Author Archives: Kim Smith


Chasing seagulls in slo mo

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Things with wings

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Niles Pond sunset

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop

AprilSmith_59952016 Youth Acting Workshop Winter Session Accepting Students

Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop is accepting students 6-18 for the Winter Session of professional arts instruction beginning on Friday, January 29  for Children 6-10 years old and beginning on Saturday, January 30 for Teens 11-18 years old. The Youth Acting Workshop Winter Session features expanded instruction time of four class hours per week, lower tuition for all students and scholarship opportunities. Students will receive instruction in acting for the stage and film and television, improvisation and interview techniques, costume design and film and television production  The Children’s Class meets Fridays:4-6pmand Saturdays:1-3 pm through Saturday, March 5. The Teen Class meets Saturdays: 11-3 pm through February 27 and ends with a special Sunday class day on February 28, 12-4 pm.  Acting teacher, director and award winning actress Gloucester native Heidi Dallin will be joined by guest instructors including Holiday Delights costume designer Lara Jardullo to teach costume design and local award-winning videographer Lisa Smith to teach film and television production.  Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops are designed to provide young people an outlet to nurture their creative potential through developing self-confidence, communication and teamwork skills to use in their daily life as well as introducing them to the skills necessary for professional theatre. Registration is open for the Winter 2016 Session. Class size is limited and registration is on a first come basis. For class times and schedules and to register, call 978-283-6688.

Photos by Mike Dean

Photos by Mike Dean




Penzance Rd Henry's Pond Pebble Beach -4 ©www.kimsmithdesigns.comPenzance Road

Climate change is complicated but the damage done from rising sea levels is very apparent in our own community. With the inundation of seawater upon freshwater ponds, vernal pools, and wetlands, at risk especially are habitats for fish, shellfish, wildlife, and plants.

Penzance Rd Henry's Pond Pebble Beach -3

Penzance Road, the narrow strip of land that divides Pebble Beach, on the Atlantic side, and freshwater Henry’s Pond on the opposite side, is periodically closed because of storm damage. I don’t recall ever seeing this degree of destruction however, we have lived here for only twenty years. It would be very interesting and much appreciated to learn from any of our readers who have lived through some of the worst blizzards and hurricanes to hit Cape Ann to compare the levels of damage.

Penzance Rd Henry's Pond Pebble Beach -2 www.kimsmithdesigns.comThe waves surged clear across the road and into freshwater Henry’s Pond.

Penzance Rd Henry's Pond Pebble Beach


Penzance Road is flooded with sand and rocks and is closed.

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on


I am looking forward to presenting my “Pollinator Garden” program tonight at 7:30 for the North Shore Horticultural Society. The program begins at 7:30 at the American Legion Hall, 14 Church Street, Manchester (behind Town Hall). I hope to see you there!male-female-monarch-butterfly-marsh-milkweed-2-c2a9kim-smith-2012-copy

Male and Female Monarch Butterly Marsh Milkweed

“Following the rhythm of the seasons, celebrated landscape designer Kim Smith presents a stunning slide show and lecture demonstrating how to create a welcoming haven for bees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Native plants and examples of organic and architectural features will be discussed based on their value to particular vertebrates and invertebrates.”


Opening Friday, I am looking forward to seeing the film The Finest Hours on which my friend Donna worked as a costume designer. While in the region working on the film, she shared funny stories such as having to have half a dozen or more of each costume because so much of the film was shot in drenching conditions.

A heroic action-thriller, “The Finest Hours” is the remarkable true story of the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history. The film will transport audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale. On February 18, 1952, a massive nor’easter struck New England, pummeling towns along the Eastern seaboard and wreaking havoc on the ships caught in its deadly path, including the SS Pendleton, a T-2 oil tanker bound for Boston, which was literally ripped in half, trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly-sinking stern. As the senior officer on board, first assistant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) soon realizes it is up to him to take charge of the frightened crew and inspire the men to set aside their differences and work together to ride out one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast. Meanwhile, as word of the disaster reaches the U.S. Coast Guard station in Chatham, Massachusetts, Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) orders a daring operation to rescue the stranded men. Despite overwhelming odds, four men, led by Coast Guard Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), set out in a wooden lifeboat with an ill-equipped engine and little, if any, means of navigation, facing frigid temperatures, 60-foot high waves and hurricane-force winds.

Disney’s “The Finest Hours” is the unforgettable story of the Coast Guard’s courageous mission, which is directed by Craig Gillespie and stars: Chris Pine; Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominee Casey Affleck; Ben Foster; Holliday Grainger; John Ortiz; and Eric Bana. Produced by Jim Whitaker and Dorothy Aufiero, the screenplay is by Oscar® nominee Scott Silver and Oscar nominees Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson based on the acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman. Doug Merrifield serves as executive producer. “The Finest Hours” storms into U.S. theaters on January 29, 2016 in Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D.


After reading Joey’s post about Cake Ann, I just had to make a beeline when done filming today. The newest bakery in town had been inundated with customers all morning, and having sold out several times earlier in the day, were on their twentieth or so batch, of everything! I brought some blueberry muffins and Kouign-amanns (pronounced queen-a-mahn) home and they were quickly devoured by husband, son, and myself. Oh Lucky Us Cape Anners!

Cake Ann is located at 214 Eastern Avenue, in the small shopping plaza next to Common Crow.

Eben Cake Ann ©www.kimsmithdesigns.comEben


CaterpillarSamuelJaffe2From the Museum of American Bird Art ~ 
Sam Jaffe’s spectacular photographs of New England caterpillars reveal their astonishing beauty, reminding us that we don’t need to venture far from home to be captivated by nature’s wonders.

A New England based naturalist, photographer, and educator, Jaffe grew up in Eastern Massachusetts chasing birds, mucking through ponds, and turning over leaves.  For the last seven years he has been photographing caterpillars, exhibiting his photographs and organizing programs to promote these special creatures to the public.

His photographs have received widespread acclaim. They have been featured in the Wall Street JournalThe Guardian and on the widely read art and design blog, This is Colossal. Jaffe has exhibited at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio, the Boston Children’s Museum, and the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics, among other venues.

Each year Jaffe raises thousands of caterpillars of hundreds of native species, capturing female butterflies and moths, collecting their eggs and releasing them. The founder of the non-profit The Caterpillar Lab, Jaffe’s goal is to share his passion for the caterpillars of New England through first-hand encounters at museums and nature centers as well as the stunning images in his photographs and videos.

Life on the Leaf Edge: Photographs of Native Caterpillars by Samuel Jaffe is open to the public January 31 through April 24, Tuesday–Sunday from 1 to 5 pm.

The Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon (MABA) is an art museum within New England’s largest conservation organization, connecting people and nature through art. The exhibitions feature art by internationally recognized artists inspired by nature. The Museum is located at 963 Washington Street in Canton and is sited within a 121 acre wildlife sanctuary.



TNT #blizzardjonas

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Farewell #blizzardjonas

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on


A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on


 Our friend Debbie Clark writes on behalf of her friend Anne Rearick,
“My friend Anne Rearick has 13 days left to raise the $17,500 she needs to publish her book of amazing photographs which document her visits to South Africa during the past 10 years. She is 3/4 of the way to her goal. Perhaps the good folk at GMG would share her project to support Anne’s efforts? Btw: she is the wife of local musician Willie Alexander, a teacher and an amazing photographer. Thank you for your help. Best, Deb.”

Township, Life in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Your support will help me raise money to fund a 160-page book of photographs that celebrates the spirit and strength of South Africans who face endemic violence, extreme economic hardship, and racism that has not abated, while all the time maintaining dignity, hope and courage.isriylm2rcvuye0uw0az

About me:

I have been working as a documentary photographer for nearly thirty years.  Over the past decade I have photographed life in the townships of Langa, Khayelitsha, Philippi and Mitchell’s Plain outside of Cape Town, South Africa.  My work there began during a Guggenheim Fellowship year for my exploration of the culture of amateur boxing. During my trip,  I met people living in Langa and Khayelitsha and began photographing the Luvuyo Boxing Club in Khayelitsha. I felt uncomfortable as yet another white person with a camera,  photographing people with less resources and access to power.  Subsequently, I cut my trip short, unsure of the work I was doing and who would actually benefit from it.  Upon my return to the States,  I looked at the pictures I had made and decided to go back to learn more, to further explore post-apartheid life in  black communities.  After over a dozen trips and more than a thousand rolls of film, I began to believe that the pictures mattered-they were not about people as victims, or about poverty, or any of those things one imagines life in black South African townships to be.

Outside the cities frequented by tourists and business travelers, in vibrant townships, I found beauty and strength and all the contradictions of being human in the people I photographed; a preacher testifying to his rapt congregation;  a couple’s loving embrace at day’s end; the proud regard of my friend Sindi in her traditional Xhosa dress; the moving funeral of a young Sotho man; the poetry and grace of a girl dancing on a warm Sunday afternoon;  and the striking face of “Dream Girl,” a young woman studying to be a traditional healer, a “sangoma.”




Cape Ann Art Haven Buoy Auction -3

Andrew Luman, Schuylar Corbett, and Ruby Lyman

Cruiseport was filled to overflowing with the joyful sounds of children laughing and parents socializing, all there to join in the fun of Art Haven’s 8th Annual Buoy Auction. The hundreds of buoys hand painted by local children were displayed in a fresh new layout with a “Haven Walk” surrounding the perimeter.

Emily Bean Andrew Lumen Cape Ann Art Haven Buoy Auction @www.kimsmithdesigns.comAndrew Luman did a fantastic job as the auctioneer and emcee (with Emily Bean above)

For the silent auction, beautiful buoy creations were donated by some of the most talented local artists.

Colleen Apostolos-Marsh Cape Ann Art Haven Buoy Auction @www.kimsmithdesigns.comColleen Apostolos-Marsh “Sugar Skull”

Traci Corbett Cape Ann Art Haven Buoy Auction @www.kimsmithdesigns.comTraci Thayne-Corbett “The Big Catch”

Jeff Weaver Cape Ann Art Haven Buoy Auction Jeff Weaver

Art Haven’s Buoy Auction is truly a community event in every sense of the word ~

Special thanks were noted in the program to the lobstermen who loaned the traps, Peter Mondello, Bob Morris, Chris Orcsillo, and Scott Horne. Sheree Zizik once again generously donated Cruiseport, delicious food was provided by local restaurants and shops, and many area businesses donated buoy supplies, transportation, and event promotion. Thanks too was given to all who helped construct the Lobster Trap Tree, with thanks to the buoy auction committee, and a very special thanks to Traci-Thayne Corbett and Karen Conant.Cape Ann Art Haven Buoy Auction -2 @www.kimsmithdesigns.comSEE MORE PHOTOS HERE Read more


OMG live auction Lotus Marsh cupcake buoy at 150.00!!

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

SOLD Lotus's Giant Cupcake!

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Live from Family Fun Night Art Haven Buoy Auction!

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

David Brooks Art Haven Buoy 2016 ©Kim Smith

Art Haven Founder David Brooks

Lots More Pics Tomorrow!


I am so pleased with my prints from Cape Ann Giclee for the Rocky Neck Art Colony’s upcoming show “For the Birds.” Thank you James and Anna!

Learn the fundamentals of image processing using RAW, Photoshop, and Bridge. Sign up for James’s Saturday Photoshop Class (tomorrow from 10am to 1pm)!

“For the Birds” is opening January 26th. Please join us for the reception on January 31st, Sunday, from 2 to 4 at the Rocky Neck Cultural Center. We hope to see you there.




Art Haven Buoy Auction & Family Fun Night

Friday, January 22, 2016
Cruiseport Gloucester

Tickets are $10 before the event and $15 at the door. Free admittance for children. Purchase tickets at the Art Haven and Hive locations or online here.

Free admittance for families with children who painted a buoy during buoy painting week. No tickets necessary – names will be checked at the door.

Join us for a spirited night of fundraising and family fun to support our organization. The funds that are raised will sustain our efforts to provide our classes free of charge to students from low-income families.

This year, Cape Ann Power Yoga is donating one free class to every individual who buys a buoy!


Male Allen's Hummingbird and Aloe Blossom www.kimsmithdesigns.comOrnithophily is the pollination of flowers by birds. Plants pollinated by birds generally have flowers with extra sweet, highly concentrated nectar. The blossoms are typically red or orange and have a long tubular shape, which allows them to hold ample amounts of the sugary sweet nectar. Birds that pollinate flowers, hummingbirds for instance, often have long bills, brushy-tipped tongues, and are light enough to perch on the flower, or display a form of flying called swing hovering, which allows them to drink nectar while suspended mid-air.

Nearly 130 species of North American plants have evolved ornithophilous associations. Bee balm, salvia, and native honeysuckle are examples of plants that are pollinated by both insects and birds.

THE POLLINATOR GARDEN ~ Please join me Tuesday, January 26th at 7:30 pm at the North Shore Horticultural Society, American Legion Hall, 14 Church Street in Manchester.

I hope to see you there! 

Photo: Male Allen’s Hummingbird and Aloe Blossom

Captain Howard Blackburn Photo Submitted by Len Burgess

HowardBlackburnGloucester’s famous Capt. Howard Blackburn (1859–1932) pictured aboard the famous fishing schooner Gertrude L. Thebaud in the early 1930’s. He was an American fisherman and during a winter storm in 1883 got separated in his dory and feared lost from his fishing schooner the Grace L. Fears out of Nova Scotia. He rowed his dory and shipmate across a wintry ocean, freezing his hands and feet badly. Despite losing his fingers at sea he later prospered as a Gloucester, MA businessman.
Yearning for adventure, he twice sailed single-handed across the Atlantic Ocean, overcoming his disability and setting record times for the crossing. Both his vessels are at the Cape Ann Museum.

Photo by Leslie Jones

Len Burgess, Essex Shipbuilding Museum.

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