ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 16 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 22, 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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      At Thanksgiving time, I ask area artists to share what they are grateful for at this time of year. This was a hard year for our artists. The economy continued to struggle and gas prices continued to soar which meant many in our community struggled as well.
      "This Thanksgiving, I'm so thankful for my family, friends, good health and of course, music!" Carol Ann Jones of Georgia said with love. "More so then ever, in this last year I've learned so much about how music can heal and also how music can comfort. Even in the most trying times. A sincere thank you to everyone who has touched my life. I wish you all the most wonderful holiday season!"
      "The practice of art provides me with countless lessons and reasons to be grateful, all year long," contemporary artist Gail Salzman of Fairfield said. "I am especially lucky to have a family that understands and appreciates my immersion in art, kindly overlooking my casual (mostly neglectful, if truth be told) approach to housecleaning, gardening and other of life's 'realities'."
      "I am thankful for having the opportunity to see several countries through the eyes of my son Evan, a photographer," Marie Speer of Swanton said.

     My personal note: It has been another tough year for most of us but I'm thankful for a great year for arts audiences and local arts sponsors . We've seen art all year at the A.I.R. Co-operative in Enosburg, the hospital, and D.J.'s Village Frame Shoppe as well as in parks and halls, concert series like Concert by the Common, Summer Music at Grace, and Summer Sounds that filled all 12 Big Music Weeks of summer, theatricals, and at least a dozen events at the Opera House!
      I am writing this column from the Keys where it has never snowed on Thanksgiving. For that I am profoundly thankful, perhaps because I was again so late arriving here this year.
      The vibrant art scene here on the southernmost islands of the United States continues with galleries, concerts, performances, and organizations everywhere you look. Marathon Community Theater is staging Nana's Naughty Nickers tomorrow. And the sun still sets every evening out beyond Key Vaca.
      Art on the walls. Music in the halls. Family and friends around us. It is the definition of what makes this week special.


ST. ALBANS--Village Frame Shoppe presents An Afternoon with Fred Swan on Saturday from 1 - 3 p.m. The Frame Shoppe has the largest collection of Fred Swan Art in the Champlain Valley
      Barre artist Fred Swan creates meticulously detailed, photo-realistic paintings filled with nostalgia. They hang in public and private collections including CVPS, Johnson & Johnson, and the Vermont Arts Council. He is a winner of the Saturday Evening Post Cover Contest, an engineer, and a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy.

FRANKLIN COUNTY--The Grand Holiday Crafts and Fine Arts Tour of Franklin County begins this weekend and continues through Christmas. Watch for shows in Enosburg, Fairfield, Franklin, St Albans, and more.


     This year the Northern Forest Canoe Trail auction has four pieces in the Books & Art section including a framed NFCT poster of the Missisquoi River by Vermont print maker Sabra Field.
      The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is 740 miles of inland paddling along the historic travel routes across New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire, and Maine and the predominant water trail organization in North America. They develop and manage the water trails, provide trail access and stewardship and offer programs within our communities. One such lasting program placed public art at access points including the Stone Canoe in Swanton.
      Click here for a look at the NFCT books and art auction page.


ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella presents 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.
      Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info or booking requests.


ENOSBURG FALLS--Sarah Jo Willey and A.M. Dezotelle, the author and illustrator of the new children's book, Lullaby for Birds, will host a launch party and book signing at Creative Muse Floral Design on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      "'Lullaby for Birds' came to me a few months before I found out I was expecting my first child. I believe it was my baby's way of whispering his arrival to my heart,"" said Ms. Willey.
      There will be door prizes, hot cocoa and treats, and a 15% discount as well as gift sets that include the book, a plush version of one of the birds featured in the book, and a follow along CD. The book is also available at,, and Follow Lullaby for Birds on Facebook or click here for more info.

VERMONT READS--The Vermont Humanities Council's statewide one-book community reading program, Vermont Reads 2013, is celebrating its tenth anniversary by exploring Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry. This statewide read features an anthology of contemporary poems edited by former United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins.
      Applications are due December 7. Call 802.262.2626 x304 or click here for more infoto learn more and apply for Vermont Reads 2012.


      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.