ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 27 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 12, 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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CLASSES AND JAMS (Now)--Registration is open for Summit School of Traditional Music Fall 2023 classes. Intermediate/Advanced Bluegrass Guitar and Intermediate/Advanced Bluegrass Mandolin with Korey Brodsky begin Monday. Beginner Old Time Fiddle with Jenny Monfore and Songs of Hope, Joy and Resilience with John Harrison begin Tuesday. Classes in Intermediate/Advanced Clawhammer Banjo, Transitioning to the Five-string Banjo, a Banjo Teaser Workshop, and a number of youth classes begin later in the month. Click here to register and for more info,

      2023 FALL ARTIST RETREAT (October 19)--Led by T.M. Nicholas, Stapleton Kearns, and Tom Hughes, the Bryan Memorial Gallery plein air retreat will be held Sunday, October 22 - Friday, October 27. The intensive retreat offers learning, painting, lectures, demonstrations, community, and more in Jeffersonville. Click here for more info.


MONTGOMERY--The People's Art Show continues in Kelton Hall at the Montgomery Center for the Arts. The "free, non-juried, uncensored," exhibit celebrates all forms of creativity, diversity, and imagination. Gallery hours are Saturdays 12-4 and Sundays 1-4. Click here or Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Village Frame Shoppe features the Northern Vermont Artist Association Fall '23 show. The exhibit will remain through the end of October.
      For over 90 years the NVAA has supported and promoted the arts in this region. The organization was founded by a group of Vermont artists in 1931 with Maxfield Parish among its first members. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The Island Arts Gallery features the works of Patrick Murphy in the conference room at the Community Bank. The show will run through the end of October and will be the final show of the year. The gallery is open to the public during normal banking hours, Monday-Thursday, 9 - 4, and Friday 9 - 5:30.

NEW LONDON, NH--The Davidow Fine Art Gallery at Colby-Sawyer College presents the Brush and the Pixel of Peter Noonan and Jack Tremblay, with an opening reception tomorrow at 5 - 7 p.m. The show continues through December 7.
      The exhibit presents a study in contrasts: images of landscapes, still life, recognizable objects, and intimate faces, but with dives tools. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company holds the weekly Maker's Market in the Taproom on Sunday from 1 - 3 p.m. The pop-up booths host local crafters and makers every Sunday afternoon. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Awaken Yoga and Creative Arts Studio hosts a Spooky Night Paint and Charcuterie Party on Saturday afternoon at 12;30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info. Click here for tickets and more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts the in-person, October "Sip n' Slurry: Slab Luminaries" with Chiara Keeling as the pottery twist on a Paint n' Sip on Friday at 6 p.m. Craft functional and festive illumnaries while learning new hand building techniques.
      The cost is $55. Click here to enroll and for more info.


ST. ALBANS--100 Candles Tattoo hosts Vermont's very first ever Rail City Tattoo Convention at St. Albans City Hall on Saturday and Sunday at 12 noon - 6 p.m. each day. This is not a showcase; it is a tattooing event open to anyone and everyone. Find them on Facebook for more info.


PLAN AHEAD--Something spooky this way comes. The 11th annual Northwest Nightmares Film Festival is still two weeks away but the coloring contest is going on now.
      Fill in a coloring sheet and drop it off at St Albans City Hall to enter to win a four-pack of tickets to the Film Festival on October 30. The Festival will post entries on Facebook and at the Welden Theater for people to judge. The winner will be chosen October 23. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Osher Lifelong Learning Institute continues the Fall weekly program series with Chester F. Parsons and the History of Sheep in Vermont 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.

FLETCHER--The Vermont Humanities Council presents From Homebrew to the House of Fermentology with reporter-photographer, state legislator, and bon vivant Bill Mares at the Fletcher Historical Society on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Mr. Mares began making his own beer 45 years ago when home brewing was illegal and there were no microbreweries in America. Today there are over 7,000 nationwide, and Vermont seems to have most of them.
      Call Sharon Tinker (802.849.6847), email, 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.

ONLINE--Join host Alex Foltz for Episode 4 in a series of outdoor oil painting lessons, this week at the dam in Highgate. This episode looks at the scenery, artistic license, and techniques of Plein-Air painting on YouTube. Find them on Facebook for more info.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Art Journaling Group meets in person at the Swanton Library on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
      Art journals, junk journals, art pages and more are on the table and make for fun for artists, writers, scrap bookers, and more. The group meets to share ideas and to take time to create. Gatherings are traditionally held at the library on the second Wednesday of every month. If you need supplies to get started, check out the library's Makerspace or email and click here for more info


     The Fall and Winter respiratory virus season comes with vaccines available for the three main viruses that cause people to end up in a hospital: COVID, the Flu, and RSV.
      Still, Vermonters have suffered a difficult rollout of the new COVID-19 vaccine at pharmacies and provider offices but there is good news for Vermonters on Medicaid. The State's "coding updates" allow all Vermont Medicaid recipients 19 and older to receive the vaccine without a copay.
      The virus is still here as Vermont's COVID-19 hospitalization level rises to Medium. There were 15 new admissions in Franklin County last week alone.
      COVID vaccines remain free to all people living in the United States via Medicare or health insurance although insurance denials and delays are being reported. 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, October 12
ST. ALBANS--14th Star kicks off Open Mic Nights in The Room on Thirsty Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, October 12-14
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of music with the Jeff Salisbury Band tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, Sibling Reverie at 5 p.m., and then the Rough Suspects for late night music starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with Cooper, Bob Recupero and his acoustic blast from the past, at 6 p.m., and Nickel & Dime starting at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, October 13
SHELDON--The Abbey Friday Night Music Series often has live performances in the Pub on Friday about 6:30 p.m. Reservations are suggested. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday-Sunday, October 13-15
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, October 14
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.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Chris & Erica for a night of acoustic rock, country, and pop live in The Room on Saturday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Friends of Duke Rescue host a Howl-O-Ween Costume Party with music, dancing, costumes and more at the Depot on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Admission is $20. Food for purchase and cash bar will be available. Tickets are available at Find them on Facebook for more info.

Wednesday, October 18
ST. ALBANS--14th Star hosts Wine Down Wednesday with a night of wine and the live music of JT Horne in The Room on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page's Mystery Book Club has a Hallowe'en Party with Agatha Christie on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Donna Howard notes that, "While it is not required to have read the book beforehand, please don't be mad when the meeting inevitably spoils it for you." Find them on Facebook for more info.

SWANTON--Swanton Library has two book club meetings on the calendar this week.
      The Library Book Club led by Cheryl Messier offers a lively book discussion of What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
      The monthly book club, But I Progress, on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The library is a safe space for anyone with an open mind who likes to read. "All humans welcome to participate." The readings will focus on writers who "identify as women, with particular attention to Women of Color and nonbinary women, who are under represented in literature. Today women's works are priced lower, more seldom purchased, and not receiving proper credit." There will be snacks, reviews, discussion, ideas, and good conversation. Click here 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


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

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