mentor and Friends with Pete Sutherland and Jim Burns. After a dessert break the Contradance, 9:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. has Mad Robin Collective calling for the northern influenced trio Matching Orange from Boston. No partner or experience necessary.
      Admission is $10, $5 for students, and Saint Michael's Staff and Students free. $1 will go to the Tom Sustic Fund with every paid admission. A Potluck Dessert is encouraged but not required.

COLCHESTER--The Vermont Youth Orchestra Association hosts the Vermont Youth Chamber Winds Spring Concert in the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michael\'s College on Saturday at 1 p.m. under Director Berta Frank.
      VYCW is a program of chamber music ensembles for woodwind, brass, and percussion players who cannot be accommodated in one of the other VYOA orchestras. Students receive professional coaching in small groups that meet on a weekly basis. VYCW presents two concerts annually.
      Admission is free. Call 802.655.5030 or click here for more info.

JERICHO--Puppetkabob presents The Snowflake Man at the Deborah Rawson Memorial Library on Saturday at 1 p.m. The puppet show tells the story of Jericho farmer "Snowflake" Bentley who took the first photographs of snowflakes and determined that no two are alike. Sarah Frechette of Georgia blends live action, marionettes, watercolor landscapes, a hand made pop-up book, and music.
      Click here for more info.


BURLINGTON--Creative economy efforts continue around the state. The 2010 Northeast Rural Summit--Generating Rural Innovation and Regional Partnership--will be held at the Hilton Hotel on April 12 and 13. The summit will bring together the USDA, state agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses from the northeastern states for two days of strategic planning.
      The Summit will examine four areas of interest crucial for Franklin County: food systems, energy, rural economic development, and broadband.
      Artist Corliss Blakely of St. Albans has taken significant steps in both creativity and technology, exactly the areas the Summit will address. She now paints on an iPhone but the technology available in Vermont limits her. In an interview with My Mac Magazine this month she said, "I have to wait for iPad 3G to come out, because I live on an island in the summer with no wifi or electricity. I'm really excited about the size of the iPad, and I believe it is the new canvas for artists."
      The iPhone art Ms. Blakely creates is truly indistinguishable from the giclee prints of her oils. Her iPhone paintings are available at the Champlain Collection.
      The Summit is designed to share the best practices and build strategic partnerships among state Rural Development offices and local organizations throughout the region. Attendees can sit in on sessions about local foods development and regional foods systems; advancing efficiency, generation and fuel development; investment in innovation; and global opportunities & rural lifestyles. The latter two are of direct interest to an artist like Ms. Blakely since they deal with both and her need for power and broadband to manage her electronic art. The Summit carries a $150 registration fee which covers two breakfasts, two lunches, a dinner reception with Vermont foods, plus entry to all the conference sessions.
      Click here to read the entire interview with Corliss Blakely and here to register for the Rural Summit.


     Lynn Newcomb of Worcester is a printmaker and blacksmith. Her large black and white etchings make a counterpoint to her forged steel sculpture. She has completed several architectural commissions and her prints hang in U.S. museum collections. Her site includes Forged Steel and Print and Drawings galleries, a recent exhibition list, the major collections that exhibit her, an artist statement 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 © 2010 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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