ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 1, 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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      Where do you go when you dream?
      In Vermont, it is to the final showing of The Girl in the Other Room this year, in the Bliss Theater at the St. Albans Historical Museum on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
      Carol Ann Jones plays "Tammy Rexx, a one-hit-wonder sort of singer/songwriter who made it big in the nineties and dated Christian Slater (she doesn't like to talk about that). The play features my original music, which is so thrilling!"
      Girl was written by Sarah Jo Willey of Bakersfield; she co-directs the play with Peter Garrow.
      Ms. Willey loves the album The Girl in the Other Room by Diana Krall and wrote the musical after an "extended summer run of listening." It is a story about letting go, making peace with the past, and learning to live without regrets.
      Alora (played by Wendy Maquera) is married to her high school sweetheart, Charlie (Marcus Lameh); they have a ten year old daughter Maddie (Madeline Lameh). Alora's single mother, the former dancer Annie (Rebecca Anne Bennett), has early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. Annie has just moved Alora into a constant care facility when the play opens.
      "I wrote the characters with certain people in mind, even if they didn't have prior acting experience," she wrote.
      Starring Wendy Maquera in the lead role, Rebecca Anne Bennett and Carol Ann Jones, it features Caroline Bright, Peter Garrow, Matthew Jacobs, Madeline Lameh, Marcus Lameh, Sarah Mitiguy, Rose Newton, Brian Paquette, Suzi Hull Parent, and Ms. Willey. Singer/songwriter Tammy Rexx's music is sung by singer/songwriter Ms. Jones, Bright, Lameh, Maquera, and Newton.
      Click here for tickets to the Bliss Theater for the final show this year (Move quickly! Last year's shows sold out). All proceeds benefit the Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.


     Photographer and dairy farmer Lena Brown just finished a solo exhibit of landscapes around Jay and Enosburg Center as well as her pets, the cats and cows and miniature horses and dogs that inhabit her Enosburg farm.
      A photographer for more than 25 years (and "a simple, country women"), she started with black and white film, took courses at CCV, and built her own dark room. She shoots digital now, having moved from her Canon A-1 to a Canon 30D to a 50D. "I guess I am a Canon person."
      Introduced in 1978, the "historically significant" A-1 was the first single lens reflex, 35mm film camera to have programmed autoexposure thanks to a built-in microprocessor. That predecessor to today's digital cameras could select an exposure based entirely on its internal light meter input; it offered manual exposure control plus programable modes with shutter priority (vital for sports photography), aperture priority and "stopped down AE," as well as the best fully automatic mode available. Virtually all current cameras have at least one program mode.
      Ms. Brown liked that A-1 as much as I liked mine.
      She still has all her equipment from those early years. "Nothing will replace the darkroom techniques and experiences I have learned," she said, but digital cameras hooked her with "their fast and inexpensive way of using a camera."
      She is also a volunteer courier at NMC.
      She hopes her images are uplifting and joyful. "When I see something that captivates my being, it becomes reflected through the lens of my camera."
      The Messenger and the All Arts Council will feature a new image from a Franklin County artist some weeks this spring. Email the All Arts Council or click here for more info. Click here to see all the featured artists in a single gallery.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on May Flowers with AIR member Jean Backhaus' water-colored pen and ink drawings plus flowered-inspired artwork from students in Enosburg, Bakersfield, Montgomery, Richford and St. Albans.
      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 May.
      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.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. Vermont's best known 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--Twiggs presents Sean Ashby on the Main Stage on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Ashby has played and recorded with Sarah McLachlan, Delerium, and as a member of Canadian rock band Ginger.
      "Sean is awesome and his show is over the top," Jack Grimmer said.
      "We will be in the back room (Main Stage) unless by some miracle Mother Nature decides to grace us with a warm evening so we can open the window," Mr. Grimmer said. He will also play live music that evening starting at 6.
      This is a free show, no tickets, no cover. Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info.


     "Lots of programs have a book club, in which people agree to all read the same title and then convene later to discuss it." The public radio program Science Friday's new Science Club asks listeners to build a mechanical device that can make art, then get together later to discuss it. This page has the original podcast as well as a links to the science club and other activities.


      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).
      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.