ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 22 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 16, 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--The Big Music Weeks of Summer continue as some of our friends play multiple gigs. Summer Sounds celebrates 28 years of concerts in Highgate. There are shows in Enosburg Falls, Essex Junction, Highgate, Manchester, Milton, Montgomery, Morrisville, South Hero, St. Albans, Swanton, and West Swanton


HIGHGATE--La Quinta Inn and Suites in St. Albans, the All Arts Council, and the Town of Highgate continue 28 years of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate in a Farewell Party for Clare Byrne Song and Dance in the free Summer Sounds concert on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
      Ted Looby and Gus Ziesing join Ms. Byrne. The party is our chance to bid farewell to the Vermont dancer and singer-songwriter. She is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at UVM and a choreographer, dancer, writer, and musician but is leaving Vermont for Massachusetts.
      Her new album is in progress. It will have fifteen songs featuring Mr. Looby, Mr. Ziesing, Rodrigo Alonzo, Dan Strauss, Amy Larimer, Nicholas Leichter, Colin Henkl, Remy DeLaroque, Patricia Julian, and more, recorded at Mr. Ziesing's Low Tech Studios.
      Stop by the Summer Sounds Social in the Park for McKenzie hot dogs, chips, and desserts, starting at 6 p.m. just before the concert. It's a chance to visit with friends and eat hearty.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling Co. Inc, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, La Quinta Inn and Suites of St. Albans, O. C. McCuin and Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in Highgate Municipal Park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair for the outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. Click here for more info.


WEST SWANTON--The Hodgdon's Truckers Fest 2018 will be a family weekend featuring Sawyer Brown and Southbound with a big rig trick show, a truck parade, live music, bouncy houses, face painting, touch-a-truck, kids power wheel races, and more. There will be food vendors and a camping area. The truck parade will take place on Saturday.
      The festival raises money to donate to a great cause each year; This year the proceeds will go to Camp Ta-Kum-Ta.
Friday: Gates open at 4 p.m. with performances by Sawyer Brown and Southbound.
Saturday: Gates open at 10 a.m. with performances by Bob & Val, High Voltage, Bad Horsey, Bella Voce, and the Nobby Reed Project.
Sunday: gates open at 10 a.m. with the trophy giveaway later in the day.
      Tickets are $25 per day or $40 for the whole weekend. 100% of profits benefit Camp Ta Kum Ta. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--NCSS Adolescent Services hosts the second annual Youth Art Show at Vermont Adult Learning on Wednesday at 3 - 6 p.m. The exhibit includes local artists aged 14 - 22.
      Light refreshments will be served and donations will be accepted but are not necessary.


ST. ALBANS--CaDi Corners hosts Quilting for Community on Saturday at 10 a.m.
      In keeping with the tradition of Quilting, workshop participants will complete an entire quilt top for Charity and will learn a new stash buster block. Bring a sewing machine set up for piecing, rotary cutter and a small cutting mat if you have one.
      The session is free but reservations are required. Reserve your seat by "purchasing" online at


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council will hold the first of what will be an annual benefit photo contest at the Swanton Art Spectacular this month. The winning photos will be printed on canvas and auctioned as a fundraiser for the SAC. See the Art Deadlines for the entry info.
      Email for more info.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Writer's Group will meet at the Swanton Free Public Library this evening at 6 p.m. Members can share progress and join in the discussion about longer projects and anything else about writing, reading, publishing, and more.
      Call Becky Rupp (802.733.7471) or email for more info.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Art Journaling Group will meet at the Swanton Free Public Library Monday evening at 5:30 p.m. Art journals, junk journals, art pages and more are on the table and make for fun for artists, writers, scrap bookers, and more. The group meets on the third Monday of every month to share ideas and to take time to create.
      Email for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Northwest Access Television celebrates this month with a Grand Opening August Mixer at their state-of-the-art studio in Franklin Park West this evening at 5:30 p.m. There will be live music by Near North, beverages from Twiggs, and food served by the Traveling Canteen.
      Admission is $5 for Chamber members or $8 nonmembers. Registration is required. Click here for more info and to register.


SOUTH HERO--The Sweet Summer Concert Series presents the Nobby Reed Project at Snow Farm Winery this evening. Picnicking begins at 5 p.m. and music starts at 6:30 p.m.
      The live summer concert music series offers a variety of music from classical to jazz to swing to bluegrass to classic rock. All concerts are free and tickets are not required. Concerts are held every Thursday evening from June to September, weather permitting. Food Vendors will be onsite. Bring your own chairs and blankets for lawn seating. Absolutely No outside alcohol is permitted on the property at any time.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Summer Sounds favorites Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers 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 TNT Comedy Showcase continues on the Main Stage at Twiggs on TNT Comedy Thursday at 7 p.m. Doors at 6:30. Suzan Ambrose hosts open mic. This is a free show for mature audiences and space has been filling up quickly; call Twiggs to reserve a table. Make dinner reservations prior to the show since only drinks, appetizers, and desserts will be served during the show.
      Next up, Twiggs presents indie-folk, alt-country songwriter Erin Cassels-Brown on Thursday, the sweet, ruff and tasty, country blues of Gold Tooth Guitar on Friday, and the five dynamic northern Vermont musicians of Bardela on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

MANCHESTER--The new Green Mountain Bluegrass and Roots Festival has a star studded lineup including our own Chasing 440 in Hunter Park this weekend from Thursday morning through Sunday evening. Festival gates for the weekend will open at noon on Thursday. Daily gates open at 9 a.m.
      Chasing 440 will play the Dance Tent and the Showcase Stage. The community centric event taps nationally touring roots musicians into Vermont's bustling community of bluegrass artists.
      Admission is $110 in advance for a 4-day weekend pass. Passes and individual day tickets will be available at the gate or online at

MONTGOMERY--Celebration of Expressive Arts hosts Francesca Blanchard in her debut performance for a dinner concert at the INN on Friday. Dinner will be served at 5:30 or 6:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8. This is their first Friday night dinner concert at a CEA event.
Call the INN (802.326.439) or click here for reservations and more info. Click here to see Ms. Blanchard.

MILTON--Arrowhead Golf Course hosts Chris & Erica for the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The pulled pork 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--Music, Brews & BBQ presents Rushmore on Friday and Barbie-n-Bones in the Biergarten at Mill River Brewing. Shows start at 7 p.m.

MONTGOMERY--The PoJazz Live Summer Music Series concludes at MCAKeltonHall on Saturday at 6 p.m.
      PoJazz is a mix of words and music, poetry and jazz that borrows from the "wide tradition of hiphop and jazz poetry (think Jack Kerouac meets Tupac)." Led by Montgomery poet and trombonist Tony Whedon, Pojazz has performed at colleges, bistros and jazz festivals through the North Country. Band members include veteran guitarist Mike Martello, Bakersfield bass-and-mandolin virtuoso Will Patton, and the brilliant jazz singer Tiffany Pfeiffer, with Mr. Whedon on trombone and poems plus another well-known musician and poet from Vermont and beyond.
      Click here for tickets.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company presents Chris & Erica on the taproom stage on Saturday at 6 p.m.
      Since winning the 14th Star Open Mic Challenge, the busy local duo has been in high demand for their blend of acoustic rock, country, and pop.

ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents the Old Man Garage Band on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      The eight-or-more piece group -- Alan Grandshaw, Gary Jacobs, Todd LaForce, Lenny Larose, Phil Lovelette, and Jim Week -- from Franklin and Enosburg will rock the House. Admission is $10. Tickets are available online and at the door.

ESSEX JUNCTION--Backstage Pub and Restaurant goes Back to School in this Justice special on Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

HIGHGATE--La Quinta Inn and Suites, the All Arts Council, and the Town of Highgate continue 28 years of music in a Farewell Party for Clare Byrne Song and Dance in the free Summer Sounds concert. The party is our chance to bid farewell to the Vermont dancer and singer-songwriter. She is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at UVM and a choreographer, dancer, writer, and musician but is leaving Vermont for Massachusetts.

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 concludes with the Hillside Bounders in Oxbow Riverfront Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. There has been a rotating mix of food vendors every week, from American barbecue to Nepalese staples; this week features a free MoCo community corn roast and the MASP Children Business Fair.

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--No Left Turn continues 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.


SAC PHOTO CONTEST (August 18)--The first Swanton Art Spectacular Photo Contest seeks entries in four categories: abstract, animals, food, and nature. Submit up to one image per category. SAC will print 4x6 photos for public judging at the Art Spectacular. The winning photos will be enlarged, printed on canvas, and auctioned as a fundraiser. Click here for more info and the contest rules.

THOSE WHO CAN, TEACH (September 1)--Nave Gallery seeks artists who teach 50% to full time in public school grades K-12. The exhibition is open to 2D and 3D art. Entry fee. Click here for more info and the entry forms.

SMITHSONIAN CRAFT SHOW (September 7)--The Smithsonian juried exhibition and sale of contemporary American craft in art and design is held annually in Washington DC. Artists are selected on the basis of the originality, artistic conception, and quality of work. Entry Fee. Click here for more info and to apply.


      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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