ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 27 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 2, 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--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on potters Barbara Colgrove and Wendy Everhart, photographer and digital artist Barbara Flack, and watercolor and mixed media artist Dorothy Goulet with a live reception at the gallery this evening at 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. A.I.R. will continue celebrating the monthly Featured Artists online and on Facebook.
      The art and fine craft cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 40 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The gallery on South Main Street is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Bryan Memorial Gallery continues bouncing around the Caribbean and the island of Barbados in Around the World with Mary & Alden. In Homeschool with the Bryan they examine still life paintings and 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 or click here for more info.


     COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations were again largely unchanged over the last week as XBB became the dominant strain in Vermont. The Vermont Department of Health reported on February 22 that 42 people remain hospitalized. Overall, Vermont's new COVID-19 cases eased to 445 statewide last week, down from 491 the week before. Franklin County's case load stood at 40 cases in the 14 days ending Saturday but the data did not include last week. COVID-19 case reports are based on PCR test data and do not include at-home antigen testing. Statewide, 917 Vermonters have died of COVID-19; Franklin County has lost 86 residents to the disease. Infections in Franklin County 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. All of Vermont's walk-in clinics closed Tuesday. Only about 60% of adults and eligible children have even received a flu vaccine. 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.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council hosts Stampin' Up! Cardmaking with Barb in the Maker Space of the Swanton Free Public Library today at 2 - 4 p.m. All supplies are provided and the $5 fee is credited to any supplies ordered through Stampin' Up.
      The card making workshops take place the first Thursday of each month. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call Barb Switzer (802.752.7917) or email the Swanton Library to register or for more info.


SUMMER MASH-UP FESTIVAL (now)--The new Fairfax Parks and Rec event seeks artists, crafters, and more for a monthly market. Email for more info or click here to register.


SWANTON--The Swanton Free Public Library will stream a free family friendly movie with free popcorn in the KDR Space on Friday at 6 p.m. There will be chairs but also feel free to bring a blanket for the littles to relax on. The event is free and open to anyone. Call the library (802.868.7656) to discover this month's movie.


ONLINE--The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Vermont Humanities Council present A Deep Presence and a More Inclusive History with Sherry Gould and Robert Goodby in the Two-Eyed Seeing Speaker Series on Zoom on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Rep. Sherry Gould, member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and Dr. Robert Goodby of Monadnock Archaeological Consulting are long-time friends and collaborators.
      Click here to register and for more info about the talk.

ST. ALBANS--Osher Lifelong Learning Institute continues the Fall weekly program series with Tim Smith to discuss the Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation-- Years in the Making and Our Next 50 Years in the Greg Brown Lodge at Hard'ack on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Mayor Smith is the Executive Director of FCIDC.
      OLLI no longer takes payments at the door. They "strongly recommend that all attendees/members pre-register prior to the start of the program." Click here for more info.


SWANTON--Swanton Arts Council hosts a free Painting Class with Cathy Coulombe at the Swanton Free Public Library on Saturday at 10 a.m. - 12 noon. All levels are welcome and supplies are provided. Call the library (802.868.7656) or click here for more info.

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 offers three different fields in new workshops this week.
      The March Open Studio Figure Drawing today at 3:30 p.m. 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.
      A new, three-workshop series, Barn Quilt, with Vermont artist Kristin Murphy on Thursday at 6 -9 p.m. Classes will be held each Thursday through March 16. Ms. Murphy will explore the historic roots and color theory and guide the process on the 2'x2' board provided. Tuition is $95. Click here to register and for more info.
      Restorative artist Courtney Jurcheck continues the meditative, healing, in-person workshop, March Meditation and Making: Finding Your Creative Rhythm through Printmaking on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Cultivate creativity, connection, and mindfulness with a guided meditation followed by a contemplative art project, tea, and discussion. No experience necessary. All materials provided. The cost is $40. Click here to enroll and for more info.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council will hold a Board Meeting and Updates in person at the Swanton Free Public Library on Monday at 6 p.m. SAC encourages all art lovers, artists, builders, business people, creatives, and crafters to attend.
      Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month. Find the SAC on Facebook for the agenda and 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, March 2-4
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of music with McMaple tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, the Duncan Macleod Trio at 5 p.m., and then Mirage for late night music starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with Dan Parks and Mark Steffanhagen at 5 p.m., and Supernatural starting at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, March 3
SHELDON--The Abbey Friday Night Music Series continues with XX in the Pub on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The Buck Hollers 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.

BURLINGTON--Foam Brewers presents the Ryan Sweezey Band on Friday at 8 p.m. Jesse Agan, guitar; Joshua Glass, keys; Chris Doncaster, bass; Eric Belrose, drums; and singer-songwriter Ryan Sweezey, vocals, guitar; bring pop and folk/rock to the stage.
      The small, independent craft brewery has live music most days. Jazz Thursdays feature some of the Queen City's best jazz musicians. Times vary. Click here for more info.

Friday-Sunday, March 3-5
ST. ALBANS--Twiggs often has shows on Friday and Saturday nights and sometimes Sunday afternoons. 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, March 4
ST. ALBANS--Cooie Sings Off The Rails at One Federal, the city's new music venue, in the lounge on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ESSEX--The Double E presents American roots, blues, and rock interpreter Jorma Kaukonen in the T-Rex Theater on Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors at 7. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member, Grammy recipient, and founding member of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna continues to tour the world bringing his new styling to old blues.

Tuesday, March 7
AROUND FRANKLIN COUNTY--Tuesday, March 7 is Town Meeting Day across Vermont. The creative economy needs a strong public-private partnership to keep our communities thriving. That's why many Towns and all schools have arts issues and library support as line items or incorporated in their budgets. Please attend Town Meeting and vote.

Wednesday, March 8
ST. ALBANS--Troy Millette's Sample Sets continue at 14th Star for a night of live music on the Taproom stage on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Mr. Millette introduces established solo acts, fresh new faces, special guest appearances, and more. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The monthly Blues Jam continues at Twiggs, hosted by Vermont's leading blues man, Nobby Reed and the House Band, on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Blues Jam blows out the speakers at Twiggs on the second Wednesday of each month. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page hosts local writer Walt McLaughlin to discuss, read from, and sign his newest book, Nature and the Absolute, on Saturday at 11 a.m.
      Mr. McLaughlin draws from diverse readings in religion, science and philosophy, along with his own experiences in the wild, as he delves into the nature of the world we inhabit and the universe at large. His earlier books include hiking narratives of Vermont and the Adirondacks, philosophy, essays, and more. 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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