ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 27 * * All Arts News On the Web * * September 28, 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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RICHFORD--The annual Fall Harvest Festival takes over Davis Park with live arts, Jerborn, and the Maplegrove Band on Saturday at 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
      Richford Recreation will have live music, local artists and crafters, wood fired pizza, hay wagon rides from 11-3, cookie decorating, maple products, homemade goods, pumpkin painting, the famed cornhole tournament, the pie auction at noon, and a bouncy house. Admission is free and there is plenty of parking. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Hard'ack Recreation Area hosts the first Saint Albans Oktoberfest on Sunday at 12 noon - 6 p.m. There will be music, food, drinks, games with prizes, and more. This benefit event is a collaboration between Nelly's Pub & Grill, 14th Star Brewing, and Mill River Brewing. Most games will be run by a local charity with info about their organization and will collect donations on site. Look for the Josh Pallotta Fund, Friends of Duke Rescue, St. Albans Rec, Voices Against Violence/Laurie's House, and the Franklin County Mountain Bike Club.
      Admission is $5-25. Click here for tickets and more info.


ENOSBURG--Cold Hollow Sculpture Park hosts the last Art Making on the Land walking tour of the season on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. The experience weaves together art, history, and nature in a symphony of exploration. Admission is free. Find them on Facebook for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Bryan Memorial Gallery features Moving On Up, a painting by Gretchen Alexander, as we slowly transition into fall on Facebook and in Land & Light & Water & Air in the main gallery.
      The Bryan Gallery is open Wednesday - Sunday from 11 - 5 or by appointment. Click here for more info.

MONTGOMERY--The external restoration of Montgomery Center for the Arts' home at Kelton Hall, standing at the top of Main Street for over a hundred years, begins this week. A group of volunteers have planned and raised funds for five years to get here. They still need help. Find them on Facebook or Click here for updates and the fundraiser and to see how you can be part of the project.
      "Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this project from day one," Sebastian Araujo wrote, "and to all who will help carry the project and its mission forward for the next hundred years."


MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts the in-person, Paint & Sip: Skyscapes in Watercolor with local artist, Yvette "Evie" Mason on Friday at 6 p.m. She will share techniques such as mixing, blending, lifting, blotting, painting background and shadows and drying. All necessary supplies will be provided, including matting, card stock and frames.
      The cost is $55. Click here to register and for more info.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild hosts Bellyfit and Sip--Belly Dancing with instructor Donna Aviano on Friday at 6 - 7:30 p.m. The casual, BYOB class will teach basic veil and belly dancing moves. Wear something comfortable and be prepared to move.
      . The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Click here for more info.


SWANTON--Family Movie Night returns to the Swanton Library with a family friendly movie on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The library may make a themed craft to go with the movie. Bring a blanket or cozy item to sit on.
      This is a free event and popcorn will be provided. Call the library (802.868.7656) for info about this month's movie selection.


ONLINE--Abenaki Arts & Education welcomes graphic artist Jim Taylor to discuss his art and the historical context of his work on YouTube . Mr. Taylor works in traditional and contemporary media forms including quillwork, carving, and wampum.

ST. ALBANS--Osher Lifelong Learning Institute continues the Fall weekly program series with Theresa Zittritsch to present the Constellations, History, Mythology, and Identification in the Greg Brown Lodge at Hard'ack on Wednesday at 11 a.m. The program will show how the constellations have come to be formally recognized and provide some pointers on how to identify various constellations throughout the year.
      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.


ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Spotlight, 2023 in the House on Friday at 7 p.m. The event features 6 - 18 - year olds singing and dancing through the evening guided by camp director Ernie Hemingway. This is her second year hosting our summer camp, as well as being a board member for the Opera House.
      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 is answering demand as it begins another new workshop series this evening. Another session of Adult Beginner Wheel Series with Cal Spinelli starts today at 6 - 8 p.m. Classes will be held each Thursday through November 9. Ms. Spinelli will guide students through the essentials of wheel throwing. Students will learn the whole pottery process - from throwing to trimming to glazing. This class will be filled from the waitlist of students.
      Tuition is $175. Click here to join the waitlist and for more info.

ONLINE--Join host Alex Foltz for an outdoor oil painting lesson at the NW Access TV studio in St. Albans. This episode looks at the scenery and techniques of Plein-Air painting on YouTube. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Josh Ellerbrock explored how St. Albans Community Arts has come back to life and refocused with new volunteer co-directors Nichole Cunningham and Jennifer Kostuck. The city-sponsored arts program has been dormant since the pandemic changed the city. Some plans include more after school events, more weekend and winter seasonal events, a local theater group, or a community choir. They are also collecting information about the county arts needs with a survey now. It will help both with programming and to receive new funding.
      Click here for the survey and read the whole story in the St. Albans Messenger.

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.
      Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month. Find the SAC on Facebook for the agenda and more info.


     COVID-19 is still here.
      A friend who has helped me rebuilding my house shared his own story. He's had COVID twice. "I caught COVID again and passed it on to [his best friend] Jon," he said. Jon was middle-aged and otherwise healthy. "He got double pneumonia, I took him to the hospital. They took him to Miami, ended up putting him on a ventilator, then he went into a coma, all of his organs started shutting down and he passed away two weeks after getting this house."
      Closer to home, the Putney School reported 70 COVID cases in about 230 students. More than 300 cases in 14 school outbreaks have been reported in Vermont's K-12 schools since the beginning of the school year less than a month ago. The state has denied school nurses the authority to administer and interpret COVID tests.
      The new Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines protect against the XBB.1.5 variant which is most prevalent in Vermont as well as the EG.5, BA.2.86 and other omicron subvariants. "It's really being provided universally to people," the Vermont Health Commissioner said last week. "No matter what your estimation of your risk is, what your age is or anything. It's really for everyone." Most healthy people should need only one booster until Fall 2024,
      COVID vaccines remain free to all people living in the United States via Medicare or health insurance. (There were some problems processing payments for people on Medicaid and with private insurance last week but it was temporary. The system should be able to process all claims now.) The free shots are also available for uninsured people through federally qualified health centers, pharmacies participating in the federal Bridge Program, or district health department offices. Free masks are also available at many of the same locations. Click here for more info.
      Some health plans will also 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.


Thursday, September 28
ST ALBANS TOWN--The weekly St. Albans Bay Farmer's Market and Concert Series continues today from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. They have live music every Thursday evening into September. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, September 28-30
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of music with Blue Northern tonight at 6 p.m., Mitch & Devon at 5 p.m., on Friday night, and Jonny Mop live on Saturday night for late night music starting at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, September 29
MORRISVILLE--Moog's Joint presents Vermont's Phish cover band, Multibeast, live on Friday at 9 p.m. 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.

Friday-Sunday, September 29-October 1
ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company has a busy three-day weekend.
      Justice3 rocks 14th Star of Friday at 6pm. The boys "bring the Rock to the Rock N Roll dance party." Find them on Facebook for more info.
      14th Star's own Octoberfest kicks off the season on Saturday from 11 a.m. on. Vermont's German Band, Inseldudler, performs live from 3 - 6 p.m. The free event has no tickets or reservations required. 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 30
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.

EAST BURKE--Mike's Tiki Bar presents Vermont's best known (and possibly largest) blues trio, the Nobby Reed Project, on Saturday at 5 p.m. Bring your parka and dancing (snow) boots. Vermont's first outdoor summer tiki bar is behind the Pub.

NORTH HERO--The Steamship Pier at North Hero House presents the Misty Bay Ramblers on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The trio plays folk, rock and roll, alt rock, Americana, and originals. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Taphouse at Mill River hosts Dan and Sean Jarvis in the lounge on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Sunday, October 1
SOUTH HERO--Snow Farm presents She Was Right in their celebration of the Snow Farm Distillery Grand Opening this afternoon at 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. There will be tastings and a meet the distiller sessions and wagon rides around the vineyard. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Events in St. Albans forever changed Vermont law enforcement. The Eloquent Page hosts a talk and book signing for Mocking Justice by Hamilton Davis at St. Albans City Hall this evening at 6-7pm.
      Police Officer Kevin Bradley, uncovered the "real truth" that undercover narcotics officer Paul Lawrence had framed dozens of people for drug crimes before he was stopped. Mr. Davis gives the details.
      The reading kicks off a "One Book One Community" event, a challenge to read and research the events that took place right here just fifty years ago. The challenge will conclude on October 24 with The Legacy of Paul Lawrence: A Panel Discussion with James Levy, Randy Brock, Jason Barney and others. Call Donna Howard (802.527.7243, email , or 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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