ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 26 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 7, 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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      April is National Poetry Month. Cold Hollow Sculpture Park co-founder Sarah Stromeyer reads "Floor" from The October Palace by Jane Hirshfield on Facebook.
      The sculpture park reopens on June 11.


     The CDC reported last Thursday that Washington, Essex and Windsor counties had high COVID community levels, while Orleans, Caledonia and Orange counties had medium COVID levels. The CDC metrics are based on new cases per capita and COVID-based hospital usage. Faced with the rising case count, both the Washington Central Unified Union School District and the Hartford School District reimposed their mask mandates last week.
      The state reported 931 new COVID-19 cases statewide last week which is the second highest rate per capita in the nation behind Alaska. Franklin County reported 129 cases in the 14 days ending Friday. Vermont and Alaska state officials point out that the small population of these states means that even a couple of cases will skew the numbers. Still, Arizona with 7.279 million residents is in "third place" with 10,143 new cases in the last seven days so it is more truthful to note that per capita case counts paint a pretty accurate picture.
      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 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. The FDA has approved the fourth booster for those over 50. Get the COVID and Flu shot(s), get the booster(s), and take precautions. Statewide, about 306,600 Vermonters or 67% of the eligible population has completed vaccination and gotten a booster. Franklin County is holding with about 63% of the people having completed the vaccine and the additional dose; that's unchanged over the last two weeks. Only Essex County with 55% vaccinated and boosted, and Orleans and Windsor Counties at 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.
      Call 855.722.7878 or for more info about the first or second dose and for booster shots of the vaccine. 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.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council presents the sixth annual Spring Youth Art Show in the Swanton Free Public Library with an Opening Reception Friday evening at 4;30 p.m. The show will be open Friday from 5 - 8 p.m. and during library hours through April 21.
      The show exhibits the artistic talent of area youth. It includes work from the K-12 and post grad students at Swanton, Highgate, Sheldon, Franklin, Alburgh, and MVU as well as the finalists for the Emerging Artist Scholarship.
      The show is free and open to the public. Find them on Facebook for more info.


JEFFERSONVILLE--The Bryan Memorial Gallery 2022 Cabin Fever Season continues the Value of Values & Redefining the Watercolor Landscape with instructor Gary Eckhart on Saturday at 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. This workshop explores color's relationship with tonal values to "discover a means of developing watercolor paintings that are vibrant and exciting." The single one day workshops are $100 each for members, or $125 each for non-members.
      Click here to register or for more info.

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild has two ongoing workshops this week.
      Quilting: Level 2 with instructor Joan Shortsleeve is the second week of a three-week class at MAG on Saturdays at 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. to create your own Town Square three-yard quilt with the provided pattern. This quilt finishes at 47 1/2" by 62". The cost is $90 for members or $95 for non-members. click here for more info and to reserve a space.
      Cathy LaClair begins Metalsmithing 101 as a three-week class at MAG on Tuesdays at 6 - 9 p.m. to learn the arcane and secret techniques of making fine jewelry. The workshop offers new skills and finished pieces in sterling silver, brass, and copper. The cost is $170 for members or $175 for non-members. Click here for more info and to reserve a space.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts begins two workshops this week.
      Pottery instructor Barbara Flathers begins the Sunday Intro to Wheel Class on Sunday at 10 a.m. The six-week course from April 10 through June 5 offers the essentials of wheel throwing for students who are new to the wheel or have little experience. The cost is $35. Click here to enroll and for more info. Email to get on the rolling waitlist.
      The monthly Open Studio Figure Drawing on Tuesday at 3 - 5:30 p.m. is a community facilitated group with no formal instructor present. April will be a nude session with quick two minute poses, five minute poses, 20 minute poses, and a long pose at the end. River Arts limits nude sessions to ages 18 and older. The cost is $15 with pre-registration preferred. Click here to register and for more info.


     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, April 7
SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts singer-songwriter Bethany Connor this evening at 6 - 8 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday, April 8
ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents the Dark Star Project for a night of beers and Grateful Dead live music in The Room on Saturday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey Live Music Series continues with David Miller in the Pub on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Depot presents the Men in Motion Ladies Show on Friday night at 8:45 p.m.
      Admission is $19.99 - $40. Tickets are available at the Depot or click here for tickets, photos, and more info.

Friday-Sunday, April 8-10
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap has two shows this weekend, starting with the Rough Suspects returning on Friday, followed by Mitch and Devon starting live on Saturday night Music starts a 7 p.m. both nights. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. And to confirm. Click here to reserve a table.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs often hosts live music on Friday and Saturday nights at around 6:30 p.m. Last week, they had Jimmy Branca and Chris and Erica. Call 802.524.1405, find them on Facebook, or click here for more info. To find out who's playing this week.

ST. ALBANS--Solaris Vocal Ensemble present Delightful Pairings concerts with guest artist, Grammy-nominated Flutist, Karen Kevra. in Waterbury, St. Albans, and Burlington. Find Delightful Pairings in the UCC White Church in Waterbury on Friday at 7:30 p.m., in St. Paul's UMC Church in St. Albans on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and in the College Street Congregational Church in Burlington on Sunday at 3 p.m.
      The concerts pair classical choral works with a variety of choral favorites including spirituals, folk songs plus a jazzy song or two by Johannes Brahms, Lili Boulanger, Samuel Barber, Moses Hogan, William Dawson, Hoagy Carmichael and Robert De Cormier and works for solo flute by Claude Debussy, Carl August Nielsen and Edgard Varese. The evenings will premiere Solaris' member and VPR Classical on-air host, James Stewart's newest work, a setting of the Emily Dickinson poem, The Brain is Wider than the Sky for mixed voices, cello, and piano.
      General admission is $20 for adults or $15 for seniors and students. Click here for advance tickets and more info.

Saturday, April 9
MORRISVILLE--Moog's Joint presents Burlington's Joe Agnello in a live solo show on Saturday at 8 p.m. Mr. Agnello has worked in Swimmer, Dead Set, Nico Suave & the Mothership, The Edd, and more. Find them on Facebook for more info.

COLCHESTER--The Spanked Puppy played Music Bingo last Saturday night and may do it again this week. Instead of calling letters and numbers, DJ Scott standing in for the caller plays 10-15 seconds of a song. The songs are usually well-known, popular songs heard on the radio. Match the songs to squares on a card and the rest is pretty traditional. Find them on Facebook for more info

Sunday, April 10
ST. ALBANS--14th Star hosts a special Bluegrass Brunch featuring Timberline the return of Grazers Brunch menu on Sunday at 11 a.m. Timberline is a "high octane American quartet" that brings improvisation, jazz, blues and classic 3-part harmonies into bluegrass with the music of Bill Monroe, Jim & Jesse, Doc Watson, Tim O'Brien, Del McCoury, Jerry Garcia and more.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

Tuesday, April 12
ESSEX--The Moth hosts StorySLAM: Books, five-minute stories about the written word, at the Double E on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Doors at 7. The novels that changed your life or the ones you only pretended to read. "Moth stories shine a light on our shared humanity."
      Admission is $15. Proof of vaccination will be required for entry and the name on vaccination card must match your ID. Click here for more info and for tickets.

Wednesday, April 13
ST. ALBANS--Troy Millette Presents: Sample Sets on the Taproom Stage at 14th Star on Wednesday from 6 - 9 p.m. Mr. Millette's special "flight" will have three new acts from established solo acts, to fresh new faces, to special guest appearances every Wednesday evening. Act One begins at 6 p.m., Act Two at 7, and Act Three at 8 all with no cover charge.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.


     Virtual music and events continue this week.

      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour played Social Distancing Concert #90 with Adrienne Z, live from Boondocks on Facebook on Friday evening. Find him on Facebook for the next watch party.

      Composer Tim Janis from the coast of Maine offers Vermont Barns, instrumental music that incorporates the relaxing sounds of nature with flute, piano, harp, and violin on YouTube.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang Gospel to sing along with on Facebook on Sunday morning. Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


ONLINE--The Atowi Project hosts Kerry Wood ro discuss the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer on traditional basket-making on Zoom on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Ms. Wood will also discuss Ash Tree and general basketry as well as her experiences learning Aln˘ba˘dwa, the Western Abenaki language.
      The webinar is part of an ongoing webinar series on contemporary perspectives within Ndakinna, the Abenaki homelands. Click here to pre-register for the Zoom link.
      Find them on Facebook for more info and to pre-register for the Zoom link.

ONLINE--The Vermont Humanities Council and Digital First Wednesdays host archivists Aaron Goldberg and Jeff Potash as they describe Burlington's Lost Mural and its restoration on Facebook .
      In 1885, a group of Lithuanian immigrants settled and transplanted their religious traditions and culture in the Old North End. Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Potash describe their Lost Mural, a rare survivor of the lost genre of European painted synagogues, and tell the story of conserving the mural in Burlington. The two are long-time archivists at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington and co-directors of the Lost Mural Project.


ST. ALBANS-The Eloquent Page celebrates Trisha Esden's debut--her first mystery, and her first hardcover release--The Art of the Decoy on Saturday at 1 p.m.
      Northern Vermont's Ms. Esden says it should have been a simple appraisal. If it werenĺt for the thief in Book 1 of the Scandal Mountain Antiques mysteries. She is also known to us as Pat Esden for her Northern Circle Coven series.
      Find the Eloquent Page on Facebook for more info about the book signing and click here for more info about the author.

ST. ALBANS--The Weekly Writer's Club gathers at 14th Star every Wednesday at 6 p.m. Writers of all skill levels are welcome to share, discuss, and work on skills. It's free.
      "If you're interested in doing some writing and meeting new people," Messenger staff reporter Josh Ellerbrock wrote, "it's a great avenue for all you creatives out there." 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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