ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 18, 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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      Corliss Blakely's Holiday Special -- four free prints with every original -- ends December 24. Her original oils include Right From The Garden and the White Cupboard and more, with vegetables from local gardens, paintings of Nicaragua, Vermont architecture and landscapes, and more. Her prints are from editions of only 300.
      Click on the Christmas package at to see them all.

      Freelance artist Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard is inspired by the natural beauty of northern Vermont's scenic landscapes, skyscapes, and wildlife. She is known for her traditional and digital art. She hand paints large canvases and murals in acrylics but also has smaller, intimate works. This season, she has fine art photographs available from her online gallery and through Artist in Residence in Enosburg Falls.
      Visit for her portfolio of Photography As An Art.

      Time's Arrow, the new CD from Will Patton, is now available locally at The Traveled Cup as well as online at, CD Baby, and through
      The collection of bebop, French and Brazilian tunes ("oh yes, and Steven Foster of course") features Mr. Patton on mandolin, tenor, and nylon-string guitars; David Gusakov, violin and viola; Gabe Jarrett, drums; Dono Schabner, acoustic guitar; and Clyde Stats, drums; with help from Michael Arnowitt and Anna Patton.

      Jon Young has abstract, animal, and landscape paintings for the holidays.
      Mr. Young has been a popular feature at Twiggs and has a public studio next door in the basement of Local Fare. He is also a featured artist at the Village Frame Shoppe.
      Visit to see his work.

      Gifts of art and books and music are still plentiful at the Artist in Residence Gallery in Enosburg Falls, plus the Eloquent Page, Rail City Market, the Traveled Cup, and the Village Frame Shoppe in St. Albans, and more.
      Bonus: Since they are local, no expensive overnight shipping is required.


ENOSBURG--The Opera House presents an original production, Greedy Greta Visits Christmas Town, on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m.
      Written and directed by local author Em Frappier, the play introduces Greta, the youngest child ever to make Santa's naughty list, and Madeline who must intervene. Fortunately, a chain of events leads to the kidnaping of Santa. Can Greta and Madeline to find the true meaning of the holiday and rescue Santa or will Christmas be ruined forever? The production stars April Parent as Greta, Wendy Maquera as Madeline, Mingo Maquera as Santa, and Pat Willey as Old Esmerelda. Mei Elander, Emma Fadden, Aubrey Fadden, Irene Frappier, Max Frappier, James Lugo, Gabby Neuberger, Kendal Nichols, Megan Rose, Rachel Sherman, Kane Stanley, and Faith Wells complete the large cast.
      General admission is $12. Students and seniors get a discount to $10. Tickets are available at and at the door.


SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents Carol Ann Jones in a solo show tonight at 6:30 p.m.
      The Blue Paddle has limited seating and a small bar so do call ahead (802.372.4814) to assure a seat. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Twiggs Comedy For A Cause series continues on the Main Stage Friday evening at 7 p.m. The evening will raise money to help provide proper winter attire for all kids in need.
      Colin Ryan of A Stand Up Life produces the show. Admission is $20. There are just 75 seats available at the restaurant. Call Margaux Luneau (802.524.0958) or email for tickets. Make dinner reservations prior to the show since only drinks, appetizers, and desserts will be served during the show.
      Next up, Twiggs presents Shane Murley and Dakota Foley in the Dining Room on Friday at 7 p.m. Mr. Murley has moved from Kerrville, Texas to Vermont. The singer-songwriter plays original material and favorite covers in his solo gigs. Mr. Foley, a Summer Sounds favorite on mandolin, is the son of diva/blues singer Tammy Fletcher.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--J.W. Ryans presents the Nobby Reed Project on Saturday at 8 p.m. Vermont's best known Christmas blues trio includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals.

ST. ALBANS--The Traveled Cup hosts a Benefit Concert with music by Sean Jarvis, Isaac French, Troy Millette, and Bill Masse on Saturday at 6 p.m. This concert will support New Generation Youth Resource, the new teen center coming to St. Albans.
      Sean Jarvis calls himself "a simple guy from a simple town, writing music that makes me feel good when I play it." Isaac French has a mixed style of blues, pop, hip hop and rap. St. Albans singer-songwriter Troy Millette weaves his comedy around his original material on stage. Bill Masse plays dobro and other instruments in the front porch, bluegrass string band Chasing 440.
      Admission is by donation. There will be coffee, tea, beer, wine, and light fare. Call 802.524.2037 or click here for more info.


     The U.S. House and Senate have finally passed the "CRomnibus," a $1.1 trillion budget for the federal government for the coming fiscal year. (CRomnibus is a portmanteau of the omnibus budget bill and a continuing resolution.)
      The bill includes $146 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) which continues funding through September, 2015 at current levels for the fourth year in a row. Also included is $25 million to fund the Arts in Education program.
      Congress also reauthorized Brand USA to buoy the cultural tourism sector and allowed last-minute tax-free contributions for arts institutions from IRA accounts.


FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Community Library has a Special Event this evening at 6 p.m. as The Traveling Storyteller presents The Gingerbread Boy.
      A craft suited to preschoolers will follow the program.
      Call 802.849.2420 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Free Library has writers today with Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie for Mornings, Muffins & Mysteries at 10:30 a.m. and the Writers' Medley for those interested in pursuing writing and sharing work with peers this afternoon at 2 p.m.
      Lots of films, too. Classic Movie Night this evening at 6 p.m. features 1960's The Apartment. Tomorrow, the Friday Afternoon Comedy Film throws It Happened on Fifth Avenue onscreen at 1:00 p.m. Next Tuesday, the Movie Matinee digs in to the G-Rated Muppets Christmas Carol at 1 p.m.
      All films are shown on the 4' by 6' screen in the upstairs conference room cinema. Admission is free, along with popcorn and beverage.
      Call Wanda (802.524.1507) to get this month's Writers' Medley prompt and anyone at the library for more info or to RSVP these events.

SWANTON--The Swanton Free Public Library hosts a Christmas party with crafts, cookie decorating, and more on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
      Santa will visit at noon.
      The library again has a mitten tree. Bring a pair or two of mittens or gloves, a scarf, hat, or even socks to hang on the tree.
      Call 802.868.7656 or click here for more 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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