ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 26, 2011


      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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      Monday is Memorial Day. The holiday once known as Decoration Day commemorates the men and women who perished under the flag of this country, fighting for what sets our America apart: the freedom to live as we please.
      Monday is not a "free" day off work or school. Monday is not the big sale day at the Dollar Store. Monday is a day of Honor.
      Lest we forget, the Americans we honor did not "give their lives." They did not merely perish. They did not just cease living, check out, croak, depart, drop, expire, kick off. kick the bucket, pass away or pass on, pop off, or bite the dust. Their lives were taken from them by force on battlefields around the world. They were killed. Whether you believe they died with honor, whether you believe our cause just, died they did.
      Because those men and women died, I get to write these words again this year. And you get to read them. Please pause and reflect as you go to a concert, stop at an artist's studio, or simply read a book in the sunshine the price we pay to keep our right to do those things.


     Summer Music at Grace officially begins the summer music season tomorrow evening with the ninth annual Farewell Reunion concert at 6 p.m. Dozens of Vermont musicians will play traditional and original music, singing and dancing from Vermont, Appalachia, Scotland, Ireland and beyond in the sanctuary all evening. The artists featured this year include Patti Casey, Michele and Fabe Choiniere, Roland and Gary Clark, Hannah Beth Crary and guests, Tim Cummings and Dominique Dodge, Deb Flanders, Joanne Garton, Becca Hanley, Latimer and Dave Hoke, Ken MacKenzie, Tom MacKenzie, Longford Row, Will Patton and Dono Schabner, Doug Perkins, Pete and Karen Sutherland, and Up County. Mark Sustic will host and act as Master of Ceremonies.
      The evening begins with a traditional potluck dinner and music on the lawn and will move into Grace Church at 7 to continue the music.
      This annual benefit concert raises funds for the Tom Sustic Scholarship Fund which awards to Franklin County high school seniors intending to become teachers of young children. The musicians all donate their time and talents to this event each year. Mr. Sustic suggests you buy at least one CD to help support their music. Just think. If you had bought just one each year, you would have a unique collection by now.
      Admission is by $15 suggested donation at the door. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or email for more info.


AROUND THE STATE--The nineteenth annual Vermont Open Studio Weekend is this Saturday and Sunday, Memorial Day Weekend. The statewide celebration of creativity and the visual arts gives visitors an inside look at Vermont artists and craftspeople actually working in their studios. 226 sites with more than 300 exhibitors are open this year, all right next to the yellow signs dotting the Vermont landscape.
      No, the orange signs are for "High Water."
      In and near Franklin County, Jennifer Buckner, JenniVerre, builds glass art and pottery with stunning colors, sandblasting, lamination, mosaics, and fusion in South Hero. Handweaver Carol Crawford's studio sits high on a hill in Bakersfield overlooking Mount Mansfield, Sterling Mountain, the Cold Hollows and Camel's Hump. Sean Dye of St. George is well known in Franklin County for his oils of Main Street in St. Albans as well as his pastels, landscapes, and abstracts. The Frog Hollow fine Vermont crafts gallery in Burlington has a unique collection of fine traditional and contemporary Vermont art and craft. Toby Fulwiler's Fairfield Farm Bowls are classic bowls from local hardwoods. Grand Isle Art Works has a unique and eclectic collection of fine art and craft from the Lake Champlain Islands. The Chasworth Pottery and Farm features handcrafted pottery, roving, and handspun yarn by Marcia Hagwood, all on Polly Hubbard Road in Georgia. Carol Howrigan's Ceramics By Carol is home to ceramic lighted scenes and trees in Westford. Joanne Littler focuses on fiber, texture, and color at Pine Ledge Fiber Studio in Fairfax. Get Away With Art with Meta Strick's mixed media, dolls, paintings, calligraphy, and ornaments in Sheldon. Ralph Tursini creates unique green-turned wooden bowls in Cambridge. Shanley Triggs has watercolors, framed reproductions, and cards at Vermont H'Art in Milton. Yellow Dog Farm in South Hero hosts both the woodturning, bowls, and drop spindles of James Holzschuh, and the mohair knitting fiber/yarn, and roving Ellen Thompson creates. Sally Ziegler teaches children and adults and work in fiber, clay, and mixed media at the Weaver's Shed Art Studio and Alpaca Farm in Fairfax
      Other statewide participants include furniture makers, glass blowers, ironworkers, jewelers, quilters painters, potters, print makers, sculptors, weavers, and wood carvers. Many galleries will host gallery talks and feature special exhibits in conjunction with this event.
      Directions to the area studios are available on a free map and online but the easiest way to find these artists remains unchanged. Get somewhere near each studio and follow the yellow signs. Admission is free. During Open Studio Weekend, all sites are open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. After Open Studio Weekend, please call ahead before visiting.
      Click here for the map and directions and a PDF file of the complete Tour Guide. Call the Vermont Crafts Council (802.223.3380) or for more info about Open Studio Weekend.


ST. ALBANS--Chow!Bella presents Sean Ashby this evening at 7 p.m.
      Mr. Ashby was Sarah McLachlan's guitarist on Lilith Fair, Mirrorball, and Afterglow. He has received two Platinum discs and one Canadian Diamond disc for studio and live CDs, appeared on the Grammy Awards twice, five times on the Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, and more.
      And now he will sing for your supper.
      Call Connie (802.524.1405) or click here for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap at the Lincoln Inn offers Blues Night with the Joe Moore Blues Band featuring Swanton's Jason Corbiere tonight at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

MONTGOMERY CENTER--The Irish American Club presents the 38th annual Peoples' Prom takes place in the Crescent Theater on Saturday at 9 p.m. The Funk Collection will play to the theme of Some Like It Hot. The septet of musicians from UVM, Plattsburg State, Johnson State and other schools brings together funk and rock music for a dance groove.
      The evening will benefit the Montgomery Recreation Center. Admission of $30 per couple includes a buffet.
      "Proper attire is the expected Standard."

ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents singer-songwriter Erin McDermott and her Band on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
      Ms. McDermott writes short stories in song about small town life in Vermont. She is a regular at Gastonstock and First Night. Her alt/grass/Americana music is evocative and soulful, and will rock the house.
      Admission is $10. Tickest are available at the door or at the Advance Sale sites -- Enosburg Pharmacy, Merchants Bank, Peoples Trust Company, and Precious Things Jewelry in Enosburg Falls and at Better Planet Books and the Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce in St. Albans. Click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--The Bees Knees presents Carol Ann Jones with Gary Spaulding on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
      Click here for more info.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS--The Spirit of Ethan Allen Sunset Cruise on Sunday, June 5, features Joe Levesque's Big Band as a part of Burlington Jazz Festival.
      Advance reservations are required. The boat ride with music costs $25 per person; a deli menu is available. Call Joyce Jenkins (802.524.5290) for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Free Library hosts a puppet show today at 10:30 a.m. instead of the usually scheduled Story Hour. The Amazing Chase takes the zany adventures of Julie and Mrs. Murray abroad.
      The Library hosts a PBS Kids Young Writer's Contest event this evening at 6:30 p.m. All children who entered the PBS Kids Go! Contest are invited to come in and present their entries at this special event.
      Call the Library (802.524.1507) for more info.


     Erica Heilman's Outpost Audio in East Calais site showcases her Deer Hunting podcast, multimedia productions, radio documentaries and website audio. She also teaches documentary audio production through the Vermont Folklife Center.


      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 © 2011 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.