ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 28 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 2, 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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ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on master carpenter and wood artist Courtney Adams, sculptor, illustrator, and painter Rebecca Nase Chomyn, wood turner Toby Fulwiler, and jewelry creator 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.
      The art and fine craft cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by about 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 featured two new metal sculptures by local sculptor Gerald Stoner from his "Solstice Series" behind the gallery and on Facebook.
      The gallery has exhibits of the landscape painters of New England. The main showcase in Jeffersonville is open Wednesday-Sunday 11 - 4 and the Stowe Gallery is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 11 - 5, and Friday and Saturday, 11 - 6. Appointments are available. Call ahead (802.644.5100) to schedule or Click here for more info.

MILTON--May the 4th be with you! On Saturday, the Milton Artists Guild to celebrate its 7th year in the Gallery space in Milton Square behind the Milton Post Office. MAG will have live music, snacks, crafts, live artist demonstrations, a raffle, and more on Saturday from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      The MAG art center and gallery showcases the work of over 145+ artist members. They are open Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.

SWANTON--The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association features certified fine, decorative, and performing artists officially labeled as "American Indian" under Federal law. Shirly Hook started sewing very young. She prefers using natural or recycled materials in her work. Click here for her story and a look at her work.


ST. ALBANS--Vendors in Taylor Park on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. is a Summer Pop-Up "prequel" to the upcoming Farmer's Market. There will be live music, food, drinks and more. Find them on Facebook for more info.


SWANTON--The Swanton Free Public Library offers a Paper Sculpture Workshop with Barb in the Maker Space on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. This is a free art project thanks to a generous anonymous grant to the Swanton Arts Council. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Email or call Barb Switzer (802.752.7917) or email the Swanton Library to register or for more info.

SOUTH HERO--Spoil mom with for Mother's Day with a Pebble Art Workshop at Snow Farm Vineyard & Winery on Sunday at 2 p.m. Once Upon a Rock Vermont welcomes all ages to unleash an inner artist, sip on wine. and nibble on a charcuterie. The cost is $35. Click here for tickets and more info.


ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Community Arts Creative Connections continues at St. Albans City Hall on Wednesday at 4 - 7 p.m.
      Working on a creative project? Want to try something new but need special tools? Need an extra set of hands? Have donations for SACA projects? Interested in a material swap? SACA co-director Jennifer Kostuck takes over the Council Chamber with creative pointers and equipment including a sewing machine, heat tools, drawing materials, paints, papers, and more for use. Creative Connections will fill the space on the second Wednesday of the month. All ages and backgrounds are welcome. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SPECULATIVE LITERATURE FOUNDATION (Now)--The $1,000 Older Writers Grant opened to the public yesterday. If you are at least fifty years of age, and you're starting out on your writing career, then you are welcome to apply! No fee. for the guidelines and more info.
      The Foundation notes that writers eligible for this grant are probably eligible for their other grants including the travel grant which is open to all. They have diversity grants, a working class writers' grant, and a South Asian grant.


ONLINE--The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association's Bridging Perspectives speaker series continues with Dr. Fred Wisemen discussing Hunting and Fishing: A Case Study in Cultural Continuity on Zoom today at 6 p.m. The program will examine the objects, tools, historic photographs, family stories, and distinctive skills passed down through generations of Abenaki families.
      The program is free but donations are appreciated. Click here to register in advance and for the Zoom link and more info.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Bryan Memorial Gallery hosts the two-day A Fresh Vision in Watercolors workshop led by Gary Eckhart on Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
      The workshop will practice deconstructing reference materials, develop new color palettes, explore color harmony, temperature and the manipulation of values to create a more cohesive and dynamic finished painting. The cost is $300. Use "BMGMEMBER" to receive discounted member pricing. Email, call 802.644.5100 or click here to register and for more info.

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild has three workshops this week.
      Laurie Thompson leads Paint Pouring--Dutch Pour Technique at MAG this evening at 6 p.m. The cost is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. The class will begin by laying down a base color, then pour other colors on top. They use a straw to blow into the paint to move it around the canvas Click here for more info
      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.
      Tina Lesperance continues the six-week Workshop for those with Dementia and their Caregivers at MAG on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. They will work on a different art/craft design each week through May 28. This workshop is free for participants thanks to a Vermont Arts Council grant for Creative Aging. Click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--The May Open Studio Figure Drawing at River Arts offers a partial nude session today at 3:30 p.m. There will be quick two minute poses, five minute poses, 20 minute poses, and a long pose at the end. River Arts limits nude sessions to ages 16 and older. This session isn't just for figure drawing; sculptors, painters, and photographers are welcome. The cost is $15 with pre-registration preferred. Click here to register and for more info.


     COVID-19 is still here. Statewide hospitalizations dropped back to eight for the week ending April 13. For the first time, none of those hospitalizations were in Franklin County. One more Vermonter died the virus so the pandemic total rose to 1,145 in Vermont.
      CDC estimates that 97% of Americans have some level of immunity, from either vaccination or infection or both, but the fact many Vermonters have died or have been sick enough to require hospitalization this year alone, even with that level of immunity, remains worrisome. That Franklin County has less than 8% of the state population and accounts for more than one-third of those hospitalizations is more so.
      Vaccines are available for COVID, the Flu, and RSV, the three main viruses that cause people to end up in a hospital. According to the state COVID-19 and Flu Vaccination Dashboard still just 17% of Franklin County residents have received the new COVID vaccine, still trailed only by Essex County. That compares to about 25% of Vermonters statewide who have had the latest COVID-19 vaccine and 43% of Vermonters who have gotten a flu shot. Vermonters have not moved those numbers much in February or March.
      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.
      Although the free program has been suspended, there are thousands of free testing sites. The state and many municipalities may 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 current JN.1 variant dodges all but the most up-to-date 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 everywhere 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, May 2
SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts Acoustic Thursday this evening at 5 - 7 p.m. Click here for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, May 2-4
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts a weekend of music with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 6 p.m. and then 90 Proof returns on Friday for late night music at 9 p.m.. They usually have shows live on Saturday night as well. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, May 3
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.

ST. ALBANS--The Depot has Karaoke Night on Friday night at 9 p.m. Admission is free. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday-Sunday, May 3-5
COLCHESTER--The Outdoor Summer Music Series comes roaring outback to life and fills the Spanked Puppy with music all weekend. The Dave Keller Band kicks it off on Friday at 6 p.m. followed by Lawless on Saturday at 6 p.m. and Autumn Chamberlain on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

JERICHO--The Jericho Cafe and Tavern fills the weekend with Live Music in May. The Lloyd Tyler Band plays Friday. Unruly Allies perform live on Saturday night. Music starts at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs often has shows on Friday and Saturday nights. This week they host the "power duo" Acoustic Mayhem (Arthur James and Bee Wild) on Friday and Sister Speak live on Saturday night. 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, May 4
ST. ALBANS--90 Proof plays Cinco de Mayo Weekend live at 14th Star Brewery on Saturday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Wednesday, May 8
ST. ALBANS--14th Star hosts the live originals and some fun covers of singer/songwriter and guitarist, Giovanina Bucci in The Room on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The monthly Blues Jam continues at Twiggs, hosted by Vermont's leading blues man, Nobby Reed and the House Band, on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Blues Jam blows out the speakers at Twiggs on the second Wednesday of each month. Find them on Facebook for more info.


     Virtual music and events continue this week.

      Sister Speak's song Will It Ever is in the movie Cash Out starring John Travolta, Kristin Davis and Lukas Haas. They played Will It Ever live at the Belly Up on YouTube.

      NW Access TV showcased the 24th annual Franklin County Quilt Show in St. Albans City Hall on YouTube. The Quilters Guild show was ablaze with spring colors with over 100 quilts, from bed-sized to miniatures as well as handcrafted items in the guild boutique.

      NW Access TV covered the Maple Festival Parade -- the biggest in Vermont -- on YouTube. (The parade starts about 10 minutes in.) The parade offered the BFA Marching Band and over 100 marching bands, Mapley winners, Shriners playing, fancy floats, clowns, dancers, fire trucks, horses, and tractors new and old, musicians, neat cars, and the ever-popular pooper scooper.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton performed a hat trick in the Keys last weekend with a sold out concert at Marathon Yacht Club on Friday, a special outdoor concert at Inch Beach on Saturday, and gospel at Eagle's Rest Church in Key West and on Facebook on Sunday. Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


      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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