This Weekend in the Arts



First-Ever Cape Ann Plein Air Competition and Festival Set for October 2016

Historic Artist Community Provides Backdrop for Week-long Outdoor Painting Event for National and Local Artists

Cape Ann Plein Air (CAPA), a week-long outdoor painting competition and festival, will take place this fall, beginning on Columbus Day, October 10 and ending on Sunday, October 16. Festival highlights will include an opening artists reception at North Shore Arts Association on October 10, a Grand Awards Gala at the Rockport Art Association & Museum on Saturday, October 15, and a Wet Paint Essex plein air on Saturday, October 15 and art reception and sale on Sunday, October 16.

Organized by the Cape Ann Community Foundation, seARTS, and Cape Ann’s leading arts and culture organizations, CAPA will provide a backdrop for regional and national artists, many of whom participate in other plein air events around the U.S.

CAPA is the first national plein air competition in the region, with events planned across the four Cape Ann communities — Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Up to 40 artists will be juried to participate in CAPA, competing for $16,000 in prizes and awards. There will be awards of $6000 for first place, $4000 for second place and $2000 for third place, in addition to two $500 honorable mention awards.  Other $500 awards will be granted for People’s Choice, Best Harbor Scene and Best City Scene.

CAPA juror Colin Page — an award-winning artist who paints almost entirely “en plein air” — will select the 40 artists who will participate in the competition.  Nationally recognized plein air artist Ray Hassard will serve as CAPA’s distinguished awards judge.

Plein air painting — a phrase borrowed from the French meaning “open (in full) air” — is used to describe the act of painting where the painter reproduces the actual visual conditions seen at the time of the painting.

Commenting on the festival, Rocky Neck Art Colony President Karen Ristuben, who will manage this first ever Cape Ann Plein Air, said, “I am very excited and honored to lead this event, which will showcase the region’s incredible artistic heritage and talent.”

 “Cape Ann – for nearly two centuries a destination for painters and other artists, many of whom focus on the region’s natural beauty – is the ideal backdrop for a plein air event,” said James Caviston, president of seARTS, an organization that supports the region’s art and cultural community.

“We see this as an amazing opportunity for all of Cape Ann – including artists, business and community leaders — to be part of a national event that will raise the visibility of our storied and still vibrant arts presence,” said Ken Riehl, board member of the Cape Ann Community Foundation, and CEO of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.

seARTS and the Cape Ann Community Foundation are partnering with the region’s leading arts organizations to coordinate the event, with support from a growing number of sponsors.  CAPA presenting sponsor is Applied Materials, a global technology company with operations in Cape Ann.  Other foundational sponsors include Sotheby’s International Realty and Stephen and Jill Bell. The organization is currently seeking additional partners.

Registration and an opening reception will be held at the North Shore Arts Association in Gloucester, followed by plein air painting over six days in each of the four communities. The paintings produced during the week will be sold at the CAPA Grand Awards Gala on the evening of October 15 at the Rockport Art Association & Museum.

Other events planned for the week include:

– a “quick draw” competition in Manchester-by-the-Sea on October 12

– Cape Ann Museum tours October 11-14

– Wet Paint Essex one-day plein air on October 15 and sale on October 16

In addition, plans will be announced soon for youth and emerging artist events, demonstrations, workshops and gallery events.

The organizers are working with the region’s many hotels, motels and B&Bs, restaurants, service providers and others across Cape Ann to offer special packages to participating artists and others visiting for the plein air competition and festival.

Artists may submit entries beginning April 8, and these will be processed by through July 15.  A non-refundable fee of $50 is payable when artists apply, along with samples of their plein air work.  Artists 18 years and older are eligible. The registration fee for Wet Paint Essex will be waived for any registered CAPA artist.

For more information on Cape Ann Plein Air, visit or email

About the Organizers

Cape Ann Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, formed in association with the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce. The Foundation has as its mission to support Cape Ann through regional promotion, economic development and education including jobs training and work force preparedness.

Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization, the largest business organization on Cape Ann, is made up of members from Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea, as well as surrounding communities.  The Chamber works to promote a strong local economy by supporting community programs, assisting area businesses and promoting the region and local education initiatives.  For more information on the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, visit

seARTS  — a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a coalition focused on cultivating Cape Ann’s position as a world-class center for working artists.  Established in 2000, seARTS is working to help transform the region’s economy by bridging its maritime heritage and a future powered by the arts. For more information on seARTS, visit


Folly Cove Designer-Inspired Printmaking Workshop
A four-part adult block printing workshop at The Cape Ann Museum

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (August 18, 2016) – The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present a four-part printmaking workshop for adults this coming October, inspired by the Folly Cove Designers and led by artist Mary Rhinelander and Museum staff member Victoria Petway. This workshop will meet at the Museum on Thursdays from 10:00a.m. to 12:30p.m.: October 27 to November 17.

$125 for CAM members / $145 for nonmembers, materials included. Space is limited to 15, reservations required:

To register, please call (978) 283-0455 x10 or email


Photo: L to R: Virginia Demetrios, Aino Clarke, Louise Kenyon, Hetty Beatty Whitney, Ida Bruno.

photo for Life Magazine by Harold Carter, Sept. 19, 1945.  Collection of the Cape Ann Museum.

Enjoy four days of close instruction from artists Mary Rhinelander and Victoria Petway as they delve into the incredibly rewarding and beautiful world of block printing. This customized course offers participants a special opportunity to create his/her own artwork surrounded by the inspirational work of the Folly Cove Designers.  Participants will sketch, carve linoleum blocks and print their original work to take home.

A shared affinity for the Folly Cove Designers brought Mary and Victoria together and they will guide the workshop using Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios’ three rules: Do it! Don’t copy! Don’t give up!

Participants will leave this workshop with a greater understanding of the history and work of the Folly Cove Designers, a new creative outlet and twenty original greeting cards just in time for the holidays. All levels of experience are welcome.


Insights On Site: Contemporary art at the Historic White-Ellery House
Artists find inspiration in the rooms of this First Period house

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (September 9, 2016) – The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present Here – Long Ago, an installation by Leslie Lyman and Karen Battles on Saturday, October 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This program is free and open to the public.


Details of multimedia work from Here – Long Ago by Leslie Lyman and Karen Battles.

In this one-day installation of multimedia work created specifically with the White-Ellery House in mind, artists Leslie Lyman and Karen Battles explore time, memory and imagina­tion, focusing attention on the quotidian things people leave behind – photos, letters, clothing, boxes, books, etc. Using a thematic structure, the artists have designated that each of the five rooms in the house communicate a single concept – the Word, the Stitch, the Image, the Year and the Box – with the intention of placing the viewer in a different time and asking them to ponder the lives of those who lived here long ago.

The White-Ellery House (1710), owned and operated by the Cape Ann Museum, has served as the back­drop for a series of one-day contemporary art installations since 2010. The House is located at 245 Wash­ington Street in Gloucester and is free and open to the public on select Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each month from May through October as part of Escapes North 17th Century Saturdays. Visitors are invited to explore the art installation and the historic house and property. Karen Battles and Leslie Lyman will be available to discuss their work and Museum staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions about the House. This program is free and open to the public.

Support for this program is provided by The Umberto Romano and Clorinda Romano Foundation which celebrates Umberto Romano’s (1906–1982) legacy on Cape Ann through arts education and appreciation and by fostering the work of emerging and/or working artists.

Karen and Leslie are both mixed media artists living in Newburyport and Beverly Farms respectively.

This will be the final installation in the 2016 Insights On Site series. To see work by other artists in the series or to find out more about this program visit


Paintings by Ron Straka on Display at BankGloucester

A collection of Ron’s paintings are on display at the bank (160 Main St., Gloucester) through Nov. 11th. BankGloucester is hosting a reception in Ron’s honor on Saturday, October 1st from 11am to 1 pm. The reception is a great time to meet Ron and talk with him about his work.

Ron Straka was born in Pennsylvania and graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Though he was a physicist professionally, Ron has been painting since his early teens. He is continually drawn to the challenges of plein-air painting, and traveled throughout the world to paint landscapes. His paintings have been in numerous shows and galleries throughout the country.


L&WPostcardOctober2016-FrontLaw&WaterOctober2016pening - Back


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