Tag Archives: Rocky Neck

Join Julie Cleveland “Pianist” for brunch this Sunday @ The Studio from 12:00pm to 2:00pm 7.6.201

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studio piano

Julie plays an eclectic mix of solo piano originals, as well as jazz standards, in a style that’s been described by drummer Nelson Bragg as “new age with teeth.”

julie clevland rt

Cape Ann Piano Studio, Julie Cleveland, Pianist/Instructor
Music Lessons & Instruction

Fringetree on Rocky Neck ~ American Native Beauty in Our Midst

Fringetree Chionanthus virginicus  Gloucester MA ©Kim Smith 2014jpgFringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)

Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus), the American native small tree, is so rarely planted today. Trees and plants trend at nurseries and, unfortunately, Fringetree has become one of those beauties that we need reminding of its great merits. The above specimen can be seen today in full glorious bloom on Rocky Neck, across the street from Judith and Gordon Goetmann’s Gallery. The botanical name translates lossely as snow flower, aptly describing the fluffy panicles covering the Fringetree when in bloom.

Fringetree Chionanthus virginicus Rocky Neck Gloucester MA -2 ©Kim Smith 2014

The sweetly scented airy blossoms are attractive to bees and butterflies and the ripened fruits are a wonderful food source for songbirds and small mammals. In autumn, the foliage turns a brilliant clear golden yellow. Fringetree grows from Canada to the Gulf Coast, and famously tolerates air pollution, making it ideal for urban landscapes. Grow Fringetree in sun to part sun, in moist fertile soil. At maturity, the tree tops out at twelve to twenty feet high and equally as wide.

The one negative is that Fringetree is slow to leaf out in spring, with a tendency to look dry and woody. Don’t plant it with your spring ephemerals and you won’t notice!

Fringetree Chionanthus virginicus  Gloucester MA -2 ©Kim Smith 2014Fringetrees are dioecious, which means they have separate male and female plants, similar to hollies. Some flowers are “perfect,” meaning they have male and female parts. The male’s flowers are showier than the females, and the female and perfect flowers give way to blackish-blue fruit in late summer. Chionanthus virginicus is a member of the Oleaceae, or Olive Family, and the fruits of Fringetree are similar looking to that of Olea eruopea, the olive tree cultivated throughout the Mediterranean, Africa and Asia for its edible fruit.

I ran into Anne Malvaux while photographing the Rocky Neck Fringetree and she reports that she doesn’t recall seeing any fruit, which means it is most likely a male of the species, or that the fruit is so delicious it is quickly devoured by wildlife (often the case with native trees and shrubs). Or if it is a female and doesn’t bear fruit, it may because there is no males growing nearby. We’ll have a another look in late summer.Fringetree Chionanthus virginicus Rocky Neck Gloucester MA ©Kim Smith 2014

Fodor’s names Gloucester one of New England’s Most Picturesque Towns

Check out last Friday’s Fodor’s article listing Gloucester in their 15 of New England’s Most Picturesque Towns.  Here’s what they say about Gloucester

About an hour north of Boston on Cape Ann, Gloucester is the country’s oldest seaport and predates Boston and Salem. It was established as an English settlement in 1623, and today you can visit historic houses like the Cape Ann Historical Association. Gloucester’s scenic beauty has attracted many artists, including Winslow Homer, William Morris Hunt, Mark Rothko, Maurice Prendergast, and Edward Hopper. The Rocky Neck Art Colony—the first settled artist colony in the U.S.—has many contemporary artist studios and galleries.

The NEWS From Rocky Neck

Rocky Neck Art Colony

Dear Members of the Rocky Neck Art Colony,
Five pieces of important news:
1. Artist Member of the Board: The survey results are in by a quorum of the Art Colony members, and Ruth Mordecai is officially an Artist Member of the Rocky Neck Art Colony Board of Trustees, to finish out Gordon Goetemann’s term until November 2014.  We will have an election at that time for the two Artist members of the Board, as Kathy Archer’s two-year term will also expire (or be renewed).  Congratulations Ruth, and welcome to the Board of Trustees!
2. Mortgage Burning: As we have succeeded in raising all the funds necessary to pay off the Cultural Center building, the mortgage burning will commence in true Rocky Neck fashion at a party next Friday, May 23, from 7-10 at the Center.  Music, food, spirits – a bit of a ceremony at8PM – all members are invited — you made it happen, don’t miss it!!
3. Cape Ann Cultural Districts Mobile Phone app has launched!  You can now download the Cape Ann Cultural District mobile phone app from your Apple or Android App Store.  This is an excellent marketing and way-finding device developed in partnership with the four Cape Ann Cultural Districts and with funding from the City of Gloucester and Massachusetts Cultural Council.  We will be featured in the Globe & other outlets this week. Check out the press release below and download the free app from the App Store!
4. Personnel: Our first part-time aid staffer, the new RNAC/Cultural Center coordinator is Suzanne Gilbert Lee.  Please welcome her when you see her around the Neck.  And the fabulous, multi-talented, spreadsheet-loving Pat Conant is now our part-time paid bookkeeper, yay!
5.  Openings! The Cultural Center Gallery’s Pixel Revolution, curated by Otto Laske, opens this Saturday, May 18, 3-6PM.  The Rocky Neck Gallery with featured artist Ken Beck  is opening on May 24, 6-8PM.  And the Center renovations are cranking along – we should have bathrooms by June 1…fingers crossed!

For Immediate Release

May 15th, 2014

Four Cape Ann Cultural Districts Launch Mobile Application

App Helps Visitors, Residents Pinpoint Destinations within Essex, Gloucester and Rockport

Cape Ann, MA – The four Cape Ann Cultural Districts, seARTS and the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce today announced the launch of a mobile application that will enable Cape Ann visitors and residents to use their mobile devices to explore the area’s four cultural districts.  

The new “Cape Ann Cultural Districts” mobile app is now available in the Apple and Android apps stores and can be downloaded free on these sites. The QR code for mobile app is at the bottom of the page for scanning.

The project seeks to increase awareness of Cape Ann’s creative communities, individual artists, museums, recreational attractions, historic sites, restaurants, lodgings and businesses. The mobile app provides a free, consolidated, flexible platform to access information and way-finding for each of the four state-designated Cape Ann cultural districts – Essex River, Gloucester’s Harbor town, Gloucester’s Rocky Neck and Rockport. 

Each cultural district has its own page and directory listing of cultural offerings and businesses that will include a description, location, phone number, directions and links to web sites and other associated social media sites.    

With the help of the project partners the mobile app is expected to open up new opportunities for tourists and residents to discover and experience the beauty and vibrant cultural scene across Cape Ann.

The mobile app project is funded in part through an Adams Art Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  Matching funds were provided by the City of Gloucester, the Essex Merchants Group, the Town of Rockport Economic Development Committee and the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (seARTS).  Additional support was provided by the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and the Rocky Neck Art Colony. The application was created in cooperation with TapWalk, a Boston-based mobile app developer. 

Lion’s Tooth – Beauty or Beast

dandilion_beauty or beast

The lowly dandelion (meaning lion’s tooth because their leaves resemble the teeth of lions), a bright sign of spring to some, a beastly invasive weed to those trying to maintain manicured green lawns or clear walkways.  I love dandelions myself, and how can you not respect the tenacity, strength and determination of a plant that makes its way through concrete!

E.J. Lefavour


belle + me Spring Show at the Rocky Neck Cultural Center!

REMINDER- IT’S TOMORROW- FRIDAY MAY 2, 2014 from 6:00 to 9:00pm at the Rocky Neck Cultural Center!

What kind of new scarf will you discover at belle+me’s spring show at the Rocky Neck Cultural Center from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

Rich fabrics, vibrant colors, and subtle sophistication with a little touch of hipster describe our 2014 spring/summer collection to a tee. Or as we like to say; gypsy meets preppy. Imagine a combination of these two unique styles and you have the latest offerings from belle+me.

We can not wait to see you!

Anne Malvaux-Ouellette and Lisa LeVasseur

Microsoft Word - finalflyerMay2FINAL-Reminder.docx


What a Shitty Thing to Happen

what a shitty thing

Just how windy does it have to be to blow over a porta potty?  Bet Joey’s glad this isn’t his john at the dock, especially if it was being used at the time of blow over.  This one at the Cultural Center appears to be freshly cleaned out and only some of the disinfecting blue water spilled.  You can see I didn’t have to go far from home to cover this breaking news (thanks Wayne and Karen for pointing it out).

E.J. Lefavour

David Cox vs Sports Illustrated

Catherine Ryan Submits-

Hey, Joey,

GMG photographers serve up passion and inspiration daily, so no surprise Joey recognizes local sports and talent on his blog.

Decisive shots by sports photographers freeze and interpret the best of sports moments: elements of beauty, determination, athleticism, emotion. GMG contributor, David Cox, is one hard-working pro photographer, known for just that. FOBs and residents know his shots of local school sports, crowds, events, nature and people.



Both are great photos and deserve high resolution inspection. See the stands in David’s– all the ohs and awes. The second photo is by Damian Strohmeyer on assignment from Sports Illustrated, published in the October 14, 2013 issue, pp 30-31 double page spread. We could do this comparison for the Koji Uehara leap-lift seen round the world, seconds after the Red Sox advanced to the 2013 World Series Game (various angles made it on many “pictures of the year” lists for 2013.) Sports Illustrated, national print media, game on! When Cox has a chance to be in the right seat at the right time, he doesn’t miss.

More David Cox photo examples

Somehow David Cox can shoot a clean background and direct our focus to the main event. Not easy to do. We look exactly where it’s needed, and have the bonus luxury to take our time for any all-over mosaic or atmosphere. 

David Cox, Gloucester’s BBB sports + more photographer. When he’s not crouching and climbing around for careful framing and action shots, he’s a fixture downtown as the proprietor of Main Street Arts and Antiques. You can visit there to see his art while browsing an eclectic mix of consignments. If you know David, his pictures and his store suit him.







A Badelynge of Buffleheads

badelynge of buffleheads

OK technically it is a raft or paddling of buffleheads since they are in the water, but I just couldn’t pass up using badelynge (pronounced bad-ling), which refers a group of ducks on land.  Buffleheads are my favorite little sea duck, and I have the pleasure of regularly seeing this group on Smiths Cove from my window.

Buffleheads have evolved their small size in order to fit into the nesting cavity of their “metabiotic” host, the Northern Flicker.  Due to their small size, they are highly active, diving almost continuously.  They do not tend to collect in large flocks; but are usually limited to small rafts.  One duck will serve as a sentry, watching for predators as the others in the group dive in search of food.  Buffleheads are among the last waterfowl to leave their breeding grounds and one of the world’s most punctual migrants, arriving on their wintering grounds within a narrow margin of time each year.  Buffleheads are monogamous, and the females return to the same breeding site, year after year.  (adapted from Wikipedia)

E.J. Lefavour

Rocky Neck is so Pretty in Winter

Rocky Neck is so Pretty in Winter

This being my first winter on Rocky Neck, I thought I might miss how pretty Annisquam is in the snow.  In addition to having a fun and active community that doesn’t hibernate in winter, Rocky Neck is as pretty as Annisquam, and cooler.  I am very happy being here year round.

E.J. Lefavour

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