ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 21 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 2, 2017


      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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SWANTON--Area residents will answer that question the Northern Gateway Public Meeting at the Village Office Complex this evening at 7 p.m.
      The rescheduled meeting is an opportunity to include arts projects and plan how the cultural economy can drive growth right from the beginning.
      The Town and Village are building the Swanton Area Wide Plan to identify ways to revitalize the northern gateway area, a district centered around the intersections of River and Depot streets. Business owners, property owners, and residents can help guide a shared vision of future development of the area. The meeting should foster a discussion and understanding of what is possible from an economic standpoint and then what is desired by the community. The project is sponsored by the Northwest Region Brownfields Program of the NRPC.
      Call the Village Manager's office (802.868.3397) or click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The color red continues as the theme through February at the Artist In Residence Gallery. This bright color gives the gallery a warm, lively look and feel for the coldest part of the year. features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on the pottery of Barbara Colgrove, fabric art by Ann Levy, paintings of Patrick Murphy, and penny rugs by Sally Tarr.
      Around the time of the Civil War raid in St. Albans, thrifty homemakers began to use scraps of wool or felted wool from old clothing, blankets and hats to create designs for mats or rugs. Using coins as templates, they created circles and each piece was then stitched in blanket stitch fashion, hence the name "penny rug."
      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 the month.
      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 St. Albans gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for more info.

ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts Eric Smith this month. Mr. Smith is exhibiting photographs of wildlife in historic place as well the landscape and history of the people in the places he explores, all of which he finds while hiking. He's a professional swim coach in Colorado and the son of hospital volunteer Donna Fontana Smith. "It's a fairly new art for him," she said. "He always wants to see what is over the next hill."
      The show continues through the end of February.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council hosts the next Bring Back the Swanton Festival Project Meeting in the Swanton Village Complex on Monday at 6 p.m.
      The Festival started in 1959 as a local celebration of the tercentennial; it came to an end in 2003. The early events had fireworks, a parade, activities and races for kids, horseshoe competitions, and a pet show. It grew to include a showcase of local music, arts and historical exhibits, 35-40 vendors, concessions, and games, rides, a band competition, and a dance.
      The Swanton Festival revival project wants to get things going again. Click here for the open forum discussion notes from January.
      The SAC Strategic Planning Meeting for 2017 at the Swanton Village Complex on Wednesday at 6 p.m. is open to all. The meeting will plan the focus for the SAC for 2017 and beyond.
      Email for more info about all events.


ST ALBANS--The Friends of Missisquoi and the Saint Albans Museum host an Evening of Bird Tales in the Bliss Room at the Museum this evening at 6:30 p.m.
      The local birding community will share their passion and entertain with tales from the fields and forests. Bring your questions. Refreshments will be provided.
      The event is free and open to the public.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers the Nobby Reed Project for Blues Night tonight at 7 p.m. and Phil Abair on Friday at 9 p.m.
      On Tap has music on Tuesday through Saturday nights. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Tell It At Twiggs brings some of the best story telling in Vermont to Twiggs on Thursday at 7 p.m. The $5 cover charge benefits St. Albans Community Arts.
      Hosted by Bill Torrey, three-time winner of Burlington's Moth Story Slam and winner of VPR's Story Slam competition. click here for more info and to sign up.
      Next up, Twiggs presents Chris & Erica on Friday and Jeff Shelley formerly of the rock band, Empty Pockets, playing solo on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

SOUTH HERO--Snow Farm Vineyard features singer/songwriter Carol Ann Jones for Wine Down Friday on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
      Call 802.372.9463 for info or reservations.

ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Museum hosts Let's Dance with the Smokey Newfield Project in the Bliss Room on Saturday at 6 p.m.
      The benefit for the ongoing project to restore the Meeting House on the Green in East Fairfield is a family dance set to live music. Blue suede shoes are welcome, of course. There will be famous weenie bar with gourmet toppings, a cash bar for adults, a 50/50 raffle, face painting, and a vast assortment of rainbow tutus for enhanced dancing pleasure.
      Admission is $10 per person with all under 16 free. Call 802.827.6626 for more info.

BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont and Burlington City Arts presents Molsky's Mountain Drifters led by Grammy-nominated artist Bruce Molsky on fiddle, banjo, guitar and song at the BCA Center on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Admission is $25. There is limited seating and advance reservations are recommended. Email for reservations and more info. click here for more info about the event.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Martell's at the Red Fox near Smuggs presents the Nobby Reed Project Saturday at 9 p.m.
      The pub and sports bar has pub favorites, local draft beers, and an open stage for local bands and other live entertainment on weekends.


      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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