ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 21 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 23, 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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      The arts have touched all of our lives all year, with benefits and friendship and glorious exhibits and performances grand and small.
      Artist Natalie La Rocque is "grateful and thankful for my family."
      Her grandchildren "were able to donate their time and skills on completing the mural at the Food Shelf." The Artists in Residence Gallery on Main Street "encourages me to create and sell my art." She is "thankful for friends and those who have supported my art for the past 20+ years." Gina Clark invited her to her first paint and sip. "And Rene Fournier who allowed me to add one more one small painting to his memoirs in pictures, which had me go back and study the Jonathan Livingston Seagull story and remind me what it was about.
      "Friends and family members with their wisdom and experience who share their time and words, are worth every second spent, 10 fold."
      Vermont singer-songwriter Carol Ann Jones notes that "there is a great deal to be thankful for this year" from health and happiness, and family and friends, to wonderful experiences.
      "There were some very rough times in the last year but friendships grew stronger, love grew deeper, and we persevered through some incredible challenges." Ms. Jones had unforgettable musical moments on stages with the Superchargers, her quartet and duo performances with Will Patton and Jon. She is thankful for the support for her new one woman show, The Power of Music: Twelve Souls in Song (it debuted in July 22 the Bliss Room in July. In just three shows she has raised over $7,500 for Music and Memory and collected two dozen donated iPods. The next show will be held at the Congregational Church in South Hero next month.
      I'm writing from my camping trailer here in the Florida Keys where there is a tremendous surge of thankfulness.
      A friend of Anne's lived on a boat that was washed away but she is thankful that her long time employer owns some rental houses and is "putting her up" rent free until she gets on her feet again. That story is just one of a legion like it.
      Marathon has already had two concerts with multiple performers free hamburgers and hot dogs to give folks a respite from digging out and rebuilding.
      In my own case, the inside of the house is gone but the concrete walls are sound and we can rebuild. I had about 90 paintings and photos on the walls, many by my mom, artist Mary Harper, as well as Corliss Blakely and Jane Burgin and Clyde Butcher and more. I'm thankful that we saved or can restore many of the paintings and other art and that Anne and I are comfy in my trailer. Heck, I'm thankful I built a desk and have dual computer monitors on it as well as paintings and photos on the walls.
      "Happy holidays to everyone!" Carol Ann Jones said. "Wishing you good health and joy!"


AROUND THE COUNTY--Saturday is Small Business Saturday in a town near you.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council's 2017 Handmade Holiday Fair features Christmas arts & craft at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. A variety of handmade items will be available from local handcrafters.
      Support local artists, enjoy one of a kind gifts and grab some homemade soup. Email Heather Buczkowski for more info.
      After the Handmade Holiday Fair, Christmas is coming to Swanton with Christmas in the Park on the Village Green on Saturday from 3:30-6 p.m. Santa is bringing it on with horse-drawn wagon rides through the village, refreshments, and the memorial tree lighting, all sponsored by the Swanton Chamber of Commerce. Admission is free.
      After the park, head to the Social & Ugly Sweater Contest at the Swanton VFW on Saturday at 6:30 - 9 p.m. The contest starts at 6:30 and the after-party (21 and up) at 7:30 p.m. Design your own festive-wear -- bedazzle, sew, sticker, or thrift shop -- and share that unique "ugly" attire. Anything goes. Email Heather Buczkowski for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts' new Holiday Pop-Up Giftshop opened Sunday and will be open Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
      Buy Local. The Pop-Up shop has unique and special gifts for the holidays with a selection of handmade artist books, textiles, notecards, ceramics, original artwork and photographs and more. Artists include Marie LaPre' Grabon, Jess Graham, Dominique Gustin, Skye Livingston, Orah Moore, Jude Prashaw, and Nancy VanWinkle.


     The First Congregational Church presents Home for the Holidays, a Christmas Concert, as the first concert of the season on Sunday at 3 p.m. It will feature the Citizens Concert Band directed by Jennifer McConnell and the Community Singers directed by Erin Grainger with accompanist Melissa Ewell.
      Admission is free but a goodwill donation will gladly be accepted at the door.


ST. ALBANS--The ninth annual Festival of Trees hosts a variety of community events throughout the week. Proceeds from this year’s annual auction, and other Festival of Trees events, will benefit the St. Albans Community Arts.
      Saturday: The Festival lights up in Taylor Park Saturday at 4:45-6pm. with the blessing of the animals, the bonfire, the tree lighting ceremony, hot cider and donuts, visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Christmas caroling, and fireworks at 6 sharp. All events are free.
      Tuesday: Children's PJ Party and Holiday Stories at the St. Albans Library at 6:30 p.m.
      Wednesday: FREE holiday movie at the Welded Theater at 6:30 p.m.
      Next week includes the gala and holiday art live auction, breakfast with Santa, the Tree Showcase with live entertainment, and more.
      Click here for more info and here for tickets to the gala.


JERICHO--The Jericho Cafe & Tavern presents Carol Ann Jones and Will Patton on Friday at 7 p.m. Call 802.899.2223 for reservations.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Sean Jarvis who will create a song on the spot on Friday and the homespun originals and handpicked covers of John Smyth and Jenn Croteau on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--Higher Ground presents three Franklin County favorites -- Quadra with the Phil Abair Band and Mr. French -- in the Ballroom on Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors at 7:30.
      Mike Trombley, Moe Dubois, Matt Trombley, and Marc Dubois, the Quadra brothers, have been rocking since 1982 and is rolling better than ever now.
      Admission is $12 advance or $15 day of show.

MONTGOMERY CENTER--Get over that turkey coma with the Stragglers live at the Big Jay Tavern Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
      The trio is BFA's own Eric Bushey, tenor banjo and vocals; Chris Kellogg, guitar, harmonica, and vocals; and Preston Randall, mandolin, harmonica, vocals, and bones. "We'll be serving up hot roots, bluegrass, vintage country, Americana, and classic rock with our own spin," Mr. Bushey said.

ST. ALBANS--NightHawk returns to Durty Nelly's Irish Pub live in the Pub on Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

MONTGOMERY--The monthly Celebration of Expressive Arts takes over the INN on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. The event officially includes everything but dancing, but there is always hope. Come early for dinner; service begins at 5 p.m.
      This month, Matt Crowley is the featured musician; Michael Pratt is the featured story teller; and Amber Rae Harvey is the featured artist. The local artists, writers and musicians gather to share original and thought provoking work, curated and hosted by Bob and Becca Cummins.
      Click here 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
Franklin County Regional
Chamber of Commerce
Island Arts
St Albans Community Arts
Swanton Arts Council
Young Tradition Vermont


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