ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 23 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 10, 2019


      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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ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts wildlife photographer and Milton Artists Guild member Sharon Radtke for a solo show this month.
      Ms. Radtke was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and "started taking pictures of birds as a distraction." She lives on 22-acre Round Pond and finds many of her subjects right in her backyard. With a camera always at hand, she makes images at any road or waterside she travels by. "It is mostly birds but frogs and bunnies too," she said.
      The show continues through the end of January.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council hosts Valentine Lovelies Wine Glass Painting Class at Bees on Broadway on Friday at 6 p.m.
      Participants will paint two stemless wine glasses while enjoying tea and cookies and lively discussions. The class includes a choice of many designs or bring your own.
      The cost is $25 in advance or $30 at the class and includes instruction with Janet Soavi, two stemless wine glasses, paint supplies, instructions for curing your glasses and tea. Email or click here to register or for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs hosts Once Upon a Rock with Pebble Art 5x7 Frame on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      "Rocks have always had a place in my life," Jean Ferguson (Ward) said. She uses pebbles, rocks, stones, driftwood, and lake glass to create artwork from framed pieces like the ones here to Christmas ornaments and candle holders. The price is $30. Click here for tickets and more info.


ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company presents the Lloyd Tyler Band live on the taproom stage on Friday at 6 p.m.
      Zack Tyler and Jeff Lloyd mix acoustic guitars, bass and harmonica, as they blend folk, country, rock, blues and Americana covers.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap justifies a Winter Retreat with Justice on Friday at 9 p.m.
      On Tap has music on Tuesday through Saturday nights. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

STOWE--The Blues are coming to The Rusty Nail as they feature the Nobby Reed Project with the Balkun Brothers on Friday at 9 p.m.
      Nobby Reed is all about playing the guitar. His "local" Vermont trio is one of the top ten blues bands anywhere. The Balkun Brothers is an internationally touring rock n' roll term "power duo" with a heavy hitting, new-age brand of psychedelic rock, blues and jam-funk.
      Admission is $8, at the door. Find them on Facebook for tickets and more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Vermont's premier jazz icon Ellen Powell and her Trio on Friday and the originals, folk, country, pop and americana of Chris & Tristin on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

BECKET, MA--The Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA Camp hosts the Youth Tradition Song Weekend on Friday - Sunday.
      The long song weekend is a youth-focused event for singers and session leaders of traditional songs. The gathering includes singing, learning, teaching, sharing, growing, and all-around good times. Click here for more info.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--Higher Ground presents the Music of Grateful Dead for Kids on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Doors at 11.
      The Rock and Roll Playhouse is a family concert series for kids to "move, play and sing while listening to works from the classic-rock canon." The Playhouse bills itself as "an early and often first introduction to a child's lifelong journey with live music and rock and roll." Admission is $15 and children under 1 are admitted free. Click here for tickets and more info.
      Some readers may recall that Jerry Garcia and David Grisman released Not for Kids Only, an album of children's songs, in 1993.


      We wind up the preview of another busy year in the arts with a look at 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 Milton Artists' Guild has artists and artisans who strive for high quality, professional presentation of original and unique art. They have a long list of shows, workshops, and other events. MAG has exhibits in the Milton Public Library and the Community Gallery as well as rotating art in BioTek Instruments, Georgia Public Library, LCATV, Matthew C. Little Esq, and the US Attorney's Office in Burlington.
      The Northern Vermont Artist Association highlights its 2019 show schedule with the famed June Juried Show in Jeffersonville, shows at the Red Mill Gallery in Jericho, the Village Frame Shoppe in St. Albans, and several other venues including an online gallery. 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. Wildlife photographer Sharon Radtke is on exhibit now and El Towle returns 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 2019 was held at City Hall on Tuesday. SACA will host other events, regularly scheduled meetings on the second Tuesday of each month, and more.
      Swanton Arts Council held its calendar planning meeting January 1. The Spring Youth Art Show will take place in March and the Swanton Arts Spectacular is scheduled for September. This year, there will be workshops for artists, open art studios, paint-and-sip events, 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. SAC meets with updates on the first Monday of every month. The Art Journaling Group and Writers' Group meet monthly. 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," a Maple Festival photography exhibit, and more. They also carry artisan items including pottery, wooden bowls, hand painted signs and other wooden items. The Village Frame Shoppe and Milton Artists' Guild also collaborate to offer that service at the MAG. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info for upcoming events sales, and contests.

      The AAC helps promote many other Franklin County presenters and individual artists. Our regularly updated online calendar is found at Email to add events.
      Bay Day will celebrate this year with entertainment and family activities all day plus the fireworks to cap this Independence Day blowout.
      This Winter and Spring, the BFA Performing Arts Center will host the spring instrumental music concert, Maple Festival events, drama, the spring choral review concert, an instrumental pops concert, dance performances, 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 17th year of Vermont Reads.
      The eclectic Music at Grace series will be a program of exceptional performers starting with the 17th annual Farewell Reunion concert, a perennial favorite, on May 24. Also on the schedule, the return of Village Harmony and a Heliand Consort concert, both in July, and more. click here for more info.
      The Northwest Access TV Media Barn offers room for classes, more studio shows, and new equipment for community use. They will have courses, movies in the parks, as well as concerts and arts programming. All classes are $10 per student. And, of course, they have local shows and events such as the Rotary's Becoming a Museum without Walls, local sports, Feline Connections, Grumpy Old Men Cooking, and more.
      Paint-and-sip nights have exploded around the county and we can expect many more this year from Twiggs with its monthly "Paint Nites" to 14th Star, the Grind, MCA, libraries, and more.
      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. 14th Star, the Abbey, Arrowhead Country Club, Bayside, the Grind, the INN, Mill River Brewing, On Tap, and Sugartree Vermont, 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 Maple Run 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, Depictions of a Dream, is January 20 at the Flynn. Guest artists Counterpoint will present a suite of Civil Rights songs. Next up, the Farmer's Night Concert in February is a longstanding State House tradition. Then look for 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. This season, over 300 musicians in grades 1 - 12 represent 60 elementary, middle, and high schools in 41 towns from across Vermont and neighboring states including several from Franklin County. Programs are based at the Elley-Long Music Center at St. Michael's College. click here for more info.

      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 Fiddleheads residency with Sarah King started Saturday.
      The Touring Group performances in Vermont begin January 26 at Spice on Snow. Young Tradition Festival will have concerts, the Festival Club, workshops, around Burlington this Spring. Trad Camp will be held in Shelburne in July. The number of instrument petting zoo installations continues to expand. The instrument loan program runs at capacity and could use more instruments. The Young Tradition events 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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