ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 25, 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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      59,860 people (about 9.6% of the Vermont population) have been tested. Franklin County has 102 total cases, 6 deaths and no new cases this week. The state 14-day quarantine limit continues. Out-of-staters who travel to Vermont from a county in the Northeast with less than 400 cases per million population do not have to quarantine but others, especially those from high-risk areas, apparently do. With 2,065 cases per million people, Franklin County would be a "quarantine" location.
      Indoor dining in restaurants is limited to the greater of 25% of regular occupancy limits and outdoor dining is allowed at maximum licensed seating capacity, up to 50 people. Inns, hotels, and other lodging continue at 50% capacity or 25 guests and staff, whichever is larger. All gatherings, indoor and outdoor, continue to be limited to 25 people.
      Vermont plans to reopen K-12 classrooms in the fall. Some Vermont museums will reopen for summer. The Saint Albans Museum has delayed its traditional seasonal opening but their "virtual doors" are open.

      Vermont has canceled all county fairs, field days, and festivals for 2020. The 30th annual Summer Sounds concert series will return in 2021. 20/20 Visions, the Montgomery Center for the Arts Summer Art Show and Fundraiser, Bay Day and the Great Race (planned for this Sunday), summer shows at Burton Island, the summer season of the Citizens Concert Band, Evenings at the Meeting House, the entire 2020 season at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls, the entire Enosburg Town Band Summer Concert Series, the St. Albans Downtown Concerts, and many Young Tradition events have been canceled. Morristown's Wednesday Night Live is on hold until after July 4; the selectboard will make a decision then. Summer Music at Grace is reviewing its summer schedule. The 99th annual Champlain Valley Fair will wait until next summer.

      Although so many of our favorite activities won't happen this year, all the volunteers will stay as active as possible and this weekly column about the arts and entertainment around the region will continue to serve up live and almost live events and artists from around the region. Read all about it here every Thursday.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild Gallery is open. They have shields for the front desk, masks for employees, and a strict cleaning protocol. And they have "curbside pickup offerings."
      "The safety of everyone in our gallery is of the utmost importance, so we will be requiring anyone in the gallery to wear masks. We will also be limiting the number of people in the gallery to 15 people at a time to make sure that everyone is safe and can follow the social distancing protocol." MAG is not yet hosting classes in the gallery but will continue online classes. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Artist in Residence features Gerard Sparacino on Facebook .
      The art cooperative is open with 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 started new hours last week: Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.


SOUTH HERO--Snow Farm Vineyard and Once Upon a Rock host Outdoor Pebble Art on Sunday 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. She provides pebbles, sea glass, sticks, glue, a 5x7 shadow box, guidance and inspiration. Each piece is unique.
      The event will be held outside. All participants must bring a mask. Participants may sit with the group they register or arrive with or must social distance comfortably. The tasting room will be open for wine and light fare. Masks are required.
      The cost is $35. Click here for tickets.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild will host Website Development for Artists: WIX with instructor Caitlyn Kenney as part of their ongoing series of online seminars on Tuesday at 6 - 8 p.m. This workshop will teach the basics of template selection, page design, photo selection, and the how-tos of being found online using the cloud-based web design platform.
      The cost is $35 for members or $40 for non-members. Click here to reserve a space.


BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont and the Burlington Violin Shop host a series of live performances in front of the shop on Fridays during the lunch hour. "Physically distant and but socially secure," harp and fiddle appear tomorrow.
      All social-distancing and mask guidance applies--no seating, no major congregating, and no paper money or coinage. Audience members can support the musicians via Venmo or PayPal at the performance or anytime at PayPal.
      If possible, YTV will live stream on the Young Tradition Vermont Facebook page and hope to record it to post at the same place after the concert.

MILTON--Arrowhead Golf Course hosts the Buck Hollers for the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet on the deck on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The 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.

COLCHESTER--The Spanked Puppy presents Chris and Erica live on Friday at 6 p.m.
      Chris Parker's birthday is two days before so he says this gig is his birthday party. "Come celebrate middle age with me at The Puppy."

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Live Music This Weekend on Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are necessary. Cooper was live in the reverse window on Friday on on Facebook .
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Eleven rocks Happy Hour at Nelly's on Saturday at 6 p.m.
      "We are super excited to be back performing again," Scott Guptill said. The trio of Mr. Guptill, guitar and vocals; Taylor Arsenault, vocals; and Scott Belisle, bass and vocals covers a musical barrage of hits from the 70s to the 90s.

ST. ALBANS--The Old Foundry presents Carol Ann Jones and Will Patton on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

MONTGOMERY--The monthly Celebration of Expressive Arts opens for this year, taking over the INN on Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. Come early for dinner; service begins at 4 p.m. This month, the featured artist is Jericho painter and cartoonist Robert Brunelle Jr. and the featured musicians are Montgomery Center jazz quartet KRIS. The local artists, writers and musicians gather again to share original and thought provoking work.
      The performace schedule is new, starting at 6:30 this year and will be include two artists instead of three. Deck seating is by table and by reservation with social distancing. Another option is to BYO chair and sit in the lawn and listen. CEA will still ask for donations for the artists to share. The events are generally the last Sunday of each month.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle presents Carol Ann Jones and Jon Sochin on Tuesday at 6 p.m. They'll be there every Tuesday evening. Seating is very limited with lots of restrictions in place and reservations are a must. Call 802.372.4814.


     With many venues still shut down, we have to rely on ourselves for entertainment so sing from a sinkhole. Record yourself on the third tee. Paint your car door black, purple, and silver metallic. Just the driver's side. OK, maybe not that.
      You're housebound? Your show is cancelled or postponed? You're bored? How about putting on a show?
      Get the band together and video or livestream a rehearsal every day. Or set up your easel and video a painting coming together. Read a few pages from your novel or a short story or a poem. Get in costume and video that play or the dance. Do some improv in your living room.
      We're missing you. You'll get in a session and we'll like seeing you. Please share your efforts with your local arts council, too. And if the artist has a donation button, the audience can express appreciation through PayPal, Venmo, or other services.
      Here's a roundup for this week.

      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour will perform a new Social Distancing Concert Live from the Florida Keys, thanks to Facebook Live every Friday at 7:30 p.m. Last week's concert is here.
      Find him on Facebook for this week's concert.

      Andrew Lloyd Webber will stream his musicals in the free YouTube series, The Shows Must Go On, every Friday at 7 p.m. for 48 hours. The Sound of Music begins tomorrow. Clips of famous performances and behind-the-scenes footage also appear on the channel beside the full shows.
      Click here for Mr. Webber's YouTube channel for all the details and to subscribe.

      Tom Caswell streams a blues jam live from his living room on Facebook every Wednesday at 7 p.m. He welcomes everyone to play some blues along from home. Find him on Facebook and view last week's jam here here.

Father's Day Specials
      Robert Gagnon did two Father's Day jams, one with his dad and one with Tony Gagnon and Jack playing Jack-a-Roe, streaming on Facebook with Jam #1 and Jam #2.

      Carol Ann Jones promised her dad a song for Father's Day but she had to wait until it cooled down a bit to begin. Find her on Facebook.


NUDE: THE UNCOVERED HUMAN FORM (June 27)--The non-profit arts organization and gallery, Manifest of Cincinnati, invites visual artists to submit any traditional and non-traditional 2D and 3D visual arts media for its 12th annual competitive exhibition, NUDE. Entry Fee. Call 513.861.3638, Email or click here for more info.

THE COMIX COMPETITION NOUVEAU TALENT 2020 (June 30)--The competition is part of the International Comic Strip Festival in Lausanne, Switzerland. The theme for this year’s competition is Spaghetti. All interpretations of the theme are welcome. No Entry Fee. Click here for more info; scroll down for English.

MAYOR'S PIX (July 8)--The third annual St. Albans Mayor's Photo Competition theme is "Landscapes and Flowers." All photos, including cellphone photography, are welcome. There will be an online showing in July when the public can vote for their favorite photos. In early August the top ten winners, and the Mayor's Choice, will be revealed in a livecast ceremony in Taylor Park with the winning images displayed in a public art installation. Those winning photos will be auctioned online this Fall. SACA will also sell a calendar with the winning photos.
      Email, click here, or find the event on Facebook for the contest rules and entry form.


SWANTON--"Huzzah! We've missed you and can't wait to see your (muffled) faces." The Swanton Free Public Library will reopen one day per week, every Monday. There are some new requirements: No more than ten patrons in the building at any one time with a maximum visit time of 30 minutes for browsing or computer use only. Masks will be required. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult guardian. If books or other materials are handled, they must be placed on a marked cart, not back on the shelf.
      Curbside pickups will continue on Wednesday and Saturday.

ONLINE--Alma Alexander's new novel, The Second Star, drops on Wednesday in a "virtual book launch" on Facebook.
      Ms. Alexander will do a live reading from the novel and answer questions from the audience. My punaholic friend made her name as a fantasy writer; "she began telling stories as a child and never stopped" which adds up to nearly three million words in more than 20 published books. Her novel, The Secrets of Jin-shei, has been published in 14 languages and her Young Adult Worldweavers series features New World magic. This is her first true science fiction novel.

      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


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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