Tag Archives: PUBLIC ART

Boston Commons public art: Robert Gould Shaw – Mass. 54th Regiment by Saint-Gaudens | POW MIA Freedom Tree | Boston Massacre by Robert Kraus

Three memorial monuments along a small corner of the Boston Commons by the State House  remind us of those who gave their lives for freedom.

modest Freedom Tree POW-MIA tribute

 

“The Freedom Tree: With the vision of universal freedom for mankind this tree is dedicated to Joseph Dunn and all  prisoners of war and missing in action. 1976.”

Read more about Maureen Dunn’s advocacy on behalf of her husband, Lt. Joseph Dunn, Vietnam War. Find the book, The Search for Canasta.

Boston Massacre Crispus Attucks patriots memorial by sculptor Robert Kraus

“In the Granary Burial Ground, in Boston, rest the remains of Crispus Attucks, Samuel  Gray, Jonas Caldwell, and Samuel Maverick, who, together with Patrick Carr, led by Crispus Attucks, were the first Martyrs in the cause of Amerian Liberty, having been shot by the British soldiers on the night of the fifth of March, AD 1770, known as the Boston Massacre.” 

Crispus Attucks was a longshoreman and whaler regarded as the first casualty in the Boston Massacre (‘the first to defy, the first to die’). In 1888, the state appropriated $10,000 for the commission. Robert Kraus was the sculptor and he worked with the foundry, Henry Bonnard Company of New York. The base and obelisk are Concord granite.

“The monument is of Concord granite, twenty five feet six inches high, and measures ten feet six inches at the base. The pedestal, which is round, except where a rectangular projection is made tosupport the statue and receive the relief is eight feet two inches high. The bas-releif on the face of the pedestal represents the Boston Massacre in King street. In the foreground lies Crispus Attucks, the first victim of British bullets; the centre of the scene is the old State House, behind which may be seen the steeple of the old brick or First church, which stood on Cornhill, now Washington Street. In the Upper left-hand corner is the following inscription: “From the moment we may date the Severance of the British Empire. Daniel Webster;” and in the upper right hand corner, “On that Night the Foundation of American Independenc was laid. John Adams.” Under the relief on the base appears the date “March 5, 1770.” Above the bas releif stands “Free America.” With her left hand she clasps a flag about to be unfurled, while she holds aloft in her ‘right hand the broken chain of oppression, which, twisted and torn, is falling off the plinth. At her left side, clinging to the edge of the plinth, is an eagle. Its wings are raised, its beak is open, and it has apparently just lit. Its pose is in unison with the fiery spirit of its mistrees, shown in the serious, determined, and heroic gaze of her upturned face.”

( And crushing the crown under her ‘Spirit of America’ foot.)

Read the archived 1889 dedication program which includes a letter from Frederick Douglass 

Robert Gould Shaw Massachusetts 54th Regiment memorial

Robert Gould Shaw Massachusetts 54th Regiment memorial Boston Commons by Augustus Saint Gaudens_dedicated 1889 ©c ryan 2018 March 1_ (3)

Robert Gould Shaw – Massachusetts 54th Regiment memorial, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, dedicated 1897, Boston Commons. (photo shows one of the eagles– and in the background  quite nearby you can find the POW MIA Freedom Tree and the resited Boston Massacre memorial.)

Joshua Benton Smith pushed for a memorial beginning in 1865.  It took another 20 years for a sculptor to be commissioned. A dedicated committee selected sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The tribute was unveiled and dedicated on Memorial Day May 31, 1897 (called Decoration Day at the time). Frederick Douglass was in attendance; two of his sons were in the 54th regiment. The memorial was cast by the Gorham Company foundry in Providence, R. I., at a cost of $7,000. The Gorham Company was contracted for Gloucester’s Fisherman at the Wheel memorial by Leonard Craske, and the Joan of Arc WW1 memorial by Anna Hyatt Huntington.

from the National Parks:

“Saint-Gaudens always strove for perfection regarding realism. In this relief he wanted to show a range in facial features and age, as found among the men of the regiment. This was the first time a monument depicted blacks realistically, and not as stereotypes. He hired African American men to pose, and modeled about 40 different heads to use as studies. His concern for accuracy also extended to the clothing and accoutrements.

“Saint-Gaudens, however, worked slowly. A committee member complained in 1894, “. . . that bronze is wanted pretty damned quick! People are grumbling for it, the city howling for it, and most of the committee have become toothless waiting for it!” It would still be three more years until the unveiling. In answer to criticism, Saint-Gaudens wrote:

“My own delay I excuse on the ground that a sculptor’s work endures for so long that it is next to a crime for him to neglect to do everything that lies in his power to execute a result that will not be a disgrace. There is something extraordinarily irritating, when it is not ludicrous, in a bad statue. It is plastered up before the world to stick and stick for centuries, while man and nations pass away. A poor picture goes into the garret, books are forgotten, but the bronze remains to accuse or shame the populace and perpetuate one of our various idiocies.”– Augustus Saint-Gaudens

“Many of them were bent and crippled, many with white heads, some with bouquets… The impression of those old soldiers, passing the very spot where they left for the war so many years before, thrills me even as I write these words. They faced and saluted the relief, with the music playing ‘John Brown’s Body’…. They seemed as if returning from the war, the troops of bronze marching in the opposite direction, the direction in which they had left for the front, and the young men there represented now showing these veterans the vigor and hope of youth. It was a consecration.” – Augustus Saint Gaudens

 

Motif Monday- how about monumental murals at O’Maley by art school grads that were former alumni

The O’Maley Innovation Middle School campus setting is rather bucolic. There’s a line of apple trees that still bear fruit and suggest the original farm, playing fields are stepped down surrounded by marsh and pond, Dogtown stretches along one edge, and Pole Hill rises up across the way. Community volunteers and students have created lovely decorative gardens. Yes, the track needs work and the playing field could be upgraded to turf like Gloucester High School’s New Balance-Newell Stadium. But it’s a beautiful spot to walk or catch a game. Ed Tedesco designed O’Maley in 1971. Although I believe the architect was quite sensitive to the setting, I understand how people criticize the exterior as harsh, or worse. “It feels like a prison!” exclaim some (and others joke. It is a middle school afterall.) You know what I see on the exterior when I come to O’Maley? Beautiful walls. Interesting shapes. Expansive public space ready for art and ideas.

O’Maley walls, photos from 2015

ideal canvas for murals by former alums now emerging artists art school grads - O'Maley Innovation Middle School Gloucester Mass- Feb 3 2016 ©c ryan_100917 (13)

You can’t judge a book by its cover. OR can you? O’Maley has the potential for its shell to match the creative arts and legacy at its core. There are stunning historic murals from the 1930s and 40s in the Commons. The arts curriculum is valued and celebrated. The arts teachers are amazing. If there is any school in Massachusetts that sings out arts and legacy, let it be here. Monumental public art and street art abound in Gloucester.

Parsons Street before, after, and after

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public art in Gloucester, MA and context collages

 

Py$eMoNeY117- skribbleFish- 21st century -orphans-Gloucester-Massachusetts- ©c ryan_20170107_114218.jpg

Py$eMoNeY117 21st Century Orphans, Gloucester, MA, Skribble Fish – graffiti art – not street art

And not just for flat surfaces. Artists have suggested creative responses to Americord’s striated surface like a piano keys mural along the wall (a motif you may have seen elsewhere); others proposed a changing light installation when the cultural district designation was underway. 

Stephanie Benenson’s temporary installation Harbor Voices at City Hall

Stephanie Benenson Gloucester MA Harbor Voices temporary public art light social sculpture immersive at City Hall.gif

Street art has become big business. Cities and towns around the world vie for renowned muralists in a competitive commercialized market with varying degrees of success.

street-art-seth-globepainter-julien-malland-34__700

I vote Former Alumni

O’Maley Innovation Middle School has the perfect walls for showcasing creative voices of former alumni who are art school grads (or currently enrolled)– professionally trained and inspired to leave a mark. Ever since the dynamite 18UP and Under 30 exhibition, supporters hoped to catalyze possibilities for these emerging artists. Murals taken to this scale warrant investments of $15,000 per artist per wall.

SONY DSC

Jason Burroughs https://www.jasonburroughsgallery.com/

just a few of the grads…Chris Budrow | Kate BresnahanJason Burroughs | Lexi Chipperini |Jon Cooney | Jeff Cluett | James Curcuru | Nicole Dahlmer | Leon Doucette | Alessia LoGrasso | Avery McNiff | Micah O’Conner| Mary Sullivan

Before I saw walls of possibility. I still see that, but now I imagine specific artists and I hope you do, too. There are plenty of walls to go around at O’Maley.

 

 

a few more international street art mural examples

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Join in planning now for #GloucesterMA 400th Anniversary in 2023!

All are invited to have fun, join in, share ideas for Gloucester’s 400th Anniversary possible celebrations in 2023. A public meeting will be held at City Hall on Saturday, April 28, 2018 from 1-3pm. Can’t attend? Email your input to the 400th steering committee: email gloucester400@gmail.com  and check out the 400th Anniversary Facebook page For More Info

“Although Gloucester’s 400th Anniversary is five years away, we know that those years will go by quickly.  400 years deserves a year long celebration in 2023 and a steering committee has been meeting for the last six or seven months to get the process started. Three Captains have been chosen to lead the group:  Bruce Tobey, Bob Gillis and Ruth Pino. The Committee is sponsoring a public meeting on Saturday April 28, 2018 in City Hall Auditorium…What should happen during 2023? What would you participate in? What would you miss if it didn’t happen?” 

With so much advance notice, it’s fun to ruminate. Three words come quickly to mind for one idea: Virginia Lee Burton. Burton was one of the most influential children’s book author-illustrators of the 20th century and Folly Cove textile designer and founder. She received the Caldecott medal in 1943 for The Little House. Whether for the 400th Anniversary or not, I hope one day that there are tribute commissions for Virginia Lee Burton’s beloved characters Katy from Katy and the Big Snow and Mary Ann from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel at Stage Fort playground.  Life Story and Song of Robin Hood were also informed by landscape and her life in Gloucester. (The Burton tributes could be massive, interactive and accessible bronze sculptures. Tom Otterness commissions were completed at this scale. Why not Burton? They don’t have to be. Also bring back the monumental sea serpent and the big truck. These memorable imaginative expressions were wood in the past and maintained for years. Perhaps they could be recreated with modern decking materials. And add in Burton’s Little House! )

 

Archives

May 1923 Gloucester Daily Times covers down to the wire plans tercentenary Gloucester Mass.jpg

Gloucester has a history of producing major anniversary celebrations which makes looking back through archives* inspiring for future plans. Here are a few I’ve pulled:

*digitizing Gloucester Daily Times and Gloucester’s municipal archives is another oft repeated plea of mine and others–am sending that one along to a 400th dream wish list…

1892

Link to Gloucester’s 250th memorial celebration BOOK: https://archive.org/stream/memorialofcelebr00glou

1942

August 16, 1942– the city’s second (!) Tercentenary Celebration.

 

1923 Fighting for public art –  the Fisherman at the Wheel memorial commission

On May 21, 1923, the Gloucester Daily Times published an article about the appropriations and planning for the city’s 300th Anniversary which is remarkable in content and its late date–the celebration was just months away!  The idea itself and related costs concerning a public art commission –the one that would become Gloucester’s renowned Fisherman at the Wheel Memorial– were hammered out at a heated City Council meeting. Here’s the nearly complete transcription:

COUNCIL RECONSIDERS AND VOTES $5000 TO CELEBRATION: Equal Amount Will Be Reserved for Permanent Memorial Fund–Executive Committee Held Prolonged and Animated Session Saturday Evening. May 21, 1923 (*note ______ indicates illegible copy)

After three hours of discussion and a conference of the municipal council behind closed doors lasting about three-quarters of an hour on Saturday evening, it was voted to reconsider their action whereby the $10,000 appropriated for the anniversary committee should be alloted for a permanent memorial and voted for _____ committee to expend a sum not exceeding $5000 for the celebration, and the other $5000 to be used for the creation of a permanent memorial.

The agreement as finally reached is ______________ provide for the dedication in whole or in part of a permanent memorial to be erected and paid for jointly by the _______ city of Gloucester. “The municipal council agrees that a sum of $5000 of the amount appropriated by the city for the celebration will be for the general purposes of the committee if necessary, with the understanding that all expensea for additional police protection incurred by the  committee on public safety will be paid for by the anniversary committee. And with the further understanding that the anniversary committee will do all possible to have this sum of money applied to the permanent memorial in addition to the sum reserved ____ by the municipal _____ surplus after the celebration is over, this surplus also to be for the purpose of a permanent memorial.” The meeting opened at 8.15 o’clock, with a reading of the records by Secretary Harold H. Parsons, and following this there came without hesitation_____ ing of the celebration from those present, and for a time, one was reminded of the old town meeting days. ___________ A Piatt Andrew ___________ carnival parade by members of the art colony of the city were accepted and adopted. 

Plain Talk by Chairman Barrett-  Chairman Barrett then arose and addressed the members present and said: “I sent a communication to the municipal council some time ago to find out just what standing this celebration had with them. The letter I received was not

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Juni VanDyke street art public murals coming to Rose Baker Senior Center and more great news!

Juni VanDyke is busy working on a figurative mural series that will be installed along the Rogers side of Rose Baker Senior Center in Gloucester, Massachusetts. VanDyke resides in Cape Ann and has been the stellar Director of the arts program at Rose Baker Senior Center since 1993.  Her classes are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, “elbow to elbow on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings, and in the afternoons.” All are welcome.

In addition to teaching art classes, she rotates exhibitions of art created by participants in the various art programs. Fine artist Mary McCarl and Helen Burgess will have their work on exhibit in the lobby of the senior center beginning April 4th though July 5th.

VanDyke is also curating the show “Closely Related” for Flatrocks gallery opening May 27 – June 24, 2018. The exhibit “attempts to identify and examine artistic elements that appear congruently in works by artists related by friendship or marriage, or by filial kinship, or by the duality of artist and place, or…other. Is our art influenced by our environment; our politics; the company we keep and/or by our generic connections? And is what we create truly unique? Or was Picasso right when he said: Every painting already has a mother and a father?” Exhibiting artists: Kathleen Archer, Shelly Champion, Loren Doucette, Paige Farrell, Jay McLaughlin, Barbara Moody, Hans Pundt, Lynne Sauselle, Patti Sullivan, Juni VanDyke

Juni Van Dyke working on new mural project for Rose Baker Senior Center

 

Juni Van Dyke discusses her Rose Baker Senior Center mural project ©c ryan March 2018 (2)

Phase II Rose Baker Senior Center site for a second new Juni Van Dyke mural  –after the lively figurative series is completed.

 

Juni’s geraniums at home and work- top floor windows at Rose Baker

Read more about Juni Van Dyke: Artist of such expressive power and spirit. Last year Room & Board commissioned art from Juni,  and her illustrations for children’s books were recognized by Cape Ann Reads and will be featured in a group exhibit in 2018. The collage media informed her approach with the Rogers Street series.

Larry O’Toole Amazing map and Historic murals at O’Maley School #GloucesterMA

Five monumental Larry O'Toole paintings circa 1948- reinstalled O'Maley School circa 1971 - Gloucester MA DPW crew Mike Hale, Joe Lucido, Phil Curcuru, Mike, and John inspecting 2018 wit

photo above- Five monumental Larry O’Toole (1909-1951) paintings circa 1948 were rescued and reinstalled O’Maley School circa 1982. Gloucester MA excellent DPW crew Mike Hale, Joe Lucido, Phil Curcuru, Mike, and John inspecting 2018 with ©c ryan.  Thank you DPW! City art is routinely checked. Photo by Phil Curcuru below- note the artist’s distinct “L” signature

Larry O'Toole signature photo by Phil Curcuru Gloucester MA DPW  #5 installed at O'Maley painting pre dates 1951.jpg

If you haven’t seen the series of five murals painted circa 1945 by fine artist and muralist, Larry O’Toole (1909-1951), that were rescued and installed (decades ago) at O’Maley Innovation Middle School, perhaps you’ve noticed a poster of his brilliant pictorial map around Cape Ann.

O’Toole published editions of the map in 1947 and 1948. Reproductions of “A Salty Map of Cape Ann: Gloucester-Magnolia-Rockport-Pigeon Cove-Lanesville-Bay View-Annisquam” the 1948 blue version are available at Cape Ann Museum shop.  The delightful map includes inventive and intricate details and local nods: a shout out to Ben Pine’s* wharf, “All maps like this have a sea serpent;” schooners like the Henry Ford and Gertrude Thebaud (again Pine); historic sites and characteristic scenes not to miss “Artists and Seagulls”; and upcoming landmarks to look forward to like the Annisquam Bridge slated for completion in 1950. The numbered border framing elements could have been inspired by Virginia Lee Burton.close up zoomable map (sold) can be found here 

 

Gloucester, Massachusetts Capt. Ben Pine, the man who raced the schooner Gertrude Thebaud against the Canadian schooner Blue Nose for the fisherman trophy, one of the three men who made

Ben Pine office, 1941, Howard Liberman FSA/OWI photograph

Ben Pine* portrait by FSA/OWI photographer, Howard Liberman, titled “Gloucester, Massachusetts. Capt. Ben Pine, the man who raced the schooner “Gertrude Thebaud” against the Canadian schooner “Blue Nose” for the fisherman’s trophy, is one of the three men who made Gloucester. The others were Tom Carrol and Ray Adams.” (author’s note: Ray Adams was a gal so the compliment is for two men and one woman…).

Art can be seen on the walls throughout the Gloucester Mariner’s Association in Howard Liberman’s faint photos from 1941. I’m looking for more interior shots. Some of the art could be O’Toole’s, who completed commissions for Pine.

Carved fish models at the Gloucester’s Mariners Association (Fishermen’s Institute)

Howard Liberman FSA photo Gloucester Mariners Association.jpg

 

What will Justice Lowy decide and the room where it happens | Last stop for Berkshire Museum docket SJ-2018-065 at John Adams Courthouse #BostonMA Supreme Court

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (9)

Front entrance John Adams Courthouse, Boston, MA. The Berkshire Museum case is under review by Supreme Court Justice Lowy

How did the Berkshire Museum brouhaha wind up in the highest court under SJO (Single Justice) review by Justice David A Lowy?

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, deemed it necessary to alter an original historic building and sell off its priceless core art collection in order to build a dream and survive. This controvertial move garnered attention and divided opinion.  The Trustees of the Museum explained that they hired a consultancy firm which confirmed this new direction (“New Vision”), via extensive public outreach* no less, so what gives? (*22 focus groups involving over 200 people is hardly extensive.) Opponents cried, “Foul!”, and pointed out questionable and perhaps shady fodder, i.e. would museum members and the Berkshire community have voted YES had they been told that the best works from the permanent collection must be sold off to make it happen? Also, the art was consigned to Sotheby’s June 13, 2017, but the Trustees altered the museum’s Charter after the consignment date and only then informed the “public”.  Timing is everything. There was even an infamous email with a ‘loose lips sink ships’ subject line.  We know these details because of dogged reporting by the The Berkshire Eagle, notably Larry Parnass, and a wide network. The story is urgent and compelling, the art world equivalent of a Spotlight-All the President’s Men-Pentagon Papers type investigation.

The first auctions were slated for November 2017. Shuffleton’s Barbershop by Norman Rockwell was to have been the Berkshire Museum star lot. Its presale estimate alone was 20 to 30 million. By the Fall of 2017, the museum was hit with multiple lawsuits, sued by the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Norman Rockwell descendants, and various plaintiffs. Eventually, all were folded into #TeamAGO vs. the Berkshire Museum. On November 8th, the Lower Court ruled in favor of the Museum, clearing the legal right of way to auction. The Attorney General Office appealed to the State’s supreme judicial court to block the sale for more time to evaluate and investigate the case. Attorneys for the Museum fought that request vigorously, but were denied. On November 10, 2017, the AGO procured an injunction from Judge Trainor of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, scuttling any scheduled auction prior to December 11, 2017. Allowances for extensions to build the case were granted. On February 5th, the AGO switched teams and filed jointly with its former adversary, the Berkshire Museum, petitioning the court to apply cy pres and maintaining its opinion that indeed all the art is restricted:

“As detailed elsewhere (e.g., in its filings in the litigation referenced above) the AGO believes that all of the works of art deaccessioned and proposed for sale are subject to one or more restrictions that limit the Museum’s ability to proceed with its planned sale and use of proceeds to fund an endowment, pay for operating expenses and fund renovations. The Museum continues to believe no restrictions (beyond the Museum’s charitable purposes) apply.”

This alliance left many scratching their heads  and interested parties formerly #TeamAGO adrift. Although the Rockwell plaintiffs backed off and dropped their case, law firms Sullivan & Worcester and  Foley Hoag with Barker, Epstein & Loscocco solicited amicus status on behalf of their clients.

Sullivan & Worcester Berkshire Museum

Sullivan & Worcester blog post about their position

Immediately, the AGO and the Berkshire Museum filed opposition papers. They weren’t persuasive. The Justice granted the participation of the law firms which means that the SJ-2018-065 docket was vastly enlarged and enlightened on February 27, 2018, and I had to see. And share. (Although everything I was looking for and questioned was not there.) The attorneys disagree with the AGO and Berkshire Museum proposal, and request oral argument. The AGO and Museum responses were filed after I visited. Justice David A Lowy will make that decision. He can act on filed papers related to Docket SJ-2018-065, order a hearing, or pass the case back to the full court. What will he do? I’m crossing fingers that arguments will be heard, and with the full court (which meets the first week each month and is open to the public), especially after I considered the material in person.  The Berkshire Museum could inspire a Frank Capra-esque courtroom movie treatment one day.

In the meantime, the art remains in Sotheby’s possession and the auction house stands down as the case is sorted. The docket includes Sotheby’s contract.

For armchair lawyers and detail detectives: I offer a blizzard of documents, on the eve of the next Nor’Easter blizzard and hope I’ve peaked your interest. (Leaving my analysis aside for now.)  Scroll past this post’s “read more” indicator to see interior architectural photos I took of the stunning John Adams Courthouse, and to read some of the complete and unfiltered new filings and documents related to the Berkshire Museum case, specifically-

  • AMICI CURIAE Sullivan & Worcester LLP law firm on behalf of ‘Berkshire Museum Member Plaintiffs’: James Hatt,  Kristin Hatt,  and Elizabeth Weinberg, filed Feb 26 2018, case SJ-2018-065 (52 pages)
  • AMICUS CURIAE Foley Hoag and Barker, Epstein & Loscocco – attorney Michael B Keating of Foley Hoag with attorney Daniel Epstein of Barker, Epstein & Loscocco on behalf of clients: Tom Patti, who completed two commissioned installations for the Berkshire Museum entrance and reception areas–spaces that will be gutted if the historic building is disfigured for the New Vision; Marilyn Holtz Patti – resides and works in Berkshire County as does Tom Patti; Jean Rosseau and Jonas Dovydenas- residents of Stockbridge and Lenox; James Lamme, resident of Egremont; and Donald MacGillis, resident of Pittsfield, MA. (21 pages)
  • Sotheby’s Contract with the Berkshire Museum (9 pages)
  • Affidavit from Dan Monroe, Director of the Peabody Essex Museum opposed the Berkshire Museum sale (4 pages)
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) provided major facility funding since 2000. Some related construction was completed by a board member and warrants scrutiny
  • links to prior GMG Berkshire Museum posts

Interior views John Adams Courthouse 

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (2)

The John Adams Courthouse Great Hall is stunning. On the right side in this photos is a Daniel Chester French gilded sculpture of Rufus Choate

 

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Repairs Gone Wrong – botched cleaning on City Hall Honor Roll plaques require corrective restoration

And the qualified help that’s needed is underway!

What do you do when your home repair goes very wrong? Upon evaluation, sometimes you just have to hire a new contractor to remedy mistakes. In the fall of 2014 memorial honor roll plaques in City Hall received some cleaning. The monuments were due some attention. Over time the names were no longer legible and the surfaces were grimy defeating their noble purpose. Gloucester’s outstanding City Archives and the Cape Ann Office of Veterans Services were and are able to help with research for those who can’t come in person or see them clearly.

photo caption: BEFORE photograph of one of four WW1 honor rolls in the rotunda City Hall, ca.2014

©C Ryan bronze plaque city hall 2

 

The 2014 project was not handled by the city nor administered through its committee for the arts, of which I am a member. Funds were raised privately to work on the plaques. Though well intentioned, those restoration efforts were botched (and costly at the time, so I’m told.)  The names were made more visible, but the plaques were damaged and results are scratched, streaked and blotchy.

photo after poor bronze plaque cleaning splotchy © C Ryan 20170719

A small annual budget (FY2018 $4000) that’s set aside for care of City arts and culture and monuments as part of its mission must now be redirected to fix the fix. Yes, “Sometimes you have to hire a new contractor to remedy mistakes,”  frustrating, but necessary. Perhaps the 2014 group will reimburse this cost.

Throughout 2018, you may see specialists from Skylight Studios repairing plaques within City Hall through the Committee for the Arts on behalf of the City. (Gloucester residents may recall that Skylight Studios was hired by the Commonwealth to restore the bronze doors of the Abram Piat Andrew Bridge; the doors were temporarily displayed at Cape Ann Museum before being reinstalled.)

The detailed work on the City Hall plaques will be completed in brief, focused intervals. One plaque in the rotunda will be restored last, because it’s a great opportunity to show before and after examples of contemporary restoration projects- the good, the bad and the quality. As the plaques are repaired, the detail of the raised carving and borders and most importantly the names of so many veterans will become easier and easier to read and remember.

Gloucester Ma Veterans Honor Rolls and Monuments

*author note- this post is listing interior Honor Rolls within City Hall; it’s not a complete list for all tributes in Gloucester 

GROUND FLOOR, CITY HALL
Spanish American War- “Men of Gloucester who served in the War with Spain volunteers all 1898-1902. Gloucester ‘s men, serving on land and sea won for their city  the honor of giving to her country the largest per capita of men in this war. Erected by the City of Gloucester 1930.

Honor Roll War with Spain City Hall cleaning needs to be redone  ©c ryan 20180221_095556.jpg

2014 wonky cleaning needs repair (Honor Roll to be repaired sometime 2018)

World War I Honor Rolls (rotunda and upstairs)
World Ward II Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office)
Korean Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office)
Vietnam Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office; Brian Hamilton 1980 painting of fisherman)

just outside Kyrouz Auditorium, FIRST FLOOR, CITY HALL
“Civil War (1861 1865)This tablet records the service of Company G 8th Regiment MVM in the Civil War; and War with Spain (1898 1899) occupation of Cuba; and World War 1917 1919″ Corrective repairs are underway on this trio Honor Roll. Waxy build up added in 2014 is being removed all over, and names in a small lower right corner have been attended.

 

The multi story memorial to Gloucester fishermen lost at sea was a major public art project led, designed and hand painted by Norma Cuneo, with Irma Wheeler and Ellen Ferrin in 1978, a beautiful shrine lighted by day by two tall windows. Mark Newton, then city clerk-historian, and Jerry Cook were lead researchers; the team eventually compiled a card index that could be accessed by the public along with checking this massive lost at sea mural. Research incorporated historic materials like The Fishermen’s Memorial and Record Book, by George H. Procter, published by Procter Bros. in 1873, printed matter, family archives, and newspapers. Volunteers and historians amend the sources and statistics over time. The sense of the power of a name and life is inspiring. The response and need to a tangible, accessible record was tremendous. Their work was the basis for the cenotaph installed in 2000 by the Fisherman at the Wheel memorial on Stacy Boulevard, a sacred place and pilgrimage site accessible day and night.

 

detail City hall interior Gloucester MA with detail of Gloucester IMG_20180222_125029.jpg

Cape Ann Reads Children’s Picture Book Celebration reception and fair

Calling all children’s picture book fans! The four Cape Ann library directors and Mayor Romeo Theken hope you’ll join us for a very special Cape Ann Reads reception at Gloucester’s City Hall on Saturday January 27, 2018, to honor the scores of writers and artists that participated in the Cape Ann Reads contest. The party and pop-up portfolio/book fair will be open to the public from 12pm-4pm. There will be a brief awards ceremony at 1:30. Along with the medal and honor books, the jurors selected several more for special recognition. Breaking news: a group show of these will travel to all four communities in 2018 with support from the Bruce J Anderson Foundation, a Gold Sponsor.

Cape Ann Massachusetts can now boast the country’s FIRST ever picture book contest and programming hosted by four public libraries and wonderful community partners. The contest fostered the local children’s picture book network, and business in the region. Five books were self-published (or in the works) since the contest closed, reviewed and sold in local stores. An original Cape Ann Reads trophy by local artist, Jason Burroughs, has been commissioned and will be unveiled at the celebration.

SAVE THE DATE Cape Ann Reads celebration reception Jan 27 2018 (3)

Please contact capeannreads2016@gmail.com if you’d like to sponsor a prize or award–or any cafes or restaurants that want to showcase a small tray of light fare or coffee/tea–as there’s time to be included in the printed matter.

LIVE: Go, just go! City Hall #GloucesterMA, Stephanie Benenson Harbor Voices

What a celebration of pubic art and community! And such a stunning experience in City Hall. Don’t miss Stephanie Benenson’s Harbor Voices public art installation happening now at City Hall, Gloucester, MA. Open until 8pm tonight. Tomorrow 4-8pm. Participate remotely anytime. Read more about Stephanie Benenson and Harbor Voices.

Stephanie Benenson HARBOR VOICES Dec 8 2017 City Hall Gloucester MA ©C Ryan 20171208_163630.jpg

photos – We went back twice and saw all ages visiting and myriad reactions and interactions. Julie was there from Open Doors, one of the non-profit partners in the project.

www.harborvoices.com
action@harborvoices.com
Instagram @harborvoices
Facebook @harborvoicescapeann

 

Stephanie Benenson HARBOR VOICES light show #GloucesterMA | immigration, conversation & acts of generosity manifest as public art

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing 2017 Harbor Lights 20171122_091510

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing Harbor Lights, GIF 1122091429

from a studio visit with Stephanie Benenson Nov 2017

You can join in Stephanie Benenson’s fascinating big vision, Harbor Voices, a public art and cultural piece that’s made from light, sound and community participation. Part of the project is a  large-scale and temporary LIVE light & sound installation which will happen on ten minute loops from 4-8pm on Friday December 8th, and Saturday December 9th, one of many featured events for the 2017 Middle Street Walk. Harbor Voices will be held inside the Kyrouz Auditorium in City Hall , 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA.

Come experience a sweeping ocean of sound, stories and light, drawn by the voices and acts of generosity of neighbors and friends.

Benenson, a Rockport native and North Shore based fine artist, received a prestigious and competitive RISD grant to create Harbor Voices. Benenson collected over 100 stories in eight languages of recent and ancestral immigration to Cape Ann. For the past year she led (and continues to lead) practical and creative storytelling sessions and workshops at area schools like Veteran’s Memorial and Gloucester High School,  as well as community organizations and centers such as Sandy Bay Historical Society. Students talked with Benenson about “their ancestors* and families bringing cultural heritage to Cape Ann.” She said that kids mentioned “family members that started businesses here (like Jalapenos, Sclafanis, and other cultural destinations on Cape Ann)…and how meangingful that was to them…and people that they had deep respect and admiration for…” They discussed “family recipes, music, food and how immigration historically has made American art and culture come alive.”  Mayor Romeo Theken was the first story collected. Other Cape Ann storytellers outside of the schools and non profit partners include: Jean Testaverde (Portuguese fishing ancestry), Ingrid Swan (Swedith quarrying ancestry), Heather Lovett (descendent of Roger Babson), Sal Zerilli (Awesome Gloucester and Rockport), Jan Bell, Buddy Woods, Susannah Natti (Finnish and descendent of Folly Cove designer), Rich Francis (GHS teacher), and Celestino Basille (GHS teacher).

Depending upon age and preference, stories were written, recorded, or drawn. All were mixed into materials and audio that will choreograph connections directly into the light installation, and an enlarging community. At first, Benenson thought the light might guide any audio. Instead voices continue to guide the light.

Every story and act of generosity is linked to the installation and transformed into light.

Blurring the lines between public art and social sculpture, LIVE happening and virtual action, Harbor Voices emblematically presents stories, shared connections and actions. Participants of all ages are encouraged to interact with the project www.harborvoices.com and its installation– to bathe so to speak in a community of vibrancy and waves of interconnectedness and support.  Benenson adds that from 4-6PM during the two days of this installation iteration, “children will be offered a small flashlight to engage with this artwork, allowing them a tangible moment to consider their part in this interconnected network of community and local history by creating their own beam of light.” Also, before the installation opens to the public, one hundred Gloucester High School students –including some who have already added into the piece– will come to City Hall to experience Harbor Voices.

Benenson’s promotion for Harbor Voices launched in September. Leveraging attention for this remarkably ambitious project is an essential component as more involvement means more impact. Straight away it fostered community and brought opportunities. For example, Benenson spoke about the project and shared audio of the stories with Rose Baker seniors, Gloucester Rotary and the Cape Ann Museum’s Red Cottage Society. Someone from Beverly has already underwrittten  support for a class at Veteran’s Memorial Elementary School. She spoke about the project with Joey as part of GMG podcast #253

As a third generation Cape Ann artist, Benenson is especially excited to “create art and conversations around our cultural heritage and our contributions to the vibrant mix of people that live on Cape Ann.”

See more pictures and read more about the artist

Read more

Patti Amaral Clean City Initiative thanks Jason Burroughs & others for refurbishing #PublicArt Carry In Carry Out murals @Gloucester beaches

Nice letter from Patti Amaral in today’s Gloucester Daily Times writing on behalf of the city’s Clean City Initiative. She thanked the city, donors and supporters while providing some background about the Carry In Carry Out art. In case you missed it: Nov 9 2017  Letter to the Editor

Patti Amaral thanks Jason Burroughs for Public Art and other community partners for help with beach and gardens

The murals were refurbished by Jason Burroughs in October 2017. They were designed and painted by Bob Viau from StudioVo 15 years ago. Here are a few photos documenting the refurbishing. The Wingaersheek wall needed more attention.

Carry In Carry Out mural at Good Harbor Beach BEFORE 

CONDITION BEFORE Good Harbor Beach Carry In Carry Out mural had faded. original by studiovo 2002 redone 2017 Jason Burroughs

Carry In Carry Out mural at Good Harbor Beach AFTER

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Carry In Carry Out mural at Wingaersheek BEFORE

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Carry In Carry Out mural at Wingaersheek AFTER

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BEFORE

AFTER

 

Anyone interested in sponsoring a possible update to these beach displays, please let her know!

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#GloucesterMA #publicart | 370 Main Street Action Inc mural newly repainted by artist Jason Burroughs

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On November 2 2017 David Brooks and Jason Burroughs re-installed the Action Inc public art mural, Harbor and Home, which was newly repainted by Burroughs.

Cole Herbst was the original artist of the Home and Harbor mural, installed in 2010. Herbst used spray paint, acrylics and markers. Fellow artists Jake Stafford and Giacomo Vorhees helped Herbst with the project, and Jason Burroughs was involved a bit, too. Burroughs and Herbst were students together in the Compass youth program, Action Inc. Burroughs and Herbst have been in contact about the condition of Harbor and Home and settled on the current solution. Herbst is living overseas and is pleased Burroughs revived the mural and its new iteration.

©Action Inc courtesy photo

David Brooks and Jason Burroughs re-installed Harbor and Home October 2, 2017 ©Action Inc and Jason Burroughs courtesy photo (all others c ryan)

 

2015 (by then the mural had faded) BEFORE vs 2017 AFTER

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Oct 2017

July 2015 Action mural

2015- original mural had faded

 

2010 Unveiling and 2017 Unveiling

 

Jason Burroughs worked on the mural at the HIVE Cape Ann Art Haven.

©Terry Weber photograph,Nov 2010, unveiling mural at Action then Exec Dir Tim Riley on left, artist Cole Herbert right unveiling Harbor and Home mural

©Terry Weber photograph,Nov 2010, for Cape Ann Beacon- unveiling mural at Action. On left, then Exec Dir Tim Riley and artist Cole Herbst right unveiling Harbor and Home mural

Son of a Gun We Had Big Fun | scenes from #CapeAnnBigBand summer concert at Gloucester’s famous UU Church

WOW! Son of a gun we had big fun on Middle Street Friday September 8, 2017.

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There was an ensemble mix from Cape Ann Big Band self dubbed ‘Jambalaya Horns’ at Gloucester’s famous UU Church for the last Friday Night concert of this popular summer series.  “Music on Meetinghouse Green” passed the hat for the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation (GMF) fire sprinkler project, part of the UU restoration efforts.

 

Middle Street was alive with the sounds of New Orleans thanks to the Cape Ann Big Band players: 
Gary Wolsieffer – Tuba/bass
Carlos Menezes Jr. – Saxes/Vocals

Zach Gorrell – Keys/Saxes
Rick Geraghty – Drums/Vocals
Jon Persson – Trumpet
Tom Bones – Trombone
Joe Wilkins – Guitar/Vocals

Anthony Rocco – Trumpet/Vocals

sound snippet solos:

Jon Persson trumpet (9 sec)

 

Zach Gorrell sax (19 sec)

 

Joe Wilkins guitar (13 secs)

 

I missed hearing the students from Gloucester’s O’Maley Innovation Middle School jamming with the Cape Ann Big Band. Carlos Menezes has to be among the coolest school music directors in the country.

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There was a soccer game at Gloucester High School, a short walk and many pleasant route options away. I marvel at Gloucester’s amazing public spaces.

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About the concert series
FREE! “Nine Friday Nights. Nine Great Outdoor Concerts to benefit nine local non-profits.” 
Mayor Romeo Theken likes to remind everyone that “There’s always something going on in Gloucester!” including all the free performances for most every Gloucester Summer NightGloucester MA Free Outdoor Performances Daily…

Fish here now

Someone’s been carving more – now there’s fish schooling up, “Sacred Cod”, is chain saw carving commission by Doug out of Lynn. Find the tree stump carved into public art between Walgreens and Orange Leaf, roughly 102 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA. There’s a ‘cap’ atop the column which fostered various descriptions and predictions (suggestion of street lamp or light, quotas, more to come…) 

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GIF public art tree sculpture fish schooling up Gloucester MA

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Someone’s carving where were we – earlier post work in progress

There are extensive examples of fish and public art in Gloucester. For a quick mini FISH SCULPTURE TRAIL …Head down the street for another intricate wood carving of fish in Latitude 43 arts collection

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and close by  Aristides Demetrios swirling Sea Harvest sculpture fountain (click here for more about that one)  at Sawyer Free Library.

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Perfect! Toodeloos! is perfect sponsor for The Princess Bride HarborWalk summer cinema tonight

Toodeloos! and Island Art and Hobby at 142 Main Street is year round fun. They’ve consolidated two long standing creative and well curated independent local stores together into one space: both a fabulous local toy store and a professional art supply shop.

 

Toodeloos! is between the Birdseye and Winslow Homer HarborWalk story moment markers, and a short jaunt to the summer cinema at I4C2.

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gentleman reading the Winslow Homer plaque on the HarborWalk trail today, Gloucester MA

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James Owen Calderwood and Cape Ann Art Haven murals are such a great pass through on Parsons between Main and Rogers (across the street from Toodeloos!)

And from the HarborWalk marker at St. Peter’s park, it’s easy to check out the new murals by Danny Diamond at Cape Ann Brewery 11 Rogers Street!

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HarborWalk Summer Cinema 2017 poster

 

Diamond in the rough…

but not for long! Danny Diamond is completing the monumental Cape Ann Brewery mural wrap on the Rogers Street side today.

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Cape Ann Brewery is located at 11 Rogers Street on the water by St. Peter’s park. If you’re in town it’s a gorgeous day for a harbor walk to check the painting out LIVE! I’ll post more info and photographs of the mural in progress.

If you miss seeing him in action today, you’ll have another chance as he’s signed on to paint LIVE again at the Harvest Festival. You can follow Danny on Instagram @pyse117 and http://www.skribblefish.com

before…

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during…

Danny Diamond in action mural Cape Ann Brewery

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