ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 22, 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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      Summer Music at Grace starts the season with the 12th annual Farewell Reunion benefit concert at the Grace Church in Sheldon on Friday at 7 p.m.
      Performers include Michele and Fabe Choiniere, Hannah Beth Crary, Dominque Dodge & Rob Ryan, William Lee Ellis, Frank Heyburn, Latimer and Dave Hoke, Steven Jobe, Carol Ann Jones, Ken MacKenzie, the Missisquoi River Band, Bob Naess, Will Patton and Dono Schabner, Doug Perkins, Neil Rossi, Shady Rill (Tom MacKenzie and Patti Casey) and more. The evening is hosted by performer Mark Sustic.
      A cookout and potluck on the church lawn begins at 6 p.m., with Constance Warden from the Inn at Trout River grilling chicken and hamburgers. Bring a salad, side dish, or dessert to share. There will be free ice cream!
      The benefit concert supports the Tom Sustic Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support for young musicians and dancers in Vermont.
      Thanks to Howard Wooden and a host of contributing artists, there will be a limited edition Farewell Reunion CD with all proceeds benefitting the Tom Sustic Fund. Artists include Longford Row, Jon Gailmor, Rebecca Padula, Mayfly, Will Patton & Dono Schabner, Neil Rossi, Patti Casey, Tom Hodgson, Pete Sutherland, Tim Jennings & Leanne Ponder, William Lee Ellis, Steven Jobe, Doug Perkins, the Missisquoi River Band, Timothy Cummings, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, and Elizabeth LaPrelle. It was Howard's idea to create a CD to help, and he has done a beautiful job of making it happen. click here to order online.
      The 12th annual Farewell Reunion concert is presented by Young Tradition Vermont with sponsorship by All Arts Council of Franklin County, Foothills Bakery, Messenger Print and Design, People's Trust Company, Summer Music at Grace, and others.
      Admission is a $15 suggested donation at the door; there are no advance tickets. Email for reservations or more info about the CD.


ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Arts Council presents their Festival centerpiece, Arts in the Park, on Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. There will be live painting, performances, writers, music in the bandshell, a photo scavenger hunt, and much more.
      The Festival will host performances by Carol Ann Jones, Cardiac Capers, Electric Youth Dance Company dancers, the Enosburg Opera House, Fairfax Community Theater Company, the Smokey Newfield Project, and St. Albans City and Town school musicians. Painter Jon Young will demonstrate; his work is also on exhibit at Twiggs. Writers include poet Sam Boudreau and novelist JP Choquette.
      Arts in the Park is an umbrella festival that started with the Garden Night Out, includes two shows at Twiggs, and the day long activities in Taylor Park.
      Click here for more info.

AROUND THE STATE--The 22nd Open Studio Weekend is this weekend. Studios are open Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. This look behind the scenes opens the doors of artists' studios across Vermont. The self-guided Open Studio tour features the work of glassblowers, jewelers, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, weavers, ironworkers, painters, sculptors, quilt makers and wood carvers. Some 300 exhibitors are open this year, all right next to the yellow signs dotting the Vermont landscape. Several are right here in and near Franklin County.
      The Grand Isle Artworks is open. Marcia Hagwood's Chasworth Pottery and Farm offers artisan soap and skin care, and pottery, of course, in her new location in downtown St. Albans and across the street from the new Ace Hardware building. A.I.R. member Lyna Lou Nordstrom has prints and fabric art in Shelburne. Joanne Littler's Pine Ledge Fiber Studio has shawls, scarves, rugs, linens, cards is in Fairfax. Champlainia is Liz Reardon's St Albans Bay studio where she crafts sea glass jewelry and polymer clay. Meta Strick shows mixed media, dolls, paintings, calligraphy, and ornaments in her Fairfield studio.
      Plan to do the local events for Open Studio Weekend in conjunction with Arts in the Park in St. Albans, then pick up the rest of the studio tour on Sunday.
      Click here for the map and directions and a PDF file of the complete Tour Guide. Call the Vermont Crafts Council (802.223.3380) for more info about Open Studio Weekend.


ST. ALBANS--The Nobby Reed Project will kick off the Downtown Summer Concert Series in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Friday at 6 p.m. Vermont's best known blues trio includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals.
      Jeff's Seafood will have a cash bar and food available.
      Concerts will be on the Fourth Friday of the month as well as the second Friday in July and August.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs hosts a night of raw, emotional poetry in a major Apoetic Showcase on Friday at 7 p.m. This is the first of a planned annual event featuring Apoetaswell along with many other poets and guests.
      Admission is $10. Proceeds benefit the VT People with AIDS Coalition.
      Then on Saturday, the Twiggs Comedy For A Cause series continues on the Main Stage at 7 p.m. The evening will also support the VT People with AIDS Coalition. Admission is $20. There are just 75 seats available at the restaurant. Call Roy Belcher (802.229.5754) for tickets. Make dinner reservations prior to the show since only drinks, appetizers, and desserts will be served during the show.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

JOHNSON--The Dibden Center for the Arts Johnson State College presents the premiere of Northern Vermont Ballet's original production of Alice in Wonderland on Saturday and Sunday. Show times are at 2 and 7 p.m on Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.
      The Ballet is an adaptation of the classic Lewis Carroll tale. The principals include Chloe Johnson from Fairfield as Alice, Hannah Belrose of St. Albans as Queen of Hearts, Elizabeth LaRose of St. Albans as The White Queen, Abi Murphy of St. Albans as the Mad Hatter, and Sarah Shaw of Swanton as White Rabbit. It features 91 dancers from thirteen Northern Vermont communities.
      Children are welcome to meet the Alice dancers after the Saturday matinee performance.
      Ballet School of Vermont Artistic Director Maryellen Vickery created the ballet. Northern Vermont Ballet is a nonprofit that provides high-quality ballet training and theater opportunities in small, rural communities.
      Admission is $19 for adults and $14 for children in advance. Children under 2 free. Call 1.855.222.2TIX or click here for tickets and more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Traveled Cup presents A & M with special guest Bryce Bachelder live on Saturday at 6 p.m.
      Aaron Bachelder and Melinda Lussier play a nice mix of classic rock like Smoke on the Water to modern tunes like Royals by Lorde, Collective Soul as well as some originals.
      "We try to have something for everyone to enjoy no matter their musical taste," Aaron said.
      Come out and have coffee, beer, or wine with friends and some local live music.


     Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith of Middletown Springs have co-authored nine books of women's history and biography, the opera Pamelia, and have held speaking tours and workshops across the United States and Canada. The spare site includes their works, a sadly outdated events list, 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 © 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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