ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 20 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 21, 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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FRANKLIN COUNTY--The Big Music Weeks of Summer continue. Summer Sounds continues 26 years of concerts in Highgate with a favorite phenomenal bluegrass and we find shows in Burlington, Colchester, Essex Junction, Sheldon, St. Albans, Stowe, Windsor, and more.


HIGHGATE--Desorcie's Market the All Arts Council, and the Town of Highgate continue the 26th year of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate with Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing in Highgate Municipal Park on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. The high energy bluegrass show will have stellar vocals, original material, and some new interpretations of bluegrass classics.
 ArtBits News Photo     Musician and songwriter Bob Amos earned international recognition and acclaim as the leader of the popular and award winning bluegrass band Front Range. He formed that quartet, named after the eastern slopes of the Rockies, in Colorado in 1984.
      He started singing harmonies in church and in school as a kid. He has been playing guitar since he was 12 and banjo shortly afterwards. He played in bluegrass bands as a banjo player and backup singer on his way to graduate school in Arizona where he earned a Master's degree in geology.
      He recorded seven CDs between 1990-2003 with Front Range and has now released Borrowed Time.
      Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing features Mr. Amos on banjo, guitar and vocals; Freeman Corey, fiddle; Bob Dick (also formerly of Front Range), bass; Gary Darling, mandolin; and Steve Wright, guitar. This bluegrass ensemble performs his new material and old favorites at concerts and festivals around New England.
      Just before the concert, stop by for a Social in the Park starting at 6 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends and eat some delicious desserts.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin and Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in Highgate Municipal Park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair for the outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. Click here for the schedule.


ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on Eddie Gagne, Paule Gingras, Kelly Shawyer, and Deb Shell.
      The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with refreshments and a raffle today 4 - 7 p.m. The exhibit continues through the end of July.
      The Artist in Residence art cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 40 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The gallery, newly reopened at 10 South Main Street, is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Saint Albans Community Arts Art in the Park festival, rescheduled from earlier this month, takes over Taylor Park on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
      Exhibitors include Vermont artist Corliss Blakely. "I'll be iPad painting, using watercolors and talking about my Nature Scarves," she said. Artists will create and show paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, weavings, fabric arts, dance, and more. There will be actors and music.
      Click here or find SACA on Facebook for more info.

SWANTON--Salon Elixir hosts a Paint & Sip on Monday at 6 p.m.
      Lindsay Didio will lead a sociable workshop to learn to paint a Whimsical Tree. Pre-registration and fees are required to assure enough space and materials are available. Call 802.868.6553 for more info.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council will hold a short Planning Meeting for National Night Out in the Swanton Free Public Library on Tuesday from 5 - 6:30 p.m.
      SAC will make thumbprint art for National Night Out on August 2. Email Judy Paxman for more info.


STOWE--Harrison's Restaurant hosts Will Patton and Mark Struhsacker playing bluegrass this evening at 6 p.m.

ST. ALBANS--The One Fed Summer Concert Series presents Shellhouse this evening at 7 p.m.
      The summer concert series has performers under the tents and draft specials every Thursday, rain or shine.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Summer Sounds favorite Jenni Johnson tonight at 7 p.m. and Nightrain tomorrow at 9 p.m.
      On Tap has music on Tuesday through Saturday nights. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Ryan and Slim tonight, Chris and Erica on Friday, and Bethany Conner on Saturday. The free shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

      BURLINGTON--The Breakwaters Summer lineup continues with Starline Rhythm Boys this evening, the X-Rays on Friday, Full Circle Saturday, Almost Nowhere Sunday, and the John Lackard Blues Band next Wednesday. Bands play from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3-6 p.m on Sundays.

COLCHESTER--Justice will take the plunge again with Raftapalooza at Thayer Beach on Saturday from noon-6 p.m.
      The free party and concert has gotten bigger each year; a record breaking crowd of 1,000 took part in '15. They lashed their motorboats together, drank beer on inflatable rafts and paddle boards, and rocked out to Justice on a raft. Weather and wind direction will sink or keep the band afloat.
      Click here to see for yourself.

WINDSOR--The Harpoon Barbecue Championship of New England presents great music with some of the world's best barbecue. The Nobby Reed Project takes the brewery stage on Saturday at 5 p.m. The weekend event also features Joel Cage, Chris Kleeman, Frydaddy, Hill Billy Holiday, Red Barn Hayloft, and Comanchero.
      The $15 cover charge includes one beer or non-alcoholic beverage ticket. Children under 12 free with parents. Click here for more info.

SHELDON--Village Harmony returns to the popular Summer Music at Grace Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. This program will feature songs and dances from South Africa and Macedonia, American shape-note songs, quartet gospel and contemporary compositions, traditional songs from Corsica, and renaissance works.
      This Village Harmony teen ensemble is led by Larry Gordon, John Harrison and Zoe Christiansen. 22 sparkling teen singers come from across the country and include two young ladies on special scholarship from Macedonia.
      Village Harmony's many CDs and songbooks will be on sale at the concert.
      Suggested admission at the door is $10 or $5 for students and seniors. Click here for more info about Village Harmony. Call 802.326.4603 or click here for more info about Summer Music at Grace.

ST. ALBANS--Keeghan Nolan plays the Downtown Summer Concert Series in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The Road Grill BBQ and 14th Star Brewery serve food and drinks at all of this year's Summer Concerts Series events.
      Admission is free.


FAIRFAX--Tea and Bristles at the Fairfax Community Library is Julie Griffis' painting class today at 5:30-7:30 p.m. Participants will paint sunflowers through step-by-step instructions to create a masterpiece. The cost is $25 for materials and snacks. Call 802.849.2420 to register.

FRANKLIN--The Haston Library Tea Party and Fairy Homes at the library today at 10 am
Animal Athletes Franklin Town Hall Mon, July 25, 1pm This active and interactive program from the Southern VT Natural History Museum will look at the physical feats of local wildlife.

GEORGIA--The Georgia Public Library Summer Movie Matinee features the Odd Life of Timothy Green on Monday at 10 a.m. This magical film tells the story of Cindy and Jim a happily married couple dream about their child in the small town of Stanleyville. Admission is free; popcorn and water will be available.

HIGHGATE--The Highgate Public Library Scribe Circle invites hobby writers to the library tomorrow at 7 p.m. to take their writing to the next level. Call 802.868.3970 to pre-register for library programs.

ST. ALBANS--Today is a big day at the St. Albans Free Public Library, beginning with Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd in Mornings, Muffins & Mysteries this morning at 10:30 a.m. The Writers' Medley for those who are interested in writing takes place at 2 p.m. and the Astronomy Club shares a knowledge and love of the sky tonight at 6:30 p.m.
      Stir the Pot continues the monthly discussion that readers cooking on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
      Call Wanda at the Library (802.524.1507) for more info.

SWANTON--The Swanton Free Public Library hosts a demonstration of their Cricut (pronounced "cricket") Cutting Machine on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Cricut's electronic DIY craft cutter works much like a computer printer to cut vinyl, paper, and fabric for art or craft projects, scrapbooking, home decor, card making, and more
      Join the group or set up a personal demo online at


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at library events in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site at We also take an occasional peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. Those reviews can be found on the ArtBits Bookshelf.


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