ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 17 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 19, 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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      May yours be full with family and joy and art and books and music.


  ArtBits News Photo     Gift certificates to Opera House at Enosburg Falls events are available in any amount and make a great stocking stuffer. Call 802.933.6171 or click here for more info.
      Painters Harald Aksdal, Sharon Fiske, and Martha Ohliger, and Shaker box-maker Carl Newton are front and center with 40 other fine artists at the Artist In Residence Gallery in Enosburg Falls. Call 802.933.6403, email or click here for more info.
      Vermont artist Jennifer Williams is just one of the artists of note at the Village Frame Shoppe and Gallery in St. Albans. She has exhibited her whimsical work in Vermont, New Orleans and North Carolina. click here for more info.
      Look around in Enosburg, downtown St. Albans, and other downtown stores around the county. You could find an iPod painting by Corliss Blakely, a full size piece by Natalie LaRocque, a photograph by Leslie Beyor or Wayne Tarr, graffiti-styled works by Jon Young, CDs from Will Patton or Michele Choiniere, clay pots, sculptures, books by Lauren Young, and so much more.
      Looking for a free gift? Stop in at your free local library. Get everyone a library card to open the doors to the world.


SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents Carol Ann Jones in a solo show tonight at 6:30 p.m.
      The show will most likely be inside; the Blue Paddle has limited seating and a small bar so do call ahead (802.372.4814) to assure a seat.

ON CABLE--LCATV presents Ben Patton: Live on the Air this evening at 7:30 p.m. This show is his Christmas gift to area fans. The singer-songwriter is the son of Fabulous Spider Debbie Patton and Vermont mando maestro Will Patton.
      Lake Champlain Access Television offers public access, educational and governmental television programming on Channel 15 for Colchester, Georgia, and Milton.

FAIRFAX--The Country Pantry presents the With Love, Anonymous Vermont Home for the Holidays Show tomorrow evening at 6:45 p.m.
      The acoustic pop/rock duo is Californian drummer Connor Vandagriff, and Franklin County singer/songwriter Troy Millette. The show will include special guest Kaileigh Ashby plus guest appearances by Jack Grimmer, Sean Casey & the Eloise McDaniels Consortium, and Tyler Meunier.

ST. ALBANS BAY--Bayside Pavilion presents musician/singer/songwriter Mark Abair & Friends returning for a Break From The Holiday Rush tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. Mr. Abair, acoustic guitar; Neil Brown, stand up bass; and Brian Fredette, percussion, will perform covers and original music.

FRANKLIN--The Franklin United Church presents Gianna Izzo Messier performing To Drive The Cold Winter Away, Songs for the Season on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      The Williston native holds a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Hawaii. She has performed with the Champlain Valley Oratorio Society, the Burlington Choral Society, the Hanover Chamber Orchestra, the University of Vermont Orchestra, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and is the Instrumental Music Instructor at Swanton Elementary School. She lives in St. Albans.

BURLINGTON--The Contois School of Music hosts A Contois Christmas at the Higher Ground Ballroom with Mingo Maquera, guitars and vocals, on Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m.
      Guest musicians include Keeghan Nolan, vocals, and Andre Maquera, guitar.
      This Christmas show for all ages is free.


     Franklin County artists and presenters had a busy 2013. This week, the Five Franklin County Festivals. Next week, wrapping up All Arts Council and what the Other Major Presenters did.

      The eighth annual Art in Bloom Festival gained Pastor Liz Griffin as coordinator this year. The fund-raiser for the BFA Nordic Ski Team brought a day of music, art exhibits, and plenty of food to Swanson's Farm and Nursery in Fairfax. Providence, Thr3e, Missisquoi River Band, Sam's Sister, Tory Millette, Rosie Newton, Jack Grimmer, the Cavemen, and Ginny Milkey, Ed Paquin and Mark Sustic brought music all day. The artists and artisans included the authors Richard Jarmusz and Susie Caron, crafts, paintings, jewelry, tatted jewelry, special Vermont rock pots, henna art, felt animals, Adirondack chairs, American girl doll furniture, tables, soaps, and hand made picture frames, plus Art in Bloom Tie Dye, face painting, lemonade, iced coffee, Eastman's ice cream sandwiches, fresh veggies and flowers, and more. People Helping People Global of Fairfax also had a table.
      Franklin County Field Days had a lineup of music, arts and crafts, antique tractors, and of course cows. The nine-performer stage lineup was worth the price of admission alone: hypnotist Joey Allen, Alanna Freeman, Jim Daniels Band, Carol Ann Jones and the Superchargers, the Missisquoi River Band, Movin'On, the Keeghan Nolan Band, the Nobby Reed Project, Side Show Bob, and Joey the Clown.
      The popular Scholarship Pageant opened the 57th Vermont Dairy Festival which followed up with almost unlimited entertainment and family activities with a weekend lineup that featured the Tim Brick Band, Alanna Freeman, Carol Ann Jones & the Superchargers, and Rick and the Ramblers, plus an all day Bluegrass Festival with Big Spike Bluegrass, Chasing 440, and Bob Degree and the Bluegrass Storm, as well as the King of Silly ("pound for pound, the finest entertainer in three states") and Professor Fairbanks. The Northeast Fiddlers Association promoted old-time fiddling.
      The 47th annual Vermont Maple Festival was the first major outdoor event of the year. Andre Maquera of 8084 and West Street Digital took over the entertainment. The free Main Street stage hosted Dark Horse, the Electric Youth Dance Company, Aaron Flinn, A House on Fire, Carol Ann Jones & The Superchargers, the 16-piece Joe Levesque Big Band, Quadra, and the Youth Talent Show winners. BFA filled to overflowing with the Youth Talent Show, the premiere Fiddler's Variety Show, and the annual Crafts and Specialty Foods Show with artwork and fine photographs, glittery bling, classy clothing, wooden things, and fine Vermont specialty foods. The famed Foothills Fogies and other acts appeared around town. Did I mention that the Main Street Stage is always free?


FAIRFIELD--The Bent Northrup Library needs someone to keep the library clean. If you have a few hours each week (about 6) and can work independently with minimal supervision and donít mind getting dirty, let Kristen Hughes know. click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Today is Mornings, Muffins & Mysteries day at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Albans Free Library. In Lisa Lutz' The Curse of the Spellmans, the "parental unit" has started a private investigation business and the two daughters think that they help out.
      Today is also the Holiday Open House from 5-7:30 p.m. A library tradition, this free event offers crafts and snacks, sleigh rides and Santa for the whole family.

SWANTON--The Holiday Party at the Swanton Library takes place on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 pm. with music, food, crafts, and a visit from Santa.


     This week, the Internet search engines are filled with Christmas lights and music. This search showcases some of the amazing colors of the season.


      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.