ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 20 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 24, 2016


      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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ENOSBURG--Kurt Valenta will host a two-hour Paint & Sip class and exordium with Sheldon Art teacher Lisa Bressler at the 1906 House this evening at 6 p.m.
      The event is "for anyone that wants to relax, enjoy good conversation and camaraderie while learning new painting skills or improving and adding to old ones," Mr. Valenta said.
      The cost is $40 with all materials included. A cash bar will be available as well as overnight stays with reservations. Call Kurt Valenta (802-238-3697) or email for more info.

EAST BERKSHIRE--Plan Ahead. A new Artisans Market will open in the Skoozy building next Thursday.
      When the Artist in Residence in Enosburg Falls closed, Franklin County artists looked for other venues to sell work in the Enosburg/Richford area. The Artisans Market will carry fine art, photography, jewelry, china, glass, pottery, scarves, knitted goods, maple syrup and more.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap has Summer Sounds favorites Inca Hoots on Friday evening at 9 p.m.
      The five-piece country-rock-jazz-pop band Inca Hoots plays "music for all occasions" and has wowed the Franklin County crowds this year. John Geno leads the Plattsburgh, NY group with Peter Grosskopf, Neil Wright, David Long, and John Seiden.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents the Front Porch Foursome on Friday and Monkey Do Better on Saturday. Both shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Front Porch is a quartet of women who blend folksy harmonies. Monkey Do Better is a group with a fun mix of eclectic songs. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

St. Albans--The Saint Albans Museum hosts its second annual performance of Womanspeak in the Bliss Room on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      Directed by John Bielicki, the play tells the lost history of American women through a contemporary woman searching for her roots. Some of the great women of history -- Abigail Adams, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger, Eleanor Roosevelt -- show her that she is part of a great tradition of women who contributed to our history.
      Admission is free. The production celebrates Women's History Month and is part of the Museum's 50th Anniversary series. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.


A.I.R. COOPERATIVE GALLERY (until filled)--The Artist in Residence gallery is seeking new members and will be jurying work for their April opening on Main Street in St. Albans. All work must be original and handmade (prints and note cards are allowed when the original art is also available and on display). Numbered edition work is encouraged. Members will have 6 feet linear with two hanging rods for two-dimensional wall space or a 4-shelf unit or glass case for three-dimensional work.
      Artists pay an annual membership fee and work six days per year. They "probably" have room for 19 more artists. Email for more info.

FRIENDS OF THE REFUGE--The Friends of Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge will host the annual art show during the Refuge Open House on May 21, 2016 to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. This year's focus is on birds as the exhibit creates an indoor bird/art walk of birds seen on the Refuge. Paintings and drawings do not need to be created on the Refuge but need to represent the bird population onsite. Photographs must have been taken on the Refuge, or from the river or lake adjacent to the Refuge. The hanging fee remains $15, which includes a year's Friends of the Refuge membership to the artist or assignee.
      click here for more info and a participation form. Click here for a brochure identifying the birds found on the refuge.

EXHIBITION PROPOSALS (April 1)--South Shore Art Center seeks proposals for the spectacular Bancroft Gallery for 2017-18. Group and themed concepts are encouraged. The curator will create the theme and focus of the exhibition and will select a group of artists and submit 5-10 images of recent work representative per artist. SSAC will manage the exhibition installation. Artists/Curators may propose exhibitions consisting of one or several media, and are encouraged to consider including gallery talks, performance, music, poetry or related arts. Exhibitions generally run 6 weeks. (One-person exhibitions are rarely approved except under extraordinary circumstances.) Click here for proposal info.

YOUTH ART SHOW (April 9)--Spring into creativity. The Swanton Arts Council wants K-12 and postgrad artists from FNWSU and Alburgh for a show of 2D and 3D work. Work will be exhibited at the Swanton Municipal complex. Free. Click here for more info.


     The New England Foundation for the Arts is launching its 2017 Creative Economy Employment Research Initiative for the New England region. They will include an employment study and artist survey for Vermont. NEFA has set a submission deadline of March 31.
      The report will quantify employment in all of New England's creative sector with information about every arts/culture nonprofit, creative business, and individual creative artists; it will include what they do, where they are, and how this data compares to national trends and the earlier NEFA reports.
      They have set a priority include all artists in their creative sector employment reporting and to identify local clusters of creative economy activity.
      This report will be the third in a series of employment-specific studies. It will demonstrate which creative occupations and industries are showing growth and how the creative sector relates to other significant sectors in the New England region.
      Call Ann Wicks (617.951.0010 x534) or click here for more info.


HIGHGATE--The Highgate Public Library wants to bring your writing to the next level. The Social Scribe Circle holds its first meeting at the library on Friday at 7 p.m.
      The Scribe Circle will "provide honest, thoughtful, considerate and supportive feedback to its members and to facilitate the goal of improving and publishing their writing" for anyone over the age of 16.

SWANTON--The Swanton Free Public Library presents Beatrix Potter Revisited in the Humanities for Everyone series on Friday at 1 p.m.
      Using books, props, and bibliography, Helene Lang will present the life of Beatrix Potter, highlighting her artistic talent, her writing ability where every word is appropriate and perfectly arranged, and her years as a countrywoman raising Herdwick sheep. The presentation takes her from her Victorian childhood, through the years of her little books, to her final thirty years of farming in England's Lake District.


      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 © 2016 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.