This Weekend in the Arts

Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck
Opens for the Season. 

Gallery 53 officially opens for the season on Friday, May 26 with an Opening Reception on Saturday, May 27 from 6 to 8pm that features creative artist-made munchies and a selection of beverages.

Housed in a historic 19th century building, Gallery 53 is a juried member-run gallery that features an original and distinctive collection of fine arts and crafts by Rocky Neck Art Colony members. It is conveniently located on the waterfront between the Studio and Rudder restaurants at 53 Rocky Neck Ave in Gloucester, MA. The gallery hosts Opening and End-of-Seasonparties, showcases work by invited New England artists in seven Summer Artist Series (SAS) shows, and sponsors engaging Artist Demonstrations on Friday evenings. All events are free and open to the public.

Six new artists were juried into Gallery 53 this year: Traci Thayne Corbett, painter; Eric Hahr, silversmith; Richard Honan, found object assemblage artist; Anni Melançon, potter; Connie Vallis, intaglio printmaker and Karen Watson, mixed media collage artist.

Gallery 53 is open daily from May 26 to October 15, from 10am to 6 pm, Sunday through Thursday, and 10am to 8pm Fridayand Saturday. For more information call 978-282-0917.

See Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


The Art of David Arsenault Gallery
Ramps Up for Straitsmouth

It’s been eighty years since the public has had safe access to Straitsmouth Island, off the coast of Rockport, MA.

island cruise.jpgThe Thacher Island Association, the non-profit arm of the Town of Rockport for Thacher and Straitsmouth Islands, is raising $300,000 for a new boat launch. Paul St. Germain, President of the Thacher Island Association, notes, “The island will continue to be maintained as a wild life sanctuary by Mass Audubon. We have created a full mile of groomed walking trails. Visitors can view the massive and unusual rock formations and a future visitor center and museum will make this a new and exciting destination for boaters and kayakers in the years to come.”

With $75,000 dollars still needed, The Art of David Arsenault Gallery has stepped up to try and make a difference. “I’ve been inspired to paint Thacher and Straitsmouth Islands a number of times. My wife and I appreciate the tremendous work the Thacher Island Association volunteers have done over the years to care for these Rockport treasures. This is one way we can give back.”

thacher island north to south.jpgOn Saturday, May 27th from 5-9 p.m. the Art of David Arsenault Gallery hosts, “Ramp Up for Straitsmouth,” a benefit with dynamic jazz saxophonist, David Arteaga and a special guest. On Sunday, May 28th from 1-4 p.m. Paul St. Germain will be sharing updates about the Straitsmouth project in a discussion entitled “What’s New at Straitsmouth?.”

Since opening a gallery in Rockport in 2015, Arsenault has created six different paintings connected to Thacher and Straitsmouth Islands: “Island Cruise,” “Straitsmouth at 6 a.m.,” “Thacher: North to South,” “Seeing Double,” “Autumn’s Early Light,” and “Early for Dinner.”


Twenty percent of sales will be contributed to the Thacher Island Association. Arsenault has created a 12×18 poster to commemorate the event and will be raffling a signed 16” x 40” canvas giclée of “Straitsmouth at 6 a.m.” St. Germain adds, “Arsenault’s art certainly captures the beauty and magnificence of this island as well as many other local sites.”

If you can’t attend but would like to help, donations can be sent c/o the Thacher Island Association, PO Box 73, Rockport, Ma 01966. Or, you can donate at


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Jane Deering Gallery presents Drawn from Life which opens with a public reception on Saturday May 27th from 3:00-5:00pm at 19 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, next to the Cape Ann Museum.  Drawing never dies.  All artists drew, observed and worked from life at some point, including from the life model, as part of their artistic visual vocabulary and learning.

Drawing is an active, investigative pursuit of things we see and wish to know.  It is, apparently, immortal and brings us into a different, deeper and more fully experienced relation to the object.

Artists in this exhibition include five from Cape Ann —Erma Wheeler, Celia Eldridge, Leon Doucette, Melissa Cooper and David Hruby; and four artists from California — Mary Heebner, Isabelle Greene, Connie Connally, and Linda Jones.

The exhibition continues through June 30th.  Gallery hours:  Friday – Sunday, 12noon – 5pm and by appointment at 917-902-4359 and info@janedeeringgallery.  Works from the exhibition can be viewed on the gallery website


Flatrocks Gallery opens their fifth season
May 25th with ‘In Deep Water’

A group show meant to inspire people to action. With grace, beauty and humor these artists use their gifts to raise consciousness about climate change, sea level rise, and ocean pollution.

Two exciting artists from ‘over the bridge’ anchor the show, both committed to art as activism.

Resa Blatman-The_Breaking .jpg

Resa Blatman, from Somerville brings us her commitment to nature in all its power and vulnerability with work that is at once haunting and lovely. Her artistic process is filled with intention; creating layered paintings and installations using a dynamic mixture of materials. In combining paint, assemblage pieces, and intricately laser-cut mylar forms, she affects deep space and pulls the viewer in. Blatman “seeks to remind us of the precarious nature of our habitat.” Blatman’s work is complex and beautifully rendered, reminiscent of the allegorical and precise painting of the Dutch masters, and inspired by the Baroque, Romanticism, and Victorian decorative art.

Michelle Lougee-detail-octoplas.jpg

Michelle Lougee is an environmental artist, sculptor, ceramicist, illustrator and teacher from Cambridge. Her work focuses on the delicate balance between nature and human society and technology. The duality of this relationship is explored in both materials and subject matter. Her signature material, post-consumer plastic bags is laboriously transformed into yarn and then crocheted into lifelike interpretations of sea life. The results are playful vibrant sculptures. Their animated details are delightful, yet jarring because of the reference to the dangerous infestation of plastics in our oceans. Lougee states, “In my art, I strive to replicate the animated quality that all living things possess. That is what makes nature beautiful. My job as an environmental artist is to capture that beauty in my work while instilling a message into it.”

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The show is supported with a few offerings each from four artists of Cape Ann. Adin Murray, an extraordinary painter from West Gloucester, shares examples of his most recent series “Horizon” . For  Murray,  “The space where the sky and water meet is powerful, profound, and humbling….and speaks to the universal truth of constant change.” These commanding hyperrealist paintings represent in the context of the show that which we revere and take for granted.  Local lawyer, musician, community organizer, multimedia artist Karen Ristuben describes herself as an environmental advocate at the core. She brings to ‘In Deep Water’ a version of her multimedia work created for the Boston Museum of Science’s show -Ocean Stories, a collaboration of artists and ocean scientists working across disciplines to communicate the state of our oceans.  Ristuben’s contribution is both visually compelling and inspirational. During  Mia Cross’ stint as the 2016 Goetemann Artist in Residence she spent her early mornings walking the beaches of Gloucester. There she found “scavenging for objects and repurposing them exciting, especially when the objects have carelessly been tossed and deemed invaluable.“ From the debris emerged a guardian angel of the waters. Cross offers her cleverly created physical manifestation to to bear witness to our throwaway society. To visit Rockport artist Nina Samoiloff’s studio, there is no doubt she is committed to cleaning up our shores. The mounds of flotsam divided up by color, product, or material  are alarming.  By arranging her collection into pleasing mosaics, she documents our excess and disrespect with a quiet grace.

With ‘In Deep Water’ Flatrocks Gallery’s aim is to stimulate discussion and inspire viewers to action, with a collection of thought provoking, inventive, beautiful artworks.  In Deep Water runs May 25- July 2. A reception for the artists will be held Sunday, May 28th 4-6pm.The gallery will host the ocean advocacy group, Tidal Shift’s workshop crafting jellyfish from used plastic. for all ages Sunday, June 25th 3-5pm.


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