Tag Archives: Committee for the Arts
Cat Ryan submits-
Thanks to Ringo, MBT Electricians, Parsons Street was ready and lit as darkness fell.
Downtown Block Party overlapped with the first weekend of Essex National Heritage annual Trails and Sails (Sept 19-21 and 26-28). James Owen Calderwood, the artist who created FISH NET, was here to experience both events, help set up and answer questions.
There were hours of great LIVE and local music by the stage in front of Bank Gloucester. I’ll add the entertainer names and sponsors for that stage into the comments below. Parents dining al fresco at Ohana watched their kids engage at the YMCA kid town area. 4Square dominates, effectively trapping all kids. The YMCA staff is excellent!
We enjoyed working with Don and Francis of FABOLA and the guys from Surfside Subs. Throughout the Block Party, happy customers lined up for Surfside Subs pizza (the biggest slices ever!) and it was non-stop at Markouk’s booth with City Hall rising beyond. (The next morning, Markouk would be up and at it again for Appleton Farms.)
FABOLA enlivened the sidewalk and parking space with mid-century modern “parklet” seating areas. A cozy chair and ottoman upholstered with a touch of Provence did not sell, but a trio of friends paused on FISH NET with their new modern lamp purchase.
I didn’t get to Smokin Jim’s Barbecue in the back garden by Dog Bar, nor Cape Ann Community Cinema to see Charade with Cary Grant, or the cheese tasting, or…well, there’s no way to get it all in. I did see the King, Fred Bodin! Congratulations to Judith Brackley, Valerie Markley, Lucinda, and others for their professionalism and attention to detail for these top notch street festivals.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Sunday (9/28) at 1PM, the Cape Ann Community Cinema will have another showing of Monuments Men.
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
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
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?!
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)
With Mayor Carolyn Kirk and the City’s leadership and support, here are some September updates for City Arts & Gloucester covering the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, Community Development Downtown Work Plan, Harbortown Cultural District and the Committee for the Arts.
From now through October 15th submit a design for a Cape Ann license plate!
· The single most successful MA specialty license plate is…the one celebrating Massachusetts’ other Cape. The Cape and Islands plate, created in 1996, features an image of Eastham’s Nauset Lighthouse and the cliffs of Siasconset and Aquinnah. It has raised $20.1 million and was ordered for 45,000 cars in the state. At that time, the Registry of Motor Vehicles allowed backgrounds. The new image space requirements are smaller squares to the left of the number.
· Feeling competitive? There are currently more than 216,641 specialty license plates in circulation in the state now, according to the Registry. The five top sellers?
· What do you think the 2 letters should be?
· For more information on how to apply, see GMG announcement http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/cape-ann-chamber-launches-drive-for-special-cape-ann-license-plate/
News from Community Development and the Downtown Work Plan
The Downtown Work Plan group continues! Come to City Hall for the third and final public meeting Tuesday September 17, 2013. Like the others, this meeting will also be held in the Kyrouz Auditorium at City Hall and run from 6-8PM. You can check out the results from the 2nd public presentation on line http://www.gloucester-ma.gov/index.aspx?NID=760&ART=2142&ADMIN=1. It is a large file and may take a couple of minutes to load. Community Development will also post the other presentations to the website as well. If you have any comments or questions, email Community Development Director, Tom Danieltdaniel@gloucester-ma.gov
Enjoy this August 8, 2013 Boston Globe article on Mayor Kirk’s efforts for Community Development for downtown Gloucester. You can see it here
News from the downtown Harbortown Cultural District
Mayor Carolyn Kirk has committed the City’s major support as lead partner for our two Gloucester Cultural Districts!
2/3 of the Harbortown partners have filled out a survey to prioritize goals with a focus on arts and culture. Other partners will complete theirs as they meet with their committees/boards. Example of one of the questions (‘in progress’ screen shot)
Harbortown partners and stakeholders attending the August meeting at Cape Ann Museum were lucky to hear an outstanding update from Director Ronda Faloon:
Reaching Out and Strengthening Within, Cape Ann Museum’s recently announced Capital Campaign will raise funds to make essential and innovative changes, dramatically improving the Museum’s ability to care for its nationally significant collection, as well as to tell the Cape Ann story and the pivotal role it has played in the American experience. Dynamic new interior and exterior spaces will be created. Outdated systems will be updated and underutilized spaces will be maximized to provide secure, more cost-effective and visitor-friendly settings for the collection. The Campaign will also support efforts to make the Museum’s collection more accessible by digitization, allowing it to be viewed on a redesigned website. Whether you are a physical or virtual visitor, the Museum hopes to transform your experience. http://www.capeannmuseum.org/support/capital-campaign/
We also participated in a special hands-on discussion and workshop about the goals for our district which was facilitated by Rebecca Borden Art Haven’s interim director. Art Haven and Cape Ann museum are founding partners of the Harbortown Cultural District.
News from the Committee for the Arts
On behalf of Mayor Kirk and the City of Gloucester, we’re in the process of updating the Committee for the Arts page on the City website and all these logos are at play!
The Committee for the Arts is pleased to announce that James Owen Calderwood’s temporary public artwork, his abstract ‘Fish Net’ street mural covering Parsons Street, is the first of three 2013 HarborWalk public art awards to be completed.
INSIDER gHW ARTWORLD NEWS: New Parsons street signs are being designed and produced by Tricia O’Neill, Signs Unique, of Gloucester. Tricia is currently collaborating with world renowned British born contemporary artist, Matthew Ritchie, on his new mural commission for the Institute of Contemporary Art /Boston and Rose F. Kennedy Greenway’s Dewey Square. We are thrilled for Tricia and grateful she is helping with the gHW. AND Red Sox fans have long seen her sign work there!
INSIDER BLOOMS: Along with James’ wonderful net mural, also look forward to some lighting, a new fence on the west side of the street, and tucked along its edge, an additional patch of gHW butterfly and sustainable gardens with more of Kim Smith’s planting design! You can see the relation of mural/fence/garden spot and more from Kim’s fabulous Good Morning Gloucester posts
The end of September heralds the 12th year of Trails and Sails weekends. This year, the third and final Block Party is timed perfectly with the first Trails and Sails weekend. Gloucester’s Committee for the Arts is thrilled to take part in these weekends.
WALK Parsons Street to experience James Owen Calderwood’s Parsons Street mural for the 2013 HarborWalk Public Art Challenge
Send us your photos!
Leaping © Cruz Ferreras
Thank you, Marty Luster! http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/great-public-art/
Stop into City Hall and cherish our City’s major murals.
Over the 2nd weekend of Trails and Sails, July 27-29th, the Committee for the Arts is also hosting 3 special days of mural celebration and recognition! Art conservator, Peter Williams, who recently completed the first phase of mural restoration at City Hall, will be speaking about restoration and Charles Allan Winter on Friday September 27 at 7PM in City Hall. Mark your calendars for his lecture: “A Restorer’s Intimate View of Paintings and Murals by Charles Allan Winter”. Sign up too for guided tours Saturday and Sunday by Gloucester artist, historian, scholar, independent curator, adjunct professor, and former Committee for the Arts member, Susan Erony!
For more information on the restoration and photos see GMG posts including http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/the-gloucester-committee-for-the-arts-announces-13200-in-new-private-donation/
Editor’s note: When I posted this yesterday I forgot to take my watermark off which my blogging software does automatically for me. Al these photos were taken by Catherine Ryan-
Phil Cusumano, artist/captain, and volunteer juror for the 2013 HarborWalk Public Art Challenge administered by the Committee for the arts, stopped by to inspect the public art in process on Parsons Street. The artist, James Owen Calderwood, was being filmed for an interview by Lisa Smith for Cape Ann TV. Dale Brown of the Committee for the Arts was there, too.
Jason Burroughs who is teaching with TAG is volunteering some hours yesterday and today for James’ project.
Though difficult for painting, the off and on rain does provide opportunities for visiting. Last week there were business meetings, here with Sarah Garcia Harbor Planning Director.
Today looking out from City Hall, peering past the high school kids cleaning, the bank, Parsons, and on to the harbor.
James visiting the Hive.
While there, we were privileged to witness GREAT news hot off the press and an intensity enough to match their vibrant space! TAG team members wrote and were awarded a $10,000 grant. Congratulations all!
Pictured are David Brooks(TAG Director) Emma Johnson(Forest Foundation Intern), Alex Barrett(Forest Foundation Intern) , Satomi Nishimiya, Rachel McClenagan, Rebecca Siswick Graham (Tag Open Studio Manager), Chrid Boudrow(TAG Assistant Director) , Lauren Horne, and Greer Viau. Also Not pictured is Katie Flores (Forest Foundation Intern) not pictured.
They were heading over to the Farmer’s Market and David promises to send in names and more information. They were also tracking down Mary Ann to share the news; she was at Maritime Gloucester with the Art Haven campers partnership week.
Next time we’ll head down Parsons over to see the permanent public art installation at Maritime Gloucester museum. The twelve foot diameter compass rose is being installed on city property where the HarborWalk crosses onto Maritime Gloucester. Two artists installing new public art downtown and connections—very exciting news.
Donna and Kathy documenting the compass rose on GMG:
Get over to the library! This month, the Matz Gallery at the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free library is featuring the creative proposals of 15 semi finalists artist/artist teams for the HarborWalk Public Art Challenge.
Gloucester Engineering and the Matz family created a lovely exhibition space and lobby!
Bring your kids and grandchildren. There are games and small prizes and discoveries for all ages. Here’s a printable sample “hidden pictures”.
Leave some extra time to admire more art at the library, the neighborhood quilts, the always excellent Children’s Library and programming, and the fountain. Remember to peer past the construction screen to see what’s coming! The exhibit is open when the library is open. Come for the 8:30AM opening time of the main library, and then head down to the Children’s room, which opens at 10AM. Tuesdays and Thursdays the library is open until 8pm.
If you’re downtown, have a look at Parsons Street from either Main Street or Rogers. The Gloucester Committee for the Arts is pleased to announce that the first of 3 public art award projects has begun right there. Stop by today or over the weekend, and next week. You might see artist James Owen Calderwood at work on his 190 foot idea.
Calderwood proposed a temporary painted abstract fishnet to extend the entire length of Parsons Street (alley way from Main Street to Rogers Street). He wrote, “This street acts as an important pedestrian link, and I am hoping to catch lots of visitors…I have been creating exterior public art for 20 years, and am interested in enriching public spaces with art that engages with the site’s history, culture and native surroundings.”
Here’s some before pictures:
Some proposal ideas
Action from yesterday:
DPW was working on a multi step process to ramp and level the transition from the sidewalk to the street. A manhole casting was raised, new concrete had to dry, and then there was some paving. There are also 2 new bollard/perch seats.
There’s art on Parsons now, here fleeting:
And substantial: sometimes there’s a peek through of artist Robert Stephenson’s transportive entrance. Fittingly his was the first signature on Jamie’s visitor sign.
And the harbor calling in one direction; and in the other, Main Street, City Hall and Cape Ann Museum, just quick steps away.
Many City departments are involved with any public art project.
Here’s Jamie meeting with Victoria Caldwell at City Hall.
Jamie rented equipment from nearby Gloucester rental (air blower, rake, weed whacker, weed sprayer—vinegar Kim Smith!)
Don’t forget to stop by the library this month to see the ideas from all 15 semi finalists on exhibit.
- James Owen Calderwood, awarded project
- Justin Desilva, awarded project
- Bartek Konieczny, awarded project
- Mike McNabney & Troy Zaushny, Hard Hat Painters
- Anna Chirico, Joann Chirico, Dave Blakney (no photo)
- Frank Morbillo
- Angelina Marino-Heidel & Joel Heidel
- Tiffany Carbonneau
- James Sardonis
- Juni Van Dyke
- Andrew Thurlow & Andrew Doyle
- Lise Breen & Laura Piraino (no photo)
- Robert Trumbour (photo), Anthony Sanchez, Jared Steinmark, Alex Cabral
- Kim Smith
- Gary Duehr (no photo)
Committee for the Arts (CFTA) announces that 15 semifinalists have been selected for the first ever 2013 Gloucester MA HarborWalk Public Art Challenge
Catherine Ryan Submits-
On behalf of the City of Gloucester , the Committee for the Arts (CFTA) announces that 15 semifinalists have been selected for the first ever 2013 Gloucester MA HarborWalk Public Art Challenge. Congratulations all!
- James Calderwood
- Tiffany Carbonneau
- Anna Chirico & Dave Blakney
- Justin Desilva
- Andrew Thurlow & Andrew Doyle
- Gary Duehr
- Bartek Konieczny
- Angelina Marino-Heidel & Joel Heidel
- Michael McNabney & Troy Zaushny
- Frank Morbillo
- Laura Piraino & Lise Breen
- James Sardonis
- Kim Smith
- Robert Trumbour, Anthony Sanchez, Jared Steinmark, & Alex Cabral
- Juni Van Dyke
This national call to artists received an overwhelming response, with over 150 project ideas submitted from artists here and across the country. Judging for round 1 was done anonymously. With only 3 awards available and so many thoughtful submissions, it was necessary that round 1 require further essential review time. Competition was very strong. The CFTA was impressed by the quality and effort of so many proposals. It’s exciting and a privilege to see so many ideas, and all with a focus on Gloucester. Sincere thanks are due to all of the artists who took the time to send in applications, and we appreciate their interest and support of this call.
What stage are we in the overall process?
The semi-finalists entries are in final review by the round 2 selection panel which is tasked with selecting the 3 finalists from the group of 15 semi-finalists. The distinguished 7 member jury panel covers a cross section of expertise and excellence and includes: John Bell, Business, Civic and Political Leader, Gloucester, MA; Andrée Bober, Landmarks Museum Director and Founder, The University of Texas at Austin, TX, http://landmarks.utexas.edu/ ; Phil Cusumano, Artist and Licensed Captain, Gloucester, MAhttp://www.philcusumanoart.com/; Morgan Faulds Pike, Artist, Gloucester, MA, http://morganfauldspike.com/; Trevor Smith, Curator of Contemporary Art, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, http://www.pem.org/; Peter Sollogub/Chris Muskopf, Architects, Cambridge Seven Associates, Cambridge, MA http://www.c7a.com/; and Jeff Weaver, Artist, Gloucester, MA, http://www.jeffweaverfineart.com/. We are grateful for the judges’ participation. We anticipate that the three winners will be announced May 2013. Soon thereafter, the Committee for the Arts will announce a special exhibition featuring all 15 semi-finalist entries and the panel’s selections (date, venue, & details are in the works). Stay tuned!
Catherine Ryan submits-
The Gloucester Committee for the Arts announces $13,200 in new private donation!
This jumbo gift enables the current conservation work on six of the Charles Allen Winter New Deal murals in City Hall to be completed without interruption. We would have still pressed on but there may have been an interruption (scaffolding down and then set back up again months later) as we continued to raise funds. While the donors of the $13,200 contribution wish to remain anonymous, the funds were provided to the Committee through the Belinda Foundation at the Boston Foundation.
Committee member Roger Armstrong, the owner of the State of the Art Gallery on Rocky Neck and the State of the Art Gallery II located downtown on Pleasant Street , secured this immediate funding gift. Armstrong stated, “We are so very fortunate to be the beneficiaries of generous Gloucester citizens who share our appreciation for these art treasures in City Hall.”
And it’s also thanks in no small measure to the recent local media coverage –from GMG, Cape Ann Beacon and the GDT –of the current restoration of City Hall murals! The Committee is extremely grateful for this support of the conservation work and the recognition of the significance of the City’s collection of WPA-era murals.
If you would like to join the effort to care for the irreplaceable City art including these historic murals and the work of the CFTA, contributions in support of our City Art can be mailed to:
The Gloucester Fund
45 Middle Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
Be sure to put “Committee for the Arts” on the memo line of the check.
Catherine Ryan submits-
The Committee for the Arts is excited to share new “in situ” photographs of Gloucester ’s City Hall murals by noted architectural photographer, Chuck Choi.
Here is Chuck Choi photographing and Mayor Carolyn Kirk eyeing his composition
Here’s one featuring Charles Allan Winter’s City Council in Session in the lobby of City Hall (don’t miss our killer ship chandeliers!);
followed by a photo zoomed in to show all 34 figures
followed by a photo of the framed “key” that his installed below the mural, just above the collectors’ windows—more to follow on the key!
There was media coverage in the 1930s for the murals as they were completed, and many times since then. Here’s a fun one: In 1972 Senator William L. Saltonstall (Manchester resident and member of the Massachusetts Senate from 1967-1979) enlisted the help of media to announce a contest to help identify the portraits in some of Charles Allan Winter’s New Deal murals within Gloucester ’s City Hall. The Cape Ann VF insert published a photograph of the Winter mural in Kyrouz Auditorium, The Founding of Gloucester, with the caption: “Senator Saltonstall is offering dinner for two at a Gloucester restaurant to the first person to identify the most real people in the mural painting above.”
Catherine Ryan writes-
Thank you Donna and Marty for your photographs documenting the City’s murals restoration! As FOBs we’re so lucky to be exposed to so many GMG artist photographers and their unique take. Donna your posts and photos are upbeat and you seem to be in more than one place at one time! Your recent photograph of Morgan Faulds Pike’s Fishermen’s Wives Memorial, heroic against our Gloucester harbor’s big sky, was a stand out for our public art. There is also a whimsy in your work–like the detail of today’s “behind the scenes” Peter Williams’ placard for his posted hours. Marty, it seems the conservators are channeling the artist, Charles Allan Winter, in their chosen attire and you, too, in the way you’ve framed them among the portraits! Your photos also highlight the scale–the conservators look as if they could walk right into the murals among the denizens and jobs featured.
Long standing CFTA member Dale Brown with help from committee members Roger Armstrong of State of the Art Gallery are the volunteers primarily engaged with the management of this conservation project. Chair Judith Hoglander, committee member Marcia Hart and many past committee volunteers have worked so hard to raise the funds to commence this cleaning. It’s a very exciting time. Dale is also setting up an account with another incredible Gloucester good egg, Barry Pett, of the Gloucester Fund so that people who want to contribute to the Committee for the Arts can do so!
Allegra Boverman and Marjorie Nesin of the Gloucester Daily Times and the Cape Ann Beacon have also covered this conservation project. The Gloucester Daily Times has documented them from their first unveiling and nearly every decade since. All this reporting of the mural conservation will be part of their history, too, and help us see them in new ways. The Committee for the Arts hopes that Gloucester residents will have a chance to look for themselves just as we were so lucky to do with the turbines. More art and science up close. Gloucester is not dull!
The Gloucester Committtee for the Arts is excited to announce the complete panel of jurors for the Gloucester HarborWalk Public Art Challenge!
At the time of publication of the Call on December 8, 2012, the CFTA welcomed the University of Texas Landmarks museum Director, Andrée Bober;the Peabody Essex Museum Curator of Contemporary Art, Trevor Smith; and teaming up for Cambridge Seven Associates, architects Peter Sollogub and Chris Muskopf, to participate on the jury panel. Joining these distinguished experts on the jury panel are Gloucester citizens John Bell, Phil Cusumano, Morgan Faulds Pike and Jeff Weaver. The CFTA is grateful to the jurors for volunteering their time and considerable talent to help the artists and this process!
To learn more about the jurors, please visit http://ghwalk.blogspot.com/
The deadline to apply is February 8, 2013
For more information please visit http://ghwalk.blogspot.com/ to view/download the complete Call.
Questions email the CFTA: email@example.com, subject line Public Art
Catherine Ryan writes-
SAVING ART CULTURE HISTORY
Besides the Public Art Challenge that is happening as we speak, the Gloucester Committee for the Arts (CFTA) has other exciting news in January 2013!
Part of the work of the Committee for the Arts (CftA) includes mapping the way for appropriate and comprehensive ongoing preservation plans for the City’s art holdings. The CftA is committed to the preservation of Gloucester ’s irreplaceable cultural legacy for future generations.
Art conservation involves the cleaning, preserving, and occasionally the repairing of works of art. Art conservator, Peter Williams, will be setting up scaffolding in City Hall to commence cleaning on some of our stellar WPA murals by Charles Allan Winter (1869-1942). Williams, who has worked with museums and galleries for over 40 years and began his career as conservator with the MFA, was chosen to perform the restoration and preservation work and to complete the work in Phases as funding allows. The restoration work will be a great chance for everybody to see a very cool crossover of science and arts up close, all the while eyeing some of the very best New Deal art in the country. If you’re visiting City Hall, look up, look around! We know art can be a touchstone for so many learning disciplines. Take this chance to get a behind the scenes look at the preservation of our beloved murals. It’s a real joy to be able to look at art like these special murals, learn more about them and now, too, this opportunity to share awareness about the science of conservation.
Before any restoration work could begin, the CftA for several years spearheaded a fundraising effort and applied for grants for the painstaking process of cleaning and restoring these giant murals. Among the contributors were individuals and foundations/grants, including seARTS/Massachusetts Cultural Council, the City of Gloucester CPA funding, and the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation. Perhaps some readers may have purchased postcards at City Hall on Middle Street walk or coasters at another event all of which have contributed to this fund. With over $28,000 raised, the CftA now has the support necessary to begin Phase I for the first few murals, and will continue to raise more funds to finish the projects. We are so fortunate for these contributions. Thank you!
Here are details from two murals. This series by Charles Allan Winter wraps around the doors and architecture surrounding the lobby just outside the Mayor’s office. City Council in Session fills the space above the collector’s windows (approximately 7 feet high by eleven feet wide). City Government covers the opposite wall. Tucked in and around the arch-topped lunettes, the two-part mural, Civic Virtues, spreads across the two other opposing walls. This Winter series focuses on government themes as befitting their location, and the test of time. They offer special glimpses of our community in the 1930s as they include many portraits from life, great detail, artistry and ideas. Note the boys (youth) in the “planning” section of Civic Virtues clasping pieces from a model of the Gloucester High School .
ABOUT THE GLOUCESTER COMMITTEE FOR THE ARTS
Made up of citizen volunteers appointed by the Mayor and City Council, The Committee for the Arts was established by City ordinance in 2000 to promote and celebrate Gloucester ’s cultural heritage. The Committee recently has worked to preserve and increase awareness of Gloucester ’s WPA murals and other City-owned art. Additionally, the Committee develops and promotes educational programs and establishes awards and honors to recognize local artists. It implements a city-wide public art policy.