ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 19 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 12, 2015


      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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      "Artists now create real art anywhere, anytime with an iPad," Corliss Blakely said.
      Long renowned for her oil and watercolor paintings Ms. Blakely has gained equal acclaim for iPad paintings. She will paint at the Apple Store in Grand Central Station in NYC on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      In her latest venture she has developed an online course that teaches how to "paint" in the ArtStudio app.
      Four years ago, she forged a partnership with Lucky Clan ArtStudio, the developer of that professional drawing and painting application for the iPad and iPhone. She began as many do, simply experimenting on her own tablet, then worked with developer Sylwester Los in Poland to hone the application and subsequently wrote the user manual for ArtStudio2.
      "The iPad is the new canvas for artists," she said.
      The app offers artist tools including a pencil, spray, dots, eraser, smudge, bucket fill, gradient, and text, as well as over 300 high quality brushes, dodge/burn capability, multiple layers and more.
      Her course will explain to you how to use ArtStudio and show you how to create an iPad Painting of poppies. It has 16 videos plus a User Guide and reference. Click here for screenshots of some of the lessons.
      Ms. Blakely's current promotion, "A Painting For Your Valentine," includes free prints for four of your other Valentines with the sale of an original oil. Click here for more info.


HIGHGATE--The Highgate Methodist Church hosts Rock Out Hunger, a Bill Masse Music event, on Friday at 7 p.m. The event features performances by Bill Masse, Sean Jarvis, and Rosie Newton and will raise money for the local food shelf.
      Bill Masse of Highgate Center played dobro and more in Chasing 440 but he started at age 10 playing clarinet in his elementary school band. He left the band to focus on being a new father but is back on the scene, guitar in hand, working solo, performing and songwriting.
      Solo acoustic pop-rock performer Sean Jarvis of St. Albans opened the Swanton Concert in the Park last summer. He has sample music online at .
      Vocalist Rosie Newton plays out a lot, as a soloist (she sang the Star Spangled Banner and O Canada to kick off the Vermont Rail Action Network annual dinner) and in the CSM Band. She has performed in Summer Sounds, the Highbrow to Hoedown, Waiting on a Dream, the Opera House Final Fall Fling, at the Traveled Cup, and much more.
      Concert admission is completely free but cash donations and canned goods are encouraged at the door. Do bring a non-perishable item for the box.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--Franny O's has Justice for Freakin Friday the 13th on Friday at 9:30 p.m. The band is Gary Greeno, lead vocals; Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Rod Bushey, lead guitar; Mike Stella, drums; and Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals.

ENOSBURG--Eats of Enosburg restaurant has a monthly evening of live music by the Missisquoi River Band for Valentines Day. There will be seatings at 6 and 8 p.m. only. The dinner will be lobster and prime rib which encourage conversation and entertainment.
      The cost is $30 per person with limited seating available. Call 802.933.3123 or email to reserve seats or for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts presents Yankee Chank in the River Arts Center on Fat Tuesday Feb 17, at 6:30 p.m. for a two-step dance lesson and 7 p.m. for the music.
      Yankee Chank members include Bob Naess, fiddle; Cannon Labrie, accordion; Jim Burns, guitar and fiddle; and Mark Sustic, bass and triangle. These Vermont musicians perform the traditional cajun and zydeco dance music of Southwest Louisiana.
      Concert admission is $10 at the door. The dance lesson plus admission is just $15. Call 802.888.1261 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Almost Nowhere returns to the Twiggs Dining Room on Friday at 7 p.m. This duo of Rich Furniss, lead vocals and rhythm guitar, and Mark Hagerstrom, lead guitar and vocals, performs a mix of covers and originals from rock to folk to blues to funk.
      Next up is a night of ivory tickling for your sweetie as Vern Colburn plays the Dining Room on Valentine's Day at 5 p.m. Make reservations for that night out.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

JOHNSON--The Dibden Center for the Arts presents the Tennessee Williams play A Street Car Named Desire Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Passions clash, nerves fray and families break apart in this classic drama with Johnson State College theater students and faculty on the Dibden stage.
      The production is free and open to the public.


ST. ALBANS--The first "Economy Pitch" session for Franklin and Grand Isle counties will be held in the Bliss Room of the St. Albans Historical Museum on Monday at 4 p.m.
      County legislators and Lt. Governor Phil Scott want economy-boosting ideas and what better way to boost the area than with the arts community. This is an opportunity to pitch the Franklin County Broadway festival and zipline or a Museum of Minute Stamps or a one-day drive-through art gallery. OK, perhaps an art center, or a mile of music, or an outdoor little theater space is more realistic.
      The Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce wants submissions for five minute presentations from a total of 15 presenters. The presentations will be juried. Email a brief summary of your idea to Chamber Executive Director David Southwick.
      The event is free and open to the public. Call 802.524.2444 or email for more info.


     Libraries may be closed on Monday to celebrate Presidents Day.

FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Community Library Fiction Book Group discusses Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie this evening at 6:30 p.m. Books for this 2015 VT Reads selection are available now at the library.
      The library chess tournament for those registered continues on Valentine's Day at 9 a.m.

ST. ALBANS--Saturday is the day to Fall in Love with Downton Abbey at 1 p.m. at the St. Albans Free Library. They will serve tea and chocolates and start where it all began, watching Season 1 Episode 1. Downton attire is encouraged. The library will have prizes, including a set of DVDs/seasons 1-5 as the grand prize.
      Registration is required as seating is limited. Call the Library (802.524.1507) or stop by Circ Desk.

SWANTON--The next Book Club Discussion, The Lost Hours by Karen White, at the Swanton Free Public Library will be Wednesday, February 18, at 6 p.m. Ms. White "grew up a voracious reader." This novel is a three generational murder mystery set in Savannah, Georgia.
      The group also discusses and share a good book each has read.
      Call the library (802.868.7656) to join the discussion.


     CreativeGround launched on January 30 last year so this year NEFA is taking the entire month of February to celebrate its first year as New England's cultural directory. The site has a look back at the highlights and challenges, a glimpse at what's ahead, a Q&A with one of New England's many active artists, and a chance to win a prize.
      So far, 1,851 artists have updated their profiles.
      The February Social Media Contest includes posts on Facebook and tweets on Twitter. Share or retweet them to be entered to win free your choice of registration to the Creative Communities Exchange (CCX) in June or a $100 cash card.


      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 © 2015 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.