Category Archives: Art

Galleries open year round: Ken Riaf winter solo exhibition at Jane Deering Gallery opens Jan 14 and upcoming classes at the Hive

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I’m looking forward to seeing work by artist and dealer, Ken Riaf, showing Saturdays and Sundays at Jane Deering Gallery, 19 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, just across the street from his own Law and Water Gallery, 18A Pleasant Street, Gloucester, MA.

Cape Ann Museum and the Hive are on the same block, and then there’s Trident Gallery and  Cape Ann Art Haven just a skip away at the intersection of Main Street and Pleasant. The Hive has just announced their new winter classes:  Foundations of Drawing class Wednesdays; Watercolor Studio: Basics of Watercolor Painting class on Tuesdays; Painting Studio all levels class on Wednesday evenings; and Ceramic Studio with Ruth Worrall on Thursdays. Register for the Hive’s upcoming classes here.

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$100,000 outright NEH grant awarded to MA Center for Independent Documentary for Walking Cinema and 15 other projects in Massachusetts

The awarded project “Walking Cinema: Museum of the Hidden City” is headed by Michael Epstein, Untravel Media. You can see more about their work at www.walkingcinema.org including the one that is part of the Gloucester HarborWalk designed by Cambridge Seven Associates, and earned a 2013 Gold Muse Award from the American Alliance of Museums. Epstein also produced an audible original podcast, “Pen and Place”. Congratulations!

To see the National Endowment for the Humanities complete list of grant recipients across Massachusetts and the country: NEH announces $16 million in awards for 290 projects  

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The 4 Cape Ann public libraries announce the Cape Ann Reads jury panel

See the 2016 Cape Ann Reads selection panel  

After a year of monthly programming by the libraries and community partners, the Cape Ann Reads original picture book contest is in full swing and has moved into the jury processing stage. The contest is hosted by the 4 public libraries of Cape Ann. They will publish the first edition printing for one book from entries that were submitted by December 15, 2016. The jury selection panel includes representatives from each of the public libraries: Justine Vitale Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library; Carol Bender, Children’s and Teen Librarian,  Rockport Public Library; Kate Strong Stadt, Head of Youth Services, Manchester-By-The-Sea Public Library; Anne Cowman, Young Adult Librarian, Manchester-By-The-Sea Public Library; and April Wanner, Assistant Librarian at the TOHP Burnham Library, Essex. Joining these talented library participants are three artists and award winning children’s picture book authors and illustrators: Pat Lowery Collins; Giles Laroche; and Anna Vojtech.  Bob Ritchie proprietor of Dogtown Book Shop will provide another crucial area of book world expertise.  Cape Ann Reads is grateful for their time and considerable talents to help the participants and the process. A second jury of children will select their favorites and is chaired by Liza Browning from the Cape Ann Museum, a Cape Ann Reads partner.

About the Cape Ann creates for Cape Ann Reads Children’s Picture Book Contest:
The 4 public libraries hosted a one of a kind call for entry seeking new and original children’s picture books showcasing local artists and writers. 

Cape Ann residents of all ages, students attending school on Cape Ann, and people who work on Cape Ann were invited to create part or all of a picture book for consideration to be published, and to submit their entries by December 15th, 2016. A first edition printing of one of these submissions will be published in 2017 by the 4 public libraries and with the support of various sponsors. The copyright is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of a Caldecott award for the children’s book, “Little House”, by Virginia Lee Burton, eminent Gloucester artist, author and illustrator.

Oh, what a doll! “Have a Heart Dolls” public art from Rose Baker Senior Center is global

There’s always something happening in the art sessions at Rose Baker Senior Center. With help and direction from the indomitably positive and dedicated artist,  Juni VanDyke, participants in the art program share their talents and collaborate. Participants join in an amazing amount of creative work and activity and have the opportunity to exhibit their creations. Often they work together as a group toward a final outcome. Three quilt series became monumental and cherished works of public art. (See Kim Smith’s beautiful coverage on Good Morning Gloucester.) When you visit the art studio at Rose Baker you’ll see floor to ceiling examples of their creations. For the past few years, dolls have been blooming up the studio wall and steadily and similarly building into a kind and social public art project. Now it’s a mission for art and healing that’s reached beyond Gloucester and Cape Ann.

Juni Van Dyke shared the photographs in this post and writes about the iteration of this project:

“Two years ago, Lois Stillman, a regular participant in the Art Program at the Senior Center, shared an idea with our Monday art group.  The idea became known as “The Endearing Doll Project” — “endearing” because the hand-made doll that Lois introduced to us was just that…endearing.  By way of Lois’ initial instruction, the dolls began to multiply with a serious purpose:  the dolls would be created for the comfort of children undergoing cancer treatment at Dana Farber.  Later, more dolls…(baskets of dolls!) would be delivered to elderly residents at Golden Living and SeaCoast.  Still later, more dolls…(armfuls of dolls!) would join volunteers headed to The Dominican Republic where children who have little in the way of playthings would receive them. The “Endearing Dolls” became known as “The Have a Heart Dolls”. To accurately describe the artwork attributed to each individual doll, (over four hundred dolls to date!) one would have to exhaust every synonym in a thesaurus under the heading “beautiful”.  Indeed, the dolls are beautiful with exquisite individual attention given to detail:  lace trimmings, velvet ribbons, eyelet petticoats, knitted caps, stylized tresses, etc.  But the “Have a Heart Dolls” are so much more than beautiful works of art.  These dolls, with their purpose of bringing comfort and cheer, are a definitive source of love.”  Participants in the “Have a Heart Doll Project” are: Lois Dench, Judy Menicocci, Mary Noons, Maggie Rosa, Carmella Scola, Emily Soule, Ida Spinola, Lois Stillman, Teddy Talbot, Connie Troisi, Juni VanDyke, and Susan Wright

To help with the dolls or other projects and learn more about the art program: Council On Aging (COA) Rose Baker Senior Center Art Program. The mission statement under the direction of Juni VanDyke: To connect Gloucester Senior Citizens to their community through worthwhile art projects while encouraging artistic individuality and collaboration. 

When good fences make good neighbors, and Robert Frost was here thanks to Walker Hancock

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Photo without irony. For irony scroll down to see the poem, Mending Wall, by Robert Frost, and for Hancock’s portrait of Frost.

Update: shortly after posting and thanks to Good Morning Gloucester facebook feed and readers, there may be more information coming on the outside-r artist who built such a great fence design. Please send in more information soon. And here is some! Danny Diamond writes: “I painted this octopus (and the rest of the fence) back in October. It belongs to  Jon Just Jon and Lisa Bouchie. The octopus was painted entirely with low-pressure spray-cans.” And Lisa Redbird adds:  “…conceived by Lisa Bouchie, built by Mark (Girard) of Spotless Monkey and spray painted by Danny Diamond. A true artist collaborative…”

Mending Wall

1914 poem by Robert Frost, American poet  (1874-1963), first published in anthology North of Boston

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To  please the yelping dogs. The gaps I made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
“Stay where you are until our backs are turned!”
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door-game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines,  I tell him.
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
Spring is mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.”  I could say “Elves” to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go beyond his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

Robert Frost sat for Walker Hancock, Gloucester resident, esteemed sculptor and one of the country’s Monuments Men. Frost walked our local woods.

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Artist: Walker Kirtland Hancock, (b.1901-December 30, 1998)
Sitter: Robert Lee Frost, 26 Mar 1874 – 29 Jan 1963
Date: 1969 bronze sculpture cast after 1950 original (collection Amherst)
Dimensions: Without socle or mount: 16 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 10 inches
Collection: National Portrait Gallery

The Robert Frost Farm, Derry, NH (home 1900-1911)

Friends of Robert Frost, So. Shaftsbury, VT

Frost Place in Franconia, NH

Robert Frost Society established in 1978

Robert Frost collection at Amherst College (on the faculty for 40 years; also University of Michigan, Middlebury, Columbia, Harvard, and Yale, among other places) Hancock’s sculpture is in this collection. Sculpture of Frost by artist Penelope Jencks was unveiled in 2007

Robert Frost collection at Dartmouth College (alumnus)

A Frost Bouquet: Robert Frost, His Family, and the Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, a digitized rendering of the 1996 exhibition at University of Virginia

Victor E. Reichert Robert Frost Collection, University at Buffalo

Audio of Frost reading poems, Part III includes Mending Wall or here read and listen to Frost’s voice as he recites Mending Wall:

Happy New Year! Onward

Dusting of snow along the back of Anna Hyatt Huntington’s superb Joan of Arc WWI memorial, such a multifaceted muse and Gloucester landmark.

Whatever brings you there– artist, subject, sculpture, setting, history –its surplus of qualities alone and together reward gaze and inquiry. I took several photographs early December 30th, careful compositions against a gift of blues and vault of morning sky. For this one, I roughly edited out the telephone wires for my thoughts. Shake off 2016 and frame up a fresh start for the year ahead!

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(See Joan of Arc HarborWalk story moment for more information.)

First Night Boston Copley Square: top crowd at Man At Wheel ice sculpture…by far! And Boston Public Library

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There were also large ice works of a lighthouse, clipper ship and sea serpent (live sculpting work in progress while we were there)

Across the street a favorite spot with more public art and large crowds– the ever stunning Boston Public Library. An art post for another day: for now some interior details. Here are a Kitson marble bust of Longfellow and a tease detail from the Sargent murals. (My sons said they like the Sawyer Free teen room more but this Boston Library was something to be proud of, too.)

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A Lobster Trap tree mini buoy from Cape Ann Art Haven goes to the State House

More public art and heart-

Thanks to Janice Lufkin-Shea, Pauline Bresnahan, Hannah Morris, David Brooks Cape Ann Art Haven, Senator Tarr and others,  Gloucester and its lobster trap tree and traditions  have a place in the Massachusetts Senate President’s Office. Here are photos of Senator Bruce Tarr with Stan Rosenberg, the 93rd President of the Massachusetts Senate, in the Senate President’s Office. First two photos from inside the State House were from Senator Tarr.

David Brooks writes that he hopes the buoy will be a permanent ornament, “but I’m not sure how long it will last. Its made of a small plastic net buoy and plaster. We made it as an Art Haven team and tried to make it look like a kid did it so it fit the character of the tree.” Perhaps a bronze version may be commissioned from Cape Ann Art Haven one day.

There were special ornaments to discover on the tree in City Hall, too, in the rotunda outside the Office of the Mayor.

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Boston Globe Ma in CT: Manchester private art collection on exhibit New Britain Museum of Art

excerpt from Boston Globe article by Kate McQuaid

MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA — Gail and Ernst von Metzsch are the kind of art collectors who purchase paintings serendipitously. If they come across a canvas that speaks to them, they’ll buy it.“Ernst will say, ‘I’m just going to a gallery, I won’t buy anything,’ and then six weeks later, when the show closes, a package will arrive,” Gail says. Ernst, 77, started picking up a painting here and there in the 1970s, before he met Gail, 65. Together, they have built a vibrant collection of artworks, notably local in its focus on contemporary Boston-area artists and landscapes. “As We See It: The Collection of Gail and Ernst von Metzsch,” at the New Britain (Conn.) Museum of American Artnew-britain-ct through Jan. 8, spotlights more than 80 works by close to 30 artists from their collection.

What an honor for my photos to be chosen at Mass. General

Be a Part of Art: Illuminations Program Anniversary Challenge

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Illuminations Program – a rotating art exhibit housed in the Mass General Cancer Center – an anonymous donor will match donations up to $10,000 by the end of 2016.

Double your impact today and help bring art and inspiration to patients and families of the MGH Cancer Center.

Community photos of Anna Vojtech presentation at Sawyer Free Library

Anna Vojtech gave a wonderful presentation at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library about her working process and experience with children’s book publishing.

The November 26th event was part of Cape Ann Reads.

The photographs were taken by Kristen Jaques, Sawyer Free Library Assistant, children’s services.

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Lobster Trap Tree – 2012 -2016

The first one I saw in 2012 was amazing and it gets better every year! From the days of stacked traps and colored lights we now have a wider base with doorways opening the inside with cantilevered traps opening up the center of the tree for a great view from inside, a look at the dome and viewing a light show of Christmas Colors on the floor. (The lightshow with its colored moving dots of light brought back memories of college…but that’s another story!) The stack is tighter and now the traps are color coordinated Yellow and Green by level and the colored lights have given way to energy efficient white LEDs.  The yearly engineering advances allow for more and more hand painted buoys from the kids at Art Haven. Hard to imagine anything more spirit lifting than just walking past the tree, not to mention spending some time in it and around! I met two photographers who were waiting for the light to go down and then were going from Gloucester to Rockport, ME and Portland to capture some other trap trees. Their take? Others might be a little taller but none are better than Gloucester’s tree!

John Prybot climbed City Hall tower. Have you?

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On special days throughout the year like Middle Street Walk, the generous Gloucester City Hall Restoration Committee volunteers provide City Hall Tower tours. The weather for Saturday’s Middle Street Walk was sunny, but blustery and chilly. Joe Rosa greeted visitors. Maggie Rosa and Steve Dexter from Carroll Steel Insurance bundled up and stayed up just so guests could climb for sweeping panoramas.

John Prybot, Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free librarian, was kind enough to grab these photos. The angle and brightness of the sun favored a photographic vista in one direction:  over and beyond the Sawyer Free library and Temple Ahavat Achim to the harbor and Stage Fort Park. You can see Middle Street steeples, the fire station, the lovely John and Dorothy Rando Memorial Garden and amphitheater, and the graceful balance of open space between the library, Central Grammar, and City hall. The library buildings and the temple architecture stand out and fit in.

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