Tag Archives: Cape Ann Museum

FEEDING THE TORTOISE AT CAPE ANN MUSEUM

Don’t you love the fabulous and recently gifted Paul Manship “Tortoise” ❤

paul-manship-tortoise-cape-ann-museum-4copyright-kim-smithErik Ronnberg and “Tortoise.” Erik is the adjunct maritime curator for the Museum and model ship builder.paul-manship-tortoise-cape-ann-museum-3-copyright-kim-smith

paul-manship-tortoise-cape-ann-museum-1-copyright-kim-smithWard One City Councilor Scott Memhard and Erik Ronnberg at the Movalli opening

The bronze “Tortoise” was modeled in 1916 and cast in 1999. The gift was made possible through the generous donations of Arthur N. Ryan, Henrietta Gates, Heaton Robertson, and attendees of the 2015 Women’s Luncheon. Read more about Paul Manship’s work at the Cape Ann Museum here.

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Perhaps Manship’s most well known work, it’s interesting to see how the plaza surrounding “Prometheus” has changed through the decades.

prometheus-fountain-plaza-rockefeller-center-new-york-citywalk-in-new-york-new-york-vintage-rockefeller-center-city-garden-club-and-fountain-axis-from-above-1934Prometheus at Rockefeller Center by Paul Manship

RECONNECTING BLUEBERRIES AND BUTTERFLIES TO OUR CAPE ANN LANDSCAPE

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Winslow Homer “The Berry Pickers”

Forum on the Cape Ann Landscapes

A thoughtful and thought provoking forum was held this morning at the Cape Ann Museum. The discussion was led by Ed Becker, president of the Essex County Greenbelt Association, with presentations by Mark Carlotto from Friends of Dogtown; Tim Simmons, restoration ecologist; Mass Audubon’s Chris Leahy; and Cape Ann Museum representative Bonnie Sontag.

cape-ann-museum-landscape-forum-panel-copyright-kim-smithSpeakers, left to right, Mark Carlotto, Chris Leahy, Tim Simmons, Bonnie Sontag, and Ed Becker 

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Today, the undeveloped areas of Cape Ann look much as it did when Champlain arrived in 1606, a mostly verdant forested peninsula, with some land management of grasslands conducted by the Native Americans that farmed and fished the landscape. In the coming months, the community will be examining how to restore very specific areas of Dogtown to the years when the landscape was at its most productive and richest in biodiversity, approximately 1700 to 1950. Most areas will remain forested and others will be returned to grasslands, moors, meadows, and pastures, similar to how it appeared when 19th and 20th century artists such as Homer, Hopper, Hartley, and Brumback painted Dogtown Common.

hartley-whales-jaw-drawingMarsden Hartley Whales Jaw sketch

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brumback-33406-webBrumback’s view of Dogtown in the eaqrly 1900s

pond-gloucester-massachusetts-copyright-kim-smithA typical Dogtown landscape of today

Tim Simmons charmed the audience with his “Blueberry Metric,” a formula whereby prior to grassland restoration, it takes approximately one hour to pick four cups of blueberries. After a blueberry patch has been restored, the time to pick a pie’s worth of blueberries is reduced to just 20 to 30 minutes. Here is Tim explaining how fire management helps blueberry bushes become more productive:

Not only blueberries but many, many species of wildlife, especially those in sharp decline, such as Prairie Warblers, Eastern Whippoorwills, native bees, and nearly all butterflies, will benefit tremendously from restoring native grassland and meadow habitats.

This is an exciting time for Cape Ann’s open spaces and a great deal of input from the community will be needed. A facebook page is in the making. It takes time to effect positive change, but the alternative of doing nothing is not really an option at all. Eventually a fire will occur and when landscapes are not managed well, the outcome may well be cataclysmic.

 

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From the Cape Ann Museum: The once open landscape of Cape Ann, a mosaic of glacial boulders, pastures and moors, has given way over the past century to a uniform forest cover. Through short presentations and public engagement, this forum examines the issues, methods and benefits of restoring this formerly diverse and productive landscape. Can Cape Ann once again include the open, scenic terrain that inspired painters, writers, walkers, bird watchers and foragers of wild blueberries? Come and lend your voice to this exciting and important conversation moderated by Ed Becker, President of the Essex County Greenbelt Association. The forum is offered in collaboration with Essex County Greenbelt, Friends of Dogtown, Lanesville Community Center and Mass Audubon.forest_succession_ecology-0011
Successional forest regeneration graphics and images courtesy Google image search

Scenes from seArts 2017 Annual meeting at Gloucester Stage featured Bosoma dance company which may relocate to Cape Ann

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BoSoma Dance may move to Cape Ann 

Gloucester Stage new season opens May 19 2017. Heidi Dallin also revealed a Gloucester Stage world exclusive premiere announcement!

EX LOVERS, a festival of 10 minute plays is coming on April 28th!
Founding director Israel Horovitz asked 8 dramatists to contribute an original 10 minute play

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Heidi Dallin (Gloucester Stage)  Tony Sapienza (Cape Ann Plein Air committee)

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Ken Reihl Cape Ann Chamber and Karen Ristuben Rocky Neck (Cape Ann Plein Air committee)

 

Caroline Enos Don’t Tread On Us article about the WRITERS RESIST event coordinated by JoeAnn Hart at Rocky Neck Cultural Center 

Artist opportunities:

seArts Art Loan @ Bass Rocks 2017
seArts Wearable Arts updates http://wearableart.org/
Cape Ann Plein Air II is scheduled Oct 8-16, 2017- artist  applications  are due by April 30, 2017
Marty Morgan Empty Bowl Open Door seeking volunteer artists to help guide painters

 

PARTY SNAPSHOTS FROM THE BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL CHARLES MOVALLI EXHIBIT OPENING TODAY AT THE CAPE ANN MUSEUM

charles-movalli-exhibit-cape-ann-museum-dale-movalli-granddaughter-lauren-oconnor-copyright-kim-smithDale Movalli and Granddaughter Lauren

Lovers of Cape Ann scenes and vistas, don’t miss the exquisite Charles Movalli exhibit “Cape Ann and Beyond,” opening today at the Cape Ann Museum. The reception is free and open to the public. Cape Ann’s landscapes seen through the eyes of Movalli are simply gorgeous. GO today!

 

 

 

 

From the Cape Ann Museum: The Cape Ann Museum will host a special exhibition of paintings by Charles Movalli, opening on Saturday March 4 and remaining on display through May 21, 2017. Cape Ann & Beyond will be drawn from private collections throughout the region and will be complemented by gallery talks and lectures exploring Movalli’s career and the Cape Ann School of painters.

For over forty years, Charles Movalli was a pillar of Cape Ann’s year-round art community, a distinguished landscape and marine painter, a prolific writer and advocate for the arts, and a widely respected teacher. His paintings have been showcased in solo and group exhibitions throughout the region and showered with awards; his writings on art and artists have been published widely and his editorial skills earned him a 25 year stint as contributing editor of American Artist magazine. Often referring to himself as “the luckiest man in the world,” during his long and successful

Hats Off to Spring: A Celebration of Grace Murray

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to announce that the extraordinary hats made by longtime Annisquam resident, friend of the Museum and avid knitter, Grace Murray, will be on display throughout the day on Saturday, March 18 in the CAM Auditorium and the Folly Cove Designer Gallery. At 1:00 p.m.owners of Grace’s beloved hats will have the opportunity to share their thoughts during “Story Time” in the auditorium. A selection of hats will remain on view in the Folly Cove Designer Gallery through April 2.

The Museum will be free and open to the public from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for this program; reservations are not required.image001-1

Each of Grace’s hats is an original. She was inspired to create her well-known style of hat by the patterns in “Andean Folk Knitting: Traditions and Techniques from Peru and Bolivia”, by Cynthia Gravelle Lecount. By the time Grace had purchased the book in 1992, she had already been knitting for 60 years; however, the colorful motifs kept her attention, and she created over 300 hats, all lovingly tagged “From the Knitting Needles of Grace Murray”.

What if…a section of Dogtown brush was cleared away? If you missed Chris Leahy at Sawyer Free Library last week come to a summit by Essex County Greenbelt & Mass Audubon at Cape Ann Museum March 4

“This Saturday morning forum is offered in collaboration with Essex County Greenbelt, Friends of Dogtown, Lanesville Community Center and Mass Audubon and held at Cape Ann Museum. The forum will be moderated by Ed Becker, President of the Essex County Greenbelt Association.”

Register here

UPDATE: Cape Ann TV is scheduled to film the event!

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Edward Hopper Cape Ann Pasture watercolor drawing (ca.1928) was gifted to Yale University in 1930

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East Gloucester Atwood’s Gallery on the Moors as seen on the left in 1921–open vistas at that time

 

Chris Leahy gave a presentation at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library on February 23, 2017: Dogtown- the Biography of a Landscape: 750 Million Years Ago to the Present
A photographic history through slides presented by the Gloucester Lyceum and the Friends of the Library. Mary Weissblum opened the program.

Chris broadly covered the history of the local landscape from an ecological bent with a bias to birds and blueberry picking, naturally. New England is a patchwork of forested landscapes. He stressed the evolution of bio diversity and succession phenomenon when the earth and climate change. “Nature takes a lot of courses.” He focused on Dogtown, “a very special place”, and possible merits of land stewardship geared at fostering greater biodiversity. Perhaps some of the core acres could be coaxed to grasslands as when parts of Gloucester were described as moors? Characteristic wildlife, butterflies, and birds no longer present may swing back.  There were many philosophical takeaways and tips: he recommends visiting the dioramas “Changes in New England Landscape” display at Harvard Forest HQ in Petersham.

“Isolation of islands is a main driver of evolution”

“Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester has the highest concentration* of native butterflies in all of Massachusetts because of secondary habitats.”  *of Mass Audubon’s c.40,000 acres of wildlife sanctuaries statewide. “The fact that Brook Meadow Brook is in greater Worcester, rather than a forested wilderness, underscores the value of secondary habitats.”

“1830– roughly the time of Thoreau (1817-1862)– was the maximum period of clearing thus the heyday for grasslands…As farmsteads were abandoned, stages of forests return.”

Below are photos from February 23, 2017. I added some images of art inspired by Dogtown. I also pulled out a photograph by Frank L Cox, David Cox’s father, of Gallery on the Moors  (then) compared with a photo of mine from 2011 to illustrate how the picturesque description wasn’t isolated to Dogtown.

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Edward Hopper, Cape Ann Granite, 1928, oil on canvas can we get this painting into the Cape Ann Museum collection?

dogtown-cape-ann-massachuestts-by-louise-upton-brumback-o-c-vose-galleryLouise Upton Brumback (1867-1929), Dogtown- Cape Ann, 1920 oil on canvas

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Congratulations Essex Heritage on a big 20 year anniversary! And about that 2017 Trailblazers ballot? Go KIM SMITH!

Congratulations Essex Heritage on 20 years of leading Essex County by helping us connect, celebrate, and preserve our exceptional cultural and natural resources!

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Essex Heritage hosted Scaling Up! conference at Peabody Essex Museum October 7 2016. I took the group portrait on site intentionally– “Intersections” by ANILA QUAYYUM AGHA “meditation on what is universal in our shared human experience…”   L-R : Annie Harris, Chief Executive Officer, Essex Heritage;  Bob McIntosh, Retired Associate Regional Director, Northeast Region, National Park Service; Stephanie Toothman, Associate Director for Cultural Resources, National Park Services; Brent Mitchell Senior Vice President, QLF/Atlantic Center for the Environment; and Emily Bateson, Coordinator, Practitioners’ Network for Large Landscape Conservation

Essex Heritage established the Essex County Scenic Byway and annual Trails and Sails weekends. They bring stakeholders together as they did with Scaling Up at Peabody Essex Museum. They have partnered, supported and funded dozens of ideas and projects in Essex County including in Gloucester and on Cape Ann. Let’s do something easy that they’re asking in return.

Please help Essex Heritage narrow down that big, big list of worthy Essex County contenders for a special shout out at the 20th Anniversary Gala.  It’s up to us to choose which 4 Trailblazers will get a toast at the Essex Heritage’s milestone 20th Anniversary Gala on April 5, 2017. This idea is a very Essex Heritage thing to do: reflecting on what’s fine and good and sharing it around.

No surprise, I’m going all in Gloucester for this ballot.

Yes, they are all wonderful and deserving nominations, and you’ll recognize favorites throughout the county. BUT this isn’t an everyone gets an award type of deal. You have to narrow it down to one in each category; –  thankfully else Joey might need to add an arts rant 🙂 post.

Here’s the rundown as I see it. For Category 2 “connecting people to place” it has to be Kim Smith. She is a one of a kind and exceptional artist. Kim is inspired by the people, wildlife and the natural world all around us. Right here. We are so, so fortunate that she shares her visual experiences and art every day.

And she has memorably captured nearly ALL of the other nominees in photo or film!

Here’s the crib sheet breakout through a Gloucester lens:

1. Who is the best at Preserving the special region? CHOOSE ONE

Schooner Adventure, Gloucester

Cape Pond Ice, Gloucester

Good job to Cape Ann Trail Stewards, Essex County Greenbelt, Great Marsh Coalition, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge,  Thacher Island Assoc…

2.Who is Best at Connecting People to Place? CHOOSE ONE

Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce

Cape Ann Museum

Discover Gloucester

Gloucester HarborWalk

Schooner Thomas E Lannon

Kim Smith

Stage Fort Visitor Center

Also love Trustees, Ipswich Visitor Center (go Kerrie Bates :)), Rockport Art Association, North of Boston Convention and Visitors, but …go Kim!

3. Who is best at advancing our educational mission? CHOOSE ONE

Maritime Gloucester, Gloucester

Kestrel Education Adventures, Gloucester

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also love Essex Shipbuilding, Buttonwoods, and Wenham Museum  

 4.Who is the best at Building and growing our future? CHOOSE ONE

Vote YMCA of North shore (includes Gloucester)

also love Peabody Essex Museum, Brooksby Farm, Russell Orchards, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), Essex County Community Foundation,  and Community Preservation 

Read more about it in the Boston Globe David Rattigan article

Read more

JOHN RONAN AT THE CAPE ANN MUSEUM!

john-ronan-and-bookSaturday, February 25, 2017 at 2pm

Gloucester’s former poet laureate John Ronan will read from his most recent book, Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown (Backwaters Press, 2017) and discuss its connections to Gloucester, including “Good Harbor, Home,” which was written for and read at John Bell’s first inauguration as Mayor of Gloucester. Through Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown Ronan hopes to convey that love and language create community.

This program is free and open to the public. Reservations required. Free registration can be made by calling 978-283-0455 x10, emailinginfo@capeannmuseum.org, or online at Eventbrite

John Ronan is a poet, playwright, movie producer and journalist. He has received national honors for his poetry and is a former National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, Ucross Fellow, Bread Loaf Scholar and Poet Laureate of Gloucester, MA. In 2010, his volume of poetry,Marrowbone Lane, won Highly Recommended honors from the Boston Authors Club. As a playwright, Ronan’s works include The Yeats Gameand The Early Bird Special. John is also founder of the media production company American Storyboard, a teacher of film and host of Cape Ann Television’s The Writer’s Block with John J. Ronan which celebrates its 27th anniversary in the 2016–2017 seasons. 

Gloucester booth looks great at the Boston Globe Travel Show: Discover Gloucester volunteers and a gorgeous photo on that cover

Booth 418 February 10-12 — Look forward to hearing their report

http://www.bostonglobetravelshow.com/

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Kate Bibeau Cape Ann Museum and Steve Douglass Cape Ann Harbor Tours

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John Orlando Harborview Inn  and Elizabeth Carey Discover Gloucester (photos sent to GMG from the floor!)

Hockney Hartley Whitney Wilkins

“I like to live in the now.”

David Hockney’s exhibit opens at the Tate on February 9th as the fastest selling show in Tate exhibition history. It will come to the Metropolitan Museum of Art November 2017-February 2018.

In 2013 I wrote about “A major retrospective of David Hockney’s work completed over the last decade, A Bigger Exhibition (San Francisco, de Young Museum), has generated voluminous press and praise, mostly for his legacy of embracing new technology. Oh, and how old he is now, somehow compelling him to create before time runs out…(See a good overview of the de Young exhibit on Newshour but listen at 4:24 dispensing this cliché while introducing another. When hasn’t Hockney investigated any series, media or pursuit without daunting and constant focus?)”

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Marsden Hartley’s Maine will open at the The Met Breuer (former Whitney) March–June 2017. It will be at Colby (partnered with the Met) this summer. Cape Ann Museum has fantastic Hartleys.

The first Whitney Biennial presented at the new Whitney opens March 17 – June 11, 2017. Although there are no working artists residing in MA that are on the checklist, two artist filmmakers born in Massachusetts were selected: Robert Beavers and James N. Kienitz Wilkins.

Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker Exhibit extended through March 5, 2017

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The curator’s job sounds relatively simple: just surprise us. Show us something we haven’t seen before, or lately, or in such depth, or with such clarity. Try to avoid the predictable and familiar, the market approved or academically sanctioned, or what other curators have already done. Try to step outside your museum’s comfort zone or carefully manicured institutional persona with something eccentric, an intuitive leap. After all, there is plenty of art out there.
—Roberta Smith, “Museums Embrace the Unfamiliar” New York Times, September 16, 2016

The current exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum would be music to Ms. Smith’s ears. Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker is the unpredictable, eccentric delight she calls for. Indeed, the Museum has leaped forward with its intuition that Mr. Adams’s peerless craftsmanship has exactly the genius and beauty for the rapture of an unsuspecting public. And from all accounts, its public has agreed!

A formal lyricism in this exhibition commands attention to more than one art form. From the fabrication of brass hinges to bone keys (not to mention the skunk-tail sharps and cow-toenail couplers!), to sculptural stands and the exacting, exquisite joinery that must move unerringly to create music, the show reveals the prodigious skill and artistry of Jeremy Adams, one of the most gifted musical instrument makers in the United States. Meticulously presented in the Museum’s largest gallery, the exhibition showcases an impressive selection of harpsichords inspired by Flemish and French designs of the 17th and 18th centuries, a chamber organ, a clavichord, a demonstration organ chest, and a beautiful, witty silent keyboard, all built in their entirety by Adams in his Danvers, Massachusetts atelier. Curated from over 40 instruments built since the 1960s, these works reside in public and private collections around the world. The exhibit’s centerpiece is the stunning French (Blanchet) double-manual harpsichord with its very modern stand, which emerged from the Adams workshop this summer and is featured in events for the duration of the exhibit, sometimes in tandem with other instruments in the room. Also in the gallery, Paul Cary Goldberg’s elegant photographs, commissioned by the Museum, document the Adams workshop—the tools, details, atmosphere and the droll, quirky personality from which the instruments come. Read more

Nichole’s Picks 1/21 + 1/22

Pick #1: VANESSA TRIEN & THE JUMPING MONKEYS

Part of the Family Series at The Cabot in Beverly, this show is at 10:30 on Saturday.  Doors open at 9:30. Tickets cost $8.50 for children and $13.50 for grown-ups.

Buy Tickets HERE

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Vanessa Trien has been performing music for kids and families since 2005, many of those years in collaboration with her lively folk/roots/pop band, the Jumping Monkeys.  She has three Parents’ Choice award-winning CDs for kids and families and is currently working on her fourth album, due out this winter.  Vanessa packs concert halls, preschool fundraisers and outdoor venues with dancing kids and families.

She is known for her highly interactive shows, featuring plenty of group singing and movement.  One of her most requested songs, “Tickle Monster” has families sneaking around on tip toe and then on queue, all start tickling each other!

In addition to performing, Vanessa teaches as an early childhood music specialist in preschool and pre-K classrooms in Brookline and has also taught parent and child group Music Together classes for ten years. Originally from New York City.

Vanessa moved to Boston in the nineties to attend Harvard’s Graduate School for Education and has stayed ever since, first diving into the Cambridge folk music scene and festival production and then eventually jumping with her whole heart into the wild and wonderful world of children’s music!

Pick #2:  Snow Tubing at New England Sports Park in Amesbury.

Read all about it HERE

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Tickets are available for different tubing sessions. You can choose either from 10:00-2:00 or 2:00- 5:00, or 5:00-8:00 (Saturday only).

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Pick #3:  The Cape Ann Museum

Read all about the fabulous Cape Ann Museum HERE

We are so fortunate that the Cape Ann Museum is free to all Cape Ann residents for the month of January!  This is the time to go!  What a wonderful escape from the winter blues.

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Be sure to enjoy one of the Winter Shorts during your visit.

Walking Tours, Gallery Tours

Join the docents of the Cape Ann Museum on a variety of themed mini tours. Several twenty minute tours will be offered, beginning on the hour and on the half hour. Each tour will touch on a particular area within the Museum’s collections. Docents have created tours around their favorite topics, including Gloucester Fishermen, Women Artists of Cape Ann and 19th Century Selfies, among others. Participants are encouraged to spend the entire day at the Museum, enjoying one, two or all of the mini tours.

Tours are free for CAM members and Cape Ann residents or with Museum admission. Tours are “first come, first served” (space is limited – no reservations).

 

 

As always, for a comprehensive list of family activity please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

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.

BREAKING NEWS: JEREMY ADAMS AND MARTHA OAKES APPEARING ON WGBH OPEN STUDIO WITH JARDED BOWEN TONIGHT!!

Watch Open Studio tonight at 8:30 on WGBH for a profile of Jeremy Adams and the Voicing the Woods exhibition. Jared spoke with curator Martha Oaks in the gallery and with Jeremy Adams in the gallery and at his workshop. Adams even plays a little harpsichord music!jeremy-adams-cape-ann-museum-copyright-kim-smith

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Proposed building plans Sawyer Free Library, City Hall…Whoa! In the news plus the 1973 appeal led by Joseph Garland, universal access, and archives

“No finer place for sure, downtown.”

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“Fate of historic buildings uncertain” Gloucester Daily Times, Ray Lamont, Jan 3 2017

Seeing double? Yes, you’re supposed to. The Sawyer Free Library addition was designed to mirror Cape Ann Museum as a balanced and nuanced architectural symmetry in deference to City Hall, and catalyst for a graceful center.

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Cape Ann Museum, December 2017

 

Sawyer Free Library has announced a public meeting January 11th for discussions of a new building. (See the flyer at the end of this post.)

City Hall may have some upcoming construction on the Dale Avenue side as well.

Both projects are largely in the name of accessibility of a physical nature. Can they be cost effective, worthy of our history and culture, protect our significant buildings, and address current and future needs? The following are some of the issues, local coverage, links to resources, and archival material for your interest.

HANDICAP PARKING SPACES BY CITY HALL- Do we have enough?

Although there are several new handicap parking spaces along Dale Avenue by City Hall, carving out the landscape on the left for more spots is in the cards because of grant money. Why? Several people told me that Dale Avenue parking spaces are hazardous for anyone exiting on the street. Although I do not want to minimize any pressing needs, I still ask, “Really?” Have we become so car dependent we would rather a thoroughfare here than the elegant streetscape we have (once a tree lined walk from the train station.) I was also told that it will increase visitation counts. It is an unfair advantage that historic sites with access to more funding (Monticello, Smithsonian, Colonial Williamsburg, and more) are better equipped to face these seemingly no-win situations. But there are creative retrofitting options for Gloucester, too.  Universal design is about balance, not chasing funding sources at the expense of preservation and beauty, nor backwards planning.

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Dale Avenue c.1910

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City Hall, December 2017

 

 

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The site of possible razing and paving

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NEW LIBRARY 2016. And 1973.

Before the current 2015-16 library outreach, the library hosted extensive visioning sessions throughout 2013. I went to a couple, and I was invited to take part in a focus group (on schools and the library.)  A completely new library and jettisoning of the historic Saunders library building was not an expressed community value. What were some common discussion points? A strategy for digitization of historic archives and newspapers, more staff, more hours of operation (Sundays), better bathrooms, parking issues, air conditioning, electrical work, maintenance, security, maximizing technology/ content access with schools, ditto Cape Ann TV, and attendance (see this great video from Lisa Smith by kids for kids ) were some goals that were mentioned.

So it was a surprise to see the unveiling of new architectural renderings that did not showcase the Saunders house. It’s like the White House not featuring the White House. I think the Saunders house should be key and central to any building overhaul, not tossed aside. Providing universal access should preserve the intended awe factors if there are any, FOR EVERYBODY–such as the architectural details, proportion, welcoming entrance and unique heritage of a historic building. In this proposal, with Saunders severed there is zero physical access to the main event. What a missed opportunity. And for a library. What do you think?

Today’s paper mentioned that the Saunders house could be used for other purposes instead of the library. Why can’t that be the case and the library maintain its #1 asset? The downtown cultural district (which is not going forward in the same capacity) and other organizations could use the library meeting spaces. Do we really need to conjure up another stand alone endeavor?

Back in 1973, the Trustees of the Library began a fund drive for the new library addition; the city of Gloucester paid 2/3. As the Library’s General Chairman, Joe Garland led that campaign. Not surprising, the text of the brochure is a good read! The architect was Donald F. Monnell. (In 1971 Monnell was quoted in the papers speaking about the attributes of Central Grammar.  One likes him more and more.) The population served was 27,000–nearly what it is today.

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Awesome design  on this 1973 brochure for the fundraising campaign for the Sawyer Free library– led by the Joe Garland (cover). See photos of complete pamphlet

 

 

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See “Preserving our Civic Center,” great letter to the editor by Prudence Fish, Gloucester Daily Times, December 23, 2016

 

Working together

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2016 Planning term and movement- “Scaling Up”

A quip about the concept of Scaling UP that I remember from a conference this past September at Peabody Essex Museum and hosted by Essex National Heritage was to “think about the farm not just a barn”; in this case a downtown, or an entire city and region. I like thinking this way in general–architecture and planning, art, and schools. But this conference pushed me to add overlays beyond my areas of expertise or focus like wildlife and waterways. Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts–there’s so much! Mayor Romeo Theken is committed to working together and feels that planning is important and broad. One example, see Gloucester Daily Times Dec 19, 2016 Officials: City to Prioritize Its (competing) Needs 

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City Looks to Prioritize its Needs, Gloucester Daily Times, Ray Lamont, Dec. 19, 2016

There are several looming questions, evaluations, and decisions.

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Every era has choices. The prior library expansion plans began well before 1972. Possibilities swirled as they do now. (Back then, Central Grammar was also in the news, may or may not have been razed, and possible uses favored senior housing, commercial development, an annex to City Hall, and a courthouse police station.) Today there are competing building needs and uses floated for properties as diverse as: the Cape Ann YMCA on Middle Street, the post office on Dale, the Gloucester Fire Department, police headquarters, St. Ann’s, and the elementary schools–and that’s just to name a few. Let’s celebrate enviable architectural strengths, and not fuss with buildings that should be venerated, unless it’s to help them be accessible and healthy. Let’s get the balance right.

HISTORY MAKING PLEA- Archives for all

The prohibitive costs of best practice historic preservation (ADA compliant, temperature and humidity controls, security, sustainability, in house scanning/OCR/audio transcription, etc) is impossible for all the worthy collections in town, and pits them as foes when vying for funds. Let’s flip that impediment on its head and make Gloucester a model for the state.  Its treasures would be available worldwide if they were truly accessible –digitized.Two words may help accomplish this goal and free up cash for individual operations: shared overhead. It’s one hope I continue to stress–the need to share necessary resources for a state-of-the-art research and warehouse repository. This universal hub should be large enough to encompass any holdings not on view. There could be a smaller downtown central site combined with a larger off site location, such as at Blackburn. The list of sharing institutions could include and is by no means exhaustive: our municipal archives that date back to 1642; Cape Ann Museum; Sawyer Free Library; North Shore Art Association; Beauport; Hammond Castle; the Legion; Amvets and other social clubs; Sargent House; several places of worship; Gloucester Daily Times; Annisquam historical building collections; Lanesville; Magnolia’s historic collections; artists/writers estates; Veterans office; our schools; Isabel Babson Memorial Library, and perhaps businesses such as Cape Pond Ice and Gortons. The library plans don’t appear to retrofit their site(s) for this goal.

If incentives and policy supported neighborhood character over less generic construction collages51

that would be wonderful.  It’s not just Gloucester.

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Photos from today’s 9th Annual Women’s Luncheon at Cape Ann Museum

The Cape Ann Museum was closed today and early yesterday to prepare for their incredible luncheon. This year it was throughout the museum with formal seating upstairs and downstairs and a rock star video feed. It was elegant, inspiring and fun! For more information see the earlier GMG post. 

Mariposa founder Livia Cowan with Mariposa designers, Shelly Bradbury and Michael Updike, were the featured speakers. Timothy S. Hopkins catered; it was scrumptious. Tiny special red peppers looked like ornaments in our salads and were a discovery for many. The new tote bag featuring the Lee Natti chicadee print was flying out the museum shop. Kathleen Adams (harpsichord) and Dawn Pratson (flute) filled our hearts with LIVE music directly from the Jeremy Adams exquisite special exhibition. The Paul Manship tortoise was festooned for the holidays which seemed extra fitting as last year’s luncheon raised more than $25,000 towards this acquisition.

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Live Blogging: The 9th Annual Women’s Luncheon in the galleries at Cape Ann Museum

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The Cape Ann Museum is closed today for this festive and cherished women’s only soiree hosted by the museum’s active Fitz Henry Lane Society and Red Cottage Society committees in concert with the outstanding museum staff. There is ample time for lingering points of vantage throughout the exhibits, holiday shopping, and dining in the galleries upstairs and downstairs.

The 2016 gathering is catered by Timothy S. Hopkins. Mariposa founder and designers are the featured speakers. Felicia Ciaramitaro (SistaFelicia) has featured Mariposa designs in her work and on the GMG blog.

For many museum guests, it will be the last chance to visit the special exhibition featuring recent Cape Ann Museum acquisitions, closing Sunday, December 11th. The extraordinary exhibition with a modest title Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams Instrument Maker will be up through February 26th.

More information about the gallant day’s keynote conversation from the Cape Ann Museum release: Read more

Lane and the Crane

Fitz Henry Lane house, Harbor Loop, Gloucester, MA. For more information on Lane visit Cape Ann Museum’s amazing digital catalog raisonne   http://www.fitzhenrylaneonline.org or the museum at 27 Pleasant St., Gloucester, MA. Maritime Gloucester discovery museum is just around the loop from the Fitz Henry Lane house. The crane is part of the National Grid remediation work by Solomon Jacobs Park.

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Cape Ann TV has a big, beautiful and bold goal: to be one of the premiere community media stations in the country

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How? Executive Director Erich Archer states it plainly:  “The team at Cape Ann TV and this community make that goal possible. There’s something special and local: the characters, stories and the beauty of Cape Ann. People actively participate in this community, which is incredibly important.  Plus, there’s high caliber and diverse talent.”

CATV AND COMCAST

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Cape Ann TV is located at 38 Blackburn Center in Gloucester, MA, and it’s community television, local, social, and non-commercial. Unlike PBS –which produces shows for a national audience and broadcasts broadly via satellites– community television stations create, produce, and distribute content locally, via a cable provider. There are 350+ active community television stations across the country that operate with a variety of funding sources depending upon how they’re set up. *Since an FCC mandate in 1972, cable providers receive access to rights of way in exchange for funding local cable TV channels by and for the public. The cable television franchise contract fees pay for equipment, training, facilities, studio time and channels (air time). Currently the fiscal model for Cape Ann TV covers operation and capital needs.  Comcast is the local Cape Ann TV cable provider. Archer said that Cape Ann TV has spent more than a year working together with local governments, area schools, partners and citizens to outline and identify what the communities wanted to include in renegotiation terms for the next 10 year contract with Comcast. It was a massive document and effort, and is currently under negotiation.

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The original purpose of cable access continues to be providing TV studios and support for community members so they can make their own content. Our station, CATV, has much to offer that’s relevant. If you need video, CATV can make it for you whether you are an individual, non-profit, for profit or municipality. Make it a point to visit the station and use this invaluable resource. While you’re at it, why not

START YOUR OWN TV SHOW AT CATV

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Here’s your chance. Members can use the cameras, production, and the studio to make their own TV show. You can sign up for film maker and editing classes, lunch workshops, state of the art equipment, cameras, the conference room for community meetings, editing banks, and studio time. Do it. Have fun.

CREATE YOUR OWN PODCAST AT CATV

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There have been upgrades to CATV headquarters: new wall color, original art, and re-design including transposing an under-utilized lobby into a beautiful podcast studio. Podcasts are on an uptick everywhere thanks to easy on demand listening. Since the podcast studio was put in at Cape Ann TV there have been hundreds of downloads–beyond clicking and listening. Invested audiences are saving the shows to listen at their convenience. Archer notes, “We have podcasts about high school sports, one from NOAA about fishery-related issues, arts and variety, and more.” CATV encourages people to start one if they’re interested. “We’ll help them every step of the way.”

WHAT’S ON CATV?

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Cape Ann TV broadcasts original programs and local coverage: area high school sports, city council and municipal meetings, community meetings, Cape Ann Museum programs, library events, local artists and art groups, Cape Ann scenics, and school productions to name just a few. Award winning programs include: The Portrait Series; Awesome Gloucester; GMG podcastsWriters Block with John RonanAll Things Victorian; and the Emmy-winning On the Waterfront, a series about how local seafood gets to your plate.

DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN HIRE CATV FOR COMMERCIAL CONTENT?

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Does your business or organization need any professional video shot? Cape Ann TV funding sources also include for profit productions for commercial content. So, if you want to make a video for commercial purposes that will not air on Cape Ann TV, you can contract Cape Ann TV to make it. CATV can work at a high quality and any budget. Do you have an exciting event you’d like to capture? Do you need to film a board room meeting? One example- CATV produced film for a permanent display at Cape Ann Museum.

DID YOU KNOW GRANT FUNDERS AND COMMUNITY GET DOUBLE VALUE?

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CATV has strategically partnered with organizations seeking grant funding. If an organization is writing a grant proposal that includes a video element, they can write CATV into the grant, and CATV will match the grant funds with in kind services. So for example Cape Ann Seafood Exchange wrote a big grant, and they won $5000 as part of this big grant to make a video. CATV matched that award which meant Seafood Exchange could make a $10,000 value video. Next time you’re writing a grant, think about ramping up the application with a video component, and plan ahead so it can happen!

A NOTE FROM MAYOR ROMEO-THEKEN

“Cape Ann Television is an invaluable asset to Gloucester and the Cape Ann community. The city turns to CATV for important local news, information and media education opportunities. The dedicated staff members and volunteers at Cape Ann Television through the leadership of Erich Archer work tirelessly to improve and broaden their coverage of public, education, and government events, keeping our citizens informed and entertained. I have been involved with Cape Ann Television for many years, sharing my views as a city councilor, mayoral candidate and finally, today as Mayor. From this personal experience, I have always recognized the value that CATV provides, allowing local citizens the opportunity to share opinions and information. It is a critical piece of our city’s democracy.” Mayor Romeo Theken, City of Gloucester, MA

DIRECTOR CATV

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Erich Archer has been at the helm of Cape Ann TV for three years. He is a filmmaker and editor by profession. “I try to produce at least one original project a year that I’m proud of. The two On the Waterfront episodes are definitely in that category, as are the two Portrait Series pieces.”

Prior to running the station he worked in Los Angeles in TV and advertising. He moved back from LA for…love.  His wife, Tara, is a wardrobe stylist who grew up on the North Shore. They have two children and reside in Beverly. As a boy, Archer spent summers on Wingaersheek beach with his family. His parents recently moved to Rocky Neck; his mother, Kathleen Gerdon Archer, had a gallery on Rocky Neck. That’s her original art on the walls.

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Helpful links:

Mass.gov Massachusetts Community Access Television 

National Alliance for Community Media 

MassAccess (Massachusetts Community Media, INC) state advocacy membership organization and network. Cape Ann TV is a member and Archer is serving as an officer.

*For more information see Cable Communications Act of 1984 

2014 Boston Globe good article by Steven Rosenberg

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