ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 27 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 4, 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 playful acrylic painter Colleen Blatchly, aesthetic wood turner Toby Fulwiler, and jewelry designer Holly Spier 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. This is the first anniversary of the return of live receptions.
      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 hosts Art & Appraisal Day on Saturday from 12 noon - 4 p.m. Appraisers Maria Roosevelt, Ethan Merrill, Amy Rutledge Jebrine, and Mark "Buggyman" Ducharme will help visitors learn more about fine art and family treasures and what each is really worth. The cost of verbal appraisals is $10 per item with a maximum of five per person. Advance registration is not required.
      The Bryan Gallery is open Wednesday - Sunday from 11 - 4 or by appointment. Click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--The Ethan Allen Homestead Museum in the Intervale hosts the grand opening of Alnobawai's Abenaki--First Peoples Exhibition on Saturday at 2 p.m. Admission is free for the opening. The exhibit describes the Abenaki calendar of seasonal events and ceremonies and presents a rotating exhibition of Abenaki artists and artisans. Call 716.640.4639 or email for more info and to learn more about tours and classes.


ST. ALBANS--The Sunday Makers Market fills the Taproom at 14th Star with pop-up booths from local crafters and makers on Sunday at 1 - 3 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--14th Star hosts a Spring Paint n Sip with Amber Rae Harvey to paint a mountain themed painting in The Room on Saturday at 1 p.m. The cost of $40 per person includes painting materials and a free beer or soft drink. Call Ms. Harvey (802.595.2360), email , or find them on Facebook for more info.

SWANTON--Local artist and art therapist Felicia Cota will lead Paint and Hydrate at the Abenaki Tribal Office on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 12 noon. It's a morning of art to relax with a glass of lemonade and create a "painting aligned with murdereed and missing indigenous women awareness." The event is free but pre-registration is required. Call Faith Dubois (802.868.2559) or email to register. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ANIMATING INFRASTRUCTURE GRANT (June 1)--The Vermont Arts Council program is designed to foster partnerships between artists and communities. Art has a positive impact on community goals, especially when it can enhance our functional infrastructure such as sidewalks, railings, benches, walls, and buildings. The Council's definition of infrastructure is quite broad as long as the artistic enhancement creates something unique. Click here for more info.


BURLINGTON--The Young Tradition Festival concerts take place in Contois Auditorium today through Sunday. La Famille LeBlanc of New Brunswick performs French Acadian music with the YTV Youth Commission this evening at 7 p.m., then with the 20-member YTV Touring Group on Friday at 7 p.m. The Contest Past Winners' Concert takes place on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Festival Showcase Concert takes the stage on Saturday at 6 p.m. And the Tribute Concert for Pete Sutherland brings together friends, fans, students, collaborators, admirers and more on Sunday at 3 p.m.
      There are many more events and activities. The annual festival celebrates young artists and multi-generational relationships in traditional music and dance communities at the end of the first full week in May. Click here for tickets and more info.

MILTON--The Milton Artist's Guild celebrates its Sixth Anniversary in the gallery space in the Milton Shopping Center on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. There will be live music, treats, a raffle, and more. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--It's "a boozy book fair!" The Vermont Antiquarian Bookseller's Association presents the Spring Book & Paper Fair at St. Albans City Hall on Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 14th Star will have a cash bar offering beer to quaff while perusing a new find.
      VABA will include books, postcards and unique collectibles from booksellers across the state, including our own Donna Howard from the Eloquent Page. Admission is free. Call Ms. Howard (802.527.7243) or find them on Facebook for more info.


ENOSBURG--FNESU will screen the musical film Listen Up at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Over an eight month project, the filmmakers talked with more than 800 Vermont teens about drug use, bullying, self and group acceptance, and the challenges of growing up. The film was recorded live at the Shelburne Museum in 2021. Admission is free. Click here for more info.


ONLINE--Koa (also kowa). The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park introduce the Abenaki Word of the Week. They will share Abenaki words alongside English translations every week. Find them on Facebook for this week's word.

ONLINE--Ashley Messier, Executive Director of the Women's Justice and Freedom Initiative, shares her experience with incarceration, trafficking, and addiction as she leads Thriving Communities: The Winding VT Road to Abolition and Women's Rights on the Vermont Humanities Digital Channel on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Click here to register for the free Zoom link and for more info.


     The FDA authorized a second COVID-19 bivalent booster shot for people 65 years and older and those who are immunocompromised. The new recommendations also phase out the original monovalent vaccine. All vaccine-seekers going forward will receive the bivalent vaccine, which is more targeted to the strains of COVID currently circulating around the country. None of the currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines are live-virus vaccines. Follow this link for the CDC summary of recent changes.
      COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations were largely unchanged from the previous week.
      People keep getting sick, though, mostly because they aren't taking precautions. Only a third of Vermonters have received a bivalent COVID booster and only about 60% of adults and eligible children have even received a flu vaccine. A bivalent booster is recommended for adults and most children if it has been at least two months since their last dose. Herd immunity remains a dream and COVID has killed 957 Vermonters so far including 11 in April through the middle of the month.
      Today's bivalent vaccines provide limited protection against COVID transmission, Vermont Health commissioner Mark Levine, said, but people may want to strengthen their protection against the "more serious outcomes" like hospitalization by getting another booster to fight the virus. Call 855.722.7878 or visit for more info about the first or second dose and for booster shots of the vaccine.
      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 boosters, and I still 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.


SOUTH HERO--Vineyard Theater presents Tastings, an evening of six short plays, at Snow Farm Vineyard on Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. The six plays offer intertwining stories of hope, new love, rediscovery of self, the impulsive search for love, betrayal, and our favorite lake monster from playwrights Lesley Becker of Vermont, Jan Mason, Danny Rocco, and Lee Wochner. Admission is $18. Click here for more info and to buy tickets.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council hosts a Graphite Drawing Class with Mike Barkyoumb at the Swanton Free Public Library on Saturday at 11 a.m - 1 p.m. The class is free but registration is required. Call the Library (802.868.7656) or click here to register and for more info.

ONLINE--The Swanton Free Public Library holds an Online Portrait Collage Workshop via Zoom on Saturday at 6:30-7:30 p.m. Magazines are available at the library but you will use your own scissors and glue. The workshop is free but registration is required. Call the Library (802.868.7656) or click here to register and for more info.

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild has two workshops this week.
      Linda Oakes Carvalho leads the Paint and Sip Lilacs for Mother at the MAG Art Center this evening at 6 p.m. The BYOB event costs $40 for members and $45 for non-members, Click here to register and for more info.
      Social Sundays continue at the MAG 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 has two workshops scheduled this week.
      The May Open Studio Figure Drawing will be held this afternoon at 3:30-5:30 p.m. as a community facilitated group with no formal instructor present. This month will be a clothed session with quick two minute poses, five minute poses, 20 minute poses, and a long pose at the end. The cost is $15 with pre-registration preferred. Click here to register and for more info.
      Gathering Baskets with wilderness skills mentor and basketmaker Justin Sutera of Elmore is an all day workshop Saturday at 9:30am.-430pm. Students will spend the day working with the black ash tree to weave small baskets. Tuition is $115. Click here to enroll and for more info.


Friday, May 5
ST. ALBANS--First Friday Teen Night presents singer/songwriter Troy Millette and guitarist Dan Rahilly of Troy Millette & the Fire Below in an acoustic concert at St Albans Free Library on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Since his debut as a teen in 2009, Mr. Millette's song lyrics and performances have "made him a staple of dives, clubs, and festivals" in the northeast U.S. and Canada. The free show will include a Q&A and Meet and Greet. Find them on Facebook for more info lots.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star celebrates Cinco de Mayo with live music and much more on Friday at from 3 - 10 p.m. The Mullets of Rock will kick the piņata around starting 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.

BURLINGTON--Foam Brewers presents the Bob Gagnon Quartet on Thursday at 7 p.m.
      The small, independent craft brewery has live music most days. Jazz Thursdays feature some of the area's best jazz musicians. Times vary. Click here for more info.

Friday-Sunday, May 5-7
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.

ST. ALBANS--The Depot has a double header for the first weekend in May.
      Barbie-N-Bones spend Cinco De Mayo at The Depot on Friday night at 9 p.m. There will be a $5 cover charge. Find them on Facebook for more info.
      Comedian medium Maureen Hancock returns ("we knew she was gonna") on Saturday at 4 p.m. General admission is $30-45. Tickets are available at the Depot or at

COLCHESTER--The Spanked Puppy presents three days of Live Music in May as part of their outdoor Spring and Summer Series with the Smokey Newfield Project on Friday at 6 p.m., the Duo live on Saturday Night at 6 p.m. and Kyle Stevens on Sunday at 1 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

EAST FAIRFIELD--The 2023 Summer Concerts on the Green will begin with the "now-a-tradition," high-powered bluegrass band, Beg, Steal or Borrow on May 27. This year's shows are mostly scheduled for Saturdays at 5 p.m. and will be outside unless it's raining or too windy. There will be food and desserts or BYO and picnic on the green. Admission is still $10 per person. Kids under 12 free. Click here for more info.


     The Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival offers a 2023 Festival Preview with Artistic Directors Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim on Zoom on Wednesday at 7 p.m. They will share the music behind this year's theme, Musical Capitals. Click here to register, get the Zoom link, and for more info.

      Rosie Newton "sorta sang for her supper" with Jack and Isaac at Twiggs on Facebook tonight.

      Dreamin'. Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang a variety show on Facebook on Tuesday. Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


MONTPELIER--The Vermont College of Fine Arts hosts the Vermont Book Awards: A Celebration of Vermont Writers in Alumni Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m. Click here for this year's finalists and more info.

JOHNSON--Donna Howard received the news that the owner of Ebenezer Books is planning to close the doors in mid-May. "The store is in the heart of Johnson, well-loved, and an important anchor in our village," the letter said. The owner is not selling the business or inventory, but the location has been "an outstanding bookstore for 21 years" and the ghosts of the stories will stay in the building. Read the letter 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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