Tag Archives: Art

CREATIVE AWARENESS: PUBLIC ART INSTALLATIONS ON UTILITARIAN SURFACES New York Water Towers- Vancouver Silos- Gloucester Streets

Cat Ryan submits-

SELECTION OF TEMPORARY PUBLIC ART ON EXHIBIT NOW

See just a few of many artist’s ideas through temporary public art installations on utilitarian surfaces. Different purpose, message and style.

Os Gemeos, artists and brothers, monumental silos in Vancouver.

The Water Tank Project in New York City; overtime 100 will be wrapped.

Justin Desilva’s crosswalks and James Owen Calderwood’s FISH NET in Gloucester.

UPDATE: James Owen Calderwood

James Owen Calderwood’s FISH NET was recognized as an example of one of MA extraordinary public spaces. This summer Calderwood has re-painted and expanded the mural, completing his award. Professional photographer Linimberg Oliveira of Medford was in downtown Gloucester August for a photo shoot on Parsons Street. He described being inspired by Gloucester: the heady mix of historic buildings and architecture juxtaposed with modern art, specifically James Calderwood’s public street mural, FISH NET. You can see more of Calderwood’s work on view at the group show Sting! 18 Landscapes: Between Tradition & Imagination, at the Beehive in Boston. Calderwood works with lines in a variety of media. His welded aluminum sculpture Star was selected for the 2014 SculptureNow. The historic estate of Edith Wharton, the Mount, in Lenox, MA, is the current site for SculptureNow exhibition of large outdoor sculpture, which continues through October 31, 2014. REMINDER: The sculpture exhibit is a quick 5 minute drive to the Berkshire Museum’s Butterfly exhibit featuring work by Gloucester’s multi-talented artist, Kim Smith. 

UPDATE: Justin Desilva

Justin lives and works North of Boston. People have asked: Yes. Portuguese background. (Desilva’s grandfather emigrated from the Azores. He immigrated to the US, eventually working for a plastic injection mold company. An Uncle was a fisherman). His creative crosswalks make vivid connections based on Gloucester and stories from the HarborWalk. This installation is temporary and in progress. One of the next crosswalks will be on Harbor Loop and another on the east end of Main Street. He’ll reverse the crosswalks when the installation closes.  For a walking tour of the crosswalks Click for Google map for Justin Desilva crosswalk locations . Justin’s art is inspired by Jane Jacobs and her book the Death and Life of Great American Cities: “I was moved by her attention to detail of human interaction, and the idea that neighborhoods and cities are safest when they’re walkable.”

Justin Desilva’s art installation, With Every Street there’s a Story, is the second of three new works of art commissioned by the Committee for the Arts on behalf of the City of Gloucester for the 2013 HarborWalk Public Art Challenge, with funding from the Seaport Advisory Council. Calderwood’s was the first.

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Here in Gloucester, both installations are on view during the not-to-miss 2014 Essex National Heritage Trails and Sails weekends (Sept 19-21 and 26-28), which overlap with the September 20 Gloucester Block Party Saturday. MEET THE ARTISTS: they’ll be in town September 20th for these events.  Stop by the block party for special coloring page activity sheets!trails

Walking tours on the HarborWalk

Year round, select one of three Gloucester MA HarborWalk walking tours

1) Self-guided, year round, free, public-access and award winning walkway. 42 story moment granite posts installed as a permanent outdoor exhibit. The reclaimed granite posts feature plaques highlighting the city’s past and contemporary cultural treasures. Gloucester’s maritime heritage, innovators in business, politics and the arts are all featured. The signs also provide suggestions for exploration elsewhere in Gloucester and there are QR codes which scan to additional content. It’s family friendly for all ages and accessible for all. Visit just one story moment marker or “hop-on, hop off” like a transit line. Follow a specific inner loop 1.2 miles or extend it for a nice, long walk (3 miles RT). It is designed to be flexible for any length or duration, and for educational and programming opportunities for community and visitors. It was designed by Cambridge Seven Associates. http://www.ghwalk.org Contact: friends of the HarborWalk atgharborwalk@gmail.com
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2) Guided: a mini mobile tour that leads you to 14 story moments and is narrated by the coolest host ever, Gloucester singer, Ann Marie. You may know her work with Bandit Kings and elsewhere. The HarborWalk mobile guided tour –an American Alliance of Museums gold MUSE winner- can be downloaded ahead of time and brought along wherever you go. Loads of talented Gloucester creatives helped and/or featured.   You’ll be guided along a shorter trail (14 stops) by following Ann Marie to the Story Moment markers that include an extra sign, postcards lettered “A” through “N”. There are surprises within stores, public spaces, and businesses as you explore our community via the app’s activities. Along with the video introduction, the two short films, “HarborWalk Cinema”, can be viewed anytime, but reward a visit downtown with not to be missed interactive elements!  http://www.ghwalk.org Contact: friends of the HarborWalk atgharborwalk@gmail.com

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3) Self–guided kids and family activity: Become a “Gloucester Explorer”

Any kid who hunts and finds each trail marker icon can receive a certificate signed by the Mayor for becoming an official “HarborWalk Explorer”. People can print out this 2-page tracing master sheet (see attached PDF) ahead of time from their own printer OR check at the Chamber or Stage Fort Welcoming Center for copies. http://www.ghwalk.org Contact: friends of the HarborWalk at gharborwalk@gmail.com

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Sept 26 27 28 Gloucester to Honor its Own Monuments Man: Sculptor Walker Hancock

Hi Joey,

During the weekend of September 26-28, the City of Gloucester will celebrate the life and work of Sculptor Walker Hancock. The celebration, sponsored by the Gloucester Committee for the Arts, will feature events in several venues, including The Cape Ann Museum, The Cape Ann Community Cinema, and Gloucester City Hall. Other partners include Essex National Heritage Area and Cape Ann TV.

“It’s a three part celebration,” said Judith Hoglander, Event Chair.  “We want to showcase not only Hancock’s great talent as sculptor and his contribution to great art as we know it today as a Monuments Man, but to show his private side as well.”

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The Cape Ann Museum showcases Hancock’s art with an exhibit titled A Chosen Place-Walker Hancock and His Friends.  This exhibit features works by Hancock and by other nationally known artists who lived and worked on Cape Ann during the period from the 1940s until the 1980s. One of the better-known artists in this group is Hancock’s friend, and colleague, sculptor Paul Manship. Manship is best known for his towering golden Prometheus in New York City’s Rockefeller Center.  Manship called Hancock, “The last American Master Craftsman in Sculpture.  [He is] equally at home in every branch of the art from medals to monuments.”

On Friday evening (9/26) the Cape Ann Museum will host a Conversation With Deanie Hancock French, Walker Hancock’s daughter, and Jonathan Fairbanks, Director of the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton. This event is free to Cape Ann Museum members with a $10 charge for non-members.

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On Saturday (9/27) from 10:30 AM until 2:30 PM, the Cape Ann Museum will conduct private tours of the Hancock exhibit.  Space on the tour is limited to 25 persons and is on a first-come first-served basis.

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On Saturday afternoon (9/27) at 2:30 PM, the Cape Ann Community Cinema, in downtown Gloucester, will show the film Monuments Men with George Clooney, Matt Damon and John Goodman. Hancock was one of the first to be called to join the now famous Monuments Men. As one of the Monuments Men, Hancock was a key player in the rescue of works of art and priceless relics (including the coffin of Frederick the Great), from the mines at Bernterode in Southern Germany. The mines were packed with an enormous cache of dynamite. The Monuments Men arrived just in time to stop their destruction by order of the Nazis. This event and others during the weekend are part of the Essex National Heritage Area’s Trails and Sails weekend and are free to the public.

City Hall Matthew Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday evening (9/27) at Gloucester City Hall at 7PM there will be a special event featuring –ROBERT EDSEL– the author of the book Monuments Men- on which the film was based – will talk about the book and the great importance of the work these men and women did to preserve many of the priceless art treasures we have today. Mr. Edsel is founder of the Monuments Men Foundation, created to “raise public awareness of the importance of protecting and safeguarding civilization’s most important artistic and cultural treasures from armed conflict.”  A “Meet and Greet” and book signing by Mr. Edsel will follow the talk.  This event is free to the public with donations accepted to defray costs.

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On Sunday (9/28) at 1PM, the Cape Ann Community Cinema will have another showing of Monuments Men

mon menimagesCape Ann Community Cinema

On Sunday (9/28) at 3PM in Gloucester City Hall there will be a panel discussion featuring friends and neighbors of Hancock’s in Lanesville, The panel will be moderated by local artist and former Cable TV host, Sinikka Nogelo.  Panelists will share memories of Hancock as friend and neighbor.  Among the panelists will be Hancock’s daughter, Deanie Hancock French and Gloria Parsons, Hancock’s long time cook.  The audience will also be invited to contribute their memories. © Matthew Green photo

City Hall Matthew Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Segments of the weekend’s events will be filmed in order to preserve memories of Hancock’s life and work for the future.

Sponsored by:      the Gloucester Committee for the Arts, its Partners and Friends

Public art: Justin Desilva bookmark and seagull question

Hi Joey,

Artist Justin Desilva has completed several more crosswalks: Our Lady of Good Voyage, Lobsters, Howard Blackburn, and St. Peter’s Square.    He’s had several requests for a postcard or some take away about his temporary project. If you see him, ask for a bookmark. Some of the murals are at different stages in their installation process; you will see him going back and forth to different sites. As this project is temporary, Justin will remove his work at the conclusion of his exhibit.

There is a Google map http://goo.gl/maps/mc696 with updated locations and photographs.

Gloucester Counts Down to Kindergarten streamed across the Sawyer crosswalk. Congratulations GPS, Sawyer Free, CAM, Art Haven and YMCA in partnership with the Boston Children’s Museum for planning what looked like a stellar, joyous event.

Question: Does anyone know how to persuade the seagulls to forego their perch atop the light above the crosswalk by City Hall and Sawyer?!

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The Answer to What is 1630. Joey’s Invitation He may soon regret!

What is 1630?

1,630 is The number of posts I have done since I was invited to join GMG as an Author. Who knew I had so much on my mind. For the most part it’s been fun. Sometimes I get a little carried away. I still have my comments censored by Joey. He tries to save me from myself. During my first couple of years I would love to bust Joey’s Balls when he went on vacation. Back then he didn’t have the time to check the late night posts. So I took advantage of it. Posting joey’s head on a picture of a guy taking a dump was my favorite.

It’s a lot of brain work to come up with a daily post and post title to catch the readers attention. Sometimes I’ll take a little break to recharge my brain.

I never thought this blog would last this long. It’s going to be interesting to see what’s next for GMG.

Goodluck Joey and all the GMG Authors!

 

Here are links to some favorite Posts of mine;

A Little Bathroom Humor

My Rant! I’m Allowed

The First Illegal Immigrants

Breakfast with joey? 

First Art Rock

If Joey was a Dog

Ok, Ok one for the Ladies

Representin’ for GMG!

SHHHHH! Joey’s Sleeping

 

There are so many more. I crack myself up sometimes.

Just google me for more.

 

Below is my first ever post being a GMG Author

 

Joey’s Invitation He Soon My Regret!

Joey’s Invitation; “Paul, I’m inviting you to officially join the team. All you would need to do is sign up for a free wordpress account and I have it set up so you would be an author like Mike Lindberg , Laurie Lufkin etc.”

Thanks for the Invite to be a GMG Author Joey. It’s an Honor, but I don’t know.

Here are some of my thoughts and questions

Is this an everyday thing?   that may be tough.
What happens if you miss a scheduled post?
I think I have enough Anxiety in my Life.
I don’t have a lot to say!
I could say something  you and I may regret!
What if I ruin GMG’s reputation? It could happen.
What’s the chances of my Wife putting out more because of  this?
What’s the chance of me getting punched from this?
It could be fun!
It could be a disaster!
I could use it to promote the visual arts in gloucester!! and maybe get a kickback. (just kidding)
I could use it to help Promote  Visual Artist’s in this tough economy.
I could use it to promote my stuff!

I could make a complete fool of myself!  I know! That sounds silly, Does’nt it?

See Joey, that’s what goes through my mind.
DO YOU REALLY WANT SOMEONE LIKE ME THAT COULD POSSIBLY RUIN GMG’S REPUTATION???????????????
AND I THINK THIS WOULD BE MY FIRST POST.
LOVE , PAUL

CROSSWALK ART: next two site specific Justin Desilva public art

Cat Ryan submits-

Hi Joey

Justin Desilva’s 20 part work of art is titled, Every Picture Tells A Story. His crosswalk art enlarges and interprets HarborWalk story moment content through a combination of digital paintings that he’s printed and combined with long stretches of color field painted sky.

Here’s one by the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free library for the Samuel Sawyer story moment #31, an abstraction of the exterior and trees.

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Acting Director Freyja Sanger with artist Justin Desilva

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This one leads to the HarborWalk story post # for Temple Ahavat Achim across the street by the YMCA.

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The dory is on Main Street. The Harborwalk story moment #24 is over on Harbor Loop.

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ART EVERYWHERE . American Artists on billboards opens TODAY interactive map

Cat Ryan submits-

Hi Joey

Art Everywhere Billboards opens across the country today. Here’s a link to the interactive map of locations http://arteverywhereus.org/Map

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For GLOUCESTER, MA there’s a mash up poster for the entire Art Everywhere exhibit, rather than a single image. You can see it at 551-553 Washington Street Gloucester. Look for Homer’s Breezing Up on the 93 expressway by Dorchester.

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The Fitz Hugh Lane’s Boston Harbor is in two locations, one near  Westborough, the other one along 495 near Wrentham/Plainview/Foxbourough.

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Salem State College has the Hassam. Boston is the location of the Heade Giant Magnolias.

Public Art: Two more Justin Desilva crosswalks downtown Gloucester

Cat Ryan submits-

Hi Joey

As a reminder, there will be 20 temporary mixed media crosswalks throughout downtown by artist, Justin Desilva (Rhode Island School of Design alumnus). Each one features different HarborWalk story moment content.  Special thanks to Ben’s Paint.

Here’s the TS Eliot work along the intersection of Washington Street and Main by Tallys. The HarborWalk Story Moment marker #2 featuring TS Eliot is further down on the path by St. Peter’s and Cape Ann Brewing.

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Comments included how the images change depending upon where and how one is looking (viewing the images through a lens, or viewfinder, from a distance, or up close).

This man thought it was fun to compare Justin’s ideas and process with Seurat and other Pointillists. The pug is unfazed by the new surface over his frequent path past Joan of Arc. The HarborWalk Joan of Arc story marker is #37. We’ll ask Justin about his ideas in another post.

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Today’s intermittent rain slowed down the process, but not the speed of the cars! (Drivers fly past Joan of Arc heading to the Boulevard).

Thanks to Phyllis Cucuru for spending time with us and supplying a barney trash bag. Feeling fortunate that Café Sicillia, Building Center and other businesses are open on Sunday as we had to make a couple of trips. Desilva was planning to complete Hammond Castle and one in tribute to the Dory (on Main Street by Café Sicillia and Short and Main).

Here’s the Hammond Castle site BEFORE looking down to the Boulevard and out to the harbor. There’s also a photo looking back in the direction of the Joan of Arc memorial.

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The 2013 Gloucester HarborWalk Public Art Challenge was a competitive, two-stage, open process established and administered by the Committee for the Arts (CFTA) on behalf of the City of Gloucester, and at the direction of Mayor Kirk and the City’s Community Development Department under Sarah Garcia. Funding for the purchase of public art was provided through a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Seaport Advisory Council. The awards reflect discussions, community development, planning and determination to remember and work towards incorporating the creative arts broadly alongside other city efforts. Gloucester hearts art! For further information Gloucester Committee for the Arts

Have an idea? Want to get involved or volunteer? Please email friends of the HarborWalk gharborwalk@gmail.com or visit http://www.ghwalk.org

Art Update downtown: T.S. Eliot and Joan of Arc go large in Justin Desilva’s HarborWalk Public Art

Since winning a Gloucester HarborWalk public art award, artist Justin Desilva has been busy working on maps and plans, iterations of murals, experimenting with digital printing, paint, and adhesives under varying conditions to ready his site-specific project in town this summer.

Today, Desilva’s art ideas are underfoot, literally.  Walk by the Legion and Main Street to see the first two mixed media works for his temporary public art installation, With Every Street There’s a Story. People were so positive talking with Justin as he worked. There was so much energy and great shared stories.

Over the coming weeks, there will be 20 unique and temporary, mixed media crosswalks throughout downtown. Each one will feature a HarborWalk story moment through digital art and color field painting. Desilva’s goals involve the promotion of healthier people, neighborhoods and communities.

At work on Joan of Arc

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At work on T.S.Eliot

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Want to help? Contact Friends of the HarborWalk  gharborwalk@gmail.com

The HarborWalk was designed by Cambridge Seven Associates for the City. Everyone helping envisioned public spaces being used by residents, employees and visitors in an infinite variety (some have started):  relaxing, working by the granite markers, meeting family, live radio broadcasts, dance pieces, fitness and movement classes, art classes, movie screenings, cook offs, restaurant vendor tastings, poetry readings, theater performances, roving music, family programs, playground in a box, field trips, partnering with seniors, tours of all scope, education, on and on. Have an idea? Want to get involved or volunteer? Please email friends of the HarborWalk gharborwalk@gmail.com or visit http://www.ghwalk.org

Cambridge Seven Associate’s design included the irresistible combination of nature juxtaposed with our industrial harbor.  The trees and blooms, sustainable butterfly gardens,  garden lectures and more are all directed by the uber talented, Kim Smith. For the gorgeous gardens Friends of the HarborWalk contact Kim Smith directly kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com

The 2013 Gloucester HarborWalk Public Art Challenge was a competitive, two-stage, open process established and administered by the Committee for the Arts (CFTA) on behalf of the City of Gloucester, and at the direction of Mayor Kirk and the City’s Community Development Department under Sarah Garcia. Funding for the purchase of public art was provided through a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Seaport Advisory Council. The awards reflect discussions, community development, planning and determination to remember and work towards incorporating the creative arts broadly alongside other city efforts. Gloucester hearts art! For further information Gloucester Committee for the Arts

You Gotta Go See… Erin Luman’s Show at The Hive

www.erinluman.com

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Erin writes-

Rooftops show and reception!

Yay! These paintings are gonna see the light of day!

Look left when you wander down Pleasant St. towards Main because these babies will be at the Hive for the month of July. One big painting in the window and then follow the path to the back gallery to see the rest of the work.

The Hive is not only a place looking to involve our community in the making of art, but also is about to start holding regular art shows. Its honestly one of the loveliest spaces to see art in Gloucester and is about to define itself as a regular and relaxed space to see art.

WTF Wednesday

Dog Bark Park Inn: Idaho

Dog Bark Park Inn offers patrons a chance to stay in the belly of a 20-foot tall beagle — literally. The inn was built to resemble this canine species and is a fine example of chainsaw wood art. The Times, a British newspaper, has declared it one of the wackiest of hotels. Although lodging costs $90 a night, it’s free for visits. http://dogbarkparkinn.com/giftshop/

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MOTT’s website added the Cultural Districts map … listings and events on massvacation.com

Cat Ryan submits-

Thanks Joey!

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The website for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) is www.massvacation.com

So far, these 14 Gloucester businesses and organizations have added their listings– with pictures!

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ALMOST THERE–And these need a picture!

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Also check out EAT IMAGINE DISCOVER and send in press releases for their subcategories. You might be featured.

send to: Lisa Simmons, Communications Director, MA Office of Travel and Tourism lisa.simmons@state.ma.us

MOTT recently added the link for the Massachusetts Cultural Districts map. Click on EXPLORE from the home page and then select “ARTS”, and then “CULTURAL DISTRICTS”.

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I see that they’ve added the new “Art App Boston” – hopefully they’ll add links for the new Cape Ann Cultural District app and the ArtsApp Cape Cod soon.

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See what they’ve written about within each district.

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Artist Loren Doucette public art installation EGS students

Cat Ryan Submits-

ARTIST LOREN DOUCETTE LIFTS STUDENT ART INTO PUBLIC ART INSTALLATIONEETING #2

East Gloucester Elementary School and ART

Hey Joey,

ARTIST LOREN DOUCETTE LIFTS STUDENT ART INTO PUBLIC ART INSTALLATIONEETING #2

East Gloucester Elementary School and ART

Hey Joey,

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What happens when artist Loren Doucette exhibits art projects by the entire East Gloucester Elementary student body over two back-to-back family nights?

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She lifts it to the level of public art installation. (Ruby McElhenny’s mask J)

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That’s Loren’s mom, Diane, helping out.

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Thanks to hundreds of display cases –big shout out for the shoe boxes from Mark Adrian Shoes—and a beckoning zippy maze we were treated to a walk in field of masks.

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The PTO worked with East Gloucester Elementary to bring Loren and artist Amber LeBlanc (look for her teaching art this summer at YMCA Camp Spindrift) to spend an entire day with each grade. Devoted entirely to art and only art! 

Loren’s most recent work—the view from Kate’s balcony– will be on exhibit opening this weekend atFlat Rocks Gallery.

Esteemed artist, Ed Touchette, is the art teacher year round for East Gloucester Elementary school and Veteran’s. So these students have a touch with a master class every week! And Mary Rhinelanderdesigned the school logo.

Special thanks to EGS PTO for such a memorable event.

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Gordon Parks Gloucester photos Memorial Day 1943

Cat Ryan submits-

FSA/OWI photograph in the Library of Congress

Gordon Parks Gloucester photos Memorial Day 1943-

Gordon Parks, Gloucester Massachusetts. Memorial services for fishermen lost at sea.

Citizens gathered on the banks near the sea, May 1943.

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More Gordon Parks 1943 Memorial Day pictures click here

Art & Textiles Auction May 20th 1 Lexington Ave. Gloucester MA

Little Auction House/Big Art

Tuesday Evening, May 20th, 2014

6pm (Preview 3-6 May 19th & 20th)
1 Lexington Ave., Gloucester, MA

Cash, checks & CCs accepted.
MA lic#2621
No Buyer’s Premium! No Sales Tax (Proceeds go to 501c)

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There will be more than 250 lots of Fine Art, Textiles and more including:
The Age – 3  Civil War 1864 Era Newspapers
Lots of Antique Fire Brigade related ephemera 
Collection of hand carved folk art figures by Tim Jumper of Hingham MA

see partial photo gallery here > http://www.auctionzip.com/cgi-bin/photopanel.cgi?mode=1&listingid=2085479&url=auctionlist.cgi

Magnolia is a bit busier than it has been in the past 6 months, but there is parking on both sides of all the streets all the way around the the Village.

News from Gloucester’s Committee for the Arts: APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

Cat Ryan submits-

Thursday, April 24, 2014 is National Poem in Your Pocket Day.  Gloucester’s Poet Laureate Rufus Collinson will have a poem for sure. How about you? It’s easy to join in the excitement. On April 24th Copy, Carry, Share and Care

1)Write your own poem or jot down one of your favorites

2)Remember to carry a poem in your pocket

3)share the fun of poetry and national poetry month with your friends, family, coworkers, classmates, wherever you go

4)ask them to share their poem with you

Visit the American Academy of Poets site www.poets.org for more info or New York City’s (started there 12 years back)

Gloucester Committee for the Arts

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Turner, Monet, Whistler, Dow…Lane? Wall Street Journal focus on Fitz Henry Lane

Cat Ryan Submits-

Hi Joey

Turner, Monet, Whistler, Dow…Lane?

Check out John Wilmerding’s review of Fitz Henry Lane’s half-dozen foggy views such as Ship Starlight in the Fog (c.1860) which is in the collection of the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH.

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http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304179704579459632424531694?mod=wsj_streaming_stream&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304179704579459632424531694.html%3Fmod%3Dwsj_streaming_stream&fpid=2,7,121,122,201,401,641,1009

For more hazy light and atmosphere, rivers and tides, and artists born in MA: the WSJ  has covered the James Abbott McNeill Whistler biography by Sutherland

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and current Whistler exhibitions which you can check out if you hustle. An American in London: Whistler and the Thames at Addison Gallery of American Art is closing April 13, 2014. Go!

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No deadlines:

Make time to visit Ipswich and seek out work by Arthur Wesley Dow.

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And when it re-opens, Cape Ann Museum for all things Lane.

Howard Liberman FSA OWI Gloucester Photos

Catherine Ryan Submits-

CROSS-COUNTRY CHRONICLE

Gloucester, MA in landmark FSA/OWI documentary photographs

Part 3

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American Photographer HOWARD LIBERMAN

150 FSA/OWI photos in Gloucester, MA, September 1942

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Hey, Joey,

Here is Part 3 in a series about Gloucester photographs in the legendary Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) collection within the Library of Congress.

You can go back to Part 1 about artist Gordon Parks, and for some background about the program (1935-42).

Part 2 is about photographer Arthur Rothstein with a timeline and quick facts.

In 1942, the Farm Security Administration Historic Photographic section program was winding down as it transitioned and prioritized for WWII. It was temporarily folded into the Office of War Information before shutting down completely. (Gordon Parks was brought on board during this transition.) Director Roy Stryker was occupied with many directives including securing a safe haven for the FSA archives. He was also maintaining a network of contacts in the publishing world and private sectors, and writing. He contributed a chapter for Caroline Ware’s influential book, The Cultural Approach to History. There was magazine work such as the 1942 issue of The Complete Photographer which published articles by both Arthur Rothstein (“Direction in the Picture Story”) and Roy Stryker (“Documentary Photography”.)

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Rothstein had already left the FSA. In 1940, Peter E. Smith Publishers, Gloucester, MA, produced his photo book, Depression Years as Photographed by Arthur Rothstein. This compilation of photographs included the best known Gloucester image from his 1937 visit; was it one of the publisher’s, too.

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In 1941, Elmer Davis was appointed as the Director of the newly created Office of War Information (OWI). In 1942, Davis hired Francis Edwin Brennan from FORTUNE magazine to head the Graphics Department of the OWI.

As Art Director of Fortune (1938-1942), Brennan commissioned famous covers by artists such as Otto Hagel and Fernand Leger. He was known in the industry as a serious art and publishing expert and was a favorite of Henry Luce.

It’s likely that Brennan was one contact for Howard Liberman’s engagement at OWI. In August of 1941 Brennan featured a FORTUNE magazine special portfolio of sample posters to showcase the development and potential of this media. Howard Liberman was one of the artists he commissioned; here’s his contribution for that issue:

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And here is a poster Liberman created for the OWI.

1943 --- United We Win Poster by Howard Liberman --- Image by © CORBIS

Liberman worked with color photography, too, which is a sub-collection at the Library of Congress, less known than the black and white. Color photography was available, but more expensive to process and for media publishers to print.

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Howard Liberman was dispatched to Gloucester in September of 1942. His photographs show a clear emphasis on WWII dominant coverage, sometimes with an FSA take.  The titles on Liberman’s OWI photos often lead with a heading. For Gloucester, many images have caption leads that begin with the patriotic category: VICTORY FOOD FROM AMERICAN WATERS.

In Gloucester, Howard Liberman spent a time on the docks and out with the crew of the OLD GLORY.

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His captions seldom include surnames of the portrait subjects. They do have lengthy– sometimes general, sometimes quite specific– descriptions to support the category heading.

There are action and portrait shots of the crew catching rosefish during an Old Glory voyage.

“Victory food from American waters. At the docks in Gloucester, Massachusetts, crew members prepare their trawler for a week’s voyage. Most of the fishermen in the city come from a line of fishermen that dates back for centuries.”

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“Victory food from American waters. Immediately after being caught rosefish are shoveled into the hold for packing the ice. Once called “goldfish” because of their brilliant color, the fish are finding a ready market because of their manifold uses–as food for humans, as fish meal and fish oil.”

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“Crew members throw overboard excess ice from Old Glory’s hold. Fishmen allow a proportion of one ton of ice to three tons of fish. When the catch is unusually large as on this trip, some ice is removed to make room for the fish.”

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“Victory food from American waters. Decks are covered with tons of rosefish as the Old Glory reaches its capacity load. After two and one half days of fishing, a catch of 85,000 pounds has been hauled in”

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“Tomorrow’s fishermen–young Gloucester boys push wagons of rosefish from the unloading pier to the processing plant where the fish are filleted and frozen…Many of the boys will follow their forefathers and fishermen in New England waters”

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Look for ‘scenes’ such as Captain John Ribiera (surname spelled a couple of ways in the archive) at work and with his wife at home. 1942 census indicates “Oscar (Irene) fishermn Riberio” at 18 Perkins Street.

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Note the picture of “the Pilot at the Wheel” above the stove

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Another reminder to look for exhibits to see vintage prints in person, rather than the low resolution files I’m showing here. Various resolution options are available at the Library of Congress. Besides the formal details, check out the Captain’s eyes!

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Binnacle blinded.

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The “Mother of Good Voyages” statue in Captain John Riberia’s quarters on the fishing trawler “Old Glory”

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There are a couple of Gloucester interiors (deteriorated negatives) of the Gloucester Mariners’ Association; they infer “captains welcome only.” One shows a gentleman playing cribbage; another shows Captain Ben Pine, the man who raced the schooner Gertrud Thebud.

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Joey, beautiful dangerous industry: shoveling fish into the rotary scaler at a fish packing plant.

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For assignments in other towns, typical headings for Liberman categories include:

Americans All; Subcontracting; School Boys in Training; Industrial Safety; Office Equipment Used by WPB; Women at War; Fuel Oil Consumption; Women Workers (see below making flags); Airports (ditto other industries); Military (e.g. Fort Belvoir); African American Aircraft Propeller Workers (ditto other jobs); Shipyard Workers; Bomber Plant Workers; Price Control; Production; Submarine Chasers; and Conversions (from this to look here it is now was a useful WWII product)

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There are more than 50 additional Gloucester photos in the Library of Congress collection, and one Royden Dixon image from 1940. 

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We are fortunate that so many talented artists worked on the FSA/OWI project, that a few visited Gloucester, and that so many folks across the county were willing to participate as subjects (easier during the War)

The municipal employees and the curators and staff who have worked on these collections (over decades) are superstars. Beverly Brannan is the curator of 20th C documentary photography at the Library of Congress.

For the FSA/OWI program, Director Roy Stryker proselytized that photography was perhaps the best tool for analyzing living history. He felt that photography as a fine art form and its gains in technical ease and advances coincided ideally with the timing of the FSA/OWI historical photographic section. He forecast rapid and constant increase in photography use and adapters. He was inspired by individual and private pioneering antecedents (Brady/Civil War, Hines/Russell Sage), and public ones such as the documentary photographs by William Jackson for the Department of the Interior.

Sometimes I think of Stryker’s Section work along a continuum of government spending on exploration that produced great contemporaneous historical records. The journals of Lewis & Clark. The work created by artists who participated in the NASA Art Program. These FSA photographs.

Stryker realized that there were collections of photography building up in municipalities big and small; how they were catalogued and assessed were critical to their use.  Here in Gloucester, the Cape Ann Museum maintains a Historic Photo Collection containing over 100,000 images from 1840s through now. Photography is included among its permanent and temporary exhibits and what’s not on view can be researched at their archives.

GLOUCESTER PHOTOGRAPHY PRE, DURING AND POST FSA/OWI

There were many independent artists as well as staff photographers (local newspapers, businesses such as Gorton’s, etc.) working in photography here in Gloucester. Every decade has wonderful examples such as Herbert Turner, Alice Curtis (and other photographers that Fred Bodin features), and David Cox’s father, Frank L. Cox.

There were numerous visits from staff photographers of major publications like Life, Vogue, National Geographic, and more. Gordon Parks came back at least two more times; a few other celebrated staff photographers that came through include Luis Marden, Eliot Elisofon, Yale Joel, Co Rentmeester and Arthur Schatz.

No- photographic artists who also worked in photography is another long list, and would include Leonard Craske, Emil Gruppe, Philip Reisman, and many others.

Good Morning Gloucester features photography, that’s for sure.

-Catherine Ryan / all photos Library of Congress, FSA/OWI black and white photography collection

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