ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 26 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 26, 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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SHELDON--The 20th annual Farewell Reunion returns to Grace Church tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. There is always a huge cast of superb performers; this year the concert features three great musical acts--Corner House, Oliver Scanlon and Pete Sutherland, and the Young Tradition Vermont Youth Commission.
      Fritay'Kay Stephanie's Caribbean BBQ menu includes chicken, rice and beans, fried plantains, and a salad for $15/plate with chicken or $10 vegetarian. Bring your own beverage and a dessert to share. Reserve a meal at 802.326.4603 or Email
      Admission is a $20 suggested donation at the door. There are no advance tickets. Everyone is expected to arrive vaccinated, boosted, and documented. Masks are recommended outdoors and expected inside the church. Find them on Facebook for more info.
      The benefit concert supports the Tom Sustic Fund, which supports families with children with life-threatening/life-altering conditions. The concert is presented by Young Tradition Vermont and Grace Church as part of the Summer Music at Grace Series.
      The CEA, and the St. Albans Bay Farmer's Market also resume this week. Music in the Vineyard Summer Concert Series starts next Thursday.


AROUND THE STATE--Vermont's 30th anniversary Open Studio Weekend begins Saturday at 10 a.m. Most Vermont artists and craftspeople work in studios in or near their residences. These founts of production and inspiration can be found in a downtown or at the ends of a dirt road. This statewide celebration is a chance to see the magic at work. The event begins the summer season during Memorial Day Weekend each year. Studios will be open this Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m - 5 p.m. each day.
      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.
      Hundreds of other sites will be open with more than three hundred artists and artisans participating this year including these spaces in and around Franklin County. Pick up a hard copy map at any studio, tourist information centers on Vermont's interstate highways.
      The Artist In Residence Gallery has fine crafts and art by 40 local artists in St. Albans.
      Grand Isle Art Works is filled with fine art, sculpture, crafts, fiber, wood, jewelry, and pottery.
      #1-Lifelong artist Meta Strick in Fairfield works in mixed media exploring in paint, carved wood, paper, textiles, calligraphy, found objects, and foolishness to make dolls, critters, characters, paintings, and ornaments.
      #2-Handweaver Carol Crawford in Bakersfield has been weaving most of her life. The patterns, colors, and textures of the yarns I weave always change, yet the act of sitting at the loom, treadling the foot pedals, shuttling the bobbin back and forth, beating the yarn into cloth, remains constant, inspiring and miraculous.
      #3-Artist Stephanie Kossman in East Fairfield creates atmospheric images to express complex emotional themes. Her abstract portraiture is based on written interviews and her landscapes convey physical sensations.
      #4-Artist Gail Salzman in Fairfield creates abstract oil paintings, gouache, and monoprints with variations in color and shape to explore interactions among elements of the natural world.
      #5-Sculptor Rebecca Chomyn in Fairfield fabricates hand cut, hand bent steel designs From flowers, to leaves, to states or words and beyond at Twisted Perception Metal Works.
      #6-The Milton Artists Guild has more than 100 local artists on tap.
      #7-Scroll saw artisan Christian Poupart in Georgia creates handmade plaques, ornaments, and signs mostly from repurposed wood that would have been burned or sent to a landfill.
      Follow the yellow "Open Studio" road signs. Click here for maps, directions, and more info.


     Rutland Regional Medical Center, Vermont's second-largest hospital, reopened its coronavirus unit to accommodate the growing number of COVID-19 patients. The unit was full by last Tuesday.
      Only 29% of Vermonters have "natural immunity" from having contracted COVID. That's the lowest rate in the nation. Vermont reported 1,965 new COVID-19 cases statewide last week. Franklin County reported 165 cases in the 14 days ending Saturday.
      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 315,500 Vermonters or 68% of the eligible population have completed vaccination and gotten a booster. Franklin County remains at 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.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council hosts Stampin' Up! Cards with Barb on Wednesday at 11 a.m. The class is free but space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call Barb (802.752.7917) or email to register or for more info.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council hosts Chainmaille with David Stous of Wolf's Den Armoury at the Swanton Free Public Library on Saturday at 2 p.m. Seating is limited in the class to learn to create a chainmaille jewelry set.
      $25 per person includes all supplies. Pre-registration is required. Email to register and for more info. Paypal payment is accepted


     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, May 26
ST ALBANS TOWN--The first St. Albans Bay Farmer's Market kicks off the new season today from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts singer-songwriter Carol Ann Jones with Jon Sochin this evening at 6 - 8 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.
      Music in the Meadow begins at the Paddle in mid-June. Ms. Jones will entertain and open the mic for entertainment from the audience. Drinks and a limited menu are available in the meadow. There are plenty of chairs or "bring a blanket and get real cozy."

Friday, May 27
ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Burlington's genre-blending, home-brewed, improvisational Phantom Airwave for a night of live music in The Room on Friday at 6 p.m.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

SHELDON--Chris & Erica close out the current Abbey Live Music Series in the Pub on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info and watch this space for what comes next week.

ST. ALBANS--The Depot presents Eleven with the Memorial Day Weekend Kickoff on Friday night at 8 p.m. Food for purchase and a cash bar will be available.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday-Sunday, May 27-29
MORRISVILLE--Moog's Joint presents a weekend of live music starting with Blues for Breakfast on Friday at suppertime at 6 p.m., then the Aerolites return on Saturday at 5 p.m. and Blackwolf rocks the scene on Sunday also at 5 p.m.
      These are cover charge events. COVID precautions. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Saturday, May 28
ST. ALBANS--Twiggs hosts Cooie and Adlai live on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. They pair Cooie's vocal stylings and Adlai's keyboard accompaniment and harmonies in popular and traditional music across multiple genres.
      Call 802.524.1405, find them on Facebook, or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Music in the Biergarten. Eleven continues their Memorial Day Weekend double header with their first live outdoor show of 2022 at Mill River Brewing on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Call to make a reservation (802.582.4182) or find them on Facebook for more info.

Sunday, May 29
MONTGOMERY--The monthly Celebration of Expressive Arts resumes at the INN on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. The event officially includes everything but dancing, but there is always hope. Come early for dinner; service begins at 5 p.m.
      This month brings "a double header of talented musicians": the award-winning, singer-songwriter duo Dan & Faith Senie plus the Milk House Heaters with their musical combination of true stories and tall tales. The local artists, writers and musicians gather to share original and thought provoking work.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

Tuesday, May 31
ST. ALBANS--BFA hosts the in-person Choral Concert in the Performing Arts Center on Tuesday at 7 p.m. This marks the first in-person choral concert in more than two years. The program includes a wide variety of selections performed by soloists, BFA Chamber Singers, and Chorus.
      Northwest Access TV will also livestream the concert on YouTube for those who cannot attend in-person.

Wednesday, June 1
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.


      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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