ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 24, 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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      At Thanksgiving time, I ask area artists to share what they are grateful for at this time of year. This was a hard year for our artists. The economy made a serious dent in the ability of many of our community to make a living especially including Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard of Franklin who had a hard, hard year.
      One of the usual punchlines here in the Vermont artistic community is set up with the question, "how can you tell a successful Vermont artist?"
      The answers usually include, "One with a day job."
      More than ten years ago Rene Fournier of Swanton asked Ms. LaRocque-Bouchard to paint murals on his boat. This year again, he brought her back aboard to freshen and add to them.
      "I appreciate that opportunity," she said. Jobs like that often make it possible for our artists to keep doing art.
      She is also "thankful for my family, children and even more healthy grandchildren, thankful for the family and friends who have shared their time and shared their words and faith in me. I am thankful for work and for my new jobs at JC Image and Village Frame Shoppe," and for her friends and associates at Late Night Signs, Atlantic Advertising Media and Mountain View Printing who continue to send her work.
      Ms. LaRocque-Bouchard echoed several artists in their gratitude for the existence of the Artists In Residence Coop Gallery in Enosburg Falls that helps them share work and for the "creative individuals of SAAG for encouraging me to create new works of art." It is easy, she says, to create art when we "live in the most beautiful state of Vermont."
      Singer, songwriter, and bandleader Carol Ann Jones of Georgia said, "I am so thankful for my family, our good health this year (especially given the cost of healthcare) and the wonderful gift of music. I'm also very thankful for friends who care what I'm thankful for."
      "My father has always been in Virginia and Florida in the winter" but he moved back to Highgate this year, fine art photographer April Henderson said. "Everybody has plans for Thanksgiving so we were all scattered but we wanted to have a get together here, too."
      Thursday they will go to the relatives, then have a second Thanksgiving on Friday. "We went from having half a dozen to 17 overnight. We'll have an old person and a child and a dog and all the token things that make chaos.
      "I'm thankful to have two Thanksgivings," she said. "It comes down to being about the people and about kindness. Don't take it for granted.
      "I like the weather, too, even though Dick Harper has 80į today."
      Eric Bushey said the BFA Fine Arts department "is thankful for the public's support of our auditorium renovation." It is a large and long-needed project. "The newly renovated stage, green rooms, comfortable and padded seats, and state-of-the-art lights and sound should be ready by Summer. Both the BFA and greater St. Albans community will have a real gem for student, community and professional performances."
      I am particularly lucky as well. My family is scattered across a couple thousand miles but we are all speaking to each other. The brakes work in my truck and that cost less than I expected. Next week, I shall have white meat turkey sandwiches slathered with mayonnaise on good crunchy sourdough bread for lunch every day of the week. And I have walls full of my momís art, and mine, and a host of other artists I like from Corliss Blakely and Clyde Butcher to Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard and Thomas Sully.
      Art on the walls. Music in the halls. Family and friends around us. It is the definition of what makes this week special.


     The clip art here is listed as free to use. Some sites even make the offer to change the images in a graphics application. Always keep in mind that linking to the images is prohibited because the websites cannot collect the images and pay for the bandwidth thousands or millions of hits would require.
      The images generally come from explicitly marked public domain sources. If you find any image that is not free for distribution, please email the websites directly.
      A Kid's Heart is a "play and learn site with resources for kids and their teachers."
      Hellas Media says it has the "Best Collection of Webimages & Clipart" online. With more than 5.000 graphics, they could be right.
      The oddly named (for this holiday) Christmas Graphics Plus has cornucopia, banners, turkeys, and more.


      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).
      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.