ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 22 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 11, 2018


      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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      2018 is shaping up as another busy year in the arts. We divided the coming events into two groups: the Arts Councils, the Festivals, the Opera House, and the Town Bands last week, and artists and other presenters today. First, the look at what's happening now.


ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts macro photographer and Milton Artist Guild member Trine Wilson in a two-month show. Much of Ms. Wilson's exhibit is from her garden in Westford.
      The native Vermonter started her path in art making cards to mail to friends while traveling. She has a very noisy life as a busy restaurant manager and loves photography as her quiet, meditative time.
      The show continues through the end of January.


MILTON--Robert Brunelle teaches a workshop on the technique of Pen and Ink Drawing at Milton Artist Guild on Saturday. It's a new year, why not learn a new skill? Instruction will focus on different pen tips and how to use them to get desired levels of tone and shading. All skill levels are welcome. Click here to register.
      The Milton artists' Guild also offers free drop-in workshops in creative fun every Sunday afternoon at 1 - 3 p.m. in January and February. Families can stop by to create art while listening to live music. Each week focuses on a different medium; this week, Cheryl Alwine introduces air dry claywork.

ST. ALBANS--St. Albans Community Arts and First Step Dance hold the Second Friday Dance Social in City Hall on Friday at 7 p.m. The dance will start with two 30-minute mini-lessons, the first in Rumba and the second in NightClub 2-Step. Open dancing continues from 8-10.
      Admission is $15/adult for the lesson and dancing, $10/student (high school or college) for the lesson and dancing, or $10/person at 8 p.m. just for the dancing.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council hosts the Publicity Toolkit Planning Meeting at Swanton House of Pizza on Monday at 6 p.m. This is a working meeting to put together a plan for what basic publicity tools the SAC needs to purchase to "help in getting the word out on all of our events."
      Real Artists Don't Starve is the subject of a three part book discussion group continuing at MVU on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (signs outside commons will direct you to the correct room). Based around the book by Jeff Goins, this week will be Part 2: Market. A copy of this book is available at the Swanton Free Public Library. The informal group is open to all. Part 3: Money will be held on January 24.
      Email for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Uncle Jimmy duet's eclectic mix of energetic and high-quality Rock, Blues, Old-time Country, and Irish favorites with guitars, mandolin, harmonica, and three gravelly voices on Friday and singer-songwriter (and half of the Vermont duo Chris & Erica) Chris Parker on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company presents Gypsy Wind on the taproom stage on Saturday at 6 p.m.
      The St. Albans duo of Jesse John Potts and Andy Hoadley plays an eclectic repertoire of freshly interpreted covers and originals spanning several decades and genres.


      We wind up the preview of a new and busy 2018 in the arts with a look at artists and the Major Independent Presenters. We covered upcoming All Arts Council and Opera House events plus the Franklin County Festivals and Town Band plans last week.

      The Artists in Residence Gallery features three or four of their member artists each month by highlighting their art with an opening reception and additional display space for their work. The art cooperative has paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 40 Franklin County and surrounding area artists.
      The Collins Perley Sports Complex hosts the County-wide Art Show in May.
      The Northern Vermont Artist Association kicks off its 2017 show schedule with a month-long exhibit at the T.W. Wood Gallery. NVAA has the famous June Juried Show in Jeffersonville, a July show at the Village Frame Shoppe in St. Albans, fall shows at the Red Mill Gallery in Jericho, SPACE Gallery and at Union Station in Burlington, and several other venues including an online gallery and they have had shows at The Bryan Gallery in Jeffersonville, Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, and Red Square in Burlington. They are always looking for new venues for members' artwork. Click here for more details.
      The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery space hosts a solo show for one area artist in the main exhibit space each month as well as occasional shows in individual hospital departments. Watercolor and sketch artist Marguerite Myers will make her public debut with an exhibit that begins in February.
      The Rotary Home Expo will have exhibits and featured artists all around the Collins Perley in March. click here for more info.
      St. Albans Community Arts is the home of the Festival of Trees. The first SACA community arts meeting of 2018 was held at City Hall yesterday. SACA will host Winter Blues Arts Festival this month, the second Friday Dance Socials, an art walk, regularly scheduled meetings on the second Tuesday of each month in City Hall, and more.
      Swanton Arts Council held its calendar planning meeting January 1. They will host Real Artists Don't Starve this month. This year, there will be workshops for artists, open art studios, paint-and-sip events, the Youth Art Show, Gallery Showings and other art exhibits, the Sidewalk Chalk Day, and the Swanton Handmade Holiday Craft Show in November. They have ongoing design contests, crafternoons, and more. Click here for project info and an up-to-date listing of events.
      The Village Frame Shoppe & Gallery will have artist visits, local and regional Fine Art exhibits with "fine pieces from across the street and around the world," and more. The Village Frame Shoppe and Milton Artists' Guild also collaborate to offer that service at the MAG. click here for more info.
      Check for other shows from the Bishop Street Artists, the Swanton Arts Council, SACA, and more.

      The AAC helps promote many other Franklin County presenters and individual artists. Our regularly updated online calendar is found at . Email the All Arts Council or e-mail to add events.
      Bay Day will celebrate this year with continuous entertainment and family activities all day plus the first Summer Sounds concert of the year and fireworks to cap this Independence Day blowout.
      This winter and Spring, the BFA Performing Arts Center will host a dance concert this Friday, the spring instrumental music concert, Maple Festival events, drama and the Jr. Jamboree, a music awards evening, the spring choral review concert, an instrumental pops concert, dance performances, Cardiac Capers, perhaps the All NE Music Festival, and more.
      Island Arts has brought arts activities to Grand Isle County for over 30 years. This year, they will have wide ranging concerts, theater performances, and craft fairs for children and adults including classes, Paint and Sip events, and more for all ages. The group needs Island Arts Academy Instructors with a "particular passion ... to share with others." Any activity/hobby from visual arts, music, dance, photography, to theater is fair game. click here for more info.
      County-wide, our public Libraries have a slew of plans including readings, lunchtime concerts, art shows, and kids' performers including the 16th year of Vermont Reads: Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson.
      The eclectic Music at Grace series will be a program of exceptional performers starting with the annual Farewell Reunion concert, a perennial favorite, this year featuring Pete's Posse (Pete Sutherland and friends) on May 25. Also on the schedule, Chasing 440 in June and an organ recital on the 1833 Erben featuring David Sears of the Organ Historical Society in August. click here for more info.
      The Northwest Access TV Media Barn is taking shape. Their new, much larger facility will have room for expanded classes, more studio shows and new equipment for community use. They will offer more courses, movies in the parks, as well as concerts and arts programming. All classes are $10 per student.
      Restaurants in and beyond Franklin County have our art on the walls and music in the halls. Twiggs will continue to feature artists and exceptional music several nights each week. The Abbey, Bayside, On Tap at the Lincoln Inn, One Federal, and Shooters all have a regular roster of Franklin County musicians.
      The St. Albans Historical Museum will have a lineup of performances, exhibits, and educational programs in the third-floor Bliss auditorium. Click here in the Spring for more info.
      School art shows should include FNESU's annual Art Gala and the annual FCSU Art Show. The shows bring together hundreds of two and three dimensional pieces in schools and halls around the County.
      Summer Evenings with Vermont Treasures continues with monthly concerts from May to October at The Meeting House in East Fairfield. The series was launched as a way to raise money for restoration projects. The Meeting House has become a coveted venue; players and audiences alike are discovering the magic of the small and intimate setting for some of the best music in northern Vermont.
      The Vermont Youth Orchestra Winter Concert, A Tchaikovsky in Vermont, is January 28 at the Flynn. Senior soloist, Malachi Witt of Fairfax will perform Gregson's Tuba Concerto. Next up, the Spring Rug Concert, Presto! concert, and Link Up concert in March, a full schedule in April and May, VYOA Summer Symphony Camp in June, and more. VYO programs include three orchestras, three ensembles, and two choruses. They teach and showcase over 500 students of all levels of musical ability from Vermont, NY, and New Hampshire including several from Franklin County. click here for more info.

      NEFA, the New England Foundation for the Arts, will increase the impact of the National Theater Project with help from a $750,000 two-year grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. NEFA will provide more Creation and Touring grants, support artists through a finalist development grant, and expand the annual grantee cohort meeting and regional convening, extending NTP's reach to more artists and communities across the U.S.

      Young Tradition-Vermont is a statewide presenter with several hundred events each year including several Events for Tom. The organization has expanded public school partnerships that include residencies, performances, workshops and fiddle clubs, and has committed to a long list of projects and programming. The Touring Group concerts in Vermont begin January 27 in Montpelier and the Scotland tour will take place in April. Young Tradition weekend in May includes the annual contest and the annual teacher student showcase. Trad Camp will be held July 23-27. The number of instrument petting zoo installations continues to expand. The instrument loan program runs at capacity and could use more instruments. Fiddleheads will meet at the Burlington Violin Shop in February for the final session of 4-month Pascal Gemme residency that started in September. Dominique Dodge starts a series of three sessions in March to prepare for a performance at the Carolan Festival.
      Young Tradition and Fiddleheads have a lineup planned that includes the Summit School Festival; Young Tradition Showcase; the Burlington Irish Heritage Festival; and more. The Young Tradition Weekend will feature players, singers and dancers from Franklin County and many other places and all the events, no matter where in Vermont, bring in performers we don't often get to see here.
      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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