ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 17 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 4, 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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      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls debuts Sarah Jo Willey's new play, the Girl in the Other Room, tomorrow and Saturday evening at 7 p.m.
      Where do you go when you dream?
      "Last summer I went on a perennial run of focused listening to 'The Girl in the Other Room'," by Diana Krall," Sarah Jo Willey wrote of an album she loves.
      The music lead her to a show with a real life feel. And great music.
      It is a story about letting go, making peace with the past, and learning to live without regrets. Alora (Wendy Maquera) is married to her high school sweetheart, Charlie (Marcus Lameh); they have a ten year old daughter Maddie (Madeline Lameh). Alora's single mother, the former dancer Annie (Rebecca Anne Bennett), has early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. Annie has just moved Alora into a constant care facility when the play opens.
      "I wrote the characters with certain people in mind, even if they didn't have prior acting experience," she wrote.
      Starring Wendy Maquera in the lead role, Rebecca Anne Bennett and Carol Ann Jones, it features Caroline Bright, Peter Garrow, Matthew Jacobs, Madeline Lameh, Marcus Lameh, Sarah Mitiguy, Rose Newton, Brian Paquette, Suzi Hull Parent, and Sarah Jo Willey. Singer/songwriter Tammy Rexx's music is sung by singer/songwriter Ms. Jones, Bright, Lameh, Maquera, and Newton. Peter Garrow and Sarah Jo Willey direct.
      The project is linked with Alzheimer's Association. 25% of the proceeds will go to the Vermont Chapter to support their mission. The remaining proceeds support the Friends of the Opera House mission and the arts in the community.
      Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens. Call 802.933.6171 or click here for tickets and info.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on water colorist Jeanne Backhaus, bowl maker Toby Fulwiler, and oil painter Henry Trask Reilly.
      The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with refreshments, good conversation, the monthly raffle, and "profound insights into the creative process" on Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. The exhibit continues through the end of April.
      The Artist in Residence art cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 45 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The gallery, located at 321 Main Street, is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. plus the first Sunday of each month, noon to 5 p.m. Click here for more info.


EAST FAIRFIELD--A new Fairfield Community Center project has taken shape to create "a unique and functioning public space for concerts, weddings, lectures, community theater, art shows, Christmas Eve services, and lots more" in the former Congregational church.
      Jim and Marghie Cameron will host a cocktail/dinner party fundraiser for the Meeting House transformation in their home on Saturday. The kickoff starts with a tour of the church at 5:30, social hour with cash bar beginning at 6, and a home-cooked Cajun dinner beginning at 7, with music by Will Patton & Friends following! Connie Warden, Jamie West, and Jim Cameron will prepare a very special meal. Please bring your indoor shoes or slippers.
      The first phase of the project -- to stabilize the building, making it safe for occupancy -- is under way. The Meeting House Committee is now raising funds to upgrade the electrical system, repair the roof, and purchase insurance. The Committee includes Michele Bessett, Euan Bear, Dan Conner, Bob Iwaskiewicz, Sonny Morey, and Nance and Tyrone Shaw.
      Seating for the Cajun Feast is limited. Admission is $30/person. Tickets are available at As The Crow Flies. Call 802.524.2800 or stop by the store for tickets. Click here for more info and a secure link for donations.


     This series for area artists and photographers discusses using Print on Demand sites to host artists' galleries and to fulfill orders. We have visited some artists' websites, looked at POD itself, as well as considering how and why an artist or photographer might use it. isn't exactly a classic POD site; it's a sales site but I include it because it works hard to attract buyers. That seems to work since they cater to 25 million monthly shoppers.
      "Sell Your Art Online At Zazzle."
      Yes and no. The ease of finding info and navigation is lousy.
      It is free and not too difficult to set up an online store on the site. Zazzle sells iPod cases, pacifiers, playing cards, t-shirts and hoodies, messenger bags, buttons, mugs and pillows, as well as photo prints, posters, wall decals, and wrapped canvas. All can be bought with a custom image of your art, images, or designs. Unfortunately, the easiest images to use come from the buyer's computer, Google drive or Instagram, not from my inventory or yours. The real profits apparently come from the pyramid, when you join the associate program and refer buyers to Zazzle.
      I gave Zazzle a pass because it is also tough for a local artist to compete with brands like Disney, South Park, Wolverine, National Geographic, or Kiss for attention there. It might work, though, if the artist directs a specific buyer to a specific product on the site.
      In the coming weeks, I'll review other POD sites 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.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. Simply the best in the land, Vermont's premiere blues trio includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

COLCHESTER--Counterpoint performs There Always Something Sings: New Choral Music by Vermont Composers at the McCarthy Arts Center Recital Hall of Saint Michael's College tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m.
      Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, and just $5 for students and the financially challenged.
      Counterpoint will reprise the concert in the Unitarian Church of Montpelier on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and the First Congregational Church of Manchester on Sunday at 4 p.m. A reception with Vermont food and wine after the Colchester and Manchester concerts. Click here for more info.

COLCHESTER--The rescheduled Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival Winter Encore Concert featuring the Jasper String Quartet will be held in the Elley-Long Music Center on Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m.
      The 200 year program includes the String Quartet in F Major, Opus 77, No. 2 by Franz Joseph Haydn and String Quartet No. 2 "musica instrumentalis" by Aaron Jay Kernis. Artistic Director Soovin Kim will give a pre-performance talk, at 6:45 p.m.
      Admission is $30 for adults and $15 for children under 18. Click here for tickets. Notes on the program are online here .


     22 year old Italian artist Diego Fazo draws photo-realistic drawings using a pencil. He used Deviant Art to exhibit some of his work -- most visitors did not believe these are hand drawings so the site includes photos of the works in process. Mr. Fazo started as a tattoo artist who has diversified into pencil. The site has a profile, gallery, prints, and more.


      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).
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