ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 9, 2020


      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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      CORRECTION: The Artist In Residence reception is this evening, January 9, not last Thursday as we erroneously reported...
ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on fiber artist Donna Blatchly, beadwork jeweler Arlene Jarvis, and photographer Wayne Tarr.
      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 January.
      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 wildlife photographer and Milton Artist Guild member Sharon Radke in a solo show this month. In 2015, Ms. Radke began to document the different species of birds on her 22 acre pond in Milton. To date, she has documented 68 species of birds and continues to photograph birds and other wildlife at Pond House every day. 95 percent of her images have been taken in her yard and most others throughout Milton.
      The show continues through the end of January.


ST. ALBANS--PTC Business Workshops hosts How to Publish Your Book at Franklin Park West on Tuesday at 6pm. Writer and book coach Paula Diaco of Write Stories Now will show the proper to write and publish a book.
      Peoples Trust Company is hosting a series of Business Workshops with a focus on how to improve marketing strategies, buy an investment property, grow a business, or even write a book. The local bank hosts workshop leaders to show how. Call Jay Cummings (802.752.1848) or Email to register or 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.
      The group meets the second Thursday of every month. Call Becky Rupp (802.733.7471) or email for more info.

SWANTON--The SAC Art Journaling Group meets at the Swanton Free Public Library on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
      Meetings will be held at the library on the second Tuesday of every month. 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 to share ideas and to take time to create. If you need supplies to get started, check out the library's Makerspace or email for more info.


Friday, January 10
ESSEX--The Double E presents Leadfoot Louise on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
      Bay Day favorites, Rebecca Padula's twisted Americana string band offers a ragtime, old time, good time with Ms. Padula, lead vocals, guitar and ukulele; "Fiddle Dan" Wyman, fiddle and guitar; and "Ukulele Clare" Innes, banjolele, uke, dobro, harmonica, percussion and harmony vocals.
      Click here for more info.

Friday-Saturday, January 10-11
ST. ALBANS--The Old Foundry at One Federal presents guitarist, singer, and songwriter George Murtie on Friday and the eclectic, vintage sound of the Blue Rock Boys -- Eric Bushey and Cliff Crosby -- on Saturday. Shows begin at 6:30 p.m.
      Call 802.524.0330 or find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday-Sunday, January 10-12
AROUND THE STATE--The Vermont Mandolin Trio continues the four-show, statewide tour at Artistree in South Pomfret on Friday evening, January 10, at 9 p.m. The tour continues at Burnham Hall in Lincoln on Saturday, January 11 at 7:30 pm. and concludes with a matinee at the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro on January 12 at 3 p.m.
      The trio of Grammy-nominated Matt Flinner, ground breaking jazz mandolinist Jamie Masefield, and Franklin County's own world traveler Will Patton with bassist Pat Melvin brings together three Vermont mandolins for bluegrass, jazz, and roots music. The group performs the music of Bill Monroe, Django Reinhardt, J.S. Bach and everything in between.
      Admission in South Pomfret on Friday is $20 per person, in Lincoln is $10, and in Greensboro is $12.

Saturday, January 11
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Saturday, On Tap offers Chris & Erica at 5 p.m. and Cozy O'Donnell at 9 p.m.
      On Tap has music on Tuesday through Saturday nights. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents singer-songwriter Tim Howard with "simple and honest" originals and covering songs from rock, country, blues, and folk on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.


      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 Dennis Vaillancourt begins an exhibit 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 will be 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 this past Monday but there is always time to add events. 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," the Sappy Art Show of Maple Festival photography, 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 the All Arts Council or e-mail 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.
      Church Street Sounds of the Season has an eclectic mix of monthly music at St. Luke's Episcopal Church and at the First Congregational Church in the Spring and Fall. The Fall season will begin with an organ concert and fundraiser for the Hook & Hastings tracker pipe organ, in cooperation with the Vermont chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
      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 18th annual Farewell Reunion concert, a perennial favorite with a huge cast of superb performers, on May 23. Also on the schedule, the return of Village Harmony and Frevo, 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. And, of course, they have local shows and events such as Almost Live on Channel 15, and more.
      Paint-and-sip nights grew around the county last year 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 Saint 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.
      The Sap Run Boogie brings the Nobby Reed Project to the Abbey on March 7, all to benefit the Fairfield Community Center.
      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, with Mahler, Smetana, Dvorak, and Samuel Barber is February 16 at the Flynn. Nathan Wu will perform the first movement of Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto, Op. 14. Next up, the Hermance Prize Recital in March. Look for the Winter Rug Concert, Presto! concert, a full schedule in March, 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 is readying for the April performance tour in Japan. 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


Links to the Summer Music series in Franklin County
Summer Sounds
Summer Music at Grace
Downtown Summer Concert Series
Summer Evenings with
Vermont Treasures
Citizens Band
Wednesday Night Live
Enosburg Town Band


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

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