ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 27, 2014


      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.

     Franklin County's arts and music gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. There are also booked and acoustic Open Mic Nights that feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

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ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page hosts Franklin County writer J.P. Choquette to discuss and sign her new thriller, Dark Circle, on Saturday at 2 p.m.
      Dark Circle is set in Vermont. Sarah and Cole Solomon move to a gated community in St. Albans for a fresh start. The new neighbors are either hostile or Sarah may be imagining their odd behavior but she begins to unravel the community's mysteries when she stumbles on an old Abenaki woman in the woods. It turns out that poking dangerous secrets with a stick is pretty much guaranteed to trigger a new burial or two.
      First published at age fourteen, Ms. Choquette has been writing mystery and suspense professionally since 2007. Her debut novel, Epidemic, was also set in St. Albans and around Franklin County.
      "I've always done it," she said about writing. "I made my own books and magazines with staples and glue."
      Starting out as a freelance journalist, she has written for St. Albans Messenger, County Courier, and Champlain Business Journal, and expanded into national magazines, journals, and newspapers as well as copywriting for businesses and marketing for a NH non-profit. She is also known locally for her writing and is a member of Sisters in Crime, the national organization for mystery writers. She originally studied psychology and went to work in human services which "exposed me to a broad range of people I never would have met." She is at work on her third suspense novel.
      Ms. Choquette also has a free newsletter that she promotes with a special drawing solely for subscribers. The winner gets a signed and personalized copy of Dark Circle along with tea, Bookmarks, and cookies. I'm in for the cookies.
      Dark Circle is available at the Eloquent Page, at Barnes and Noble, on Amazon, and in your local library.
      Click here for more info.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on the digital photography, digital printing, and photo restoration of photographer John Selmer of Westfield.
      The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with refreshments on Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. The exhibit continues through the end of March.
      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.


COLCHESTER--Venue presents Justice tomorrow evening at 9 p.m. to kick winter into high orbit.
      The band includes Gary Greeno, lead vocals and keys; Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Todd Dunn, lead and rhythm guitar; Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals; and Mike Stella, drums.

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

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs offers Music to Dine By with relaxed music and the arts. They have three stages with live piano, violin, or light guitar any day of the week in the dining room, the Window, or the main stage. The Cabaret offers live performances by musicians, visual artists, poets, and more. The regular Open Mic Night continues on Wednesday and on the first Wednesday 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 and additional performances by Abby Road, Bobby Cee, Mint Julep, Sean Ashby, and Sean Casey.
      Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info or booking requests.


PUBLIC ART PROPOSALS (February 28)--In conjunction with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Somerville, Medford and Cambridge Arts Councils will commission multiple artists to design an integrated art program for the Green Line Extension stations. Click here for more info.

PORTFOLIO REVIEW (March 14)--The Krempp Gallery in Jasper, Indiana, is now reviewing portfolios for solo and group shows for 2015. Open to professional artists working in all media. The Gallery will provide invitations, press releases, honorarium, insurance coverage on-site, and reception where needed. 30% commission. They want a minimum of 10 images for a solo show along with an artist statement and curriculum vitae.
      Director Kit Miracle told me, "There is no submission form. Basically it calls for 10-20 digital images, a bio and CV. If it is a group show, a selection of the artists. The submissions may be hard copy (with a CD of images) or by email."
      Call 812-482-3070 or click here for more info. Email Visual Arts Coordinator Emily Colucci to submit.

CHELSEA INTERNATIONAL FINE ART COMPETITION (March 18)--is open to visual artists from anywhere in the world at any stage in their careers. Selections often include painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, mixed media and print.
      Agora Gallery donates 15% of its proceeds from the sale of artwork from this exhibition to the Children's Heart Foundation. Artists who wish to donate a portion of their sale proceeds to this organization are welcome to do so.
      The call includes an interesting online ad campaign blending text, email, web pages, and youtube. Click here for more info and here for the promotion.

APRIL CELEBRATION OF ARTS & POETRY (March 21)--Visual artists can collaborate with Vermont poet Daniel Lusk for this juried exhibition. Entries will be inspired by a poem found in KIN, his new book of poetry. All media accepted. Entry fee includes a copy of the book shipped immediately to artist. Each artist may submit up to three pieces inspired by three poems.
      Click here for complete submission guidelines or here for the entry forms. Email with digital photo submissions.
      The show is a collaboration of Wind Ridge Books of Vermont, Burlington City Arts, and Sundog Poetry Center.


IRRITATION CONTEST (any time)--Litsa Spanos emailed me a come-on for her annual Art Comes Alive arts competition. It's open to artists working in any medium and style. Artists can enter up to four images of their work online. They have prestigious Jurors from all around the country. The top 150 artists will be showcased in Cincinnati where they will win stuff.
      The downside to all this is the hidden entry fee ($45 for the first image, $25 for the second, and $15 for the third; the fourth image is Free). We do publish calls for contests with entry fees although I prefer functions with other funding sources. What we won't recommend is one that doesn't give you the rules up front. I got to the hidden fine print only after I registered on the site and poked around.


      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 © 2014 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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