ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 27 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 26, 2023


      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--Awaken Yoga and Creative Arts Studio host a Winter Wonderland Paint & Pizza Party on Friday at 6 - 8 p.m. BYOB. The cost is $40. Click here for tickets or find them on Facebook for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts the in-person, January "Sip n' Slurry: Coil Plates" with Chiara Keeling as the pottery twist on a Paint n' Sip on Friday at 6 p.m. Craft functional and sculptural plates while learning coil building techniques.
      The cost is $55. Click here to enroll and for more info.


     COVID cases remained relatively flat last week. The Vermont Department of Health reported on January 18 that 35 people remain hospitalized. Overall, Vermont's new COVID-19 cases dropped to 389 statewide last week, down from 444 the week before. Franklin County's case load stood at 65 cases in the 14 days ending Saturday, down from 73. 884 Vermonters have died of COVID-19 to date. Franklin County has lost 85 residents to the disease, including 10 in so far January although that figure may include the data omitted earlier. COVID-19 infections remain at a "Low" level.
      Because Vermont relies on self reporting, the number of actual cases is higher than the Department of Health finds. You can report self-test results by following instructions on your test kit to automatically provide your results to your local health department or with the Vermont COVID-19 Self-Test Result Reporting Form. If you test positive, stay home and isolate for five days or longer. You can leave your home on day six if your symptoms have improved and you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers.
      Take an at-home test if you begin having symptoms like fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell, or at least five days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, or if you plan a get together with people who are at risk of severe disease or may not be up to date on their vaccines. Every home in the U.S. is again eligible to order a new round of free at-home tests from Need other tests? also has for links for at-home tests at retailers and pharmacies, insurance reimbursement for at-home tests, and the 20,000 no-cost antigen and PCR COVID-19 test sites nationwide. Most major chains including Walgreens and Price Chopper locally should have free N95 masks.
      People keep getting sick, mostly because they aren't taking precautions. Original COVID-19 vaccinations remain below the level of herd immunity, and even fewer have gotten boosters. Only about 60% of adults and eligible children have even received a flu vaccine and all of Vermont's walk-in clinics will close by Tuesday, January 31. Most doctors and area pharmacies offer COVID-19 and flu vaccinations.
      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 again for many of us. That lowered resistance leads to infections and increased transmission of the virus. To date, only 28% of eligible Vermonters age 5 and over have gotten the bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine. 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 still means wearing a mask indoors.
      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 visit 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. Providers and pharmacies must give vaccines at no cost to the patient.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Bryan Memorial Gallery continues new feature, Around the World with Mary & Alden as "we travel back from Alaska [with] a painting stop in British Columbia." They also explore Homeschool in depth with a feature on how to perceive or "read" art. Find it all on Facebook.
      The Gallery is closed until March for winter break but appointments are available. Call (802.644.5100) to schedule an appointment or click here for more info.


ONLINE--The Vermont Humanities Council offers three digital First Wednesday events on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
      In his book The Haymakers: A Chronicle of Five Farm Families, Steven Hoffbeck shows that haymaking was more than just harvesting grass, alfalfa, and clover. Haymaking, Barns, and Farm Memories is an insightful, humorous, and very close to home multimedia presentation. Click here for more info and to register.
      Many communities recently have questioned the value of long-standing monuments. Writer Raffi Andonian suggests four simple questions for to consider while evaluating historic sites, famous figures, and public monuments in Are Your City’s Monuments Worthy? Click here for more info and to register.
      Lori Teresa Yearwood leads a discussion of What is Trauma Informed Journalism? Click here for more info and to register.


MILTON--Social Sundays continue at the Milton Artists' Guild Art Center with free weekly art classes for families at MAG on Sunday at 1 p.m.
      Each week offers a different project. Stay for 30 minutes or the whole two hours. Click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts begins a new, four-workshop series, Painting Pastoral, with Vermont artist Robert Roper on Wednesday at 5:30 - 8 p.m. Classes will be held each Wednesday through February 22. Mr. Roper will guide students through his process with color, form, and application. His approach is to build a painting surface, starting small and working on a larger canvas.
      Tuition is $175. Click here to enroll and for more info.


     Here's my own plan with over one million U.S. deaths and as our precautions wane. I got the COVID and Flu shots, and the 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-Saturday, January 26-28
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of music with Elizabeth Begins tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, the Fabulous Wrecks at 5 p.m., and then Toast 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 Summer Sounds performers Shellhouse with Bob Teer, Andrea Teer, Dan Lurie, Marshall Breakstone, and Steve Wanderlich starting at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, January 27
COLCHESTER--The Uncle Jimmy duo plays rowdy rock in the live and free Friday Music Night at the Spanked Puppy on Friday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

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

SOUTH HERO--She Was Right play the Winter Wine Down Friday at Snow Farm Vineyard on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Food will be catered, call Kristen (802.922.8074) for all pre-order food requests. Click here for more info.

Friday-Saturday, January 27-28
ST. ALBANS--Twiggs often has shows on Friday and Saturday nights. Music starts about 6:30 p.m. Call 802.524.1405 or find them on Facebook for more info. Click here to book a reservation or to visit the art on the walls.

Saturday, January 28
ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Corner Junction Bluegrass for a night of live bluegrass in The Room on Saturday at 6 p.m. Neil Brown, bass; Allen Gratton, mandolin; George Seymour, banjo, Willy Dallas, fiddle; and Ernie Minetti, guitar combine deep harmony, strong leads, and bluesy sound. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The First Congregational Church hosts an Open Mic Coffee House with lots of music, spoken word, story telling, and skits on Saturday at 7 p.m. Admission is free and there will be refreshments, snacks, and soft drinks,
      Call Greg Beeman (802.324.0308) for more info. He will have the space open for practice this evening from 6:30 - 8 p.m.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page hosts local thriller writer J.P. Choquette to talk about and sign Stillwater Lake on Saturday at 11 a.m. Ms. Choquette, writes Vermont-based suspense novels with themes of nature, art, and folklore. Her latest book in the Monsters in the Green Mountain series finds a "sleepy, quiet place perfect for overcoming a case of writer's block." Find them on Facebook for more info.

SARATOGA SPRINGS--Storyteller, author, poet, and Abenaki elder Joe Bruchac was named the first Poet Laureate of Saratoga Springs at a ceremony on Tuesday.
      Mr. Bruchac explores his Abenaki ancestry and indigenous storytelling traditions. His poems, articles and stories have appeared in more than 1,000 publications, from American Poetry Review to National Geographic. He earned a PhD in comparative literature from the Union Institute of Ohio. "Our stories remember when people forget," he said.

      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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