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Palettes of Franklin County, Vermont


      Palettes of Vermont will be the largest statewide arts exhibit ever. It can be the largest Franklin County arts exhibit ever, too, as long as hundreds of local artists pick up and decorate their plain maple palettes this Saturday from 1-4 p.m. in St. Albans City Hall. This kick off event will be fun for the whole family.
      "We have planned a perfect Palette Pickup Party," said event organizer Alisha Sawyer, Executive Director of the Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce. She also said, "I'm sick of these alliterations."
      The art projects and displays include potato block printing, face painting, mask and hat making, Linoleum block printing, and Information on Palettes of Vermont. There will be food, prizes, and a raffle. Event organizer Dee Christy is looking for other artsy, hands-on demonstrations for adults or children. Call 802.527.6584 or email to volunteer.
      "I have long been interested in relief printing," AAC Chair Dick Harper said, "so I may monopolize that table." In this technique the artist draws the image on the linoleum then carves away part of the block. What remains is then inked and printed on paper or on a palette. It is the oldest form of printing. Artist Roy Newton practices this art. He "carves away the part I don't want. It is a process of whittling down to the essence of what you feel is the theme," he said in ArtBits in 2003.
      Did you reserve a Palette? Stop by this event to pick up your blank maple palette, then let the creativity begin. Even non-artists can enjoy and participate in the largest art show in history.
      Artists are wanted for the design of the giant palette project. "We'll have a suggestion box as well," said organizer Karen Bresnahan, Executive Director of SAFF. "We also hope volunteers for the upcoming events will join us Saturday." The monthly Palettes of Vermont events in Franklin County still need a number of hands-on helpers at each. Keeping the supplies and citizen artists coordinated for the World's Largest Palette record attempt at the Maple Festival will need at least a dozen more people.
      Did someone mention food? Hannaford has donated cheese and crackers and Subway is bringing a 6-foot party sub and dozens of cookies. There will be punch, pretzels, nacho chips, baked goods and more. The raffle prizes include a paint your own T-shirt, a box Watercolor, a set oil paints from Better Planet; a $20.00 gift certificate and a large square candle from the Garden Patch; a gift certificate for large cheese pizza at Mimmo's; a $20.00 gift certificate from Rail City Market; two hard cover books and a collectable toy from Rixons Pharmacy; artists colored pencils from Staples; a six foot sub at Subway; a $10.00 gift certificate and two one-pound Salt Water Taffyfrom Sweet Nothings; and much more. Tickets are just $1 each or 6 for $5. The proceeds go toward the Palette Project.
      Spearheaded by the Vermont Arts Council, Palettes of Vermont is a statewide community arts project designed to unite people and communities through the arts. The yearlong project provides 7000 maple palettes and over 7000 paper palettes to artists and communities and encourages exhibition of finished palette art from Memorial Day through Halloween. The collective exhibition of palettes during this time period promises to be the largest art show in history with venues in more than 300 cities, towns, villages and communities across Vermont including nine major events in Franklin County. The area exhibit schedule begins next month at the Vermont Maple Festival.
      The project makes art fun and accessible to all, and expands the definition of community to include a range of participants from schools, businesses and trade associations to civic and service organizations. The statewide project is sponsored by Chittenden Bank, Casella Waste Systems, and National Endowment on the Arts, Times Argus, NRG Systems, VermontVacation.com, and Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association, with promotional support from the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. The local project is sponsored by the All Arts Council and St Albans for the Future with considerable assistance from community partners including BFA-St. Albans, Rene J. Fournier Farm Equipment, Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce, New England Central Railroad, People's Trust Company, the St. Albans Historical Museum, Sticks & Stuff, and Union Bank.

      Click here for a reservation form for your palette.



All Arts Council of Franklin County

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Dick Harper, Chair
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Highgate Springs, VT 05460
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