ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 3, 2021


      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 Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on cell phone photographer Barbara Flack, glass blower Tessa Hill, and pottery sculptor Martha McGinn.
      The art and fine craft 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, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.

SHELBURNE--Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery hosts Fairfield artist Gail Salzman's new solo exhibit, Shapes & Variations, with an opening reception this evening, at 5 - 7 p.m. The exhibit features two dozen framed, small, gouache paintings; it runs through July 10.
      "It's been a while," she said. "Spring/summer is here and things are really starting to get lively. And with more vaccinated, we can gather to socialize and celebrate things--like Art!"
      The gallery is open Tuesday - Friday 10 - 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 - 4 p.m. Click here for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Visions of Vermont Gallery hosts the Northern Vermont Artist Association's 90th anniversary June Juried Show with an opening on Sunday from 1 - 5 p.m. It runs through July 10.
      The gallery is open Wednesday-Sunday 10 - 5 p.m.


     The Abbey Summer Music Series and the Arrowhead Golf Course Friday Night Live Music and Buffet both resume tomorrow. Summer Sounds begins its 30th season of outdoor concerts with Mark Shelton on Sunday, July 11. Blue Paddle begins live music June 10. Cold Hollow Sculpture Park will reopen on June 12. The Double E begins Trucks, Taps and Tunes June 16. Franklin County Field Days goes live August 5 - 8. Island Arts' Summer Concerts begin July 17 with Jorge Garcia Herranz. Jeffersonville Art Jam starts June 12. Ten live Meeting House on the Green summer concerts begin June 12. Music returns twice a week to North Hero House starting June 16. The Opera House at Enosburg Falls cannot host summer camp but will offer an arts-based virtual summer program for kids ages 11-14. River Arts returns to Music on Main, the Downtown Summer Music Series in Morrisville. The Citizens Concert Band kicks off the Summer Concert Series in Taylor Parkon June 16. 14th Star, Twiggs, and other restaurants are offering some live music while other artists and venues continue livestreaming online. The Vermont Humanities Council has ongoing arts and literary digital events and programs including First Wednesdays and Vermont Reads. Although the activities may take place at a distance from Franklin County, they are available safely and locally online at

      Gov. Phil Scott lifted the 10 p.m. curfew on restaurants and bars on Saturday, thanks to the continuing progress with vaccinations. The big issue today is that most businesses don't have the staff to stay open for pre-pandemic hours. The state's food service workforce has had the second slowest employment recovery in the country, behind only Washington D.C. (The Abbey was closed May 25 due to staff shortage).
      Masks and social distancing will continue for the rest of this school year but Vermont children, parents, and teachers can expect to return to a relatively normal school environment in the fall.
      The state is in stage three of the Vermont Forward plan. We can gather freely with up to 300 people for indoor events and up to 900 unvaccinated individuals for outdoor events and an unlimited number of vaccinated people and cross-state travel is open. People who are fully vaccinated may go without a mask in indoor and outdoor spaces although I still recommend that we continue masking up where you can't control the air around you until we reach herd immunity. The full plan is outlined here. Click here for the details about which sectors are impacted and what Universal Guidance includes.
      Vermont had received 862,800 doses of vaccine and had administered 746,300 shots as of Saturday morning. 430,214 people or about 78.1% of the Vermont population 12 and older has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 63.1% have been fully vaccinated. 68.3% of Franklin County residents--still more than only Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties--have received at least one shot. The state has COVID-19 appointment times in St. Albans. Call the state's COVID-19 vaccine call center (855.722.7878) for info and appointments or Click here to get started and find more info.

These are still dangerous times in the pandemic even as
47 states report well under 100 cases/100,000 residents.
Please don't let down your guard.

      The State of Emergency continues.
      As of last Sunday, the Vermont Dashboard showed a total of 24,200 cases, up by 94 from a reported 24,106 last week. There have been 255 deaths (1.1% of cases) but none last week. The seven-day average test positivity rate was 1.0% Saturday although it dipped to 0.9% last Friday. The CDC COVID Tracker shows that Vermont's seven-day per capita infection rate dropped to 20 per 100,000 residents; by contrast, Colorado continues to "lead" the nation with 97.2 cases/100K. Maine had 58.6/100K while nearby New York dropped significantly to 39.1/100K, and Florida eased to 72.9/100K. CDC reported 125 total new cases (down from 273 last week) in Vermont this past week. Franklin County had 18 new cases in the last two weeks.
      393,670 people (up to 63.1% of the Vermont population) have been tested a total of 1,693,344 times, although that data still comes with a crucial caveat:

A negative test result yesterday says nothing
about an individual's health today.

We still need a daily test that costs ten cents and gives results in ten minutes (and a way to collate those results).

      After 142 news conferences since the start of the pandemic, the governor's office has now shifted to once-a-week briefings on Tuesdays only. I've written more than 55 of these "Cancellation and Restart" reports since this time last year. the data is well known now and many events are coming back. This section of the column will scale back to "reports as needed" with perhaps a roundup on the first of the month.
      Because I have written this weekly column largely on Sundays, the infection rates and news reported here has always lagged "live media" reports. Since it appears on Thursday and covers an entire week in the future, that also means events and happenings are likely to change. Be sure to check with the organizers of any event for up-to-the-minute info.
      Although some of our favorite activities won't happen this summer, 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.


SWANTON--Swanton Arts Council has offered a series of workshops for adults and teens with kits available at the Swanton Free Public Library. The kits included everything needed to make a masterpiece. The kits were free, all thanks to an anonymous donor.
      Not everyone was able to make it, so they videoed the social craft instructionals and posted the results on Facebook . Some kits are still available.
      Find them on Facebook to see all the videos.

BURLINGTON--BCA offers in-person youth and adult programming including darkroom photography, drawing, print making, screen printing, watercolor, and more, all at BCA Studios with strict health and safety guidelines in place. Click here for more info.

MONTGOMERY--Montgomery Center for the Arts hosts impressionist painter Dennis Lucas to lead Take Me to the River: Exploring the Trout River Through the Arts, a live, free, in-person plein air painting workshop on Saturday at 10 a.m.
      Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. It's the way to paint from direct observation. This free workshop will focus on the natural beauty along the Trout River. All supplies, canvas, paint, brushes are included. This a free event, cosponsored by The Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers Wild and Scenic Committee Grants Program. Enrollment is limited to 10 participants. Click here to register and find them on Facebook for more info.

ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls will hold a Virtual Art Camp for Middle School Children this summer. Campers must be registered by June 1. Camp begins June 28.
      Watercolor Magic: An Art Camp is for ages 11 - 14 who like to be creative. Campers will explore art tools to produce paintings quickly and add color to sketches. Watercolors are vibrant, quick, and easy to carry anywhere you go. This class will teach basic watercolor skills each day and help apply them to works of the imagination with creative exercises and field sketching.
      The cost is $70 for the week of art classes and includes an art kit with supplies. Email for more info or click here to register by June 1.


JEFFERSONVILLE--The Cambridge Arts Council profiles several NVAA artists including Kathleen Berry Bergeron, Robert Brunelle, Jr., and Julie McGowan participating in the June Juried Show or the Jeffersonville Art Jam on Facebook.

ST. ALBANS--St. Albans Community Arts is "looking for anyone who wants to share their love of music" for Make Music Day in Downtown 2021. Downtown's second Make Music Day will be held anywhere in the city on June 21. Anyone can take part.
      The international Make Music Day is celebrated in more than 1,000 cities in over 180 countries. Amateur musicians, professionals, students, and more share their love for music with their community using instruments of all kinds.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

SWANTON--The Swanton Public Art Networks (SPAN) will hold a virtual information meeting about the return of the Art Boards on Friday at 7 p.m.
      The meeting will share what Michelle Nordberg, JoAnne Reiter, Janet Soavi, and Priscilla and George Connelly have been doing for the past eight months to prepare. SPAN will show off their website and go through the associated online registration and related requirements. Tune in on for the opening,

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council will hold its monthly board meeting and update in-person at the Swanton Free Public Library on Monday at 6 p.m. Space is very limited and masks are required.
      All are welcome. The agenda includes the Executive Director Position, MAG fundraising, Makerspace, the Creative Ambassador position, the free-to-low cost classes, SPAN updates, website updates, the use of donated items and more.


ST. ALBANS--The Peoples Trust Company is hosting the monthly Claire Payne Photo Contest on Facebook. Each month, Georgia artist Claire Payne will present two photos she has taken in Franklin County--this month she has exhibited a "Hummin' Bird" and a "Baby Owl." Any visitors can vote. PTC will feature the winning photo as the bank's Facebook Background for the following month.
      PTC will draw one lucky voter each month to win a canvas print of the winning photo. Find them on Facebook. for the details of how to vote. Click here for the contest rules.
      Housing an eclectic array of fine art, the Claire Payne Studio is in the renovated barn on the Solomon Goodrich Homestead in Georgia. The 18th century post and beam barn is thought to be one of the oldest structures in the Town. Find her on Facebook to see her current project.


Thursday, June 3
ST. ALBANS TOWN--The St. Albans Bay Farmers Market hosts Vermont's own classic rock band, Bad Horsey, in the Town Bay Park this afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

Friday, June 4
MILTON--Arrowhead Golf Course hosts Chris & Erica as the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet resumes on the deck on Friday at 6 p.m. The meatball subs buffet starts around 7 p.m. Both run until 9 p.m.
      The buffet costs $12 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--The Rough Suspects play a night of rock, blues, and country music in The Room at 14th Star live on Friday at 6 p.m.
      Seating is limited to one household per table and reservations are required. Reservations can be made online up to six days in advance. Click here and select "The Room Indoor Seating to reserve your table.

SHELDON--The Abbey "spent all winter dreaming of a warm breeze, a cold beer, and some live music..." The 2021 Summer Music series begins with David Miller on the Back 40 Farm Wagon on Friday at 6:30 p.m., weather permitting or in the Pub if it rains.

Friday-Saturday, June 4-5
ST. ALBANS--On Friday, Twiggs hosts Fred Brauer covering and writing simple songs about complex things: love, family, home, heaven, and good food and, on Saturday, English blues guitarist Tom Caswell burns the strings that bind. Music begins at about 6:30 p.m. Reservations are necessary.
      Call 802.524.1405, find them on Facebook, or click here for more info.

Saturday June 5
MILTON--Rick's Grill presents the Nobby Reed Project on Saturday at a time TBA. With Eric Belrose, drums; Walt Delaney, bass; and Mr. Reed, guitar and vocals; NRP has wailed the blues since he released his first solo CD to critical national acclaim in 1997.


     Here's the roundup of virtual music and events for this week.

Thursday, May 27
      The Frost Jazz Hour UM reruns the Latin Jazz Orchestra performance from August 19 on Facebook today at 11 a.m. The University of Miami Jazz Department broadcasts live from WDNA 88.9 FM studios every Thursday at 11 a.m. Admission is free. Anyone on or off Facebook is invited.

Friday, May 28
      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus announced that his long-awaited, upcoming CD will be released on Monday. His Perpetual Island Tour will perform Social Distancing Concert 62, Live from the Florida Keys, thanks to Facebook Live at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Find him on Facebook for the watch party.
      Mr. Bartus played Social Distancing Concert #61 from the studio with songs from his upcoming CD on Facebook on Friday evening. The new CD will be released Monday. Click here to preview, purchase, download, or stream the new album after June 7 or any of his albums now.
      He will join us for Summer Sounds in Highgate on July 25. Yes, he will have the CDs with him in Vermont.

      Andrew Lloyd Webber streams his musicals in the free YouTube series, The Shows Must Go On, every Friday at 7 p.m. for 48 hours. A new show 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.

Saturday, June 5
      River Arts' Music and Movement broadcasts Live on Facebook with Adam Erdossy of the Blue Man Group on Saturday beginning at 12 noon. Mr. Erdossy grew up in the woods of Worcester.
      Tune in the first Saturday of every month to sing songs and move to music. Each month will be hosted by musicians and performers from the Blue Man Group. Click here for more info.

Wednesday, June 2
      Big Heavy World presents Rocket Shop, the original local music radio hour hosted by Tom Proctor, every Wednesday night from 8 - 9 p.m. Vermont artists from across the state perform live in every genre on 105.9FM The Radiator in Burlington and as a podcast on

      Northwest Access TV filmed the Oleo Romeos at the Meeting House on the Green in East Fairfield in the fall of 2020 on YouTube. They will join us for Summer Sounds in Highgate on August 15.

      Carnegie Hall Selects presents the Salzburger Festspiele production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro with Anna Netrebko and the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt on on Friday at 12 p.m. Presented as part of Live with Carnegie Hall, the series of free concert films from stages around the world will feature some of the greatest performances of music important to Carnegie Hall's history. A new film will be released each Friday; each will stream for one week exclusively on the Hall's website.

      Jason Corbiere went live from Sagebrush. Set 1 is on Facebook. The video through the hood isn't much but the sound is good.

      Jenni Johnson & the Jazz Junketeers played the Burlington City Arts Summer Concert Series in 2020 on YouTube. They will join us for Summer Sounds in Highgate on August 1.

      My friend Bob Post plays What I Need from his living room on his new guitar on "Meals & Music" on Facebook. He wrote this song a couple of years ago; this was its public debut. The guitar is a Martin D-16 Ovangkol custom dreadnought acoustic with special dual pickup.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang Elvis by request in front of the tapestry on Facebook. He will kick off the 30th season of Summer Sounds in Highgate on July 11. Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


ST. ALBANS--Vermont Humanities Council presents Murder in the Vermont Woods: A Story About Race, Class, and Gender in the 19th Century digitally at the Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement and Innovation on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      Historian Jill Mudgett tells the story of an Indigenous man from southern New England who came to central Vermont during the late 19th century and was the victim of a murder. This event will be offered virtually via Zoom. Call Alex Lehning (802.730.5260) or email for questions and registration.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page hosts a Book Signing with Glenn Fay Jr, for Vermont's Ebenezer Allen on Saturday at 10 a.m.
      Mr. Fay's New England roots precede the American Revolution and he was born in Middlebury. An NSF-funded fellowship to study the Maritime War of 1812 opened the doors to the remarkable and dramatic and ghosts of Vermont history. That began the research that would lead his elucidation of our past. Find them on Facebook for more info.
      Vermont writer Chris Bohjalian's new book, Hour of the Witch, is also now in the store.

      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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