ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 22 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 2, 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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FRANKLIN COUNTY--Summer Sounds takes the weekend off for Field Days but the Big Music Weeks of Summer continue as some of our friends play multiple gigs. There are shows in Burlington, Colchester, East Burke, Enosburg Falls, Essex Junction, Highgate and Highgate Falls, Milton, Morrisville, Sheldon, South Hero, and St. Albans.


      Today through Sunday, Vermont's finest country fair takes to the fields of Highgate as the 43rd annual Franklin County Field Days brings a lineup of the best music, arts and crafts, and of course weeds that Franklin County has to offer. The musical lineup includes great music every day. And it all begins today at noon.
      Franklin County Homemakers Club will have quilting in the Homemaker's Barn. The Arts and Crafts are bigger than ever. The mobile St. Albans Museum will be open. There are "Make and Take" projects every day. Events include rides, the horse and pony pull, ATV drag races, poker tournaments, and tractor pulls. There are exhibits galore.
      Field Days has headliners each day. Music starts at 2 p.m. today as The Fair starts off with Troy Millette at 2 p.m. Maple Creek brings it home starting at 7:30 p.m.
      Tomorrow, Buddy the Clown wanders the grounds all day. Watch for a sighting. The Old Man Garage Band opens the day at 11 a.m. Chris & Erica build up the Main Stage at 3 p.m. and Night Hawk will light some fires starting at 7:30 p.m.
      Buddy the Clown returns on Saturday, then Rockin' Ron the Friendly Pirate starts the entertainment on the Main Stage at 11 a.m. George Richards and the Johnny Cash Tribute Band plays the afternoon shift, starting at 2 p.m. Rosie Newton is the showstopper at 7:30 p.m.
      The Dale and Darcy Band lights up Sunday morning at 10 a.m., then the Keeghan Nolan Band anchors the stage at 1 p.m. until the Field Days gates close.
      Field Days has "One Price" admission of $10 per day for adults, teens, and children over three feet tall. It includes all midway rides, the tractor pull exhibits, the mechanical bull, and live entertainment. Children under three feet tall are admitted for free. A limited number of rides may be available for small children. Parking costs just $1 per car inside and outside of the gate.
      Call Fernand Gagne (802.238.4904), email, or click here for more info.


SHELDON--Summer Music at Grace presents a very special concert of Music for Organ, Violin, and Viola performed by David Sears, Permelia Sears, and Rebecca Sears featuring Grace Church's 1833 Erben Organ on Friday at 7 p.m.
      The program includes the music of a wide range of composers from the 17th through the 21st centuries, from Boyvin and Pachelbel to Foote and Sears. David Sears has several arranged pieces for accompaniment by viola and violin.
      Mr. Sears is Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at Merrimack College and is also a composer. With his wife, Permelia, he was Co-Chair of the Extant Organs Committee of the Organ Historical Society. Permelia Sears is a past Dean of the Merrimack Valley MA Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Rebecca Sears is a Lecturer in the Department of Classics at Washington University has played violin with the Lowell Philharmonic and Arlington Philharmonic.
      The 1833 Erben Organ, one of few original pipe organs of its era, was installed at St. Paul's Church (now Cathedral) in Burlington until 1869, when it was relocated to Grace Church in Sheldon. A major restoration project completed in 2000 brought the Erben back into repair. It has been recognized as a National Heritage Organ and designated a Landmark of American Organ building by the Organ Historical Society by virtue of its status as the oldest extant intact organ built by the Erben Organ Company.
      Admission is by donation. Proceeds from this concert benefit the Sheldon Food Shelf.


ST. ALBANS--Free Studio Fridays continue in the Claire Payne Studio on Friday from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. The studio is open to artists to get together and work at a studio in the company of other artists. These will be held every Friday until October 26. It is all free; bring your own project and materials.
      Call 802.782.5930, email, or click here to reserve your spot.


ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on seamstress and textile artist Patricia Rugg, mixed media artist Meta Strick, and watercolor painter and fiber artist Deborah Travis.
      The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with refreshments and a raffle today 4:30 - 7 p.m. The exhibit continues through the end of August.
      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 on South Main Street is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for more info.

ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts writer-photographer (and yr. obedient servant) Richard B. Harper in a solo show. I am exhibiting the familiar sights and waterscapes of Franklin County as well as several shot in the Florida Keys.
      I work mostly across northern New England, southern Florida, and the American Southwest. My photographs have been exhibited in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida and are in private collections in California, Eastern and Southwestern states, and in Canada. This exhibit includes unretouched original images as well as the blended effects of the digital darkroom. One canvas is a digital painting. As I did last year, I will donate half of the sale of any image on the wall to the NMC Hospital Auxiliary.
      The show continues through the end of August. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The visiting exhibition, Everywhere a Sign, is drawing to a close in the Bliss Room of the St. Albans Museum. The program began June 8 and continues until Wednesday.
      Signs are everywhere. They inform, educate and promote. Over time, many signs become a part of their communities. They are a way to orient visitors or a source of shared memory. The Vermont Historical Society’s traveling display examines the distinct and diverse roles signs play in our everyday. The exhibit is enhanced with signs from SAM's own collection, which feature local businesses and popular locations -- including the Central Vermont Railroad, the Governor Smith Inn, the American House, the Saint Albans Air Force Station, and more.
      Call 802.527.7933, Click here , or find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Museum will screen Rooted: Cultivating Community in the Vermont Grange in the Bliss Room atop the museum this evening at 7 p.m.
      Produced by Charlotte Barett, the film explores the social, economic, and political impacts of the National Grange on Vermont's rural communities over the past 150 years, weaving archival images and oral histories with footage of modern day grange events to paint a comprensive portrait of the organization and the audience it serves. A Q & A will follow with Ms. Barrett. Light refreshments served.
      Admission is free. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers the Nobby Reed Project for Blues Night 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--Boom City Improv returns to the Main Stage at Twiggs with special guests Meredith Gordon and Gladys for an evening of stand-up comedy on Thursday at 7 p.m. Doors at 6:30.
      Next up, Twiggs presents busy singer, songwriter, guitarist, band leader Tim Brick on Thursday, the Americana-country folk-alternative rock of the Shane Murley Band on Friday, and the acoustic-Americana-country folk rock-bluegrassy Buck Hollers on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

MILTON--Arrowhead Golf Course hosts the Buck Hollers for the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The tacos buffet starts around 7 p.m. Both run until 9 p.m.
      The buffet costs $11 per person ($5 for each child). You don't have to be a member; the public is welcome. Be sure to come early, usually around 6, to get a good seat.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company presents Gypsy Wind on the taproom stage on Saturday at 1 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 on the first Saturday of the month.
      Next up, Live at the 14th Star presents the very busy Tim Brick on Saturday at 6 p.m. Mr. Brick's fourth album, Just Passin' Through, should be called Here to Stay.

COLCHESTER--Justice will Party In The Outback at the Spanked Puppy on Saturday at 5 p.m.
      The band is Gary Greeno, vocals, guitar and keys; Rod Bushey, lead guitar and vocals; Scott Belisle, bass and vocals; Mike Stella, drums; and Scott Guptill, guitar and vocals.

BURLINGTON--Chasing 440 returns to the Bluegrass Brunch Series at the Skinny Pancake on Sunday at noon - 3 p.m.

EAST BURKE--Mike's Tiki Bar presents the Nobby Reed Project on Sunday at 5 p.m.
      Vermont's best known blues trio includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals.

ST. ALBANS--Tuesday is National Night Out in Taylor Park from 4 p.m - 7 p.m.
      The national event focuses on community safety with people from the police and fire departments, a display of special vehicles and K9 Units, food, ice cream, a bouncy house, live music, activities and more.

SOUTH HERO--Carol Ann Jones hosts Music in the Meadow at the Blue Paddle Bistro on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Ms. Jones will perform and then hold an Open Mic ever Tuesday, weather permitting, through the summer.
      There are tables and chairs outside but it can get pretty busy, so bring your own chair or blanket or come early to get a table or chairs. Email to sign up.

ENOSBURG FALLS--The Enosburg Town Band plays a weekly free summer concert in Lincoln Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      Bring a chair or a blanket to enjoy an hour long concert under the stars under the direction of Alisa Martin. Performances will continue on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. through August 21.

MORRISVILLE--The Wednesday Night Live summer music series continues with the New Orleans Soul Project and the Lamoille Dance Academy in Oxbow Riverfront Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The series continues each week through August 22. There will be a rotating mix of food vendors every week, from American barbecue to Nepalese staples.

ST. ALBANS--Sean Jarvis hosts Open Mic Night at Durty Nelly's Irish Pub on Wednesday starting at 6:30 p.m. Show off your talent; everyone is welcome to grab the mic and perform any Wednesday evening on the Tavern side.

ST. ALBANS--Summer Sounds favorites IncaHoots continue the Downtown Summer Concert Series in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. 14th Star Brewing and the Traveling Canteen serve food and drink at all of this year's Summer Concert Series events.
      Admission is free.

HIGHGATE FALLS--The Citizens Concert Band plays a free concert in St. John's Episcopal Church on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      The rain site is in the church.

SHELDON--Every Wednesday the Abbey throws a Beach Party with music, drink specials, and prizes, after the Volleyball, starting about 8:30 p.m.


FAIRFIELD--The Bent Northrop Memorial Library hosts the Unexpected President on Sunday at 1 p.m.
      Scott S. Greenberger, author of The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur, will speak about his new biography of the 21st president, one of two U.S. presidents born in Vermont. A book signing will follow the talk. The discussion is supported by a VHC grant.

MONTGOMERY--The Montgomery Center for the Arts hosts the Montgomery Writers Workshop with Tony Whedon in MCA Kelton Hall on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The remaining sessions will take place on August 8, and August 22.
      The cost is $120 for all six three-hour sessions. Call Mr. Whedon (802.370.6111) or click here to register and 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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