ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 26 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 24, 2022


      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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      A scammer is requesting fees via Venmo for the Swanton Arts Council spring craft show. The Swanton Arts Council does not have or use Venmo. If you aren't in contact with Janet Soavi it's not from SAC. Email Janet Soavi or the SAC for more info.


     On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. In the two years since, this coronavirus has infected about 470 million people in nearly 200 countries and killed has more than six million people worldwide (Nature estimates "12 million-22 million excess deaths"). "If we look back two years to March 13, when I signed the emergency declaration here in Vermont, I never expected that it would last two years, not just the state of emergency, but I didn't think the pandemic was going to last two years," Gov. Phil Scott said at a news conference on March 8. Experts now estimate the pandemic could continue two more years.
      Vermont reported 895 new COVID-19 cases statewide last week, up about 11% over the prior week and still twice as many per capita as neighboring New York. Franklin County reported 90 cases in the 14 days ending Friday.
      Vermont relies on self reporting. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order eight free at-home COVID-19 tests in two separate sets of four from Most major chains including Walgreens, CVS, Price Chopper, and Walmart should have free N95 masks for distribution.
      Here's my own advice as data pours in and we learn that a single shot is not enough. Whether you have contracted and recovered from this coronavirus or haven't yet received a booster or even if you have done it all, immunity has waned for many of us. That lowered resistance leads to infections and increased transmission of the virus. Get the COVID and Flu shot(s), get the booster, and take precautions. Statewide, about 304,400 Vermonters or 66% of the eligible population has completed vaccination and gotten a booster. In Franklin County, about 63% of the people have the complete vaccine and the additional dose; only Essex County with 54% vaccinated and boosted, and Orleans and Windsor Counties at about 61-62% have lower rates.
      No vaccine is 100% foolproof. Wash your hands. Keep wearing an N95 mask where you can't control the airflow around you until we reach the same herd immunity we have for smallpox and once had but lost for measles because so many parents refused to vaccinate their kids. Bonus: it will also help protect you from pollen, summer colds, and the winter flu.
      Vaccination clinics for booster shots and for the first or second dose of vaccine are open across Vermont for anyone age 12 or older. Call 855.722.7878 or click here to make an appointment or for more info. You can also walk-in at Costco, CVS, Hannaford, Price Chopper/Market 32, Rite Aid, Shaw's, Walgreens, or Walmart, or get an appointment with CVS, Kinney Drugs, Walgreens, or UVMMC Outpatient Pharmacies.


JEFFERSONVILLE--The Bryan Memorial Gallery features John Clarke Olson this week in the new Legacy Collection.
      The Gallery is open Thursday - Sunday 11 - 4 or by appointment. Click here for appointments and more info.


     The Swanton Arts Council has moved up the Spring Craft Show to May 7 in the VFW hall and United Methodist Church to fit in as many artisans and crafters as possible. Carefully planned for the day before Mother's Day, they are seeking vendors for this popular spring event. Artists should register early for the Artist Spotlight advertising their wares.
      Email for the application


     Interviewer Taylor Long has a conversation with 2019 Vermont Abenaki Artist Association Artist of the Year Amy Hook-Therrien on Vimeo. She loves the "weird organicness" of water color "and it's cheap."
      Ms. Hook-Therrien is a Native Vermonter who grew "surrounded by nature and adventure" and went on to a BFA from University of Maine-Orono. She is a member of Vermont Hand Crafters, the VAAA, and the Vermont Watercolor Society.


MORRISVILLE--The River Arts March Paint & Sip is a relaxing evening of creative expression inspired by painter Gustav Klimt on Friday at 6 p.m. Every participant will go home with a piece of art ready to hang on the wall.
      The cost is $45 and the cash bar is available. Click here to register and for more info.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council will host a free Barn Quilt Painting Class at the Swanton Free Public Library on Friday at 6 p.m.
      Instructor Marie Speer will show how to create an 8" by 8" canvas barn quilt. Find the event on Facebook to see the pinwheel pattern. Reservations are required. Email Ms. Speer to reserve your spot.
      This is free to the community thanks to an anonymous grant; each spot is worth $25 per person which includes all supplies needed.

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild hosts Values and Shapes in Watercolor with instructor Gary Eckhart at MAG on Saturday at 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. This workshop will use a series of demonstrations and exercises to develop a more thorough understanding of how to use values of colors as a means of establishing stronger shapes in paintings.
      The cost is $80 for members or $85 for non-members. Click here to reserve a space.

ST. ALBANS--The Artist in Residence Gallery hosts a series of Painting Classes with Patrick Murphy at Northwest Access TV on Monday at 6 - 8 p.m. Classes are for artists, art enthusiasts, beginners, or anyone who would just like to paint." Instruction and guidance are given according to a students need and level." Students should bring their own paints and brushes. Everything else is supplied. Classes are held the last Monday of the month. The cost is $25.
      Call Mr. Murphy (802.933.5536 or 802.324.9107 cell) or email to register and for more info.


DIGITAL CAPACITY GRANTS (April 20)--Many arts organizations expanded online programming during the pandemic but are now struggling to keep up with the remote demand. Last year, the Vermont legislature approved $1.15 million in one-time funding to help build the digital capacity of Vermont cultural organizations.
      Digital Capacity Grants through the Vermont Arts Council will help provide the skills, equipment, and expertise needed. Organization grants from $5,000 to $30,000 are available. Larger, multi-year grants collaborative grants will support efforts to increase the digital capacity of a regional cultural community.
      The Arts Council will hold a Digital Capacity Grantseeker Workshop via Zoom today at 2pm. with more info about the grant program, the application process, plus tips for a strong application, answers to questions. Click here for more info and here to register for today's workshop.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Microbusiness Group meets in the Swanton Free Public Library on Monday evening at 6 p.m.
      The group meets the last Monday of every month in the Library.

WORKSHOPS (ONGOING)--The Vermont Arts Council is partnering with the Media Factory to present online workshops, tech sessions, and consulting services to plan digital programming projects. The Workshops include Production Elements on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Editing Essentials, April 13; Going Live with What You Got, April 27; and a Tech Session with the Media Factory, May 11.
      Production Elements is a comprehensive introduction to video production techniques, including camera operation, composition, lighting concepts, and audio recording tools and strategies. The online workshop will include demos of video production techniques and time for Q + A. Click here
      The individual consulting sessions can assess equipment and project needs, explore concepts and feasibility, and more. The hour-long sessions are free. Click here to schedule a session.


     Here's my own plan as U.S. deaths approach one million and our precautions wane. I got the COVID and Flu shots, and the first booster, and I take precautions because no vaccine is 100% foolproof. I wash my hands. I double mask with a genuine N95 mask (not a bandana and not a "chin strap") and a surgical mask where ever I can't control the airflow. It isn't much of a burden and it mostly protects me from all the people without masks I see in stores and concerts.

Thursday, March 24, 2022
SOUTH HERO--Cooie Sings at The Blue Paddle this evening at 6 - 8 p.m. Cooie DeFrancesco styles lyrics to life in traditional tunes, popular songs, and originals. She plays the fourth Thursday each month at the Paddle. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday, March 25
ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents the Owl Stars for a night of live music in The Room on Friday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey Live Music Series continues the Chilly Season with Sean Jarvis in the warm Pub on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

MORRISVILLE--The Moog's Joint double header starts with singer/songwriter Jason Wedlock in a free show on Friday about 8 p.m. Click here for more info.

Friday-Saturday, March 25-26
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap has two shows Friday night, She Was Right at 5 p.m., followed by Summer Sounds favorites IncaHoots for late night music starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with Uncle Jimmy at 5 p.m., and Vinyl Spell starting at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. And to confirm. Click here to reserve a table.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs hosts English blues guitarist Tom Caswell on Friday and the Lloyd Tyler Band live on Saturday. Music begins about 6:30 p.m. Call 802.524.1405, find them on Facebook, or click here for more info.

Saturday, March 26
SHELDON--The Abbey hosts Comedy for a Cause on Saturday at 6 p.m. The evening supports the Sheldon 8th grade class of 2022 with a comedy show and silent auction. Tickets are $30 per person and include an Abbey Turkey Dinner. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Logger, Rusty DeWees, is coming Down from the Mountain to the Saint Albans Museum Bliss Room on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open and a special silent auction and 50/50 raffle will be held at 6:45 p.m. The Bliss Room walls will bulge with his thoughts and jabs on present day life, and fan-favorite bits like Deer Jackin' and Liddle plus a plethora of all-new material.
      Admission is $25. Click here for tickets. Museum members will also receive a $5 discount code via email. Tickets will also be available for sale at the door.

MORRISVILLE--Moog's Joint follows up with the six piece swampy bluegrass rock n roll of the Wormdogs live on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The cover is $10/person and it all goes to the artists. Click here for more info.

Friday-Sunday, April 8-10
PLAN AHEAD--Solaris Vocal Ensemble will present Delightful Pairings concerts with Guest Artist, Grammy-nominated Flutist, Karen Kevra. in Waterbury, St. Albans, and Burlington. The concerts will highlight classical choral works paired with a variety of choral favorites including spirituals, folksongs plus a jazzy song or two, including works by Brahms, Lili Boulanger, Samuel Barber, Moses Hogan, William Dawson, Hoagy Carmichael and Robert De Cormier, Debussy, Carl August Nielsen, and Edgard Varese. The concert will also include a premiere of Solaris' member and VPR Classical on-air host, James Stewart's newest work a setting of Emily Dickinson's poem, The Brain is Wider than the Sky for mixed voices, cello, and piano.
      Admission is $20 Adults or $15 Seniors and Students. Click here for tickets.


     Virtual music and events continue this week.

      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour played Social Distancing Concert #87 from the studio on Facebook on Friday evening. He performed at Boondocks and the Key Colony Inn twice this week and will be at Sparky's Landing this evening. Click here for After the Storm CD and streaming info. Find him on Facebook for the next watch party.

      It was (finally) showtime once again at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls and WCAX covered it. And the House recored a little bit of Prydein live on Facebook.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang a Tuesday Night Variety II house concert on Facebook. Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Osher Lifelong Learning Institute/UVM lecture series presents Lock up the Organist! Feed the Cello on an Airplane in the Greg Brown Lodge at Hard'ack on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Dr. William Tortolano brings anecdotes, jokes, and stories about the unusual life of musicians. He has performed in the United States, Canada, England, Italy, Scotland, Wales and many more places. UVM expects event participants, visitors and guests will be vaccinated. Masks are required to be worn indoors, regardless of vaccination status
      Admission is $40 for individuals or $70 per couple for all ten lectures or $8 lecture. Tickets must be purchased in advance at . Call 802.656.5817 or email for registration, billing, or payment questions.


ST. ALBANS--Spring Into Books with Ernie Hemingway the Traveling Storyteller in a story-time at the Eloquent Page on Saturday at 11 a.m. Ernie has stories about the Easter Bunny, new flowers and maple season. Every child will receive a free book at the end of story time. Find them on Facebook 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
Music at the Meeting House
Citizens Concert Band
Enosburg Town Band


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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