ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 23 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 7, 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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      Next Thursday, February 14, is Valentine's Day. Give the gift of art.


ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on metal sculptor Rebecca Nase Chomyn, fantasy portraitist Terry Rice, improvisational fabric artist Claire Graham-Smith, and Longina Smolinski with sculpture, paintings, and hand crafted jewelry.
      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 February.
      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 eclectic painter El Towle this month. Mr. Towle favors oil and acrylics, but also works in silk, clay, watercolor, and paints on copper plates. His work is in private collections throughout the U.S. and Canada.
      The show continues through the end of February.


ST. ALBANS--Twiggs hosts Pebble Art: Choose Your Frame this evening at 6 p.m.
      Jean Ferguson picks up a rock or a stone or a pebble and "sees a thousand possibilities." She "shops" for rocks and stones on beaches and shorelines all over Vermont. This workshop will use pebbles, rocks, stones, driftwood and lake glass to create artwork. From framed pieces to Christmas ornaments to candle holders, each piece is unique. Call Twiggs to make a reservation if you plan to eat ahead of time. Food and drink also available during the event.
      The cost is $30 for a 5x7 or $40 for a 6x14 frame. Click here for tickets.

ST. ALBANS--"Release your inner Picasso." The Artist In Residence Gallery hosts a Paint & Sip Fundraiser in the Room at 14th Star Brewery on Saturday at 3 - 6 p.m. Painter, musician, and bon vivant Patrick Murphy will instruct step by step from a bare sheet to an original piece of art.
      The cost is $40 which includes all materials. Proceeds go to the A.I.R. Capital Campaign to purchase the building on Main Street. Visit the AIR Gallery to register or call the Gallery (802.528.5222) for more info.

ST. ALBANS--St. Albans Community Arts hosts a Fiber Arts Meetup at the St. Albans Public Library on Monday at 1 - 3 p.m.
      Fiber artists meet with other textile creatives at the twice-monthly event. Bring along a project and meet the group upstairs in the back. Email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs also hosts Paint Nite: Luna Lit River on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      Artist Carrie Tatro brings energy and fun and will provide all the materials to create your own painting plus has "the refreshments you need!" Click here for tickets and more info. Use code PNfbVT for 40% off.


ST. ALBANS--St. Albans Community Arts hosts its monthly Community Arts MeetUp in City Hall on Tuesday with a Board Meeting at 6 p.m. and the Creative Meetup at 6:30. The gathering will discuss new and ongoing business, meet new people, and discuss any creative ideas that crop up.
      Click here for the minutes and reports of prior meetings and more.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Art Journaling Group will meet at Bees on Broadway on Tuesday evening at 6 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 second Tuesday of every month to share ideas and to take time to create.
      Email for more info.

SWANTON--The Lake Champlain Basin Program has awarded $4,000 to the Swanton Arts Council as a 2019 Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership Local Heritage Grant to create a community generated original film, The Year of the Salmon.
      The script will be developed during a day-long writing slam and incorporate facts provided by the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge with fictional characters to tell a story that highlights the local natural heritage. Filmed at the Refuge, this project will provide learning opportunities in writing, acting, filming, and editing while the information on natural resources and conservation challenges are incorporated into a 15-45 minute movie.
      "This project would not be possible without the support of Northwest Access TV, the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge and the talented writers, actors and videographers in the Swanton community," SAC Executive Director Judy Paxman said.
      Email Judy Paxman to participate.


ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Recreation Department will treat dads and their daughters to a beautiful atmosphere, refreshments, music, and dancing at the Father Daughter Gala and Silent Auction in City Hall this evening at 6 p.m.
      Admission is $55 per couple, $18 for each additional daughter for city residents. The Masquerade Ball will help support community recreation activities. Call 802.524.1500 ext. 266 or click here for tickets.

ST. ALBANS--The Brewery Comedy Tour returns to 14th Star this evening at 7 p.m.
      Nationally recognized comedians travel the country tasting local beer in this new comedy circuit. General admission is $15. Click here for more info and to get tickets.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. On Friday, The Duel takes the stage from 5 - 8 p.m. followed byhigh energy Burlington dance band Sticks and Stones starting at 9 p.m.
      On Tap has music on Tuesday through Saturday nights. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--Higher Ground presents Troy Millette with the Chad Conant Trio and Andrew James in the Showcase Lounge this evening at 7:30 p.m. Doors at 7.
      Admission is $10 advance or $12 day of show. Click here for tickets and more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey hosts Friday Nights Music with Chris and Erica in the Winter Music Series on Friday at 7 p.m. The local duo have won acoustic performer contests and have opened for Jamie Lee at Higher Ground. The series continues through February 22.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents English blues guitarist, the Tom Caswell Duet on Friday and jazz guitarist Bob Gagnon on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

MONTGOMERY CENTER--MCAKelton Hall hosts Mardi Gras Montgomery on Saturday at 8 p.m.
      This first MCA Mardi Gras fundraiser will be a carefree, colorful, and chaotic dance party with Red Square DJ Mashtadon, free food, and a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $20 each or $30 per couple to benefit MCA programming and maintenance. It is a BYOB event. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs hosts an explosive new monthly Electric Blues Jam on Wednesday at 7 p.m. All musicians are welcome to come and play the blues. House band Tom Caswell, guitar and vocals; Tom Buckley, bass; and Michael Bishop, drums will back up local talent and visiting stars.
      The jam takes over on the Tavern side on the second Wednesday of the month every month.

MONTREAL--Young Tradition Vermont hosts three late showcases at the Folk Alliance International Conference at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth starting this evening at 10:30 p.m. - 3 a.m. Tonight's showcase features the April Verch Band, Bruce Molsky, the Faux Paws, Low Lily, Tristan Henderson, Alexis Chartrand and Nicolas Babineau, The Zeichner Trio, Ethan Tischler, and Jes & Jakob The Blackberry Bushes. The shows continue late tomorrow and Friday evenings.
      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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