ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 17 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 14, 2013


      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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      Today is the day.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Art is the perfect
Gift for you.
      More than any other holiday, Valentine's Day celebrates romantic love. From Valentinus' farewell to Asterius' daughter to Chaucer's love birds to the gift of chocolates from women to men in Japan, it is a day of troth and adoration.
      The oldest known valentine still in existence was a poem that Charles, Duke of Orleans, wrote to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following the Battle of Agincourt in 1415; Esther Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines here in the 1840s.
      Today is the day to say, "I want our love to last forever." It is our festival to give cards, letters, candies, flowers, and presents to a spouse or partner. Whether you find Natalie LaRocque's Summer Poppies or my Winter Bouquet in the basket of the third scruffiest island beach bike, art is forever.
      Romantic photographs and paintings by local artists like Ms. LaRocque can be found at the Artist In Residence Co-op in Enosburg or the Village Frame Shoppe & Gallery in St. Albans. Click here for more info about her work.
      It is worth noting that the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates St. Valentine's Day in July. That give us a second shot at the romance, but y'all had better not miss the first one.


KEY LARGO, FL--The Bayside Grille of the Florida Keys hosts presents "Harper" in the Bayside Blues Festival tonight at 6:30 p.m.
      An Australian-born singer-songwriter, Harper's "World Blues Fusion" blends the harmonica and the didgeridoo in a mix of roots music, blues, rock, funk, soul and world music. The ongoing Blues Festival kicked off last week with Canada's top touring blues act, the JW Jones Band, Biscuit Miller & the Mix, Todd Wolfe, Joel DaSilva and the Midnight Howl, and more. As far as I know "Harper" and I are not related, but how could I not mention him.
      Admission is free. Email for more info.

BURLINGTON--Professor Kubínek meets the Vermont Youth Orchestra at the Flynn tomorrow evening at 8 p.m.
      Visionary vaudevillian and theater artist Tomas Kubínek joins the VYO for a full-evening performance that will feature orchestral works including the opening overture from Russlan and Ludmilla by Glinka, La Gazza Ladra and the William Tell Finale by Rossini, Slavonic Dance Op. 46 by Dvorak, Double Violin Concerto by Bach, and the love songs Caro Nome by Verdi, the March from the Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, and a Pagan Love Song by Nacio Herb Brown. There will likely be ukulele, some pitch-pipe/harmonica music, and unexpected sound effects, inventions, and even a puppet show. Orchestra members include Julia Deziel, Violin, and Josiah Witt, Trombone, of St Albans. Jeffrey Domoto conducts.
      Admission is $15-$36. Tickets are available at FlynnTix (802.86.FLYNN) or click here .

ENOSBURG FALLS--Enosburg Middle High School presents Little Shop Of Horrors at the high school tomorrow and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
      It's a "fantastic show with killer music!" Meg Cossaboom said.
      Things turn a little south when a Skid Row floral assistant discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. When "Audrey II" grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore, one of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time will let us in on fame and fortune. Or global domination. Enosburg students perform under the direction of Emily Leute and musical director Rachael Sherman. Ms. Cossaboom accompanies the show on piano.
      Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for students or seniors. Tickets will be available at the door.


ST. ALBANS--This is Humphrey Bogart Month at the St. Albans Free Library with Casablanca, the great story of romance and friendship in WWII.
      The library shows a newsreel, cartoon, and trailer of coming attractions before each weekly movie. All films are shown on the 4' by 6' screen in the upstairs conference room "cinema." Admission is free, along with popcorn and a beverage.
      Classic Readers gather on Tuesday, February 19, at 6:30 p. m. for Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. The dark allegory of a journey up the Congo River blends adventure, character, and psychology. It is considered Conrad's finest but most enigmatic story.

SWANTON--The Swanton Free Public Library has new books by local writers for sale. Peter Perry's new novel, Night Stalker - Trouble in New York City, is available in soft cover for $15. Leon Thompson's latest,Not Too Awful Bad: A Storyteller's Guide to Vermont is available for $15.95. There are only a few copies left.

      Many Franklin County libraries will be closed on Monday in observance of Presidents' Day.


     Although handwritten valentines gave way to the mass-produced in the 19th century, your valentines can still take crayon and scissor in hand. KinderArt has Valentine's Day crafts from a bottle cap locket ("locket," not "rocket"!) to a heart mobile kinetic project.


      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.