ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 28 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 18, 2024


      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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ARTIST IN RESIDENCE (Now)--A.I.R. has openings for 2024-2025 Gallery Artist Memberships. They showcase wall art and three-dimensional art, such as sculptures, paper, wood, metal, glass, wire, clay, pottery, fiber, tile, stone, sand, mixed media, wood burning, etchings, and more. The gallery has a hands-on jury once each month. Email or Click here for an application form and more info.

ARTIST DEVELOPMENT GRANTS (January 30)--Applications are open for artists at all stages of their careers with "funding for activities that enhance mastery of an artist's craft or skills or that increase the viability of an artist's business." Call Dominique Gustin (802.402.4602), Email, or click here for more info.


JEFFERSONVILLE--The Bryan Gallery in Stowe has two new paintings by bassist John Rivers. His oil painting Dusk is on display on Facebook .
      The dynamic gallery has exhibits of the landscape painters of New England. The Stowe location is open Wednesday - Sunday but the main showcase in Jeffersonville is closed for winter break. Appointments are available. Call ahead (802.644.5100) to schedule or 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.


MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts the in-person, January "Paint & Sip: Happy Winter Trees" with up-cycled soft sculptor Natalie Carr on Friday at 6 p.m. Create bright and cheery trees in acrylics for the winter months.
      The cost is $55. Click here to enroll and for more info.

FRANKLIN-The Haston Library hosts a Felting Workshop: Painting with Wool with Carolyn Kittell on Saturday at 9am-12noon. All materials will be provided. Click here for more info.


MONTGOMERY--Historic Kelton Hall has a broad collection of colored glass windows from the late 19th Century. "They a beautiful piece of art, but also an important part of history." The Montgomery Center for the Arts offers a short history of Stained and Colored glass windows as a traditional part of secular and sacred architecture on Facebook this week.


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 the Adult Intermediate Wheel Series with Barb Flathers on Sunday at 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Classes will be held each Sunday through February 18. Ms. Flathers will guide students through the essentials of wheel throwing.
      Tuition is TBA. This class will be filled from the waitlist of students. Email to be added to the waitlist or click here for more info.


     COVID-19 is still here.
      Levels have steadily increased as JN.1 becomes the dominant strain. As of January 3, there were 56 more hospitalizations statewide. Half of the new admissions (28) are in Franklin County, up from 16 last week. Hospitalizations are also rising nationally. There were five more COVID-related deaths reported statewide in the week ending December 30 for a pandemic total of 1,088 in Vermont.
      Vaccines are available for COVID, the Flu, and RSV, the three main viruses that cause people to end up in a hospital in the Fall and Winter respiratory virus season. According to the state COVID-19 and Flu Vaccination Dashboard just 15% of Franklin County residents have received the new COVID vaccine, trailed only by Essex County. That compares to about 21% of Vermonters who have had the latest COVID-19 vaccine and 34% of Vermonters who have gotten a flu shot.
      COVID vaccines are 100% free to everyone 6 months and older living in the United States, regardless of immigration or insurance status. The free shots are available via health insurance, Medicare, and through federally qualified health centers, pharmacies participating in the federal Bridge Program, or district health department offices. Free N95 masks are also available at many of the same locations. Pharmacies in Vermont may now give COVID-19 shots to kids ages 3 and older. Click here for more info.
      Every U.S. household may order four free COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to home. The state and many municipalities also still have home antigen tests, available in libraries and town halls or food pantries. 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 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, January 18
SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts the Lloyd Tyler Band to sing you some songs for Acoustic Thursday this evening at 5 - 7 p.m. Click here for more info.

NORTH HERO--The North Hero House hosts their first Karaoke Party in the Event Barn this evening at 6 p.m. Click here for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, January 18-20
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts a New Year of music with the Duncan Macleod Trio tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, Shane's Apothecary at 5 p.m., and then the Jonny Mop returns for late night music starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with Cooper for a mix of country, rock, and folk at 5 p.m., and Soul & Soda at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, January 19
COLCHESTER--Chris & Erica play acoustic rock, country, and pop in the live and free Friday Music Night at the Spanked Puppy on Friday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents the three or four piece Dale and Darcy Band for a night of live Americana tunes, bluegrass breakdowns, hornpipes, jigs, reels, waltzes and aires in The Room on Friday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Off The Rails at One Federal often has live performances in the lounge on Friday at 6:30 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.

ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents the Tenderbellies on Friday at 7 p.m. Doors at 6:30 for a crockpot extravaganza to fill your bellies by donation. The House will also collect non-perishable food donations for Enosburg Food Shelf "to help fill our neighbors' bellies."
      The Summer Sounds favorites blend Americana, bluegrass, new grass, jazz and rock. One By One, the Vermont string band's latest album, is the culmination of nearly a decade of gigging and songwriting. Admission is $12. Find them on Facebook for tickets and more info.

MARATHON, FL--The Marathon Yacht Club hosts Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton on Friday at 7 p.m. We usually have no idea how many stars to expect when he shows up. "Fridays are mostly Elvis but we'll also sing some gospel plus who knows?" he said. The King of Rock n' Roll is the perfect appetizer for Grill Night at the MYC.
      Admission is $14. Find them on Facebook for more info on this show and a link to this week's offerings.

Friday-Sunday, January 19-21
ST. ALBANS--The Taphouse at Mill River has double header weekends in January with Roger Giroux on Friday and the Smokey Newfield Project live on Saturday night. Music starts at 5:30 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.

Wednesday, January 24
BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont hosts Fam Jam! at Fletcher Free Library on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The group provides a space to try out playing tunes and singing songs together. There will be a session leader to facilitate and to guide to newcomers to jams. Adults and youth of all ages and skill levels are welcome to bring instruments and join in the fun. This event is free and open to anyone. Click here for more info.

Plan Ahead
ST. ALBANS-- Twiggs hosts Comedy for a Cause as a benefit for Friends of Duke Rescue next Thursday, January 25. Find them on Facebook for more info.


     RIP teacher and music man Rob Guerrina, 81, who died on January 7 at the McClure Miller Respite House. Rob jazzed up the blues in Summer Sounds in Highgate with Jenni Johnson. His Just Jazz played the St John's Summer Music Series in Highgate. He directed concerts of Spirit-filled Songs in Swanton, played Halvorsens with the friends of Big Joe Burrell, played Chow Bella with Big Joe himself, and so much more.
      Will Patton wrote on Facebook, "In 1980 Iwas asked to fill in on a jazz gig with a band called Just Jazz -- Larry McCrorey on sax and Rob Guerrina on piano. I'd never met Rob before but was blown away by his bluesy fleet fingered bop playing -- his hero was Oscar Peterson. We ended up playing together for over 25 years, sometimes 5 gigs a week. There was never a Real Book on that stage, these guys knew so many tunes, there was no such thing as a set list. I got an on-the-bandstand education following along, using my ears and Rob's left hand. Rob was a versatile and soulful musician, and we'll miss him greatly. Rest in peace, old buddy."
      Click here for his obituary in the Burlington Free Press.


SWANTON--The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association features certified fine, decorative, and performing artists officially labeled as "American Indian" under Federal law.
      Writer William Brotherton relates his experiences as a brakeman, conductor and trainmaster his book, Burlington Northern Adventures--Railroading in the Days of the Caboose. Click here for his story and a look at his work.

FRANKLIN-The Haston Library January Book Discussion group will delve into The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell this afternoon at 2:30pm. Click here for more info.

HIGHGATE--The Highgate Library and Community Center hosts their Adult Virtual Book Club with The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton online on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The book explores friendship, reckoning, and hope between a widow and a giant Pacific octopus. Email Adah to register and for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page presents St Albans writer Terry Lovelette to sign and read from his book, Thoughts from a Walk : Green Mountain Musings, on Saturday at 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. His hikes through the Vermont mountains including the famed Long Trail inspired this collection of nature poetry and reflective essays. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Free Library hosts Mornings, Muffins, and Mysteries this morning at 10:30 a.m. The group reads a variety of mystery genres and meets the third Thursday of each month. 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


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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