ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 20 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 17, 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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      I'm still "off the grid" for my road trip until the end of this week. ArtBits will continue but in a much abbreviated form. We'll continue to have the news and any events that arrive in our inbox before deadline.
      Meanwhile, check the Art Sites of the Week below to find links to the right stuff and enjoy this story from 1998.


     Where do you find art?
These exhibits took place 18 years ago;
There is still public art in Franklin County but,
sadly, several of these venues have closed.
The following is included this week as a "Look Back."
     To the AAC, art means cinema and film, dance, digital imagery, the fine and visual arts, illustration, literature, music, photography, poetry, sculpture, theater, and writing.
      Art is obvious in a gallery such as the All Arts Gallery at the Gift Gallery in St Albans where Paule Gingras has 11 artists on exhibit including Valerie Ugro, Chris LeBaron and my mother, Mary Harper. Corliss Blakely has a complete gallery upstairs at the Sugar Mill. Norm Choiniere has several local artists in the Champlain Collection, including Corliss, Jeannie Judkins, and Bobbi Eldredge. Lauren's Lyrics provides custom poetry, cards and photos in Enosburg Falls.
      It's less obvious that you can find art in the grocery store, the bank, the garden center, your favorite restaurant, the Town library, or on the radio.
      Price Chopper-St Albans hired AAC artists to create the luscious chalkboards throughout the store. It's a good program and good use of illustrators, since people compliment the artwork regularly.
      Chittenden Bank in Swanton has the works of Patrick Murphy on display.
      Hamlen's and Larry's Garden Centers both had major exhibits this summer with oil and watercolor paintings side by side with music, floral arrangements, and finger foods.
      The Country Pantry in Fairfax has a permanent exhibit of Celine Hargraves.
      Richford's A.A. Brown Public Library has the watercolors of Blanche Thayer this month.
      WWSR sponsors regular live poetry readings featuring local and national poets on the air.
      That fall, we we went looking for live art, live music, live theater around Franklin County. We still are. If you know of something happening, email the All Arts Council .


     The Opera House seeks new 10 minute scripts from high school students in Franklin County, Vermont. Each script should be 10 minutes long (about 10-12 pages).
      Comedy or Drama are accepted, but the language must be appropriate for a community theater production. There is no entry fee.
      Send scripts to Em Frappier, P.O. Box 1250, Enosburg Falls, VT 05450 or email submissions to Email. All submissions must be received by December 18.


MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts a Figure Drawing Marathon in the Robert C. Folley Performance Hall this weekend, Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. each day.
      Bring charcoal, graphite, conte crayons, paints and/or clay for two days of drawing from the figure with a diversity of models. The Drawing Marathon will feature nude and clothed models.
      The fee is $40 for one day, $70 for both days. Call 802.888.1261 or email for more info and to register. The River Arts twice a month Open Studio Figure Drawing drop-in class offers more figure drawing on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 3-5:30 p.m.


SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents Carol Ann Jones in a solo show tonight at 6:30 p.m.
      The Blue Paddle has limited seating and a small bar so call ahead (802.372.4814) to assure a seat.

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

ST. ALBANS--The Twiggs Open Mic and TNT Comedy Showcase continues on the Main Stage Thursday evening at 7 p.m.
      The TNT Comedy Showcase features three semifinalists in Vermont's Funniest Comedian Contest 2016: Tarzan Jenkins, Owen Foley, and Annie Russell. Sign-up begins at 6:30 and the showcase is held at 8 p.m.
      Next up, Twiggs presents The Duel on Friday and Issac French on Saturday. Those shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--Higher Ground presents cellist and composer Zoe Keating in the Ballroom on Sunday at 8 p.m.
      A one-woman orchestra, Ms. Keating creates intricate, haunting, compelling, layered music with her cello and a foot-controlled laptop. She is known for both her use of technology (sampling her cello on stage) and for her total DIY approach, releasing her music online without a record label.
      Admission is $20 in advance or $25 day of show. Tickets are available from

ST. ALBANS--Karib justifies a Thanksgiving Rock n Roll Massacre with Justiceon Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.


ST ALBANS--Our own NMC E.R. doc, Stephen Payne, has released his first collection of Vermont short stories. Ties That Bind Us "highlights hardship, human frailty, and the beauty of modest lives in northern rural communities." The Eloquent Page will host him to discuss and sign his book and to read a selection on Sunday at 2 p.m.
      Dr. Payne grew up in the Northeast Kingdom in a family of writers and storytellers. He went on to earn degrees in English and medicine. A portion of the proceeds from this event will be given to Martha's Kitchen.

MILTON--The Milton Public Library hosts the next in the Vermont Reads Monday Night Movie Series: Chasing Shackleton Part II on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
      The Library has screened other films related to Vermont Reads Shackleton including Shackleton (2002), The Endurance (2000), and Chasing Shackleton (2014). Light refreshments will be served. Call Organizer MaryBeth Peterson (802.893.4644) for more info.


      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.

Good News!

There are so many events around the region that we miss some of them.
Be sure to check these calendars for what's happening near you ...
All Arts Council of Franklin County
Cambridge Arts Council
Chamber of Commerce
Island Arts
St Albans Community Arts
Swanton Arts Council
Young Tradition Vermont


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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      This article may also have originally been published in the 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.