ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 19 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 1, 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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WEST ENOSBURG--The Cold Hollow Sculpture Park presents Jason Bates and David Stromeyer in a Walking Conversation to explore the similarities between artistic and scientific practice on Saturday at 2 p.m. This is the final conversation of the year.
      Walking Conversations is a series of talks between Mr. Stromeyer and nationally known, local experts. These one hour conversations will explore relationships between art and craft, nature, music, and science.
      Dr Bates is Professor of Medicine and a biomedical engineer at University of Vermont. Mr. Stromeyer is a nationally-recognized artist with
      The park is open during the summer and fall. Visitors can stroll through fifty large-scale Stromeyer sculptures. This summer, the park placed four new sculptures, and sited three others that have returned from exhibition.
      The rain or shine event is free and open to the public. Call 512-333-2119 or Click here for more info.


HIGHGATE--Today would have been landscape painter Mary D. Harper's 96th birthday.
      Mrs. Harper was an award winning artist, a feature artist at the Sugar Mill Gallery and Bougainvillea House, and member of the AAC. Her striking watercolor paintings and scratch boards often depicted the landscapes and people from the mid-Atlantic dunes to the bright sub-tropical sun of Florida Keys to her final series of the soft colors of the American southwest.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council hosts Artists Uncorked in the My-T-Fine II Restaurant this evening at 6 p.m. Join Sandy Hawkes of Drgnfli Studio for a lesson that includes all materials to paint Pumpkins.
      Pre-registration is required. Call Becky Rupp (802.868.2879) or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Taylor Park Fountain is finished!
      The Ladies officially return home to the Taylor Park Fountain on Saturday at noon. The initial ceremony includes a brief celebration with Gov. Peter Shumlin, light refreshments, and the ceremonial flow of the water.
      There will also be an Unveiling Gala on Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. That formal program includes Gov. Shumlin and special guests for the ceremonial turning on of the lights and water plus light refreshments and a cash bar.
      The fountain was given to St. Albans by Gov. John Gregory Smith and first operated in 1887. The Robinson Ironworks in Alexander City, AL, restored the ladies and the rest of that public sculpture. The fundraising was lead by the St Albans Rotary with the help of a state Historic Preservation grant. The Rotary has posted photos and videos of the restoration on

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on photographer Steve Boal, Knit to be Tied's Jan Brosky, and potter Elizabeth Martin.
      The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with refreshments, artist talks and a raffle on Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. The raffle includes sap buckets painted by member artists as a fundraiser for the gallery. This exhibit continues through the end of October.
      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. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The gallery, located at 321 Main Street, is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. plus the first Sunday of each month, noon to 5 p.m.

QUECHEE--The Vermont Institute of Natural Science en Plein Air Painting Festival began at the VINS Nature Center on September 26 and continues through Saturday.
      Artists and art lovers celebrate the beauty and diversity of the Ottauquechee River and the Connecticut River watershed, its surrounding forests and waterways, vibrant communities, and its diverse bird life with a festival of painting outdoors in natural light. The en Plein Air Painting Festival is hosted in alliance with AVA Gallery, ArtisTree, Sculpturefest and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.
      Call 802.359.5000, email, or click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts holds Morrisville's Rocktoberfest celebration at the River Arts Center on Saturday at 10-5 p.m.
      Fiber artist Prin vanGulden will demonstrate hand spinning and answer questions about spinning yarn, sheep, and all things fiber art. The PuppeTree will perform the original multi-media shadow puppet show, Swimmy by Leo Lionni & the Swimmer.
      All events are free. Click here for more info.

AROUND THE STATE and OUR COUNTY--The Foliage 2015 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 for a self-guided tour that features the work of glassblowers, jewelers, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, weavers, ironworkers, painters, sculptors, quilt makers and wood carvers. Some 120 exhibitors are open this fall, all right next to the yellow signs dotting the Vermont landscape. Several are near Franklin County.
      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.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. Vermont's own blues trio includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

CAMBRIDGE--The Story Barn hosts a Music and Storytelling Potluck on Saturday from 2-11 p.m.
      Everyone has a song to sing and a story to tell, and all are welcome to sing along or share a story or two. The Music Storytelling Potlucks all have live music and singalongs plus the food and storytelling.
      Email or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Nobby Reed Project is busy this week as 14th Star Brewery also presents the blues band on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Admission is free. Call 802.528.5988 for more info.

SWANTON--Justice will blow the roof off the Barn in Rocktober at Niles Landing on Saturday at 8 p.m.
      The final barn party of the year and Vickie Allen's birthday has Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Todd Dunn, lead and rhythm guitar; Gary Greeno, lead vocals; Mike Stella, drums; and Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals.
      Admission is $15 for adults. No minors are admitted. Call 802.868.7796 for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Vermont Symphony Orchestra brings the Made in VT Tour to BFA Performing Arts Center on Sunday at 3 p.m.
      The annual statewide tour program includes two charming Scandinavian miniatures and two violin works featuring Music director Jaime Laredo soloing in Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3 and with concertmaster Katherine Winterstein in Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in d minor. The program also includes the VSO's traditional Vermont-themed world premiere; The Ferry Crossing was written by Jennifer Jolley.
      Admission is $29 for adults, $25 for seniors, $10 for students and those under 18. Tickets are available at the Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce and from .
      Visit for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page hosts local writer J.P. Choquette to talk about and sign her newest book, Restitution, on Saturday from 2-4 p.m.
      Restitution is her fourth book and the second in the Tayt Waters mystery series; it is a sequel to 2014's Subversion. A reluctant private investigator, Waters helps women in need, tracking down "abusive husbands, errant boyfriends and deadbeat dads to give them a taste of their own medicine." Beware the philanthropist farmer.
      First published at age fourteen, Ms. Choquette has been writing mystery and suspense professionally since 2007. Her debut novel, Epidemic, was also set in St. Albans and around Franklin County.


      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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