ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 27 * * All Arts News On the Web * * September 14, 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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MONTGOMERY--The Montgomery Center for the Arts presents Folded Bark Baskets with Justin Sutera at MCA-Kelton Hall on Saturday at 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      The class will teach how craft beautiful and functional baskets with bark from the Northern Forests. The folded bark baskets will use spruce, elm, ash, and willow bark and a leather handle. The cost is $100, all materials included. Class size is limited to 12. Click here for tickets and 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 begins a new, six-workshop series, Adult Beginner Wheel Series with Anthony Martin on Monday at 6 - 9 p.m. Classes will be held each Monday through October 23. Mr. Martin will guide students through the essentials of wheel throwing.
      Tuition is $175. Click here to enroll and for more info. This class will be filled from the waitlist of students. Email to be added to the adult clay class waitlist.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Bryan Memorial Gallery opens the 2023 Land & Light & Water & Air exhibit kicks off the season with an Opening Reception today at 4 - 7 p.m. The annual traditional landscape show returns for another season with prizes and the Alden Bryan Medal given to the top works. The reception and awards ceremony will also include a raffle fundraiser with a chance of winning up to four original works to underwrite the programing for the coming seasons. The drawing will be held during the ceremony.
      The Bryan Gallery is open Wednesday - Sunday from 11 - 5 or by appointment. Click here for more info and Click here for a look at the Land & Light & Water & Air exhibit.

MILTON--75 artists from all over Vermont go all out for the Milton Artists' Guild's free third annual Art & Stroll (and Live Music) Festival in the field next to the MAG in the Milton Square Plaza on Saturday at 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Plan on an Abenaki dance performance, crafts for everyone, face painting, food trucks, ice cream, live music, raffles, corn hole, and more. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ESSEX--The Milton Artists' Guild hosts a Paint and Sip Walk in the Park with Linda Oakes Carvalho at First Republic Brewery on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The cost is $40 for MAG members and $45 for non-members. The MAG online shopis open 24/7 and the gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
      Click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts the in-person, September "Sip & Slurry: Handbuilding Mugs" with Chiara Keeling as the pottery twist on a Paint n' Sip on Friday at 6 p.m. "Handbuild comfy mugs for the incoming fall" with a new perspective on hand-building.
      The cost is $55. Click here to enroll and for more info.


NORTH HERO--Island Arts continues community dancing to lively music in Easy Folk Dancing for All Ages with dances from Armenia, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Israel, Serbia, Turkey and more with instructor Leslie Alpert in the Island Arts Center on Monday at 6 - 7 p.m.
      All dances are taught. No partner required. No experience required, and new students are always welcome. Bring your water bottle. Classes will continue every Monday through September 25. Admission is free, but donations to Island Arts are appreciated. Email Leslie Alpert to verify the class schedule or click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Osher Lifelong Learning Institute continues the Fall weekly program series with the History of American Funeral Service with Lucien Hayes and Sherry Scott in the Greg Brown Lodge at Hard'ack on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
      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.


     COVID-19 is still here but guidance from the Vermont Department of Health prevents school nurses from administering COVID tests to students. The order allowing school nurses to test students in school has expired and will not be reinstated. Test kits are available to communities, but will not be distributed to schools.
      Case counts are rising again. The new COVID-19 cases are mostly related to the new EG.5 variant which is becoming the dominant strain in the U.S. The variant is related to others in the Omicron family. It appears to evade antibodies from prior vaccines and prior infections. Cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. The Department of Health reported 20 new hospital admissions between August 27-September 2. Eight of those admissions were from Franklin County.
      The newest COVID-19 vaccine has an updated formula to provide better protection against these new variants. The new Moderna and Pfizer vaccines received FDA approval on Monday and should be available this week. COVID vaccines remain free to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status. You may be asked to show ID or health insurance, but it's not a requirement. Free masks are also available at many of the same locations. Click here for more info.
      Some health plans will offer partial coverage of COVID-19 treatments such as Paxlovid but that will be plan dependent. As always, check with your insurer for specific information on your plan.
      The state and many municipalities also still have home antigen tests, available in libraries and town halls or food pantries.
      The Health Department still recommends following best practices. Call 855.722.7878 or visit for more info about the first or second dose and for booster shots of the vaccine.
      My own plan remains unchanged, especially since our precautions have waned and the new COVID variant dodges our current immunity. I got the COVID and Flu shots, and the boosters, and I still take precautions because neither vaccine nor "natural immunity" is 100% foolproof. I wash my hands. I double mask with a genuine N95 mask (not a bandana and not a "chin strap") plus 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.


Friday, September 15
ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Slightly Used rocking The Room live on Friday at 6 p.m. "If Courtney Love and Robert Smith had a baby it would be Westford's Slightly Used." Find them on Facebook for more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey Friday Night Music Series often has live performances on Friday about 6:30 p.m. Reservations are suggested. Find them on Facebook for more info.

BARRE--Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton performs gospel music, gospel music from the Elvis library of songs, and much more at the Hedding Methodist Church on Friday at 7 p.m. "This is a benefit concert to help rebuild and support the Montpelier/Barre Community," Mr. Shelton said. Admission is free and donations are gladly accepted. "Any help is help." Find him on Facebook for more info.

SHELDON--Summer Music at Grace presents the return of Frevo with an evening from Bach to the Beatles and back at Grace Episcopal Church on Friday at 7 p.m.
      The quartet performs an eclectic sampling of music for flute, clarinet, cello and guitar; their repertoire includes world music, jazz, classical, pop, and the newest sounds from today's creative musicians, including their own original compositions.
      The two married couples are good friends who share their joy of the music with each other and the audience. Clarinetist Steven Klimowski, cellist Bonnie Thurber Klimowski, classical guitarist Peter Matthews, and flautist Wendy Greenwald Matthews have set list of chamber, jazz, Latin and contemporary music.
      Admission is by donation--a generous donation supports the performers. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday-Sunday, September 15-17
COLCHESTER--Live Music in June fills the Spanked Puppy with music for the weekend. The Rough Suspects kick it off on Friday at 6 p.m. followed by the Rehab Roadhouse on Saturday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

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, September 16
ST. ALBANS--Northwest Farmers Market fills Taylor Park with live music, handmade crafts, locally grown food, prepared foods, free kids activities on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. The market and the music continue every Saturday through October. Find them on Facebook for more info.

NORTH HERO--Uncle Jimmy drives right on in to the Steamship Bar at North Hero House to play passionate blues on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info

Wednesday, September 20 ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Summer Sounds favorite John Geno of IncaHoots for a night of live music in The Room on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.


     Virtual music and events continue this week.

      In honor of the music and legacy of Jimmy Buffett, Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour will play a Buffett tribute in a special Facebook Live Concert on Friday evening. He starts at 7 p.m. Florida Keys Time, and hope we will all join in for a festive evening of music and fun. Find him on Facebook for the watch party.


      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


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

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