ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 16 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 18, 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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It's going to be a busy week between all the leaf raking.


SWANTON--The Friends of Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge host an exhibit and open house of Refuge Art. The Open House is this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., with presentations on birds at 11 and 12 noon for the art exhibit. The exhibit will continue through December 27.
      Works include oils, acrylics, watercolor, pen and ink, pastels, photographs and fabrics of any subject related to the Refuge landscape of bugs, forest, fields, lake, marsh, river, sky, water, weeds, wildlife, wildflowers, and even people.
      The Open House will be preceded by a Bird Walk at 8 a.m.
      Call 802.868.4781 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Collins Perley Sports & Fitness Center hosts the 2012 Fall Craft Show on Saturday 9 - 4 p.m. and Sunday 10 - 4 p.m.
      There will be 60 vendors covering most craft categories, from fiber, glass, metal and wood to painting, photography, printmaking, and more. Admission is just $3 for those age 19-up. $2 for 15-19 and anyone 14 and under is free.
      Collins Perley serves as a community center for art shows, conventions, business meetings, job fairs, expositions, concerts, and more. Click here for more info.


     The BFA Performing Arts Center and the St. Albans Society for the Performing Arts host a VSO String Quartet in a Symphony of Whales - A Halloween Family Concert on Saturday at 4 p.m. The musicians will introduce their instruments and play "several seasonally spooky selections."
      The VSO String Quartet includes Sofia Hirsch, violin, David Gusakov, violin, Hilary Hatch, viola, and Dieuwke Davydov, cello with guest narrator Melissa Ewell who will voice over A Symphony of Whales by Steve Schuch.
      Ms. Ewell is a popular piano accompanist and Swanton music teacher. Area audiences will also recognize Mr. Gusakov as a member of the Will Patton Quintet.
      There will be a parade of costumes and treats (but no tricks) to take home after the show.
      Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and children, and $15 for families (up to 5 people).


COLCHESTER--Venue presents the Keeghan Nolan Band tomorrow evening at 9:30 p.m.
      "The full electric band will be playing with special guest George Richard singing a few songs between our sets!" Ms. Nolan said. "Definitely worth your while to come out and dance the night away."

BENNINGTON--Meetinghouse Café Concert Series presents Michele Choiniere with Will Patton and Dono Schabner in the Café at UU Fellowship Hall tomorrow evening at 8 p.m.
      The award-winning Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, has compelling voice that connects her audience to the nature, romance, and social issues of Franco-American culture of northeastern North America. Her performances blend traditional her original works, Franco-American and Quebec folk songs, jazz standards, and French classics.
      Admission is $15. Click here for more info.

     Ms. Choiniere will also appear live on the Hudson River Sampler on WAMC on Saturday at 8 p.m.
      Radio host Wanda Fischer offers a program of folk music, bluegrass and blues every Saturday from 8 - 10 p.m. on WAMC/Northeast Public Radio. The Sampler marked its 30th anniversary on September 18, making it one of the longest continuously-running radio programs in the Northeast. WAMC programming can be heard in this area on WCEL 91.9 FM in Plattsburgh or podcast through iTunes. Click here for more info.
      Her latest CD, La Violette, is available at

ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls and the Optimist Newspaper presents the 20th annual Talent Search on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      One of the premiere talent events in Vermont, this show is an evening of entertainment, celebration, and the arts with the most talented performers in the area. The Talent Search is a Fall tradition that started as a fund raiser for the restoration of the now-120-year old historic landmark.
      The Talent Search has provided a showcase for hundreds of talented performers many of whom have gone on to the national stage. The 2012 show will feature jazz, classical violinists, fiddlers, piano soloists, modern dance, flutists, and more. "Awesome" prizes include cash. A special Optimist Newspaper Award is also given out in both divisions.
      The two divisions in the Talent Search encompass a wide range of youthful performers. The Junior Division includes ages 5-14; the Adult Division covers ages 15-24.
      Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Tickets to all our events are available at the door on the night of the performance.

     Mark your calendars and hide your blood supply: Dracula opens at the Opera House next Thursday, October 25.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella prestidigitates Marko the Master Magician on Saturday evening at the restaurant. Marko will perform a full dinner 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.
      "Bring the kids or just bring a friend," Tom Murphy said. "I guarantee you will be amazed and laugh yourself silly; old or young!"
      Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--Contois Auditorium hosts the Summer Sounds favorite Joe Levesque Big Band playing "Jazz in a Big Way" on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      This modern big band invites dancing the evening away to standards from the Swing Era including In the Mood," "Take the A Train," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "It's Only A Paper Moon and many more.
      Admission is $13 for adults and $8 for children but advance sales get a $2 discount. Call Joyce Jenkins (802.524.5290) or email for tickets and more info.

BURLINGTON--KTR Presents Substation7 and Steve Hartmann at Manhattan Pizza & Pub on Saturday at 9:30.
      Clement Yonkers' SubStation7 creates originals in instrumental rock, ambient sound, and live looping. Acoustic and folk rock performer Steve Hartmann was the front man for SIMON and has ventured forth as a solo performer.

ST. ALBANS--It's a Bargain!
      The 31st celebration Cardiac Capers musical variety show opens with bargain night at the BFA Performing Arts Center on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The run continues through Saturday October 27. Written, produced, directed, and performed entirely by local talent, Cardiac Capers is the biennial hospital auxiliary fund-raising variety show with singing, dancing, and other performances by docs, medical staff, community volunteers, and a few special performances. The biennial production is a fun raiser for the NMC Auxiliary.
      Patron tickets cost $20 each. Admission is $10 per person with tickets available at Food City, Hannaford Supermarket, NMC, St. Albans Free Library, Swanton Rexall Drugs, and at the door.


REFUGE ART--The Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge exhibit starts this Saturday but they still have room for a few pieces in any two-dimensional hangable media. The subjects should relate to the Refuge landscape which means my photographs of St. Albans skyscrapers won't be eligible.
      Your works cannot exceed 24" by 30 framed; the show is of the great outdoors but is held inside where wall space is limited. All pieces must need to be matted where applicable, framed, and "ready to hang." Stretched canvas must have "finished" edges. Two paintings per artist are allowed. The hanging fee is $15 per work as a fund raiser for the Refuge but there is no commission on sales.
      Last chance: Drop off the art with registration forms and payment at the Refuge tomorrow morning between the 8 a.m. and 12 noon. Mr. Madden will get them hung up that night.
      Call Carol Yarnell (802.796.4388) or email Paul Madden for more info.


     St. Albans photographer Sondra Sarra's work appeared in the Messenger last week but her first publication was of the 2009 fire in St. Johnsbury. She has appeared in Vermont Magazine and a publishing company has chosen one of her cat project photos for a 2013 calender. Her site includes galleries, contact info, and a link to Facebook where she has shopping, special offers, and a poll.


      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.