ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 19 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 14, 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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      FineArtAmerica has introduced a marketing gimmick this month that all artists can use. (Regular readers will recall ArtistsWebsites and FineArtAmerica from our "Print on Demand" series in this column. click here to see that series.)
      This month, the POD site will email a $100 gift certificate from for any order from any FAA gallery. Anything. A greeting card. An original painting. A framed photo on canvas. And any piece of art in between. If the logistical stars are in alignment, your wine and your order from the gallery could arrive at the same time.
      Natalie Larocque-Bouchard and I each use FineArtAmerica as our online gallery and print-on-demand service. You can see Ms. Larocque-Bouchard's work at and mine at funds independent winemakers to make exclusive wines, a plan that gives fledgling winemakers access to crowdsourced funding. NakedWines buys the grapes. The winemaker makes the wine. And NakedWines sells the wine online to 175,000 customers.
      How can you market this way if your work isn't available on that POD site?
      Make a deal with a local merchant. Or find a deal with a national retailer.
      Here's an example. A local furniture store mails a fabric swatch to area residents. If you bring the swatch in, the worst you get is $3 in gold coins and a chance to sit in a nice chair but you might have the key that gets a new bedroom suite! Ask that dealer for some of his mailers. Your pitch to art shoppers could be, "buy my stunningly beautiful photo, then try this lovely fabric on a new bed you could win!"
      A google search returned about 404,000,000 results for "discount offers." Email one of the sources of products you like to see if they will give you a coupon code to include with your sales. Your pitch to those art shoppers could be, "buy my stunningly beautiful photo, then enter FINEART at for a 35% discount!"
      The retailer you are now advertising gets a few more possible hits at no cost and you might make an extra sale.


SWANTON--The Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge will host the annual Art on the Refuge exhibit in conjunction with the Refuge Open House on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a reception at 10 a.m.
      The focus this year is paintings and photos of the over 200 species birds that live on or stop at the Refuge. The Open House will include an indoor bird walk as well as the traditional outdoor walks.
      Admission is free for visitors. The art exhibit continues through July 17. Many works are for sale. Call Carol Yarnell (802.868.4781) or email Paul Madden for more info.


SHELBURNE--Shelburne Vineyard welcomes singer/songwriter Carol Ann Jones in a solo show for the Thursday Concert Series this evening at 6 p.m.
      The show is free. Call 802.985.8222 for more info

Friday and Saturday
ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Coon Hill John on Friday at 7 p.m. and Almost Nowhere on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Vermont Chapter of American Guild of Organists will host a members' progressive recital on Sunday beginning at 3 p.m.
      The special afternoon of music features compositions for the "King of Instruments," the pipe organ. Member organists will play from the Baroque period through the present day on the historic pipe organ in each church. The churches are within easy walking distance of each other beginning with St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church at 3pm, St. Luke's Episcopal Church at 3.45pm., St. Paul's United Methodist Church at 4.30pm., and the First Congregational Church at 5.15pm. There will be a reception at First Congregational following the recital. The American Guild of Organists works to enrich lives through organ and choral music.
      Admission is free.
      Call 802.759.2453 or email for more info. Click here for more info about the organists' guild.

SOUTH HERO--Bella Voce presents the Tapestry of Song in the South Hero Congregational Church on Sunday at 3 p.m.
      The Tapestry of Song concerts weave together a variety of poetry by William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Lord Byron, and James Joyce with melodies and harmonies by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Faure and Eric Whitacre. This concert will feature Eric Whitacre's ballad She Weeps Over Rahoon and his Seal Lullaby. Guest Artist Nadine Carpenter will accompany the singers on the oboe and English horn.
      The Women's Chorus consists of auditioned singers drawn from five northwestern Vermont counties with artistic direction by Dawn Willis.
      Admission is $18 for adults or $15 for students and seniors. Click here for tickets.


10-WORD SHORT STORY (May 18)--"For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn."
      Gotham Writers' Workshop seeks original, unpublished 10-word short stories. Only online entries will be accepted. No Entry Fee. No real prizes. Writerly fun. Click here to enter.
      Gotham Writers' Workshop is a private creative writing school in New York City and online. They offer workshops in more than a dozen forms of writing. Expect to be spammed to take their courses.
      The six-word competition quoted above? Hemingway.


FAIRFIELD--The BNML Lecture Series presents A Sense of Place: Vermont's Farm Legacy at the Bent Northrop Memorial Library today at 6 p.m.
      The character of a place is shaped by its cultural heritage and folklife, by family and community, and by civic responsibility. Here in northwestern Vermont, the cultural legacy of farming has strongly influenced the identity of Vermonters. In this lecture, Gregory Sharrow will explore the fabric of farm culture in the past and probe its relationship to the world of Vermont today.
      The Vermont Humanities Council event is free, accessible to people with disabilities, and open to the public. Call Sarah Montgomery (802.827.3945) or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Walt McLaughlin will read from his newest book, The Unexpected Trail, at The Eloquent Page on Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.
      Mr. McLaughlin is a St. Albans writer with nine books and many chapbooks in his list. His narrative about hiking Vermont's Long Trail, Forest Under My Fingernails, was published by Heron Dance Press. Arguing With the Wind, a memoir about his two-week solo immersion in the Alaskan wilderness, also remains in print. He runs the small press Wood Thrush Books.


      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).
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