ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 28 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 6, 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--St. Albans Community Arts celebrates their new downtown home in the Ralston's Building at 54 North Main tomorrow from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. The gallery opening is "for everyone to stop in, get creative, and view the first works that will be showing in the space."
      The SACA storefront will have regular rotating and permanent activities, local artist classes, creative get-togethers, gallery showings, and more. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on photographer and painter Natalie LaRocque, potter Martha McGinn, new member Susannah Sakal, and jewelry creator Longina Smolinski with a live reception at the gallery this evening at 4 - 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 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.

ENOSBURG--Cold Hollow Sculpture Park opens for the season on Saturday at 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Artist David Stromeyer will lead a walking tour discussing his three newest, large-scale additions to the Park.
      The admission-free, immersive art experience offers a walk among 70 sculptures by Mr. Stromeyer plus a series of intellectual and cultural public programs. The Park offers docent-led walking tours on the first Sunday of each month. Stephanie Cardon begins her Artist-in-Residency in July and August. The Park is open Thursdays through Sundays until October 14.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Bryan Memorial Gallery features Ridgeline by Joseph Salerno in the Jeffersonville 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.

SWANTON--The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association features certified fine, decorative, and performing artists officially labeled as "American Indian" under Federal law.
      Patrick Lamphere makes traditional regalia, works with wood and leather, and demonstrates traditional arts. Click here for his story and a look at his work.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Janet Bonneau's painting Westward Sun was awarded the Northern Vermont Artist Association 1st Place in Oils at the June Juried Show. See this painting on Facebook and click here to see her other work.


ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Pride Corps has events all over town for St. Albans Pride Weekend, the first pride celebration in Franklin County.
      The 80s Prom Gala and Silent Auction with Purple by Craig Mitchell, Madonna by Amy Leigh Celestial, and Whitney Houston by Donna Rhea in City Hall on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $20. Click here for tickets and more info.
      The Pride Parade launches from BFA-St. Albans on a straight route down Main Street to Taylor Park. Find them on Facebook for more info
      The first Pride in the Park features entertainment, vendors, and food trucks in Taylor Park from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
      Drag Story Hour "is just what it sounds like" in St. Albans Free Library on Saturday at 11 a.m. Emoji Nightmare and Katniss Everqueer, two of Vermont's favorite queer performing artists, will read stories to children. Find them on Facebook for more info.
      Menace Productions host the Fabulous Franklin County Drag Ball (21+) at the Depot on Friday night at 6 p.m. General admission is $25-45. Click here for tickets and more info.
      Visit for tickets and more info.


FRANKLIN--The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association hosts a Black Ash Pounding in Lake Carmi State Park on Sunday and Monday at 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Preparing wood strips for making an ash basket is a lot of work. First you need to pound steadily along the log to loosen the growth rings, which will separate into nice even layers called splints. These layers can be split again to get the thickness desired for a particular size and type of basket. Bring comfortable clothes, closed toe shoes, and work gloves to participate.
      There is no entrance fee on Sunday but the normal Day Use fee to the park on Monday. Click here for more info.


MORRISVILLE--The June 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.

MONTGOMERY--The Montgomery Center for The Arts reprises the popular workshop, Folded Bark Baskets with Justin Sutera, on Saturday at 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The class will learn how to craft with bark from the northern forests to create beautiful and functional baskets with a leather handle. The cost is $125 with all materials included. The class is limited to 15.

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.

FAIRFIELD--Franklin County Photogs with Harry Goldhagen hosts a virtual Zoom group at Bent Northrop Memorial Library on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The group meets monthly to share and learn about photography. Click here for the Zoom link and more info.


     COVID-19 is still here. CDC estimates that 97% of Americans have some level of immunity, from either vaccination or infection or both, but the fact Vermonters continue to die or become sick enough to require hospitalization, 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 statewide hospitalizations is more so. The statewide pandemic death toll rose to 1,148 as of May 11.
      Vaccines are available for COVID, the Flu, and RSV, the three main viruses that cause people to end up in a hospital. 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 still 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, June 6
ST ALBANS TOWN--The weekly St. Albans Bay Farmer's Market and Concert Series continues with the Jolly Rogers Band today from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. They have live music every Thursday evening into September. "The rain date will always fall on the following Friday." Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts Rockin' Ron Gagnon with live classic rock, country, and blues for Acoustic Thursday this evening at 5 - 7 p.m. Click here for more info.

SOUTH HERO--Ryan Sweezey and the Midnight Walkers play pop and folk/rock in the Summer Concert Series at Snow Farm Vineyard this evening at 6:30 p.m. Food will be catered, call Kristen (802.922.8074) for all pre-order food requests. Click here for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, June 6-8
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts a weekend of music with Jimmy Branca and Friends tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, Mark Abair and his All Star Band at 5 p.m., and then the Phil Abair Band with Keeghan Nolan returns for late night music starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with Chris & Erica at 5 p.m., and TBA at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, June 7
MILTON--The Friday Night Live Music and Buffet at Arrowhead Golf Course begins this week with Chris & Erica on the deck on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The meatball subs buffet starts around 7 p.m. Both run until 9 p.m. The buffet costs $14 per person ($7 for each child). You don't have to be a member; the public is welcome. Be sure to come early, usually around 6, to get a good seat. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Hot Neon Magic for a night of 80s covers for 80s lovers live 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.

Friday-Sunday, June 7-9
ST. ALBANS--The Taphouse at Mill River has shows on Friday and Saturday nights in June. Bob Chevalier plays Friday and the Old Man Garage Band live on Saturday. Music starts about 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

COLCHESTER--The Outdoor Summer Music Series fills the Spanked Puppy with music all weekend. Justice 3 kicks it off on Friday at 6 p.m. followed by Mirage on Saturday at 6 p.m. and George Murtie on Sunday afternoon at 2 - 5 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs often has shows on Friday and Saturday nights. This week they host Cooper, Bob Recupero on Friday and Cooie and Adlai 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, June 8
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 FAIRFIELD--Christine Malcolm and the Kate Brook Romp continue the 2024 Summer Concerts on the Green with bluegrass, acoustic blues and Americana folk on the outdoor stage at the Meeting House on the Green on Saturday at 5 p.m. The band of river otters includes Ms. Malcolm, lead vocals, rhythm guitar, and songwriter; Fran Forim, upright bass and high harmony vocals; Rudy Dauth, lead guitar and backing vocals; and Hank Clark, mandolin and bass harmonies. OK, they are sleek, playful Northern Vermont musicians from other bands you know well.
      There will be plenty of room on the Green to "kick up your heels and dance the night away" "Grab and go" light fare and desserts will be available for sale or bring your own picnic.
      Admission is $10 at the door. Kids under 12 are free. Concerts are held outdoors. In case of rain, concerts are either canceled or moved indoors. will be available. Call Nance Shaw (802.827.6626) or click here for more info.

Monday, June 10
NORTH HERO--American singer-songwriter Shane Murley's Duet plays originals and Americana, country-folk, and alternative rock with a twist on the Pier Bar at the North Hero House on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Wednesday, June 12
ESSEX--Grill & Chill Wednesdays begin with Al's Pals with Bethany Conner live on the Green on Wednesday at 5 p.m. Bring your own blanket, chair, umbrella, factory sealed water bottles, empty refillable bottles, picnic food, and good attitude. Food from the Double E grill and EE restaurants will be available. Find them on Facebook for more info.

NORTH HERO--Cooie's Trio sings traditional tunes, popular songs, and originals at the Pier Bar at the North Hero House on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents award-winning recording artist Dave Keller for Midweek Live Music on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The inaugural meeting of the Eloquent Page Fantasy Book Club gathers on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The group will start with the cult classic comedy/fantasy novel, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, the author of Marathon Man and the Oscar-winning screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Explore the Story Wilds, the SACA writing group, meets in the Saint Albans Community Arts Space on Saturday at 11 a.m.
      The generative writing session and writer support group meets the first Saturday of every month for a tarot-based writing prompt with 45 minutes of writing, a discussion of how the prompt went, and 30 minutes of group coaching to discuss writing questions, including writers block, story idea brainstorming, and publishing questions, and more. 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


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

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