Author Archives: James Eves

This Weekend in the Arts

What Makes Fitz Henry Lane’s Lithographs So Special?

Curator’s talk at the Cape Ann Museum


Image credit: Fitz Henry Lane (1804–1865), View of the Town of Gloucester, Mass., 1836. Colored lithograph on paper. Pendleton’s Lithography, Boston. Bequest of E. Hyde Cox, 1998 [Acc. #1998.36.10].

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present an illustrated talk with Georgia Barnhill, the guest curator of Drawn from Nature & on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane, on Saturday, November 18 at 2:00 p.m. This program is $10 for Museum members/$20 nonmembers (includes Museum admission). For more information or to make a reservation call 978-283-0455 x10 or reserve online at

Drawn from Nature & on Stone is the first ever comprehensive exhibition focusing on 19th century American artist Fitz Henry Lane (1804–1865) as a printmaker. Guest curator, Georgia Barnhill, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts Emerita at the American Antiquarian Society, worked closely with the Cape Ann Museum in organizing this special show. The exhibition offers scholars and lay people alike the opportunity to explore the intersection of Lane’s work as a printmaker and a painter, to learn more about the art of lithography and to consider the enduring effects printing has on American culture from the early 19th century through today. In her presentation, Barnhill will talk about Lane’s career set against work by his contemporaries.

Georgia Barnhill was curator of graphic arts at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester for forty years and established its Center for Historic American Visual Culture several years before retiring in 2012.  She worked with Sally Pierce and Catharina Slautterback on the Athenaeum’s 1997 exhibition, Early American Lithography: Images to 1830. Among her publications are Wild Impressions: The Adirondacks on Paper, Bibliography on American Prints of the Seventeenth through the Nineteenth Centuries. She has edited several conference volumes including New Views of New England: Studies in Material and Visual Culture, 1680-1830 with Martha McNamara for the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. She has lectured and published extensively on the Antiquarian Society’s collections of prints, illustrated books, and ephemera. She has served on the boards of the American Historical Print Collectors Society, the Print Council of America, and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. She currently resides in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she is president of the Amherst Historical Society.

About the Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum has been in existence since the 1870s, working to preserve and celebrate the history and culture of the area and to keep it relevant to today’s audiences. Spanning 44,000 square feet, the Museum is one of the major cultural institutions on Boston’s North Shore welcoming more than 25,000 local, national and international visitors each year to its exhibitions and programs. In addition to fine art, the Museum’s collections include decorative art, textiles, artifacts from the maritime and granite industries, two historic homes and a sculpture park in the heart of downtown Gloucester. Visit for details.

The Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $12.00 adults, $10.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Youth (under 18) and Museum members are free. For more information please call: (978)283-0455 x10. Additional information can be found online at   For a detailed media fact sheet please visit


Music at the Annisquam Village Church

Join us for an exploratory voyage to the nearly inexpressible world of spirit. By bringing together inspired paintings with soulful improvisations and soundscapes, we joyfully invite you into the sacred dance of life.



2017 Annual Annisquam Christmas Fair

Annual Annisquam Sewing Circle Christmas Fair
December 2, 2017 – 8:00am – 12:00 pm

Annisquam Village Hall
34 Leonard Street, Gloucester MA 01930-1322

Each autumn the members of the Annisquam Sewing Circle gather to prepare for the Annual Christmas Fair, well known for its fabulous one-of-a-kind wreaths and center pieces as well as decorated boxwood trees. Also one will find beautiful bulbs and potted plants ready to give or take home, delicious homemade gourmet food items and handcrafted gift items.

The Annual Christmas Fair & Luncheon and the Annual Plant and Gourmet Food Sale raise funds to support scholarships for graduating seniors who are going on to college, training for a trade or other educational opportunities and community projects on Cape Ann, for example: The Open Door Food Pantry, Backyard GrowersCape Ann Animal AidPathways for Children.

The Annisquam Sewing Circle was begun in 1837 as the Annisquam Female Benevolent Society. It is thought to be the oldest continuous independent society of women on Cape Ann.

The Society’s purpose as stated in its Preamble, was “for the performance of acts of benevolence.” Through the years, the Society, and now the Circle, has contributed generously to community programs and to individuals.

Web site:

This Weekend in the Arts

Tapping CAM Granite

A Talk & Selection by Les Bartlett



Image credit: ‘The Granite Cathedral Wall at Flat Ledge Quarry, Rockport on Cape Ann.’ ©2008. LDB

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present Tapping CAM Granite, a talk and selection by Leslie Bartlett of paintings and tools related to the granite quarry industry, on Saturday, November 4 at 2:00 p.m. This program is free for Museum members or with Museum admission. For more information call 978-283-0455 x10 or visit

Leslie Bartlett, originally from Epsom, N.H., is a photographer, local historian and graphic designer. For the last two years he has partnered with Susan Quateman, a silk painter, urban planner and writer. The two landscape and environmental artists developed SQ & LB Artist Collaboration. Through this collaboration, Bartlett focuses on the theme of Climate Change and Resilient Landscapes of Cape Ann. He has worked to produce art which explains complicated science in a clear manner, which evokes emotional responses. It is through this process that he sees how his photographic works of stone are so relevant to our times. October 2017 marked the 10th Anniversary of Les Bartlett’s installation at the Cape Ann Museum of “Chapters on a Quarry Wall.” Learn more about the artist at

About the Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum has been in existence since the 1870s, working to preserve and celebrate the history and culture of the area and to keep it relevant to today’s audiences. Spanning 44,000 square feet, the Museum is one of the major cultural institutions on Boston’s North Shore welcoming more than 25,000 local, national and international visitors each year to its exhibitions and programs. In addition to fine art, the Museum’s collections include decorative art, textiles, artifacts from the maritime and granite industries, two historic homes and a sculpture park in the heart of downtown Gloucester. Visit for details.

The Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $12.00 adults, $10.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Youth (under 18) and Museum members are free. For more information please call: (978)283-0455 x10. Additional information can be found online at

For a detailed media fact sheet please visit


Frida Kahlo’s Inspiration Aids Puerto Rico at Local Colors

Frida Kahlo’s Inspiration Aids Puerto Rico at Local Colors

Kathy Bucholska, a member of Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative, will be showing her new line of jewelry and mixed media, inspired by Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist and feminist, to benefit the US citizens of hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico. She’ll display her jewelry and mixed media from October 23 through November 3 and donate 50% of her show sales to The Boston Foundation/Latino Legacy Fund ( The funds will go to Puerto Rican disaster relief, sustainable rebuilding and support of Puerto Ricans migrating to Massachusetts as a result of the hurricane. Connected to Frida Kahlo’s art, the show also includes the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead altar, celebrated this time of the year, where the public can leave remembrances of ones who have journeyed on. Local Colors has often made this cultural tradition of the altar available to the public in prior years.

“I have always been intrigued by the life of Frida Kahlo and her controversial art. Many of her self-portraits show her in various types of jewelry which served as an inspiration” says Kathy. “It allowed me to expand my creativity with bolder, more culturally diverse designs and at the same time, give me an opportunity to offer support to our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.”

Kahlo’s work often included symbols of the traditional Day of the Dead celebration so in the spirit of celebrating her life and inspiration, Kathy installed a Day of the Dead altar for the public to post a remembrance of a loved one, friend, favorite artist or just someone who has been an inspiration. She also saw it as an opportunity to raise much needed funds for the people of Puerto Rico who after almost four weeks are still struggling for water, food and electricity.

Kathy will be working all day at the Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative, 121 Main Street, Gloucester on October 30 from 10 to 6 pm where she is offering cider and cookies and an opportunity to ask questions about the exhibit and the cause. Regular hours are daily from 10 to 6, 978-283-3996.


This Weekend in the Arts


Rockport Art Association & Museum is proud to host the first major retrospective of Boston painter Polly Thayer Starr, who passed away in 2006 at the impressive age of 101. Noted in the Hub as a woman of imagination and humanity, Polly Thayer, as she signed her work, was a woman who continually searched for “the invisible within the visible,” as William Blake put it.

Raised in the forward-thinking family of Boston lawyer, Ezra R. Thayer – later Dean of Harvard Law School – Thayer grew up with artistic leanings, taking lessons as a 10-year-old with Beatrice Van Ness before progressing to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, at the age of 19. Only a few months earlier, she had been pressed into service as a nurse to the wounded and dying when she was caught up in the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake that leveled Yokohama and Tokyo.

Thayer’s education as an artist began with the traditional foundation course at the Museum School: anatomy and drawing with Philip Leslie Hale. However, she left in her second year to pursue a more eclectic direction. Although adept in the ‘Boston School’ manner, Polly Thayer broadened her education by studying with diverse artists such as Charles Hawthorne, Hans Hofmann and Jean Despujols of the Ecole des Beaux Arts.

Her professional career got off to a dramatic start when her painting Circles was awarded the Julius Hallgarten Prize at the National Academy of Art, NY, in 1929, quite a coup considering the competition. Nor was this a fleeting success. The following year, Thayer’s self-portrait, Interval, received the Gold Medal at the Boston Tercentenary Exhibition. New York Herald Tribune art critic, Royal Cortissoz, described Thayer’s art as “exciting, for behind that finish there must lie the rich promise of more and more interesting work,” while The Boston Globe critic announced it “surely settles her status as one of the foremost painters in the country, especially notable in portrait painting, but evidently gifted with that kind of genius which is not circumscribed.”[i]

As Thayer continued to perfect the art of landscape, urban genre and the natural world, she also began exploring the metaphysical; what she called Mysteries. “I find there are secrets, certain numinous things, that seem to speak to me in a special sense, signaling in a language that compels decoding. To be faithful to this task demands absolute attention.”[ii]

Despite marriage and a family, Thayer maintained a successful career as one of New England’s premier women artists, proving an active role model for the following generation. Even after developing glaucoma as well as macular degeneration, Thayer worked harder and longer to complete as much work as possible before losing her sight. Using a jeweler’s loupe, she began a series of close-ups of flowers – cyclamens, thistles, iris, beach peas and countless others – which she portrayed in both monumental and intimate fragility. Bees, ants and spiders also provided inspiration for Thayer’s pencil, joining countless paintings and drawings of cats, dogs and cows.

Thayer’s life was filled with creativity, compassion and a constant need to explore the world, both visible and invisible. Thus, the legacy she left in chalk, pastel, watercolor, oil and mixed media is a testament to a life well lived and a woman of accomplishment, clarity and insight. Her works captured the culture and whimsy of her native Boston and New England with a unique combination of detail, emotion and curiosity. Widely exhibited both during her lifetime and after her death, her art is represented in many museums and individual collections.

Polly Thayer Starr and the Alchemy of Painting, featuring more than 80 works by the artist, will be on view at the Rockport Art Association and Museum, 12 Main Street, Rockport, MA 01966 from October 20 through November 26, 2017. For further information on gallery walks, talks and demonstrations during this show, please visit or call 978.546.6604. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday 12 – 5pm. A 72-page, soft cover, full color catalogue accompanies this exhibition, which is sponsored by the Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust.


Last Call!

Rock Bound: Painting the American Scene on Cape Ann and Along the Shore closes at end of month

The last day to view Cape Ann Museum’s special exhibition Rock Bound: Painting the American Scene on Cape Ann and Along the Shore is Sunday, October 29, 2017.  Don’t miss the chance to see this unique exhibit made up primarily from private collections.

Rock Bound captures the years immediately following the Civil War, when Cape Ann set out on a path that would make it one of New England’s most vibrant and influential art colonies of the early 20th century. As the foundation on which this growth took place was broad, with countless artists working in a myriad of media, no one trend or style would come to dominate the emerging colony. There did arise, however, a fascination with capturing the “American Scene” as embodied on Cape Ann and in the surrounding areas.

With paintings drawn from private collections and the Museum’s own holdings, Rock Bound explores the ways in which an array of artists of the early 20th century sought to capture the natural beauty of the region, the power of the ocean and the hardscrabble way of life that was quickly disappearing in other places. The exhibit will also consider how artists placed local populations and traditions in their context, whether it was carpenters working in the shipyards of Essex, women and children relaxing on wide sandy beaches, or fishermen and quarrymen pursuing their timeless and dangerous ways of life. Artists featured in Rock Bound include Childe Hassam, Jane Peterson, Martha Walter, Gifford Beal, Leon Kroll, Marsden Hartley and Stuart Davis among others.


Image credit: Gifford Beal (1879–1956), Northeaster #2, Bass Rocks, 1930. Oil on board. Private collection.

About the Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum has been in existence since the 1870s, working to preserve and celebrate the history and culture of the area and to keep it relevant to today’s audiences. Spanning 44,000 square feet, the Museum is one of the major cultural institutions on Boston’s North Shore welcoming more than 25,000 local, national and international visitors each year to its exhibitions and programs. In addition to fine art, the Museum’s collections include decorative art, textiles, artifacts from the maritime and granite industries, two historic homes and a sculpture park in the heart of downtown Gloucester. Visit for details.

The Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $12.00 adults, $10.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Youth (under 18) and Museum members are free. For more information please call: (978)283-0455 x10. Additional information can be found online at

For a detailed media fact sheet please visit


Flatrocks Gallery presents Timothy Harney: Dialogue & Correspondences – A Selection of Collages 1987-2017. The exhibit runs from October 19th- November 19th, with an opening reception Saturday, October 21st 6-8pm. All are welcome.

Tim Harney’s career as an artist and a teacher spans five decades; he has been making collages for more than thirty years. Tim works with paper, especially old paper, deploying shapes animated by patches of vivid color to create a visual language. Each of his collages has a syntax, a rhythm, and a meaning particular to itself, as if each were a poem. And, as with poems, Harney’s collages are distillations of emotion and memory, in which layering, fragmenting, and reconstruction suggest the passage of time and the act of recollecting. Embedded in his choices of shape, pattern, and color are multiple associations, redolent of his thought processes and of the art and artists who have influenced him. This show, he says, “isn’t simply a selection of work from these many years, but also a range of work that I feel reveals some sense of what a deep involvement and continual dialogue means to the work, and how the vocabulary has evolved. One of my interests in presenting this work was to make the point, obvious maybe – that there are rich consequences from an involvement this long: the incalculable number of decisions, rejections, changes of direction, varied vocabularies are all informed by a dialogue over years.”

Flatrocks Gallery 77 Langsford St., Gloucester. Open Thursday-Sunday noon-5pm.


8th Annual Charles Olson Lecture

Ann Charters: Evidence of What Is Said


Image: Charles Olson and Ann Charters walking on the Boulevard in Gloucester, Mass., 1967. Photo credit: Sam Charters. Author information from Small Press Distribution (SPD),

The Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Writers Center are pleased to present the 8th Annual Charles Olson Lecture featuring Ann Charters on Saturday, October 21 at 1:00 p.m. at the Cape Ann Museum(27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester). This program is free and open to the public. A suggested donation of $10 is appreciated.

Ann Charters, noted Beat Generation scholar, photographer, and Professor Emerita at University of Connecticut, Storrs, visits Gloucester to discuss her correspondence with poet Charles Olson. Beginning in 1968 with Charters’ request for Olson to reflect on his “earliest enthusiasm for Melville,” and continuing until late 1969, these letters traverse the final two years of Olson’s life. Centered on Charters’ book Olson/Melville: A Study of Affinity, the correspondence ultimately maps two writers’ existence in an America that is simultaneously experiencing the wonder of the moon landing and the chaotic escalation of the Vietnam War. All the while, their exchanges navigate the convolutions of Olson’s ideas about history, space, and time in relation to his pivotal book Call Me Ishmael and his Black Mountain College lectures.

Charles Olson was born in 1910 in Worcester, Massachusetts. His first book, Call Me Ishmael, published in 1947, is a case study of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Olson was an essayist, poet, scholar, and avid letter writer. He was a professor who also taught at universities ranging from Clark to Harvard to Black Mountain College. His influence in the 1950s and 1960s was expansive in many fields of thought. He died in New York in 1970 while completing his masterpiece, The Maximus Poems.

Ann Charters is the author of the first biography of Jack Kerouac, published in 1973, as well as a number of major studies of Beat literature and its personalities. She began taking photographs in 1958 on Andros Island in the Bahamas to document Samuel Charters’ field recordings for Folkways Records. These photographs of musicians are featured in Blues Faces: A Portrait of the Blues (David Godine Books, 2000). Her photographs of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Kesey, and others are included in Beats & Company: Portrait of a Literary Generation (Doubleday, 1986). Her photo essay on Charles Olson in Gloucester was published in Olson/Melville: A Study in Affinity (Oyez, 1968). Her photos also illustrated Samuel Charters’ The Poetry of the Blues (Oak Publications, 1963) and Songs of Sorrow: Lucy McKim Garrison and Slave Songs of the United States (University Press of Mississippi, 2015). Ann Charters’ photo essay featuring the Nobel Prize-winning poet Tomas Tranströmer is included in Samuel Charters’ translation of Tranströmer’s BALTICS, published by Tavern Books in 2012.


Magnolia Library.jpg



Nia class starting at MAGMA Thursday October 19, 12pm

The free library Nia series has ended but the class wanted to continue as a regular Nia class , so I will be offering the class at MAGMA studio.

Nia with Linda Wilkes at MAGMA (Movement Arts Gloucester MA)  
Thursdays at noon starting October 19, 2017

MAGMA is at 11 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, MA (Brown’s Mall building) and is handicapped accessible through 186 Main Street, elevator to 5th floor.

Nia is a no-impact, movement class that draws from a number of disciplines including yoga, Tae Kwon Do, Jazz, modern dance and Tai Chi. Routines are created for safety and put to great music to enable participants to experience joy, all while getting a great cardiovascular workout.  Nia can be practiced by people of all ages and abilities.  Nia is usually done in bare feet but can be done in socks or sneakers if special footwear is needed.  Hmm.. fun, safety, good music, joy and cardiovascular health all in one package. Come experience this healthy, mindful and fun fitness experience for yourself.

Nia class at Magma  $10 per class/$5 Seniors/ Sliding scale for those in need

Linda Wilkes is a white belt certified Nia instructor. She is a semi-retired graphic designer and professional singer.  Linda grew up ballet dancing and started out life as a registered nurse.  She relishes the opportunity to combine her love of music, health and movement with Nia and looks forward to passing on this movement form to others.

Nia with Linda Wilkes-Mindful Movement for Health and Happiness  


Upcoming Events at the Sawyer Free Library

Laura Harrington discusses her new book

Thursday, October 19  7:00-8:30pm
Friend Room at Sawyer Free Library

laura harrington.jpg

Local author and playwright, Laura Harrington, will be talking about her latest book, A Catalog of Birds.

Greg and Axel Save Halloween

Saturday, October 21  10:00-11:00am
Friend Room at Sawyer Free Library; 2 Dale Ave.

greg and axel.jpg

Greg and Axel save Halloween from the zombie book worms by using magic, comedy and audience participation.

Check our calendar for more details.

Halloween Crafts for Kids

Monday, October 23  3:00-5:00
Friend Room at Sawyer Free Library; 2 Dale Ave.


Come drop in and create some fun Halloween crafts!

The Bay State: A Multicultural Landscape

Saturday, October 21, 2:00-4:00pm
Friend Room at Sawyer Free Library; 2 Dale Ave.


Photographer Mark Chester will present his work supporting the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.  These portraits tell the story of Massachusetts cultural diversity and represent over 180 countries.

The World’s a Mystery Book Club

Tuesday, October 24,  5:00-7:00pm
Held at Pleasant St. Tea Company
7 Pleasant St, Gloucester, MA 01930

Oct. mystery book club.jpg

A great opportunity to read and discuss mysteries from around the world.  Pick up your copy of October’s book Murder in the Marais at Sawyer Free Library (2 Dale Ave)  Register Online

Directions to the Sawyer Free Library

Big Event at Local Colors


“Tiny Art”: A New Exhibit at Local Colors

Reception: Saturday, October 14th from 5 to 8 PM

041F02728AAA496DAABB59501F5B07A4.jpgLocal Colors Artists’ Cooperative, now in its 28th year, celebrates its annual art event with a special art exhibit titled TINY ART. This theme, which also coincides with Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative 28th anniversary, is a new undertaking for the Co-op as most shows have a more specific subject such as a “fish” or the “sea”.

This show challenges the artists by limiting the size of the work, but not the subject or medium they choose. The gallery will highlight the new work of the 16 members from September 30 through October 20th with a reception on Saturday, October 14th from 5 to 8 PM

Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative, 121 Main St. in Gloucester.


This Weekend in the Arts

Laurie Simko One-Artist Show

Lush Life: Continuum

An exhibition of paintings by artist Laurie Simko will open in the Marguerite Pearson Room of the Rockport Art Association & Museum (RAA&M) on Saturday, October 14th with an artist’s reception from 2 – 4 PM. The exhibition will be on view Saturday, October 14 – Thursday, October 26.

Over the past decade Laurie has produced a series of paintings exploring the richness of life in the streams, marshes, gardens and woods around her. The macro and micro views in nature allow for a diverse interpretation of its organic forms in their varying stages of growth. This exhibition reveals the continuation of this search for further understanding and a fresh, personal expression of the natural world.

Laurie works with oil on canvas or wood panel inquiring with reverence the interconnection we have with our environment, its offerings of chaos and order, flow and stillness, growth and decay, all elements intrinsic to our shared lush life.

Laurie Simko received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts. She is a member of and has exhibited at the National Association of Women Artists in NYC, Copley Society of Art in Boston, Concord Art Association and Rockport Art Association & Museum, and has also exhibited in many juried shows throughout the New England area and NYC, including the Arts League of Lowell, Brush Art Gallery, Cambridge Art Association, Cahoon Museum of American Art, Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, MA, Whistler House Museum and Gallery Z in Lowell, MA.

Simko has a studio at the Western Ave Studios in Lowell, MA. For more information and portfolio please visit her website at

RAA&M Fall Hours:

Open Tuesday – Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM; Sunday 12 – 5 PM. For more information on this and other shows, please visit the RAA&M’s website at


This Week in Rockport


What an incredible weekend ahead!

A stellar line-up of vocalists and musicians will be on hand Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Society in a benefit for the Steeple Fund, “Rockport Rocks.” See the attachment below for details.

Cape Ann Plein Air is in full swing with activities across the region.  CAPA’s Gala (Saturday) and Exhibit (Saturday -Monday) comes to the RAA&M. More information here.

This is the last weekend of Free Cultural District Walking Tours for the season. You can meet me in Dock Square Saturday at 10 a or Sunday at 1 p.

Finally, Rockport Exchange presents Harvestfest on T-Wharf this Saturday from 10 a – 5 p.  featuring live bluegrass, jazz, folk, indie rock, cooking demos, a farm expo, plenty of activities for families and, ofcourse, beer.

Have a great week!
~ Sue Koehler-Arsenault

TWIR Oct 13Rockport Rocks



Proposals for community-oriented arts, humanities, and science programs due October 16

The Rockport Cultural Council has set an October 16 deadline for organizations, schools, and individuals to apply for grants that support cultural activities in the community.

According to Council spokesperson Julie Andrews, these grants can support a variety of artistic projects and activities in Rockport — including exhibits, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residencies, or performances in schools, workshops, and lectures.

The Rockport Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.

This year, the Rockport Cultural Council will distribute about $4400 in grants. Previously funded projects include: Rockport New Year’s Eve, Northeast MA Youth Orchestra, Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe, and Windhover Foundation’s Quarry Dance VI.

For local guidelines and complete information on the Rockport Cultural Council, contact Julie Andrews, Chair at 978-290-1495 and/or Application forms and more information about the Local Cultural Council Program are available online at

This Weekend in the Arts

Season’s End Party at Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck

Cape Ann residents and visitors are invited to attend Gallery 53’s Season’s End Party on Saturday, October 7 from 6 to 8pm at 53 Rocky Neck Ave. (between the Studio and the Rudder restaurants). A reception for the Rocky Neck Art Colony’s seventh Summer Artist, printmaker and painter Randolph Kelts, will take place at the same time. The festive party features delectable appetizers, seasonal libations and an array of creative artist-made door prizes all offered at no charge to the public. This yearly event is very popular so we recommend that guests arrive early so they can find a nearby parking spot on Rocky Neck.

A painter and printmaker, Randolph Kelts lives in both Gloucester, MA and Portland, OR. The theme of her Summer Artist show is Cape Ann Environs translated in both her paintings and prints. The watercolor and gouache paintings and the Intaglio solar plate prints express the loci of this special place and mirror the uniqueness of a coastal area. The intaglio prints complement the free-style paintings in their dramatic imagery interpreted in ink. To enhance the prints, they are often hand painted or drawn and always individually printed.

Gallery 53 on Rocky Neck is a juried co-op gallery that features a distinctive collection of fine arts by Rocky Neck Art Colony members. Located in a historic 19th century building between the Studio and Rudder Restaurants at 53 Rocky Neck Ave, Gloucester, Gallery 53 is open daily May 25 to October 15 from 10 am to 6 pm. For more information call 978-282-0917 or go to

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

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


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The Annisquam Arts & Crafts Show – now in its 33nd year – is always one of the highlights of Columbus Day Week-end.

There will be 40 artists and artisans – with art that encompasses landscapes, portraits and water colors and crafts that include jewelry, fashion, ceramics, paper art and printed fabrics.  The majority of the artists – including many who are new to the show this year – are from the Cape Ann area.

The Opening Gala will be held on Friday, 6 October – $30 at the door or $25 if bought in advance.  The Mass Motion Dance Youth Company from Manchester-by-the-Sea and Peabody, will perform as Marionettes at this year’s   show and offer a whimsical addition to the evening’s experience.

The Show will be held in the Annisquam Village Hall, 36 Leonard Street, Annisquam on October 7 and 8 from 10:00-5:00pm.  Admission is free.  Proceeds from the show will benefit the Annisquam Village Church.  For more information, please contact


Autumn Photography Exhibition by Judy Robinson-Cox and Reception at Square Circle Gallery

Where: Square Circle Gallery, 11 Dock Square, Rockport MA
Reception: Saturday, October 7, 1 to 5pm

The Square Circle Gallery at 11 Dock Square in Rockport MA is holding a reception and exhibition of new work for photographer Judy Robinson-Cox on Saturday, October 7 from 1 to 5pm.

“Judy Robinson-Cox is one of our most popular artists,” says Myra Hall, gallery manager. “We are excited to feature her work this Fall at The Square Circle.”

Known for her photographs of miniature tabletop constructions of tiny plastic figures posed on food or common household objects, Judy has created a series of seasonal images to help celebrate our autumn and winter holidays. In addition to framed and matted photographs in all sizes, the Square Circle will introduce a line of handmade ornaments and original photograph holiday cards. The Square Circle Gallery exhibits the largest collection of Judy’s photographs available for sale to the public.


Judy was a fine arts major at New York University and received a BFA, cum laude from the University of Connecticut. She also studied at the Philadelphia College of Art, Montserrat College of Art, the Griffin Museum’s Photography Atelier program and many local workshops and classes.

She is active in various Massachusetts arts organizations including Gloucester’s Rocky Neck Art Colony and the Rockport and Cambridge Art Associations.


Located in downtown Rockport at Dock Square, the Square Circle Gallery is known for paintings by local artists, modern graphics, sculpture, ceramics, Judaica and fused glass. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday at 10am and Sundays at 11 am. Closing hours vary; please call (978) 546-7100 for more information.


Drawn from Nature & on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane

A special exhibition opening this fall at the Cape Ann Museum
On view October 7, 2017 – March 4, 2018

006_View of the Town of Gloucester 1836

Fitz Henry Lane (1804–1865), View of the Town of Gloucester, Mass., 1836. Colored lithograph on paper. Pendleton’s Lithography, Boston. Bequest of E. Hyde Cox, 1998 [Acc. #1998.36.10].

Drawn from Nature & on Stone, the first-ever comprehensive exhibition focusing on 19th century American artist Fitz Henry Lane (1804–1865) as a printmaker, will be on display at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts, from October 7, 2017 through March 4, 2018. An opening reception is planned for Saturday, October 7 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. (free for Museum members or with admission) and a special Fitz Henry Lane’s Gloucester walking tour will be offered on Sunday, October 8 at 1:30 p.m. Space is limited on the walking tour, tickets and reservations required. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit or call 978-283-0455 x10.

Georgia Barnhill, Curator Emerita of the America Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts, is serving as guest curator and worked closely with the Cape Ann Museum in organizing this special show. The exhibition, exhibition catalog and related programming are being organized in connection with Fitz Henry Lane Online, a catalogue raisonné and resource tool created by the Cape Ann Museum.

Fitz Henry Lane has long been recognized as one of America’s most important artists of the mid-19th century. Born in Gloucester, trained in lithography in Boston and, during the same time, exposed to the art world, by the late-1840s Lane was rapidly establishing himself as a well known and sought after painter.  During the 1850s and into the 1860s, working from a studio overlooking Gloucester Harbor, Lane created an unknown number of canvases documenting and celebrating in amazing detail and beauty the world around him.  His work included views not only of Gloucester and surrounding communities but also of Boston Harbor, coastal Maine, New York Harbor and other locales.  Today, the Cape Ann Museum, located just a few blocks away from Lane’s studio, proudly displays the world’s single largest collection of oil paintings by this esteemed American artist.  While his canvases, exhibited in museums around the world, remain the work Lane is best known for, his life-long fascination with the art of lithography remains an important and central part of his career.

With the exhibition Drawn from Nature & on Stone, the Museum will investigate Lane’s lithographs, exploring the intersection of his work in oil and in print and his success at creating illustrations for sheet music, business cards and stationery, advertising materials and book illustrations. The exhibition will highlight a series of views Lane created of towns and cities throughout the region including Gloucester; Boston; Norwich, Connecticut; Castine, Maine; and Baltimore. In total, Lane is thought to have had a hand in the production of approximately 65 lithographs.

Drawn from Nature & on Stone will feature lithographs from the Cape Ann Museum’s own holdings and from collections throughout the region including the American Antiquarian Society, the Boston Athenaeum, The New York Public Library and the Library of Congress. The exhibition will offer scholars and lay people alike the opportunity to explore the intersection of Lane’s work as a printmaker and a painter, to learn more about the art of lithography and to consider the enduring effects image production has had on American culture since the early 19th century.

Programming related to Drawn from Nature & on Stone will explore Fitz Henry Lane’s life and career in detail and against the backdrop of 19th century printmaking culture in America. A symposium will be held on Saturday, October 28 at which six scholars working in fields related to the history of graphic arts will present their research to the public.  Their presentations will explore such diverse topics as how race and race relations were portrayed in prints in the period following the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863; the role women artists and artisans played in printmaking during the 19th century; and how the rise of industrialization in towns such as Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts, affected the careers of Fitz Henry Lane and other artists.  The symposium will be held in the Cape Ann Museum’s auditorium and will be a day-long event.  Space is limited for the October 28 symposium and seats are available on a first come, first served basis.  For additional programming related to this exhibition, please see the Museum’s website

The Museum is deeply grateful to the sponsors of this exhibition:

John Rando, Jerry and Margaretta Hausman, Linzee and Beth Coolidge, Jay Last,

J.J. and Jackie Bell, Bill and Anne Kneisel, Arthur Ryan, International Fine Print Dealers
Association, American Historical Print Collectors Society, Inc., Beauport Hospitality Group.


Cape Ann Artisans open Studio Tour


Visit 20 unique studios during the 34th  Cape Ann Artisans (CAA) self-guided Open Studios Tour. dates:. October 7-9. Time: 10AM-5PM daily. Weave along the scenic coastline of Gloucester and Rockport into small neighborhoods and downtown.  It’s a unique opportunity to meet 22 working artists in a relaxed setting.  Enjoy an array of pottery, painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, mosaics and jewelry. Visit year round by appointment. CAA 3rd annual Holiday Event: Dec 1-2 in Rockport. Read more about each Artisan in the blog “From the Studio.”

Cape Ann Artisans • (978) 546 – 7582 •


Fitz Henry Lane Walking Tour

Explore Gloucester of the 19th Century


Image credit: View of the Town of Gloucester, Mass. Lithograph on paper. Drawn by F. H. Lane. Lithograph by Pendleton’s Lithography, Boston, 1836. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum. Gift of Gilbert L. Patillo.

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present an autumn walking tour focusing on artist Fitz Henry Lane’s 19th century Gloucester neighborhood on Sunday, October 8 at 1:30 p.m. This program is $10 for Museum members; $20 nonmembers. Space is limited, reservations required. Tickets can be purchased by calling 978-283-0455 x10 or visit

Delve into the 19th century on this tour through the neighborhoods and waterfront areas that inspired the artwork of native son Fitz Henry Lane. Learn how Lane rose from modest beginnings in the pre-Civil War era to worldwide recognition as a marine painter and why, even today, numerous artists journey to Cape Ann to capture its unusual light. This program is offered in conjunction with the special exhibition, Drawn from Nature & on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane which opens on October 7 and remains on display until March 4, 2018.

Guided walking tours are held rain or shine and last about 1½ hours; participants should be comfortable being on their feet for that amount of time. Tour participants should meet in the front lobby of the Cape Ann Museum at 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester.


Holiday Fair Call for Entries

Local Businesses invited to participate in a holiday fair to support a local family in need.

The fair will be November 5th from 12-4 at the Magnolia Library.

The cost of the tables are $40 to cover the cost of the Library and whatever is left over will be donated to a Gloucester Family that has a sick family member so that we may provide their Thanksgiving dinner.

Confirmation from all vendors and their fee must be in by October 21st.

For details, Please contact:
Kathy Guardino-Fernandes

This Weekend in the Arts

Rockport Art Association & Museum presents

Keith Gantos One-Artist Show

An exhibition of paintings by local artist Keith Gantos will open in the Marguerite Pearson Room of the Rockport Art Association & Museum (RAA&M) on Saturday, September 30th with an artist’s reception from 2 – 4 PM. The exhibition will be on view Saturday, September 30 – Thursday, October 12.

Keith enjoys painting themes that may cause the viewer to ponder, muse, or chuckle as noted by the title of the work. The detail in his paintings is to draw one closer into it. The subjects are those that are familiar to him, each with a memory & story behind them.

His techniques, at present, lend themselves to a glazing of oil primarily in transparent or semitransparent oil, layer after layer, so that light travels through the layers of color and bounce off the background’s primed white surface, then back to the eye so as to attempt, awkwardly at best, to mimic color as seen in creation. Yet, opaque paint is used as he feels it’s needed.

He has produced hundreds of pieces of art. Painting in oils for 50 years, completing his first oil painting at 10 years of age. He enjoys working in other mediums as well, such as egg tempera, pastel, gouache, and watercolor. His work has been in art shows throughout his life, winning awards, and continues to be in shows as outlined below. His paintings are in private collections throughout the US and in different parts of the World. (One collection has his art hanging next to a Picasso.) His work is also published.


Artist for ‘Artistic Finishes’ Co., Cleveland, Ohio; La Jolla Art Museum, La Jolla, CA; Lloyd’s Gallery of Fine Art, Escondido, CA; Chaffe Art Gallery, Rutland, VT; Eastmans Art Gallery, Rutland, VT; Quechee Inn Art Gallery, Quechee, VT – (one man show); Ledyard Art Gallery, Hanover, NH – (one man show); Polonaise Fine Art Gallery, Studio 47 Fine Art Gallery, Woodstock, VT; Bradley Fine Art Gallery, San Diego, CA; Spanish Village Art Center – Balboa Park, San Diego, CA; Pastel Society of San Diego, CA; Keith Gantos’ “Staircase” Fine Art Gallery, Rockport, MA; Rockport Art Association & Museum, Rockport, MA.

Google: Keith Gantos or;

RAA&M Fall Hours:

Open Tuesday – Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM; Sunday 12 – 5 PM. For more information on this and other shows, please visit the RAA&M’s website at



0dfd9061-22c7-429d-b9c8-8f7c54b5033f.jpgRoger Martin:
Woodcuts & Unseen Works

Music in the Garden
Sun. Oct. 1st 3-5pm

John Rockwell and Amy Rich

Americana at its best.Two of Rockport’s most talented folk/Americana performers, two founding members of the Headlands, will be singing old time favorites and folk gems.Their harmonies will leave you breathless.If you missed the opening reception to Roger Martin: Woodcuts and Unseen Works, stop by for some great music and great art!

77 Langsford St. Gloucester MA

Open Thurs. through Sunday 12-5pm or by appointment
978-879-4683 ~


Cape Ann Plein Air update

Supporters Line Up as Cape Ann Prepares to Welcome Artists and Art Lovers to Next Month’s National Painting Competition

Cape Ann Plein Air 2017 to kick off week of events, activities on October 8 — Sponsorship Opportunities Still Available


When the 2017 Cape Ann Plein Air (CAPA) outdoor painting competition kicks off on October 8, it will mark the beginning of a week of activities for artists and art-lovers. Next month’s competition follows a highly successful CAPA 2016, and this year, organizers have planned more events and activities, made possible by a growing number of sponsors and supporters.

The 40 artists selected to participate in the competition will be painting throughout the week across the four Cape Ann communities, and each evening there will be special events for the artists, visiting art enthusiasts and local residents. One of the highlights is the Grand Awards Exhibit and Sale on the evening of October 14, from 6-10pm at the Rockport Art Association and Museum (RAAM), where the competition’s winners will be announced and the artists’ work will be available for sale. The CAPA artists’ works will be on display at RAAM until Monday, October 16, marking the close of CAPA 2017.

To purchase tickets for this event – or the Collectors Preview which will he held just prior to the gala – visit the CAPA website at

www.capeannpleinair.comOther events and activities throughout the week include a Meet the Artists Opening Reception at the North Shore Arts Association on Sunday evening, October 8, and a Cape Ann Quick-Draw Competition – open to artists of all ages and skill levels — at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum on Sunday, October 15, from 10am-3pm.

This year’s group of CAPA artists come from 20 states – from Florida to Oregon — and the province of Quebec, Canada. There are nine Massachusetts-based artists participating in the competition, including five from Cape Ann — John Caggiano and Ken Knowles from Rockport, and Stephen LaPierre, Rokhaya Waring and Paul George from Gloucester. Five alternates were also chosen, including Cape Ann artists David Curtis and Charles Shurcliff. 

CAPA 2017 Sponsors and Supporters

CAPA 2107 is made possible thanks to the generosity of sponsors that include Applied Materials, By The Sea Sotheby’s International, Linzee and Beth Coolidge, Cape Ann Savings Bank, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Executive Director Jason M. Traino, Lynne Comb, William and Anne Kneisel/Kneisel Foundation, and Judi Rotenberg Zuker and Ed Zuker.

 The selected artists will be competing for over $20,000 in prizes made possible by award sponsors.  In addition to these sponsors, dozens of other businesses and individuals have signed on to lend their support.

 There are still opportunities available for others who are interested in supporting CAPA 2017 as event or award sponsors. CAPA organizers are also offering Affiliate Partnerships to Cape Ann galleries, studios and other businesses.

 Those interested in learning more about sponsorship and partnership opportunities should contact CAPA via email at

About Cape Ann Plein Air

Organized by the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, seARTS and Cape Ann’s leading arts and culture groups, CAPA 2017 will provide a backdrop for regional and national artists, many of whom participate in other national plein air events around the U.S.

CAPA 2017 builds on the success of the region’s inaugural plein air event – held in October of 2106 – which attracted painters, collectors and art enthusiasts from around the U.S. Widely considered to be the birthplace of plein air painting, Cape Ann today remains the showcase for a vibrant and growing group of artists spread throughout the North Shore communities of Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Visit for a schedule of activities, background on sponsorship opportunities and additional information on Cape Ann Plein Air 2017


This Weekend in the Arts

LOOK AGAIN: Four Painters Interpret the Landscape of Cape Ann

September 14, 2017 – October 15, 2017
Opening Reception:
Friday, September 15, 2017, 4-6 pm

The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck
6 Wonson Street, Gloucester, MA 01930
Gallery Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 12-4 pm
Free of charge

The Rocky Neck Art Colony (RNAC) is pleased to present the exhibition, Look Again: Four Painters Interpret the Landscape of Cape Ann at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street in Gloucester. The public is invited to view the work during the gallery hours, Thursday through Sunday, 4-6 PM. The Cultural Center is wheelchair accessible.

In Look Again, Katherine Coakley, Karen Koch-Weser, Nancy LeGendre and Leigh Slingluff explore intention, vision, structure and beauty while painting en plein air out-and-about on Cape Ann. The public is invited to meet the artists at the opening reception on Friday, September 15, 2017, 4-6 pm. Light refreshments and beverages will be served.

When asked why they are motivated to paint landscapes of Cape Ann, Nancy LeGendre offered, “The rocks, cliffs, sea and sky are timeless. We are responding to the beauty that surrounds us and we expect the work to mirror a part of that beauty back to the viewer.” Each artist has a unique way of seeing and working, and this is evident in the individual work.  She adds, “The elements of a scene that attract our attention differ, as well as how we manipulate line, space, color, and brush work to express emotion. Each painting is a unique recreation of light, pattern and form”.  Happily, there’s always more than one way to see. Look Again at these painted surfaces to rediscover beauty and joy in our familiar landscape.

Look Again invites you to reconnect with your surroundings. Rocks, sky and sea dissolve and reappear in light, pattern and form; looking anew leads to rediscovery.

For more information about the artists:

For More Information:


new phyllis a flier.jpg


Leading Thoreau Scholar Comes To Gloucester
Jeffrey S. Cramer to speak at the Cape Ann Museum 


Image credit: Tom Hersey, 2017.

The Sawyer Free Library, Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Writers Center are proud to present a public lecture celebrating the 200th anniversary of Henry David Thoreau’s birth (July 12, 1817) on Saturday, September 16 at 2:00 p.m. at the Cape Ann Museum( 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester).  Jeffrey S. Cramer, Thoreau scholar and author of The Portable Thoreau, presents Thoreau’s Resistance. This program has a suggested donation of $10; reservations are appreciated and can be made at

In Thoreau’s Resistance, Cramer claims that Henry David Thoreau’s arrest for non-payment of his poll tax in July 1846 is one of the most famous instances of individual resistance to government. The essay Thoreau wrote from his experience is the central text for all discussions that there are higher laws and moral principles to which every citizen of the world is obligated. Thoreau was long an advocate for individual resistance to deal with political issues, but it would be a mistake to treat Thoreau’s stance as self-involved or even strictly self-serving, because it is through observing the self that we can observe society, it is through the “me” that we can understand the “not me,” and it is by way of the individual the world can be changed. As Emerson wrote in “History”: “Every revolution was first a thought in one man’s mind, and when the same thought occurs to another man, it is the key to that era. Every reform was once a private opinion, and when it shall be a private opinion again, it will solve the problem of the age.”  Thoreau wrote to and about his contemporaries, and we are his contemporaries as long as we continue to think as his neighbors did. Thoreau’s writings are, and will remain, contemporary texts as long as we read but fail to comprehend, study but fail to learn.

Jeffrey S. Cramer is one of the world’s leading Thoreau scholars, about whom Jim Flemming, of Wisconsin Public Radio, said, “Jeffrey Cramer lives and breathes Thoreau.  He may know more about the bard at Walden Pond than anyone else alive.”  He is the editor of Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition (Yale University Press, 2004), The Portable Thoreau (Penguin, 2012), The Quotable Thoreau (Princeton University Press, 2011), Essays by Henry D. Thoreau: A Fully Annotated Edition (Yale University Press, 2013) and other works. He has appeared on various radio and television programs, including “On Point with Tom Ashbrook,” WUMB-Boston’s Commonwealth Journal, Wisconsin Public Radio’s “To the Best of Our Knowledge,” and C-SPAN’s Book-TV. He is also the Curator of Collections at the Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute Library.

For a full list of other citywide events celebrating Henry David Thoreau please visit


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Flatrocks Gallery is honored to present

Roger Martin:
Woodcuts and Unseen Works

September 14th – October 15th.
Opening Reception :Saturday, September 16th 6-8pm.

Roger-Martin-HIRES.jpgBorn in Gloucester in 1925, and raised in Rockport, Roger Martin’s roots run deep in granite and the sea. His paternal ancestors came from the Azores, and his mother’s from Finland at the beginning of the 20th century. After a stint in the Coast Guard, Roger returned to his home town in 1953, vowing never to leave. He kept that promise. Over his lifetime he served his community as a public school teacher, volunteer fireman, deputy forest warden, and as a member of Rockport’s Planning Board and Board of Appeals. He wrote three books about the history of Rockport and two books of poetry devoted to his town. He was the first poet laureate of Rockport. After graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston he began his artistic career as an illustrator, contributing work to publications such as The New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Atlantic Monthly. Over the course of his career, he aligned himself with other artists looking for new modes of artistic expression and, in 1970, was one of seven North Shore artists to establish the Monserrat School of Art. He went on to teach there for twenty years,  leaving an indelible legacy of encouragment and support.

This Flatrocks Gallery exhibit, the first after his passing,  focuses on Martin’s woodblock prints. The medium brought him back to his roots as an illustrator. The solid strong forms, the lively, active line, and rich flat colors are quick to engage the viewer. His work reflects a reverence for the Cape Ann landscape, and evokes a simpler time, a small-town life, surrounded by granite and salt water. Roger Martin will be remembered as one of Cape Ann’s most distinguished and  creative artists.

An opening reception will be held Saturday, September 16th 6-8pm. Flatrocks Gallery, 77 Langsford St., Gloucester. Visit for more information.


National Book Tour Comes to Cape Ann

Meet the author and illustrator of BIG MACHINES: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton

“From the start of my becoming an author, I dreamed of paying homage to Virginia Burton’s vision, talent, and enduring characters, and hoped to introduce her work to a new generation of readers. Truly, the release of BIG MACHINES will be a dream come true.”

– Sherri Rinker, author



Image courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to welcome BIG MACHINES: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton author Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrator John Rocco on Sunday, September 17 at 2:00 p.m.. Rinker and Rocco will talk about the inspiration and artistic process behind their tribute to Virginia Lee Burton. Books will be available for sale in the Museum Shop and a book signing will follow the presentation. This program, geared towards adults, is free and open to the public. Space is limited. First come; first served. For more information visit or call 978-283-0455 x10.

Two of today’s best-selling picture book creators collaborated in a loving tribute to the woman behind some of the world’s most iconic children’s books. In BIG MACHINES: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton(Pub date: 9/5/2017; HMH), Sherri Duskey Rinker and John Rocco celebrate Jinnee, as she was known in her Folly Cove neighborhood, and her classic books, including The Little House and the beloved Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.  Burton has a unique role in contemporary culture – not everyone knows her name, but most know her books. For generations, her stories about big machines with friendly names like Mary Ann, Maybelle, and Katy have delighted readers. Her books have sold over 4 million copies in 15 languages worldwide, and a documentary of her life, Virginia Lee Burton: A Sense of Place aired on PBS stations nationwide.

Rinker’s breezy, child-centric language chronicles the spark of Jinnee’s creativity that led to each character and story, while at the same time highlighting her love of her own, most special creations: her sons. Rocco’s innovative illustrations depict Burton working on her art in a whirl of activity, almost as if dancing through the process with her trademark grace; with his own distinctive style, he has captured the timeless look and energy of Burton’s books. The impeccable design of BIG MACHINES is an elegant homage to Burton, as well, with an abundance of white space and room for artfully placed text.

Sherri Rinker, a former graphic designer, is the author of the number one best-selling Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site; Mighty, Mighty Construction Site; and Steam Train, Dream Train, among others. Her own childhood love of The Little House, along with her sons’ obsessions with Mary Anne, Maybelle, Choo Choo and Katy, led her to writing children’s books, so it is fitting that she has now written this biography. Rinker does numerous school visits around the country each year to show children the power that books can have. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, a professional photographer, and sons. Find more at

John Rocco is a New York Times best-selling author of many acclaimed books, including Blackout, a Caldecott Honor recipient, Wolf! Wolf!, and the young adult novel Swim That Rock, which was a New England Book Award finalist. He is the illustrator of the covers for Rick Riordan’s internationally bestselling series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, The Heroes of Olympus, and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. A former art director in the entertainment industry, Rocco has worked with and done projects for Dreamworks, Walt Disney Imagineering, the Newsroom in Washington, D.C., and Paul Allen’s Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle, Washington. Find more at


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