ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 16 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 24, 2012


      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 publish these words again this year. And you get to read them. Please pause and reflect as you stop at an artist's studio, go to a concert, or simply read a book in the sunshine the price we pay to keep our right to do those things.


     It must be summer already. I had my first yard sale. Hardy people water skied in Missisquoi Bay. And Summer Music at Grace returns with the Tenth Annual Farewell Reunion Concert at Grace Episcopal Church in Sheldon on Saturday 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 Bread and Bones; Gary and Roland Clark; Patti Casey; Hannah Beth Crary; Tim Cummings; Bill Drislane; William Ellis; Deb Flanders; Franklin Heyburn, Tom Hodgson, and Tim Jennings; Latimer and Dave Hoke; Carol Ann Jones; Longford Row; Ken MacKenzie; Tom MacKenzie; Jim McGinniss-Clare Doyle-John Murray; Missisquoi River Band; Will Patton and Dono Schabner. Mark Sustic will host and act as Master of Ceremonies.
      The evening begins with a BBQ by Rick Helias and salad and dessert potluck including free ice cream and perhaps some music on the lawn starting at 6 p.m. 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 collected 10 by now.
      The Farewell Reunion Concert is presented by Young Tradition Vermont with support from Ben & Jerry's, Cosmic Bakery, Foothills Bakery, Messenger Print & Design, Mousetrap Pediatrics, People's Trust Company, the Vermont Dairy Industry, and others.
      Admission is by $15 suggested donation at the door. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968), email, or click here for more info.


AROUND THE STATE--The 20th annual Vermont Open Studio Weekend is this Saturday and Sunday of 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. Some 300 exhibitors are open this year, all right next to the yellow signs dotting the Vermont landscape.
      In and near Franklin County, personalwoodsmythe Greg Drew offers practical and artistic woodturnings and treasures on Ballard Road in Georgia. 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. Get Away With Art is Meta Strick's mixed media, dolls, paintings, calligraphy, and ornaments in Sheldon.
      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.

FAIRFAX--"Art in Bloom is shaping up wonderfully this year," organizer Shelly Pottala said. The festival is already almost at capacity; she needs to have reservations and the $40 booth fee by June 1.
      Call Ms. Pottala (802.849.2570) or email for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Chow!Bella presents Marko The Master Magician this evening at the restaurant. Marko will perform walk around table magic from 7 - 8 p.m. and a full hour long show at 8 p.m. in the banquet and performance room. The show is free but reservations are recommended as dinner guests will be given table preference.
      Chow also brings back Will Patton with PoJazz, Vermont's premiere poetry/jazz group, Saturday evening at 7 p.m. PoJazz is an eclectic mix of poetry and jazz by Johnson State College students, faculty and friends. Tony Whedon calls the show "fluid jazz theater." It changes constantly as new poets and musicians join to create new shows.
      PoJazz has made many appearances in the North Country including performances at Johnson State College, Champlain College, Castleton State College, SUNY-Plattsburg, Vermont College, Tosca's in Montgomery, Nectar's, The Island Arts Festival, First Night-Montpelier, The Black Door, Halvorson's, VPR and, of course, Chow!Bella.
      Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--Franny O's presents Justice on Friday at 9:30 p.m. The band is Gary Greeno, lead vocals; Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Todd Dunn, lead and rhythm guitar; Mike Fredette, drums; and Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals.
      Click here for more info.

WEST SWANZEY, NH--The 17th annual Half Moon Sober Festival presents the Nobby Reed Project on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
      The Festival is a weekend of camping, music, sports, and workshops for family, friends and everyone. It begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday evening with continuous music on the Main Stage and in the coffeehouse.
      Camp sites are first come first served. Weekend admission for tent or RV is $65 per adult. Day/evening admission (8am to 10pm no overnight) is $20 per adult per day. Weekend and day passes are sold at the gate. Children under 12 are free with paid adult admission. Click here for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Vermont Artisan Festival at Smuggler's Notch has been cancelled.


Bennington calligrapher, illustrator, and fine artist Ann Kremers' work includes illustration in a variety of media, scientific illustration, marriage certificates, family trees, presentation pieces, awards, logos, bookplates, and social calligraphy of all kinds. Her site includes biographical info, envelope scripts, her gallery, 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 © 2012 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.