ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 17 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 27, 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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ISLE LA MOTTE--The historic Fisk Farm on Lake Champlain hosts a retrospective of Valerie Ugro's Fisk Farm and Fisk Quarry Scenes in the Horse and Carriage Barn and Gallery. The show continues through the month of June.
      The Fairfax artist works in watercolor and acrylic mediums. She offers original paintings and prints of Vermont ski resorts, covered bridges, sugar houses, mountain scenes, and landscapes. The Fisk Farm overlooks the lake and quarry with views of lake, mountain and meadow.
      Click here for more info.


SHELDON--The 58th Annual Convention of the Organ Historical Society will convene at Grace Church today. Organist Peter Crisafulli will play the historic 1833 Henry Erben pipe organ in four half hour recitals at 10:30 a.m., 11:50 a.m., 2:10 p.m. and 3:20 p.m.
      The program is free and open to the public.
      The Organ Historical Society is a national organization dedicated to raising awareness of and preserving 19th century American pipe organs. Click here for more info about the society and here for Summer Music info.


ST. ALBANS--The Chow Bella Comedy for a Cause series features Maple Leaf Montessori this evening at 7 p.m. The charity event series is a night of stand up comedy with several of Vermont's best comedians.
      Call Tasha Dickinson (808.561.6356), Email, or click here for tickets and info.
      Colin Ryan of A Stand Up Life produces the show. Admission is $15. There are just 70 seats available at the restaurant.
      Then tomorrow evening, the Chow Open Mic in Park begins in the Taylor Park bandstand at 6 p.m. sharp. The lineup includes host Jack Grimmer, plus David Benway, Sean Casey, Tiffany Couture, Chuck Foster, Alanna Freeman, John Gibbons & Craig Anderson, Jerry Holmes, Bill Masse, Troy Millette, Rosie Newton, Sam's Sister, Lynn Trahan, and a Finale of American Pie. This special outdoor show in the Park will move to the main stage at Chow Bella if it rains.
      The regular Chow Open Mic Night repeats 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.

ST. ALBANS BAY--Bayside Pavilion presents Carol Ann Jones with special guest Jon Sochin this evening at 6:30 p.m.
      "Have you heard us together before? Now's your chance," she said.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION and SOUTH BURLINGTON--Randy Smith & His Band of Merry Men are in Vermont for two special shows with special guests Keeghan Nolan and Andre Maquera. The band plays an acoustic-unplugged show at the Tupelo Music Hall this evening with Ms. Nolan and Higher Ground tomorrow evening with Ms. Nolan and Mr. Maquera. Both shows are at 8 p.m.
      Mr. Smith, the lead singer of 8084, is a singer-songwriter now living in North Carolina. A Billboard and international award winning musician, he has recorded 5 albums and has toured extensively throughout the US and Canada, performing over 4,000 live shows over the span of his career.
      Andre Maquera is the aerobatic lead guitar for 8084 and for the Keeghan Nolan Band. The "producer's producer and musician's musician" is a songwriter, teacher, owner of West Street Digital in Fairfield, and has been known to play a guitar once in a while.
      Keeghan Nolan is a Vermont country singer-songwriter with award winning performances at the major fairs, festivals, and concerts throughout New England, Florida, West Virginia, and Nashville to her credit.
      The Band of Merry Men features Roy Brown, acoustic bass and vocals; Gary Spaulding, percussion; Rich Abel, guitar and vocals; and Scott Campbell, fiddle and guitar.
      Tickets to Tupelo are $15 in advance from
      Tickets to Higher Ground are $10 at the door.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The New Life Christian Church hosts the annual lawn sale, Chicken BBQ, and Christian Music Concert all on Saturday. The lawn sale runs all day at 206 Main Street. The BBQ and concert take place on Lincoln Park. The Chicken BBQ includes half a chicken, chips, roll, coleslaw, and drink, and costs $8. It begins at 5:30 p.m. The concert is free and will feature contemporary Christian music with Rich Ballard, Southern Gospel with The Stetsons, and contemporary Christian music with Simple Blessings, Bobby and Marcia Gross.

PLATTSBURGH--Now open for the season, the Naked Turtle presents Justice on Saturday evening at 9 p.m. Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Todd Dunn, lead and rhythm guitar; Gary Greeno, lead vocals; Mike Stella, drums; and Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals picked up this gig at the last minute.
      Click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts holds a Farmers and Artisans Market at the River Arts Center every Wednesday from 3 - 7 p.m. Click here for more info.


     This series for area artists and photographers has discussed using Print on Demand sites to host artists' galleries and to fulfill orders. POD makes getting reproductions of your artwork into your buyers' hands simple.
      The final site in our series is ArtistWebsites, powered by [Disclosure Note: I use ArtistWebsites for my own online gallery.]
      Fine Art America provides an online and fulfilment service for photographs, paintings, digital art, and other works (pretty much the same product line-up as the other sites we have profiled). Set up and uploading is relatively easy and it is the least expensive of the paid sites at $30/year. It took less than an hour to create and initially populate a site there. FAA prints, frames, mats, packages, ships, and collects and distributes payments. They outsource the production to companies around the U.S.; a company in North Carolina frames prints and stretches canvas, greeting cards come from Atlanta, and a company in Hawthorne does acrylic prints. They deliver "ready-to-hang" with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
      I lean toward emulsion ("wet") prints but the industry is changing. FAA uses inkjet process for all prints. Customers and artists rate the print quality outstanding.
      More than 100,000 artists and photographers offer two million images for sale. That's a lot of competition.
      FAA has unique marketing tools. Their email service lets artists create customized emails to spam thousands of email subscribers. If you have thousands of email subscribers. Location services let them spotlight the work of local artists to online visitors. They provide a website but also offer a shopping cart for your own site. They will post promos for all, some or none of your works to a Facebook gallery and your personal Facebook page. These features and all others are free.
      Franklin artist Natalie LaRocque suggested Artistwebsites/FAA to me. "I've sold 13 prints there already," she said.
      Ms. LaRocque's artistwebsite can be seen here.
      My artistwebsite can be seen here.
      Next time, in the final review of the series we will include some tips and a list of some other sites we skipped. 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


     Tunbridge weaver Elizabeth Billings' work, on both a small and grand scale, is shown nationally and internationally and resides in many public, private and corporate collections. She apprenticed with an ikat weaver in Japan to learn and explore and extend the tradition al intricate lines and feathered edges of the woven ikat images and patterning into conversations with materials from nature. Her site has a look at studio and ikat work, her public art, the process, her bio, 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 © 2013 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.