ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 1, 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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      The third annual St. Albans Festival of Trees is a three-day, weekend-long, family event with a Gala, auction, parade, entertainment, tea party, raffles, Santa's Village, craft show and more, all starting tomorrow evening and continuing through Sunday. The theme is An Old Fashioned Christmas.
      The Festival Gala and Tree Auction takes place in City Hall tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. The cocktail party includes a cash bar, hors d'oeuvres, dancing, and prizes for best trees. Admission to the gala is $25 per person; tickets are available at the door or in advance at Sweet Nothings, As the Crow Flies, and the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.
      The Open House at City Hall is the centerpiece of the event. City Hall will open for viewing of trees, silent auction, voting for People's Choice Award, and entertainment at 10 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The Open House is free.
      Moose Hall hosts a two-day Craft Show and Sale.
      Saturday will be a busy day. Santa's Workshop opens at 10 a.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. The free parade through downtown St. Albans includes free sleigh rides in Taylor Park after the parade. The City Hall Open House includes a Steve and Judy Comtampasis Sing Along, and concerts or shows by Meg Cossaboom, Electric Youth Dance Company, Northern Bronze Handbell Ensemble, SASPA Community Theater Group, and a St. Albans Town School Band. Cathy Parah will hold an Ice Sculpture Demonstration at the Taylor Park Sugar House at 12 noon, following the parade.
      The St. Luke's Episcopal Church presents the Vermont Choral Union on Saturday at 7 p.m. Admission is $15 per adult, $10 for senior, $5 for youth over 12yrs, and free for all children under 12, or $40 for the entire family. Rope in some cousins. Tickets are available at the door.
      Sunday continues the Open House entertainment at City Hall with a Steve and Judy Comtampasis Sing Along, the Cardiac Capers Chorus, Meg Cossaboom, French Carols by Michelle Choiniere, and the SASPA Community Theater Group.
      The Fairie's Tea Party begins at 2 pm in the City Hall Auditorium. The party includes Hot chocolate and faerie cakes, frolicking, and gingerbread man decoration. Admission is $2 per child, but free for adults.
      All Festival proceeds benefit Laurie's House and the St. Albans Society for the Performing Arts. Call Pauline Cray (802.309.4487 or 802.527.5116), email, or click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Visions of Franklin County is a local art project on display at the Village Frame Shoppe & Gallery through Saturday, December 17. Local artists contributed to this project by painting frames that gallery owner D.J. Pattullo used to frame 11x14 plate glass mirrors.
      The Visions mirrors are part of a silent auction to benefit the Swanton-Missisquoi Valley Lions Club.
      Since its inception in 1993, the Missisquoi Valley Lions Club has donated quality eye care and eyeglasses to help local families in need. The primary community areas served include Alburgh, Highgate, Swanton and St. Albans. In addition to their assistance to local families, they also collect and refurbish used eyeglasses to send to families in third world countries. All proceeds from this silent auction will go towards helping to buy eyeglasses for local people in need.
      "Come on by the gallery and bid on your favorite framed mirrors!" Mr. Pattullo said. It's a good cause and makes an interesting and unusual Christmas present.
      All the mirrors can also be viewed online at Visitors can submit a bid using a form at the bottom of the page.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on pen and ink artist Harald Aksdal, doll maker Alison Dezotelle, painter Jim Foote, potter Marcia Hagwood, crocheter and jewelry maker Kelee Maddox, and St. Albans photographer Wayne Tarr.
      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.
      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 gallery, located at 349 Main Street, is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.


BARRE--The Barre Opera House presents A Country Christmas with Keeghan Nolan on Saturday at 8 p.m.
      The Franklin County native will headline a night of classic country, original country with songs from her new Christmas album. She will perform with The Keegham Nolan Band, Andre and Wendy Maquera, Gary Spaulding, Thom Carvey, and Tracy Lord. Nashville recording artist Wayne Warner will open the concert.
      Admission is $12.50 in advance, or $15 on Saturday at the door. Click here for tickets.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. The Phil Abair Band takes the stage tomorrow at 9 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.


HIGHGATE--The Highgate Public Library presents Rusty Dewees in a discussion and book signin for his compilation of short stories, Scrawlins Too. on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
      The actor, producer and writer. is best known for his one man comedy show, The Logger. He won Best Actor at the Los Angeles Method Fest Film Festival for his role as Jerry in Mud Season.
      Call Liza Comiskey (802.868.3970) or click here for more info.


     Starting today and continuing through Sunday afternoon, Miami Beach, Florida, hosts the 10th annual Art Basel Miami Beach. More than 260 major galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa take part in this showcase of works by more than 2,000 artists. The promoters call it "the most prestigious art show in the Americas."


      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.