Tag Archives: North Shore Art Association
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
There are several looming questions, evaluations, and decisions.
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
that would be wonderful. It’s not just Gloucester.
Last night after sundown I took our sweet pooch Rosie for a walk down Pirate’s Lane. There were not one, nor several, but five Cape Ann Plein Air painters stationed around the docks and all facing towards Rocky Neck and the Inner Harbor. I didn’t want to disturb them too much as they appeared to be racing against the fading light but if you click on the captions, you can learn more about each of these master painters and see galleries of their work. Read more about the Cape Ann Plein Air event here.
In the news: Boston Globe 10 places to paint the town (or the beach, or the mountains) plein air recommendations
Happy to see Cape Ann included–thanks Cape Ann Chamber for putting up the flag.
Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, and Essex are listed together under Cape Ann as a destination for plein air painting. I enjoyed reading and comparing. The first town listed, Jeffersonville, VT, has vivid detail. Cape Ann has history and scenery coming together at every turn.
I might have added that Cape Ann has been the home of the world class Cape Ann Museum, two renowned associations devoted to the advancement of art – the North Shore Art Association and the Rockport Art Association-, one of the country’s oldest continuously active and iconic art colonies on Rocky Neck, and scores of artists and galleries, because it is the number 1 place to paint.
I happened upon Peter painting a few weeks back near the lily pond on Eastern Avenue, and I just had to stop and see what he was working on. I was stunned at the beauty of his work. This is one of many pieces you can find at the TRIBUTE EXHIBITION at the North Shore Arts Association going on July 30th through August 10th. The big reception is tonight from 6-8pm!! Peter was as kind, and as talented, as you would imagine. There will be amazing work from many other artists as well. For more info go to http://www.nsarts.org NOW GO SUPPORT AND CELEBRATE OUR LOCAL ART STARS!!!!
Olive Kitteridge, the book, is a collection of short stories written by Elizabeth Stout, and is set in the town of Crosby, Maine. Olive Kitteridge was the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction.
Early that same morning I had taken Rosie for her morning walk. The sunlight streaming sideways through the fog shrouded trees was gorgeous and our hood had a new look for the day; the North Shore Art Association had become Crosby Lyons Club and the parking lot was filled with vintage cars from the 1970s and 1980s .
Snapping photos of the Cove on a morning walk and turned to leave to find the sun rising over the North Shore Art Association. Love my hood!
I am just crazy about this mitten design because of the handy flap, which when flipped back, reveals a fingerless glove. If you want to wear it flipped back all the time the button and loop closure keeps the flap securely in place. The mitten-glove even has a convenient separate thumb flap.
The only tweaking this design needs is a slightly bigger button and loop because when your hands are freezing, the small loop and ball button are a challenge to negotiate. For all the knitters who read GMG–these would be wonderful in a cashmere or alpaca blend and perhaps a pretty cable knit pattern.
The mitten-glove is a great design for photographers especially. When wearing gloves, I find it easy to accidentally press the wrong button or get myself into an unwanted mode.
Even with mitten-glove configuration, my pooch and I only lasted about ten minutes in the howling wind when we went for our daily afternoon walk yesterday—straight to the bottom of our hill (Pirates Lane at Smith’s Cove) and straightaway home. Sorry Rosie the Rocket, you’ll have to get your crazy energy out on our next walk!
North Shore Art Association
Pirates Lane at Smith’s Cove
DATE: Aug 21st – Sept 3rd 2011
RECEPTION: Friday Aug 26th 6pm-8pm
WHERE: North Shore Arts Association 11 Pirates Lane Goucester, Ma 01930
One of New Englands leading landscape and marine painters, Ken Knowles will display up to 25
original paintings and pencil drawings for sale.
Former Celtic Tommy Heinsohn said of his fellow artist,
“If painting were basketball, Ken Knowles would get moucho Tommy points!”
Ken promises a stellar show with prolific subjects including the waterfront, masterful snow scenes, and colorful street scenes of Cape Ann, which he is so well known for.
Wine and light h’ors deurves will be served at the reception on Friday Aug. 26th from 6 8pm in the Gordon Grant Gallery.
Ken Knowles has been painting in oils for over 26 years. He is considered a masterful painter in the traditional form of plein air painting. His works are part of collections all over the United States and abroad. He has won over 20 awards and is member of several associations including the North Shore and Rockport art associations.
Don’t miss your best chance to meet the artist and invest in one of his amazing works of art.
Ken Knowles resides and works in Rockport with his wife Meg, his children Walker and Clara, and his gardens.
Ken Knowles Studio 102 Main st. Rockport, Ma http://www.kenknowlesfineart.com
Thanks for all the hard work on your great blog. I know you can’t always post everything you are sent, but just wanted to let you know Jeff Weaver will be having a Solo Exhibit of his Drawings, at North Shore Arts Association’s gallery at 11 Pirates Lane, behind Duckworth’s. Jeff’s show goes up May 29th and runs through June 12th.
It will coincide with our new Member’s Exhibition II, and there will be a reception for that, which Jeff will make sure to attend, on June 5th from 2-4pm. All of our receptions are free and open to all. Come by, have a glass of wine and take in some great art.
Thanks again for all you do, loved the pictures from Kim Smith’s pre-opening party. The gallery looks beautiful.
Suzanne Gilbert Gallery Director
North Shore Arts Association
11 Pirates Lane
Gloucester, MA 01930
Here is the three part interview with Jeff we did a while back-