ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 17 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 5, 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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AROUND FRANKLIN COUNTY--A framed painting, a mounted photograph, a statue or clay sculpture, or a CD of local music make great and long-lasting Christmas presents. Just sayin'

ST. ALBANS--Saint Paul's United Methodist Church hosts a Craft/Bake and Vendor sale on Saturday as part of the Festival of Trees from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
      The day of Christmas shopping and holiday fun includes a soup and sandwich lunch sponsored by Northwest Technical School Culinary Arts class. Organist Bridget Chatterley will perform a free concert of Advent and Christmas organ music at noon.

GRAND ISLE COUNTY--At least 100 juried exhibitors will be part of the Champlain Islands' Holiday Hop throughout the islands on Saturday all day. The hop stretches from the St Amadeus holiday gift boutique and visit with Santa to Christmas in South hero with crafts, story time, more Santa (busy guy) and a tree lighting. Locations include the Alburgh Library (its second annual cookie walk and the Polar Express), Champlain Islands Nursery, Grand Isle Art Works, Isle LaMotte School, NCSS, North Hero House, churches, and many more.
      Email for more info and a map.

RUTLAND--The Chaffee presents its annual Gingerbread House Contest and Holiday Boutique in the Chaffee Downtown Gallery through Saturday, December 21.
      The Downtown Gallery has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland with cookie houses created by area families, civic groups, elementary students, farmers market visitor and more. An award ceremony and reception will be held tomorrow from 5-8 p.m.
      The gallery is open 11-6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; and 11:30-7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

MIAMI--Art Basel week brought waves of well heeled collectors in for tent fairs, installations, museum shows, and free cocktails on Tuesday. The art shows feature (mostly) modern and contemporary works through participating galleries, exhibition sectors, artworks plus additional productions by local institutions.
      Prices are very high.
      The Perez Art Museum opened in the old Bicentennial Park on the edge of Biscayne Bay on Wednesday, on time and on budget. It puts art front and center on the city’s landscape for the other 51 weeks each year and helps define Miami as a cultural destination.
      Admission for major collectors started yesterday; the convention center is open to the public today through Sunday). Click here for more info.


ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts David Juaire this month. Mr. Juaire is exhibiting winter scenes.
      The Franklin County native now works primarily with digital cameras but is well known for his medium format (2-1/4x3-1/2 inch) and 35 mm film images. He has always liked the large format "for the exceptional clarity it brings enlargements."
      Vermont Magazine has used his photos in their engagement book, their wall calendars, a tourist guide, and in the magazine itself. He is also well known for the 80 photos that have appeared on the Cooperative Insurance calendar and for his 200 slides on the WCAX weather program. He continues looking for fascinating landscapes.
      The show continues through the end of December.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project this evening 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.

ST. ALBANS--The fifth annual Festival of Trees has the "Northern Lights" as its theme for a series of holiday-themed festivities including a holiday parade, Santa’s workshop, decorated holiday trees, and the formal Festival gala. The events continue through Sunday.
      The supercharged Festival Gala and Tree Auction at City Hall tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. offers music by Carol Ann Jones and the Superchargers. Admission to the gala is $30/person which includes a raffle prize ticket. Advance tickets are available at the Franklin County Chamber, Imagination, Paul Poquette Realty, and the St. Albans Messenger. There are only 250 tickets available.
      Saturday starts with the Festival of Trees showcase and Christmas tree raffle at City Hall plus Santa's Workshop at St. Luke's Church with Mrs Claus and the Elves, all at 10 a.m. The Holiday Parade from BFA up Main Street begins at 11 a.m. There will be a visit with Santa, a Craft and Bake Fair, Soup and Sandwich Lunch, and a Live Manger Scene. Live entertainment and tree viewing takes place at City Hall from 12 noon until 7 p.m. with the Cavemen, Calloway Taxi, Electric Youth Dance Company, Up North Dance Studio, and a St. Albans Open Mic Event. Admission is by donation, or a Festival of Trees Button for $2.
      Sunday brings the Ballet school of Vermont performing Scrooge, an adaptation of The Christmas Carol, to City Hall with seatings at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. The viewing of trees and Christmas Tree Raffle continues. Admission is by donation.
      Call Pauline Cray (802.309.4487) or click here for more info.


ALBURGH--The Alburgh Library will host its second annual Cookie Walk on Saturday at 10 a.m.
      Every hour during the Cookie Walk will feature a special free storytime with a Polar Express reading complete with a walk-in train, crafts, and cookies and milk.
      Purchase a box for $7 and fill it with Holiday cookies! All proceeds will benefit the library for new books and ongoing programs.
      Call Library Director Gina Lewis (802.796.6077) or email for more info.

HIGHGATE--The Highgate Public Library is also a Polar Express stop for storytime (that was filled in two days) and the movie on Friday at 6 p.m.
      The includes a 10 or 15 minute ride with Christmas carols. Call 802.868.3970 for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Friday Afternoon Comedies continue at the St. Albans Free Library on Friday at 1 p.m. with Christmas in Connecticut, a 1945 seasonal comedy starring Barbara Stanwyck, Sydney Greenstreet, and Dennis Morgan. Miss Stanwyck writes a popular magazine column about food, her wonderful family, and home in Connecticut. She can't cook and has no family or home in Connecticut. She tries to cover the deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.
      The library shows a newsreel, cartoon, and trailer of coming attractions on the big 4' by 6' screen in the upstairs "cinema" before each weekly movie. Admission is free, along with popcorn and a beverage. Call 802.524.1507 for details.


     The Mad River Valley hosts its 15th annual Country Christmas Open House and second annual Holiday Paint In offers an unexpected artist in-store thanks to the Valley Art Foundation putting artists on display. This isn't an art site as much as a site that offers details about the art event with schedule, scene, commerce, 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.