ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 19 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 26, 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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      The arts have touched all of our lives all year, with benefits and friendship and glorious exhibits and performances grand and small.
      Longtime Arts Council supporter, music producer, and performer Lyle Glidden of Franklin writes, "Bob and I are so thankful to be back in our home after being exiled to a motel for 3 weeks."
      Singer-songwriter Carol Ann Jones of Georgia has lots to be thankful for. "Mostly the gift of music which I've learned to share to bring comfort and joy to folks who really need a song." She is grateful for her "wonderful family and friends and living in the most beautiful place on Earth."
      It's been another notable year for Will Patton of Bakersfield. "I'm very thankful for the opportunity to make music in this beautiful state of Vermont with talented and soulful folks who have also chosen to make their home in these lovely environs," he said. "Having worked in more metropolitan areas, I realized a long time ago that this is the place for me." He retired to play music full time last year and has just returned from gigging in Europe.
      Mark Sustic is a performer, teacher, and impresario who lives and makes music in Fairfax. He is "thankful for the opportunities I have every day to support young people getting excited about, staying excited with and using traditional music and dance to inspire themselves and others." Mr. Sustic has a "niche that allows me to stretch as far and as high and as wide as I seem to be capable [and he is also] thankful for having a role to play and contributions in making the world a happier, healthier and more successful place for everyone who can move in that direction."
      Writer Leon Thompson of St. Albans says it just right as he thinks of the two most important people who make writing possible: "I will always be most thankful for my wife, Jennifer Williams Thompson, and daughter, Sophie. Without their undying and top-shelf patience, love and encouragement, I would unlikely be entering my twentieth year of making the strangest of livings. Thank you, universe, for gifting me Sophie and Jennifer. I am grateful. Always."


ST. ALBANS--Artist Fred Swan will be at the Village Frame Shoppe on Saturday from 1:30-3 p.m. His work shows a love of the American rural landscape in all seasons. His highly detailed works often feature homes in winter or a spring maple leaf or roses surrounding a welcoming cottage.
      The shop offers a 35% custom framing special on Saturday only.
      Mr. Swan is an American painter who was graduated from the United States Naval Academy and also won the 1979 Saturday Evening Post Cover Contest. His art hangs in the collections of Johnson and Johnson, Malcolm Forbes, and the Vermont Council on the Arts and has been featured in Yankee Magazine and Vermont Life. He lives in Barre.
      The Village Frame Shoppe with an expanded gallery and framing department is in the historic M.H. Fishman building across from Taylor Park. They are open Tuesday - Friday 10-5 p.m. and Saturday 10-4 p.m. Call 802.524.3699 or click here for more info.


SWANTON--Swanton Arts Council hosts an Open Art Studio in the King's Daughters' Room of the Swanton Public Library this Tuesday (that's the first day of the last month) and on the first Tuesday of each month from 4-8 p.m.
      Bring your own supplies (including a drop cloth) and plan to clean up after yourself.
      Drop ins are welcome. Call 802.752.0589 for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Traveled Cup hosts Carol Ann Jones on Saturday at 3 p.m.
      "I'll be performing and selling my three CDs," she said. "Please keep it local and support independent artists! Great drinks and treats!"

ST. ALBANS--The BFA-St. Albans Performing Arts Center hosts the 2015 Christmas Concert by Citizen Concert Band with a chorus, a small trio, and the Chevalier Family singers on Sunday at 2 p.m.
      "Come join us for Kevinís last hurrah with the band and especially to start off the Christmas season!" Louise Loomis said.
      The Citizens Concert Band is a community band that plays a popular series of summer concerts mostly in Highgate, St. Albans City, St. Albans Town, and Swanton, an annual Holiday Pops Concert, and more, including a ground-breaking full Messiah in 1949.
      The Citizens Concert Band is St. Albans' and Swanton's town band but "We don't call ourselves by any town name," Mr. Loomis said, because they do not have an exclusive arrangement with any single town. Town Bands are military-style bands well-suited for any program of patriotic and popular pieces. This band has the full complement of brass, percussion, and woodwinds.
      Edric Loomis founded the band in 1949 to continue a Town Band tradition of "concerts under the stars" in St. Albans that began in the 1880s. His son, Kevin Loomis, took over the baton in 2003.
      This Holiday Concert should be Kevin Loomis' final gig as director. He plans to induct two new directors for next season.
      Admission is free. Donations will be accepted at the door to help defray the cost of the concert and pay the BFA technical personnel.

MORRISVILLE--Moog's Place has "live music every night we're open, starting between eight and nine pm" with open mic night scheduled most Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.
      Click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts holds a Farmers and Artisans Market at the River Arts Center every Wednesday from 3 - 7 p.m.
      Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Shooters Saloon sponsors an open-mic night every Thursday and scheduled music on some other evenings.
      Call 802.527.3777 for more info or booking requests.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents the eclectic mix of Coon Hill John on Friday at 7 p.m. and Vern Colburn on the piano in the dining room on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
      Twiggs offers Music to Dine By with relaxed music and the arts. 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 musicians, visual artists, poets, and more. Piano Night is every Monday night at 6 pm. The regular Open Mic Night repeats next Wednesday and on the first Wednesday of every month. Mr. Colburn is usually Live on the Piano on Friday Nights, Dayve Huckett on the guitar on the first and third Saturday, and additional performances by Abby Road, Bobby Cee, Mint Julep, Sean Ashby, and Sean Casey.
      Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info or booking requests.


ST. ALBANS--There's still time to take part in the Festival of Trees Art Show.
      Art works by local artists should have a lake theme or connection such as paintings of the lake, sculptures with found items from the lake, photos of lake birds or animals, and so on. Works may be available for sale, but all transactions will be directly between the artist and purchaser.
      Call Donna Howard (802.527.7243), email, or post on Facebook to RSVP.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page introduces Franklin County authors Tammy Flanders Hetrick and Liz Conforti on Small Business Saturday.
      Ms. Hetrick will discuss and sign her debut novel, Stella Rose, from 12-2 p.m. The fine art of letter writing plays an important part in her book.
      Ms. Conforti who grew up in the kitchen with her hands in a well of flour will be in the store from 1-3 p.m. Her book, Kitchen Wisdom Gluten Free is a Journey into a culinary cultural evolution that shows how to transform southern Italian recipes as gluten free treats and meals.
      Signed copies of their books make a wonderful gift.


     The All Arts Council: Gifts of art keep on giving throughout our lives. Franklin County artists have Christmas gifts galore available from a variety of online stores. We have a little list of some reader favorites and another chance to shop locally...


      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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