ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 18 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 31, 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.

E-Mail Delivery
Sign up to receive the free weekly ArtBits
newsletter by e-mail
or by RSS feed.

Search ArtBits

      2014 was all-in-all a lousy year for many but it was a pretty good year in the arts. We've had a so many events every month that it will again take two weeks to summarize them. First, the look at what's happening.


ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on fiber artist Jan Brosky, potter Elizabeth Martin, and mixed media artist Becky Wright.
      The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with refreshments on Sunday from 1 - 3 p.m. The exhibit continues through the end of January.
      Owned and operated by the artists and sponsors, 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. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. plus the first Sunday of each month, noon to 5 p.m.


ST. ALBANS--The Twiggs New Years Eve Bash begins at 7 p.m. with three live bands and DJ Bun plus a champagne toast and a midnight buffet.
      Next up, Twiggs presents high energy, string bending Jack Grimmer on acoustic, electric and bass guitar in the Dining Room on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Piano Night with Melinda Firkey in the Back Room on Monday at 6 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

RICHMOND--Richmond Congregational Church hosts the Round Church New Year's Eve Concert with Fiddleheads plus Hannah Beth Crary, Hilary Stewart, and the Highland Weavers at the Round Church at 7:30 p.m.
      Admission is by $10 suggested donation. All proceeds to the Save Gillett Pond Fund. All are welcome. Call Tim Whiteford (802.434.4565) or email for more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey will be Rocking in the New Year with Smokin' Gun on New Year's Eve, starting at 9 p.m.
      The "Bullet Proof Rock" band from Swanton has played together for 21 years with Cynthia Sullivan, lead vocals/rhythm guitar; Mike Socha, lead guitar/backup vocals; Bill Pike, bass/backup vocals; and Jeff Machia, drums.
      Admission is $20 per person.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The On Tap New Years Eve party gets Justice starting at 9:30 p.m.
      $20 per person and no ticket(s) needed. There will be light finger food and a champagne toast at midnight.
      The music continues as Smokin' Gun shoots down to Essex on Saturday at 9 p.m.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

BURLINGTON--FlynnSpace hosts the Young Tradition Reunion Concerts on Friday and Saturday at 7 pm.
      The concerts feature winners and favorites and special guests from past Young Tradition Vermont projects including Cricket Blue, Eric George, Addie Herbert, Chris Dorman and Hannah Fair on Friday and the Irregulars and Les Poules a Colin plus special guests from Australia and Sweden on Saturday.
      Admission is by $15 suggested donation at the door. Email for reservations and click here for more info.

JERICHO--The Jericho Cafe & Tavern presents Carol Ann Jones with Will Patton on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
      Call 802.899.2223 for reservations.

ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls holds Silver & Gold on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      The annual Cabaret-style event features Broadway tunes and Standards performed by Emily Butson, Sam Caswell, Tonya Caswell, Meg Willey Cossaboom, Pat Evans, Sharon Evans, Diane Gates, Kathryn Gates, Arlene Jarvis, Rosie Newton, and more. There will be light fare as well as a cash bar showcasing 14th Star Brewery and Due North Winery.
      Tickets are available at the door on the night of the performance. Call (802) 933-6171 or email for more info.


BURLINGTON--First Night Burlington celebrates its 32nd year of the citywide, substance-free party of nearly 100 stage shows, musical acts, and arts activities in 18 venues to kick off the new year. Downtown Friday from noon on.
      A huge number of performers are either from Franklin County or are local favorites starting with Paul Asbell, Michele Choinere, Counterpoint, Gary Dulabaum, the Electric Youth Dance Company, Jon Gailmor, PossumHaw, pianist Annemieke Spoelstra, the honky-tonk Starline Rhythm Boys, and the Vermont Youth Orchestra and Chorus.
      The Electric Youth Dance Company takes over the Edmunds School Gym at 1 p.m.
      The Vermont Youth Orchestra fills the Flynn MainStage at 1 p.m.
      The Will Patton Quartet plays the Unitarian Universalist Church, top of Church Street at 5 p.m.
      Michele Choiniere fills the Unitarian Universalist Church at 6 p.m.
      Prydein brings its bagpipe rock to Contois Auditorium at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
      Some events are free; buttons available at 65 button outlets including Hannaford, Price Chopper, and Vermont Federal Credit Union in St. Albans. (Buy your buttons early; Adult Buttons jump to $20 on December 31. Of course, they are far more expensive on December 32.) Most Flynn MainStage and Memorial Auditorium shows require $5 tickets in addition to the button. Click here for a complete schedule.
      Let's be careful out there.


     Franklin County artists and presenters had a busy 2014. This week, we wrap up with what All Arts Council and the Other Major Presenters did.

      The All Arts Council serves northwestern Vermont as a presenter, an event producer, and as a technical resource for artists and other groups. Other Franklin County organizations continue to grow, which means we support more events.
      Summer Sounds, Franklin County's popular, long running, outdoor series, offered free concerts on summer Sunday evenings. 2014 marked the 24th season of the popular free concert series. The season began at Bay Day with the third of Jamie Lee's hat tricks as he played into the Fireworks. Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing debuted as this year's Summer Sounds Surprise. We also had Rick Davis back with his own Band and his alter ego Dick Prescott, Tammy Fletcher, H.I.M.S. the Huntington Incredible Men Singers, Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers, and Towne Meeting.
      The free concerts in this series have been sponsored by the supporting Towns and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin and Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing. We also received a major grant from Mylan Technologies for the Summer Sounds at Bay Day.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing and visual arts to northwestern Vermont. The Summer Sounds concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in a Town Park, always in the summer, and always free.
      Did you miss any of the concerts? Fortunately, Northwest Access TV and the All Arts Council produce Almost Live, a series of live concerts that airs each week on Comcast Channel 15. The volunteer videography crew produced a "front row seat" show of all the Summer Sounds concerts and many more besides. Click here for more info about Almost Live on Channel 15.

      The Artist In Residence Gallery in Enosburg Falls featured dozens of northern Vermont fine artists with a focus on up to four different artists each month. The Opera House hosts the Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union annual District Art Gala and houses a permanent art exhibit.
      Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge held Art on the Refuge, the annual Friends of the Refuge exhibit of Vermont artists working in oil, acrylics, watercolor, pen and ink, pastels, photographs and fabric interpreting the plants, wildlife, and wild landscape of the Refuge. There were images of water, the lake, river, marsh, forest, wildlife, wildflowers, fields, bugs, weeds, sky, and people.
      Rotary Home and Recreation Expo continued a program of art for the home. The Rotary Club of St. Albans exhibited a new Fred Swan poster, photographer Chris Hungerford and more.
      The Village Frame Shoppe in St. Albans features artists from across Vermont and New England. They held a Vermont Maple theme showcase with by works Vermont artists including Eric Tobin and John Clarke Olson, as well as promotions and shows for individual artists.

      The BFA Performing Arts Center hosted the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Maple Festival concerts, the Fall musical, Cardiac Capers, District and All NE Music Festival auditions, a Holiday Concert, as well as many student performances and concerts.
      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls had a busy year with the Community Christmas Concert, the Dairy Pageant, a Fall Fling, the 20th annual Fundraiser Gala, the annual craft show, Cabaret, the Girl in the Other Room, Greedy Greta, Highbrow to Hoedown, Scott Helmer's million dollar benefit concert, Pirates of Penzance, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Randy Smith, Waiting On A Dream, plus Summer Music Camp and a Community Night at the Opera House.
      Summer Music at Grace opened the season before Memorial Day with "the umpteenth annual" Farewell Reunion concert (in conjunction with Events for Tom). They continued with Michele Fay, Heliland Consort, the Klimowski-Matthews Ensemble, and the Missisquoi River Band.
      Twiggs offers more music and art than any other Franklin County presenter. 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 touring musicians, visual artists, poets, and more and they continue to promote up-and-coming performers with monthly Open Mic Nights and Open Comedy Nights.
      Young Tradition-Vermont is a statewide presenter with more than a dozen major events each year including several Events for Tom.


      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.


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      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.