ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 17 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 21, 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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ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap at the Lincoln Inn presents Summer Sounds favorite Jenni Johnson and friends this evening at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

GEORGIA--The Vermont National Guard proudly presents Vermont's Own 40th Army Band in concert at the Georgia Elementary and Middle School tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. This concert will feature the Liberty Belles, a woodwind quintet, the Green Mountain Show Band, a big band style ensemble, and the Power of 10, a power rock show band, playing as ensembles as well as in a combined concert. The Guard is finishing a three-town tour that also included Bethel and Craftsbury.
      Admission to the concert is free.

ST. ALBANS--It's a funny week at Chow Bella as Comedy for a Cause features Camp Ta-Kum-Ta tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. The charity event series is a night of stand up comedy with several of Vermont's best comedians.
      For more than two decades, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta has provided a safe, loving place where children from our area who have, or have had cancer can play, swim, share, and heal. Camper registration for Summer 2013 is now open. Call 802.372.5863 to reach the camp or click here for more info about the camp.
      Colin Ryan of A Stand Up Life produces the show. Admission is $15. There are just 70 tickets available at the restaurant.
      Chow has Music to Dine By with relaxed music and the arts. Upcoming events include a benefit for Relay for Life. Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info or booking requests.

ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Historical Museum hosts the March Madness Dance Party on Saturday at 7 p.m. The benefit will help the Laurie's House Project with a much needed face-lift with SuperSounds DJ, a 50/50 raffle, dessert buffet, and cash bar.
      Admission is by a suggested donation of $20.


     I have been talking with area artists and photographers about using Print on Demand sites to host artists' galleries and to fulfill orders. We have visited a website belonging to Franklin County artist and photographer Natalie LaRocque and looked at POD itself as well as how and why an artist or photographer might use it.
      A good customer experience is the single most important goal of an online store. I look for easy navigation, consistent appearance, a simple buy-it-now button, and a checkout process that works flawlessly. Amazon and eBay offer arguably the best online store experience for the customer.
      This week, we start at the far end of the alphabet with the features offered by photography portfolio website which bills itself as "the world’s largest online specialty retailer of high-end wall art" purchased this site in January.
      Pros: Zenfolio offers "online photography presentation and sales solutions for professional photographers and enthusiasts." It is, in many ways, an image organizer or image management application as well as an online portfolio.
      It is a portfolio with a cost, though. The wide variety of plans and services range from basic to pro. Their $30-60 basic plans, called a "Portfolio Website and Blog," are fine to upload and store images safely, create slideshows and websites, and integrate with social media; the $120-250 "Premium Business" plans are selling programs. Each includes an integrated shopping cart with prices you set, affiliate sales from partner labs for a fee, self-fulfillment of your own orders for a fee, and digital products sales for a fee.
      Zenfolio offers a choice of five excellent labs including some of the best photo processors in the country, although the top pro processor is available only with the business packages. They also partner with with its selection of photo gear including Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Leica and Panasonic for rent.
      Cons: Their costs are higher than several other sites, both for the artist and the consumer. I found the site very time-consuming to set up, partly because there are so many choices for order finishing and sometimes difficult to place orders through. The navigation is easy and the appearance of each page is the same but the buy button and checkout flummoxed me.
      Sample site:
      In the coming weeks, I'll review other POD sites (including the one Ms. LaRocque and I each use) and talk with other artists about their choices. Email the All Arts Council if you use any of these services to produce the prints you sell.


BLACK AND WHITE JURIED EXHIBITION (March 29)--The show will include of two-dimensional art works in traditional media created without the use of color. Cash awards. Entry fee.
      Call 845.679.2388, email, or click here for more info.

START UP SITE (March 26)--Smitsy is launching a start-up online community to showcase and promote emerging and established artists. They ask for a resume, one-page artist statement and bio, 3 - 5 high quality images of available works, and relevant details such as medium, year made, dimensions to be part of the initial launch. No listing or up-front fees.
      Email or click here for more info.

24th ANNUAL JURIED ART SHOW IN LAS VEGAS (March 29)--It did not snow in Las Vegas yesterday. Just sayin'. The Contemporary Arts Center encourages artists working in any medium. Cash awards. Entry fee.
      Call 702.382.3886, email, or click here for more info.

27th ROSEN CALL FOR SCULPTURE (April 12)--The Competition will place ten new sculptures on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Awards and honoraria along with installation assistance and brochure. This event is a part of An Appalachian Summer Festival. Entry fee.
      Click here for more info.


     Singer-songwriter Patti Casey of Montpelier has performed in Highgate and St. Albans and is a featured artist on the Cream of Vermont CD. Her site includes performances and schedule, a press kit, recordings including links to YouTube videos, downloadable songs to buy (only a buck a song), and a bio, all built on a WordPress blog.


      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.