ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 22, 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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      Gift certificates to Opera House at Enosburg Falls events are available in any amount and make a Great Christmas Gift. Call 802.933.6171 or click here for more info.
 ArtBits News Photo     Karen Day-Vath is just one of the artists of note at the Village Frame Shoppe and Gallery in St. Albans. She offers hand painted canvas wall hangings, mini canvasses with easels, mini frames, and small printed laminage art for just $15 and up. She also has original artwork, hanging and table pieces, plus boxed and single note cards and Christmas note cards. click here for Karen's own site and click here for the Frame Shoppe.
      Look around in Enosburg, downtown St. Albans, and other downtown stores around the county. You could find a miniature treasure by Corliss Blakely, a full size painting by Natalie LaRocque, a print by Chris Hungerford or David Juaire, hand knit scarves by Jan Brosky of Knit to be Tied, CDs from Carol Ann Jones or Nobby Reed, clay pots, sculptures, books by Leon Thompson, and much much more.


SHELDON--Christmas Eve at Grace begins on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Erben organ will be in full pipe, with organists Erik Kenyon and Marjorie Adams on the bench.
      The service of Carols, Lessons, and Holy Eucharist, with caroling in Sheldon Creek.
      "Don't worry," Beth Crane said. "The Creek refers to the village where Grace Church is located. Waders are not required."

BURLINGTON--Nectar's again hosts Jason Corbiere's Blue Christmas on Sunday at 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
      Mr. Corbiere will fly in from Austin, Texas, to carry on the annual Christmas night blues tradition. Dave Keller leads the band this year on guitar and vocals, Tom Buckley on bass, Ira Friedman on organ, and Mr. Corbiere on drums.


     Franklin County artists and presenters had another good year in 2011 in spite of weather and economic setbacks. Record setting spring flooding across the state and Irene rampaging up the Connecticut River Valley brought out artists doing benefit events in likewise record numbers.
      This week, in the interest of avoiding a 12 page New Year's newspaper spread, we will look at events around the county from the Artist In Residence cooperative to the Zebra at the Maple Festival. Next week, we will finish with a wrap up of the All Arts Council events, what the Other Major Presenters pulled off, and the Five Franklin County Festivals.

      The Artist In Residence cooperative and gallery in Enosburg Falls featured an eclectic collection of work by Franklin County and surrounding area artists with a reception on the first Thursday of each month. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. Book signings and receptions give the community a chance to meet the artists.
      Summer became official a little late as the 32nd annual Bay Day moved to Labor Day with continuous live music as well as the Great Race, lakefront games, sports, fair food, and fireworks. Neon Spoon plus Gary Dulabaum and Josh Brooks and some very special guests performed in the afternoon; the evening offered Carol Ann Jones & her All-Star Band The Superchargers in an Independence Day tribute in the Summer Sounds finale.
      Chow!Bella changed hands this year but the music carried on. The St. Albans restaurant hosted the annual Mardi Gras Dinner and Dance with music by the Fabulous Spiders in a benefit for Franklin County Court Diversion as well as regular and irregular evenings of music and fine art.
      The Citizens Concert Band played Wednesday evenings in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell, beside the bathhouse in St. Albans Bay, St. Albans Historical Museum, and at the south end of the park in Swanton. All concerts were free.
      Concerts By The Common series in Pratt Hall had Banjo Dan and the Mid-Nite Plowboys, Diller-Quaille String Quartet, and the Onion River Jazz Band.
      The First Congregational Church in St. Albans hosted a Holiday Concert with Citizens Concert Band and Community Singers, Brazilian trio Bernal-Eckroth-Ennis with Michael Zsoldos, and much more.
      The Enosburg Town Band played Tuesdays in Lincoln Park as well as a series of ice cream socials and special concerts around Franklin County. All concerts were free.
      The Fairfax Community Theater Company celebrated the 20th anniversary of plays with Reprise, a Gala. They also staged Faces of Love and the Diary of Anne Frank.
      Fairfax Summer Concert Series had a good year, headlined by Tammy Fletcher at BFA Fairfax.
      Fiddleheads had a busy year. They played for contra dances, Chocolate by the Pound, at Maple Festival, Shelburne Museum, the Young Tradition Showcase, community dances, and more.
      The Home and Recreation Exposition, Rotary Club of St. Albans' annual fund raiser, had a new Fred Swan poster plus a new canvas giclee called Red Sky at Night, and works by photographer Chris Hungerford and other artists on exhibit and for sale.
      The eclectic 19th annual Jig in the Valley had great local music, fabulous food, crafts, a farmer's market, and activities for kids with Canyonero; Hell or High Water; Keeghan Nolan and the Young Guns; the Backyard Bluegrass Band; John Cassel; the Fabulous Spiders; the Oleo Romeos; and special guests singer/songwriter Brian Curry; George Lewis; Dono Schabner; Skeeter Camera; Tommy Steele; Al Zanzler; and Joe Moore performing.
      The annual Montgomery Historical Society Art Show and Sale took over Pratt Hall on the eve of Hurricane Irene.
      The NMC Art Wall is one of the three major public art displays at the hospital. Exhibits changed monthly.
      The One Federal Thursday Night Summer Concert Series brought in popular performers on a night without much other music in Franklin County.
      The St. Albans Historical Museum and O.S.H.E.R. presented the Quilt Collection at the Shelburne Museum and much more. Subscribers may attend any sessions of the series but lectures are also open to non-members. All events are held on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. in the Bliss Auditorium on the third floor at the Museum.
      The St. Albans Society for the Performing Arts presented My Fair Lady in the new BFA-St. Albans Performing Arts Center.
      The Taylor Park Concert Series of local summer music featured the Michele Fay Band, Nobby Reed Project, and the Starline Rhythm Boys in the Edric A. Loomis Memorial Band Shell on alternate summer Fridays.
      The 5th annual Taylor Park Fine Wine, Food & Beer Festival featured art by Harald Aksdal, Ann Allen, Lisamarie Charlesworth, Chasworth Pottery & Farm, Linda Clark, Lorraine Cota Manley, Karen Day-Vath, Mary Ann Duffy Godin, Clair Dunn, Paule Gingras, Melvin Harris, David Juaire, Tinka Theresa Martell, Scheffler Stained Glass, Longina Smolinski, Matt White, and Jon Young in a benefit for the Franklin County Food Shelf.
      Vermont's Own 40th Army Band performed in a free concert on the Green in Swanton. The concert featured the Liberty Bells, the Green Mountain Show Band, and the Power of 10.
      Young Tradition Vermont hosted a Showcase at Bellows Free Academy-Fairfax that featured The Irregulars in a gateway to the world of traditional music and dance.
      20 different presenters in this list alone with dozens of venues and a mix of fine art, classical music, popular entertainment, and great theater. And that's only half the list. Wow! What a year!
      For the record, there was no Zebra at the Maple Festival but it did get your attention. Merry Christmas, Everyone!


      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.