ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 17 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 2, 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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ST. ALBANS--The Village Frame Shoppe has moved to the historic M.H. Fishman building on the busy corner of Main and Kingman Streets, across from Taylor Park, at 50 North Main Street.
      "We have expanded our gallery and framing options," owner D. J. Patullo said. They have received several new paintings by Eric Tobin, Peter Miller, John Clarke Olson, Lucie Michel, and more!
      To celebrate the move, the Shoppe has two special offerings: 5% off any original artwork in the store and 50% off Photo to Canvas prints. Photographers can email a digital file, deliver a camera memory card, or bring in a photo to scan; D.J. can print those photo memories onto canvas between 8"x10" and 20" x 30". Both offers run through May 11.
      The gallery and store is open Tuesday - Friday 10-5 p.m. and Saturday 10-4 p.m. Call 802.524.3699 or click here for more info.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. 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.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts presents James Alan Shelton this evening at 7 p.m. The bluegrass guitarist is the band manager and guitarist for Dr. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. He also has seven solo projects as well as a collaboration with guitarist George Shuffler, a book of Guitar Tablature through Mel Bay publications plus a guitar instructional video, Clinch Mountain Guitar.
      Admission is by $25 suggested donation ("pay what you're able").
      River Arts also holds a Farmers and Artisans Market at the River Arts Center every Wednesday from 3 - 7 p.m. click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--Moog's Place has "live music every night we're open, starting between eight and nine pm" with open mic night scheduled most Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.
      Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--J & L Guitars hosts Singer/Songwriter Night every Thursday evening.
      Call 802.527.9951 for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella offers Music to Dine By with relaxed music and the arts. They may have live piano, violin, or light guitar any day of the week. The Chow! Cabaret offers live performances by musicians, visual artists, poets, and more. The regular Chow Open Mic Night repeats next Wednesday and on the first Wednesday of every month. Their Open Comedy Night for comics 18 and older is held on the third Tuesday of every month. Vern Colburn is Live on the Piano on Friday Nights, Dayve Huckett on the guitar on the first and third Saturday, and the Best Little Border Band plays some of the best jazz in Vermont on the second and fourth Saturdays, starting at 5:30 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info or booking requests.


     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.
      An update from our look at stock photography: several pieces on Buzzfeed and six articles on the Huffington Post used ShutterStock images as illustrations this week.
      Imagekind and Redbubble are two more competitors in the increasingly crowded POD field.
      The former is a CafePress photo printing service that lets users upload unlimited images or import photos from a flickr account. The number of galleries, tags and keywords, and categories are all limited, though. It has the usual options for paper type, matting, and framing, and an easy ordering system. They ship fast and their quality is very good. Finding info on the site was easy and navigation is very good. Sales earn up to an additional 15% commission on frames, mats, and glazing. The "storefront" is customizable with a selection of themes that are easy to manage and update. Like most sites, Imagekind offers Google Analytics for visitor tracking. Free sites are available; the better options cost about $100/year.
      Imagekind has lost some popular appeal as users in both younger and older demographics moved to other sites. It may not be cool enough (or traditional enough) to attract random users to your art.
      Redbubble, on the other hand, was 2012's biggest platform for selling art online and remains popular among younger buyers. Photos are printed on silver-halide photographic paper, my first choice.
      "Our stunning prints come in four sizes, which means they'll fit any mantle, bedroom wall, or empty frame near you." As long as that empty frame is 8x12", 18x16", 16x24", or 20x30".
      One of my most popular prints comes in 8x10", 9.6x12", or 11x14". Natalie LaRocque's Sunset on Maple Ridge comes in 9x12", 12x16", 18x24", and other proportional sizes. My Key West Sunset is available in 5x12", 7x16", or 8x20". Oops.
      This site has three drawbacks for me. They don't print the sizes many of us shoot. They ship prints alone from the USA but all matted/framed works travel from Australia. Finally it was hard to finding info and their navigation system is lousy for the artist.
      I would not recommend either service in place of a professional printer like Adorama, Miller's, or WHCC, but Imagekind does a great job converting flickr photos to prints for use in the offline world and Redbubble does have beautiful prints if your sizes fit their template.
      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. Links to each of the reviewed sites are online at


     Ashley Hensel-Browning is a choreographer, dancer, teaching artist and community artist in Weathersfield, Vermont. She offers school-based residencies and community arts projects and is most interested in co-creating choreography with different groups. Her site has a blog, biography, a "Move with Kids" section, resources, and contact info.


      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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