ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 26 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 19, 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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EAST FAIRFIELD-- Summer Sounds favorites Atlantic Crossing kick off the 2022 Summer Concerts at the Meeting House on the Green on Saturday at pm. Peter Macfarlane, Viveka Fox, and Rick Klein create "paintings in song" of local history drawn from the Celtic traditions of the British Isles and from Maritime and French Canada. They have released six albums, each a mix of traditional and original material offering both dance tunes and songs. They were designated American Masterpiece Artists by the Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Folklife Center.
      Tyrone Shaw promises the "weather will be perfect with plenty of room on the Green to kick up your heels and shake off winter's doldrums!" Lite dinner fare and desserts will be available, or BYO!
      Admission is by suggested donation of $10 at the door with those under 16 admitted free. Concerts are held outdoors. In case of rain, concerts are either canceled or moved indoors with mask required and limited seating available. "Grab and go" light fare will be available for sale or bring your own picnic. Call Nance Shaw (802.827.6626) or click here for more info.


     The Vermont Legislature adjourned ending what it called the "COVID biennium." The state, awash with cash, did figure out how to spend a $95 million surplus in the state education fund.
      The Department of Health has phased out its daily "COVID-19 Case Report Dashboard." since case counts and positivity rates are not relevant since most testing is done at home and not reported.
      Only 29% of Vermonters have "natural immunity" from having contracted COVID. That's the lowest rate in the nation. Vermont reported 1,856 new COVID-19 cases statewide last week as cases surged in the states around us. Franklin County reported 241 cases in the 14 days ending Friday.
      The state had 279 more new cases last week than the week before. Last week, the CDC reported that seven of Vermont's 14 counties have "high community levels of COVID-19."
      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 Go there for links to the 20,000 no-cost antigen and PCR COVID-19 test sites nationwide. Most major chains including Walgreens, CVS, Price Chopper, and Walmart should have free N95 masks for distribution.
      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 fourth booster is available for those over 50. Here's my own advice. Get the COVID shot(s), get the booster(s), and take precautions, particularly if you are inside with other people--that means wearing a mask indoors. Statewide, about 314,200 Vermonters or 68% of the eligible population have completed vaccination and gotten a booster. Franklin County picked up to about 64% of the people having completed the vaccine and the additional dose. Only Essex County with 56% vaccinated and boosted, and Orleans County at 63% 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.


WOODSTOCK--Vermont Abenaki Artists Association artist Amy Hook-Therrien will be the Artist-in-Residence at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park this summer.
      The program helps visitors connect with the landscape through art and the artistic process. Ms. Hook-Therrien will do outreach demonstrating art at public events, teaching three free workshops, hosting an open studio at the Pony Shed Art Studio, exhibiting, and more. The park's Conservation through the Artist's Eye showcases paintings that tell the story of conservation history and land stewardship in America. Click here for more info.

PLAN AHEAD--Vermont Open Studio Weekend is just around the corner. Most Vermont artists and craftspeople work in studios in or near their residences. The event begins the summer season during Memorial Day Weekend each year. Some of the artists open their working studios to the public only during this weekend. It is an opportunity for them to talk about their work and to demonstrate the skill and processes used to make it. The participating artists plan to get work done as well as teach while visitors poke around.
      Click here for maps, directions, and more info.


ST. ALBANS--Jack Tremblay offers Digital Wallpapers for a computer screen or mobile phone for $1.50 each. His website gallery a wide selection but, he says, "if you don't see something on my website but you have seen it on my Instagram or Facebook pages, DM me and I will create a link to it. Specify 'Digital Wallpaper' in the pull-down menu." He has over 200 images available. Click here to choose. Specify wallpaper for a computer screen (horizontal orientation) or mobile device (vertical orientation).


HIGHGATE--The Highgate Library and Community Center seeks local artists to lead adult craft classes at the library this summer. They are open to painting with watercolors or oil paints, sculpting with modeling clay, weaving baskets, woodworking, or something else entirely. The library has grant funding for a stipend and material costs.
      "Generally, we run adult crafting programs during the week (usually on Tuesday evenings around 5:30 or 6 p.m.), but depending on an artist's schedule we can always work around that," Library director Adah DeRosier said. The library is closed on Fridays and Sundays.
      Call Ms. DeRosier (802.868.3970) or email for more info.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council will offer a free Flower Painting Class with local artist Cathy Coulombe at the Swanton Free Public Library on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Learn to paint a bouquet of lavender. Space is limited and pre-registration required. Click here to register.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts the Eco-Arts Workshop--Exploring Reusable Materials--with community engaged artist Rebecca Schwarz on Sunday at 10 a.m - 2 p.m.
      The cost is $60. Click here to enroll and for more info. Ms. Schwarz requests attendees "bring a few pieces of plastic packaging trash such as chip bags, wrappers, and other non-recyclable plastics."


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Writers' Group will meet at the Swanton Free Public Library this evening at 6 p.m. They meet the third Thursday of each month to share progress and join in the discussion about longer projects and anything else about writing, reading, publishing, and more. Email Becky Rupp or the Swanton Library for more info.


     Here's my own plan as 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, May 19
SOUTH HERO--Cooie Sings traditional tunes, popular songs, and originals at the Blue Paddle Bistro this evening at 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, May 19-21
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another big weekend of music with singer/songwriter Elizabeth Begins tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, the Duel at 5 p.m., and then the Dirty Looks Band 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 Nighthawk starting at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, May 20
ST. ALBANS--"There better not be snow in May!" 14th Star presents All without the Bass for a TGIF night of live music in The Room on Friday at 6 p.m. The acoustic pop trio plays a variety from the 80s-present. Find them on Facebook for more info.

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

Friday-Saturday, May 20-21
MORRISVILLE--Moog's Joint presents Knights of the Brown Table, outside on Friday and two sets of Seth Yacovone solo acoustic on Saturday. Music starts at 6 p.m. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs often has shows on Friday and Saturday nights. This week they host Bob Recupero in the front window on Friday and Roger Giroux live on Saturday night. Music starts about 6:30 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405, find them on Facebook, or click here for more info.

Saturday, May 21
ST. ALBANS--Michael Stridsberg returns as the Northwest Vermont Farmers Market begins a new season in Taylor Park on Saturday at 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

ST. ALBANS--Barbie-N-Bones returns to the Depot on Saturday night at 9 p.m. There is a $5 cover charge. Food for purchase and cash bar will be available. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Sunday, May 22
ST. ALBANS--14th Star and Grazers host a Bluegrass Brunch with Minced Oats live in The Room on Sunday at 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. The quartet plays neo-traditionalist Americana, folk, and roots music. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Wednesday, May 25
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.


NATIONAL JURIED ART COMPETITION (May 26)--The South Arkansas Arts Center calls for fine art, traditional and alternate 2D/3D media, innovative and experimental approaches for a July exhibit. Cash Prizes. Entry Fee. Call 870.862.5474, email, or click here for more info.

REFLECTIONS ON SWANTON (June 15)--The Swanton Arts Council, Swanton Free Public Library and Swanton Historical Society will host an exhibit of works that highlight Swanton's history from the beginning of the 19th to the middle of the 20th Centuries. Cash prizes and no entry fee. Email the Library or find them on Facebook for more info.

KEY COLORS COMPETITION 2022 (June 30)--Clavis Publishing holds this national contest for illustrators of children's books, intended for children from 2 - 7 years old. No entry fee. Click here for more info.


ENOSBURG--The Enosburgh Historical Society hosts a short program by Barb Hayes on the Plouff Brothers and the Opera House based on an interview by Janice Geraw at the Enosburg Emergency Services building on Monday at 6:30 p.m. Call Cindy Weed (802.933.2545) or email for more info.

FAIRFIELD--The Bent Northrop Memorial Library hosts Karen McFeeters Leary with Aphasia and the Power of Music on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
      Aphasia is a language disorder commonly caused by stroke or traumatic brain injury. People with aphasia can sing even if they have severe difficulty speaking or are nonverbal. Vermont's first and only Aphasia Choir brings individuals together in song and enables them to experience freedom of expression and a sense of belonging. 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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