Author Archives: E.J.

Gallery 53 Opening Party, May 28th

Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck

53 Rocky Neck Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930

Gallery hours, Daily, 10:00-6:00 PM, Fridays and Saturdays ‘till 9:00 PM

Gallery Opening May 25, 10-6; Opening reception, May 28, 6:00 to 8:00 PM

Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck Announces Opening Party on Saturday, May 28

New season presents artist demos and 8 new members

Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck opens for the season on Wednesday, May 25, followed by a festive opening party on Saturday, May 28, from 6 – 8 pm to celebrate the new season and welcome seven new gallery members. Save the date! The public is invited to visit the gallery on beautiful Rocky Neck in Gloucester, MA to meet the artists and enjoy an array of beverages and delicious edible treats.

The gallery welcomes eight new members: Deborah Barnwell, jewelry; Pam Courtleigh, assemblage; Rob Dieboll, painting; Gail Gang, painting; Ellen Garvey, blown glass; Kathleen George, painting; Shana Holub, ceramics, and Cornelius Sullivan, etching. See our Facebook page and web page for more pictures and further information about the upcoming season full of surprises.

On the same Saturday, May 28, our first Summer Artist Series artist holds her opening reception at the gallery, as well. The abstract paintings and mixed media of Kathy Soles, former Goetemann Artist in Residence on Rocky Neck, are on display in the Ann Fisk Room at Gallery 53 from May 25through June 7. The Gallery 53 SAS (Summer Artist Series) this year is exciting with seven incredible artists showing their work. See for detailed information.

The season also includes a series of artist demonstrations on Saturdays, from 1-3 pm. Please join us and watch how art is made up close and personal. A schedule and full list of participants is available on our web page

The Rocky Neck Art Colony, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, nurtures excellence in the arts through exhibitions, workshops, residencies and vibrant cultural events for its members and the public. Long renowned for its luminous light, this harbor and coastal location has been a magnet for some of the most revered realist paintings in American art and a catalyst for the progressive ideas of artists from Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Milton Avery, and Nell Blaine, among many others. Today Rocky Neck continues to attract artists and art lovers to a thriving creative community. For up to date information visit

Did You Know? Sterling Hayden

sterling hayden

That Sterling Hayden (1916-1986) was a famous actor from the 1940’s-1970’s, who stayed on Rocky Neck for a time and liked to eat at Sailor Stan’s, where he sat in the middle booth?  Rocky Neck artist, L.A. Dahlmer, recalls sitting across from Hayden at the popular Rocky Neck breakfast spot. Hayden returned to Gloucester in 1983 for the release of Joseph Garland’s book Down to the Sea: The Fishing Schooners of Gloucester, the introduction of which he had written.

I just love this quote from Sterling Hayden’s book: Wanderer: “To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… cruising it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

‘I’ve always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can’t afford it.’  What these men can’t afford is not to go.  They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, and preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?”

He dropped out of school at 16 to go to sea and ended up in Gloucester, where he worked as a Grand Banks fisherman and learned the art of sailing. He was mate on Irving Johnson’s Yankee on its noted circumnavigation in 1937. He was navigator on the Essex-built schooner Gertrude L. Thebaud under Captain Ben Pine in the 1938 Fisherman’s Cup races v. the Canadian schooner Bluenose. Partly due to the intense media coverage of those races, he was discovered by the press: his photo in the Boston Post captioned “Thebaud Sailor Like Movie Idol” led to modeling opportunities in New York and a call from Paramount Pictures. After captaining a voyage to Tahiti, he signed with Paramount in 1941. The blonde, 6-foot, 5-inch actor thrilled audiences in some 60 films. Dubbed the “Beautiful Blond Viking God” by Paramount Pictures, he is best known for his roles as General Jack D. Ripper in “Dr. Strangelove” (1964), for which he was nominated by BAFTA as “Best Foreign Actor”. Other noted roles were a corrupt cop in “The Godfather” (1972), Roger Wade in “The Long Goodbye” (1973), Leo Dalco in Bertolucci’s “Novecento” (1976), and a comedic turn as the CEO in “Nine to Five” (1980). He often expressed his dislike for acting, stating that he only acted to pay for his sailing. Utilizing his love for the sea and knowledge of sailing, he also authored the best-selling 1976 work “Voyage: A Novel of 1896”. He was married three times with six children, and died of prostate cancer.  Hayden was a genuine adventurer and man of action, not dissimilar from many of his movie parts.

This is a repost of an old Did You Know post from years ago that I recently came across. His words, and the fact that he liked Sailor Stan’s, needed to shared again.

E.J. Lefavour

How Did You Get There?

ten pound visitors

I took these shots on April 30. At the time, I didn’t know what I was shooting. I could see something in the distance on the wall, but didn’t know what it was (I was shooting from Oakes Cove at Ten Pound Island). There was no boat anywhere near or on shore, so I didn’t think it was people. If you recognize yourselves, tell us – how in the world did you get out there?

E.J. Lefavour

Blake Bell Co.


This is the bell in the front yard of the Community Church of East Gloucester on Chapel Street. I visited the Church last Sunday, but before that I had no idea it existed. I found the bell interesting, and when I did some research on it, I found it very interesting. Blake Bell Co. dates back to the 1800’s and William Blake was an apprentice of Paul Revere.

“William Blake was an apprentice of Paul Revere. William Blake was involved with, and owned, several metal casting companies in private & with partners from 1820 to 1890.

In this historic time period, firms opened & closed based on the individual financer decision to fund, to continue funding, or to withdraw funding, in order to participate in another financial endeavor. If a financial partner withdrew, it was necessary for the principal owner, usually the craftsman, to locate another individual as a source of funding. A change in the funding partner typically required a name change. (Today, this funding is accomplished by the stock market.)
In 1823, Paul Revere III, Wm. Blake & John Sullivan founded the Boston & Braintree Co. The bells cast are not dated. This same year, the foundry’s name was changed to Boston Copper Co. The Boston Copper Co. closed in 1830. Boston Copper Co. bells are dated.

In 1830-1868, Wm. Blake partnered with Henry N. Hooper, & Richardson forming the Hooper, Blake & Richardson Company located in Boston, casting bells.
In 1859 to 1890, Wm. Blake & Henry Hooper formed another bell foundry: Henry N. Hooper & Co., also known as Hooper & Co. in Boston. Hooper bells dated 1859 are located at St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Lynn, Mass., and Old Round Church in Richmond, Vermont.

W. Blake & Company located at Allen Streets in Boston, Massachusetts was in operation from 1820 to 1890. At that time, he operated under the names of W. Blake & Co. and Blake Bell Co. In 1825, Blake cast the first set of chimes by an American foundry. (Previously, all chimes were cast in Europe.) Two chimes were cast: one of eight bells and one of eleven bells. The largest bell weighed 3,000 pounds.

In 1881, the Blake, Lamb & Co. at Brighton & Allen Streets in Waterbury, Connecticut was in operation. Little is recorded of this company.”


E.J. Lefavour

The Event You’ve Been Waiting All Winter For!

sailor stans opening 2016

Sailor Stan’s will be reopening tomorrow (Saturday) at 7:00am, and Sunday too.  Just weekends for now, but that’s when most people probably want to go break their fast on the Neck this time of year.  Karen Roberts has been working all winter on her beautiful and very affordable sea glass jewelry, and will have some on display.  Wayne has been busy at work painting all winter, as you can see from this colorful, iris-filled beauty of Sailor Stan’s.  Spring is Here!  Come on down the Neck.

It is also the final weekend of the Rocky Neck Now exhibit at the Cultural Center, so get some eats and take in some art.  I’ll be gallery sitting from 2-4 on Saturday, so stop in and say hi.  The closing reception for the show will be Sunday from 2-4.  Elynn Kroger Gallery is open, as is John Nesta, and possibly Side Street too.

E.J. Lefavour


Gloucester’s City Ward Councilors, the Gloucester Committee for the Arts and the new Arts and Cultural Initiative will host a series of Ward/Community meetings concerning the Arts and Cultural Initiative and a review of a Draft Public Art Policy Ordinance.

The Cultural Arts Initiative will provide an overview of the new initiative and seek community input to help set priorities for the program. The initiative also seeks assistance in identifying the full range of Gloucester’s artistic and cultural community to insure that it understands, connects and advocates for all.

The Gloucester Committee for the Arts will lead a discussion to review a draft art policy ordinance in advance of its submission to the City. All documents pertaining to the art policy will be available for review prior to the Ward meetings on the City’s web site, the Sawyer Free Library and the Mayor’s office.

The meetings will be moderated by John Sarrouf from Gloucester Conversations.


April 19th – Councilors Cox and LeBlanc will host a meeting for Wards 2 and 3 starting at 6pm in the Sawyer Free Library.

April 20th – Councilor Memhard will host a meeting for Ward 1 at 6:30pm at the Gloucester Stage

April 21st – Councilor Nolan will host the Ward 5 meeting at 5pm in the Magnolia Library

April 25th – Councilor Gilman will host the Ward 4 meeting at 7:00 pm in the Lanesville Community Center

Cultural and Arts Initiative Background Material –

In September, 2015, a partnership of three arts organizations – Rocky Neck Art colony, ArtsGloucester, and seARTS – received $45,500 in grant funding over two years for the establishment of the Gloucester Arts and Cultural Initiative, a project whose mission is to champion innovation and excellence in the cultural landscape, to support private and public cultural development across all sectors, and to strengthen and promote the cultural vitality of the city’s waterfront and neighborhoods.

The Initiative will be led by Martha Wood, the Project Manager, and a Steering Committee. The initiative will engage in long-term projects including development of a Cultural Master Plan for Gloucester, investigating ways to provide affordable studio space for visual, performing and other artists; and researching how best to provide resources and advocacy for Gloucester’s many-faceted cultural organizations and communities. Among the Initiative’s tasks will be to determine priorities for the program and to assemble the Steering Committee, a council of citizens dedicated to the future and sustainability of Gloucester as a city rooted in its arts, culture, and the unique heritage of its natural environment.

Community input will play an important part in determining the priorities and shaping this Initiative. To that end, we invite and encourage you to attend one of the forums and complete an online survey to gather public input at

Art Policy Background Material –


The Committee for the Arts was established in 2000. Over the years since, the City and the Committee (CFTA) have realized that the City needs a public art policy that deals with not only its current art holdings, but also includes a process to provide City officials and the community with assurances that proper procedures are in place to guide future public art decisions for the City. As early as 2005, CFTA Chair Kate Bodin and CFTA member John Ronan drafted a very lengthy and inclusive art policy. Although this policy was offered, but not considered by City Council, its value as a guide remains to this day. Later, in 2012, another partial and more condensed art policy was written by CFTA member, Marcia Hart, but this policy was never submitted to the City.

Following the concerns and confusion regarding the proposed gift of sculpture from David Black in late 2014, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken with the assistance of Jack Clarke hosted the first of several public meetings regarding public art. In 2015, at the request of CFTA, the City put out a request for proposals for a public art consultant to assist in formulating a public art policy. As a result of the RFP, CFTA selected consultant Elizabeth Keithline to advise CFTA on what such a policy should address and how to get public input on it. Keithline conducted additional public meetings and did direct public outreach, through which public concerns regarding a public art policy were collected.   Keithline’s report was submitted in March of this year. After review of that report and the previous reports, CFTA now has developed a new proposed ordinance that will be considered by the public and City officials over the next few months.


As demonstrated by the 2005 report (totaling over 60 pages), a comprehensive public art policy is a large document, with a lot of detailed procedures. While those details are important, most important at the beginning is to establish the framework through the ordinance to incorporate the safeguards and overarching requirements that the public wants and the City needs to ensure that the process is transparent and fair, and consistent into the future. Once that framework is adopted by the City, CFTA can then begin writing specific policies and procedures on various aspects of the overall policy.

To move the remaining process forward, several critical steps will be taken:

All related documents (including the current and proposed ordinances, previous proposals, and the consultant’s report, will be available for public view on the CFTA page of the City’s website and copies will be placed in the Sawyer Free Library and the Mayor’s Office in City Hall.

The draft ordinance will be reviewed throughout Gloucester’s communities via public forums in the various wards. During these meetings, the community will have an opportunity to comment on the draft ordinance and offer their assistance and input on several issues that remain unresolved.

Once CFTA has heard from the communities, the Committee will address any additions or corrections to the draft ordinance and submit it to the City’s General Counsel and the Mayor. Once a final ordinance is approved by the Mayor, it will be presented to City Council, which before considering it , will hold a formal public hearing. As in the past few months, the public is encouraged to stay involved as this process moves forward.


Judith Hoglander, Chair, Committee for the Arts


202-669-4412 (Cell)


Martha Wood, Project Manager

Gloucester Arts and Cultural Initiative

(978) 857-6731

Beaux Arts Ball

beaux arts ball 2016 shots

It was overcast and chilly, so the parade wasn’t quite what it has been in the past during summer balls, but in spite of the weather, people turned out with some great costumes.  The Studio looked amazing, the Ball Committee did an incredible job of decorating, food was plentiful and delicious and fun was had by all.

E.J. Lefavour

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