Gloucester … A Community of Neighborhoods will be on view at the Cape Ann Museum through the month of January.
All Cape Ann residents are welcome free of charge during the month!
Gloucester … A Community of Neighborhoods is an ongoing exhibition of quilts made by members of the Rose Baker Senior Center under the direction of artist Juni Van Dyke. The thirteen quilts on display were recently donated to the Museum by the Art Program at the Rose Baker Senior Center and are now part of the Museum’s permanent collection.
Gloucester … A Community of Neighborhoods began in 2007 as a collaborative art project celebrating Gloucester’s diversity. Following the completion of a 30-foot long series of quilts celebrating the American landscape (From Sea to Shining Sea, now permanently installed at the Rose Baker Senior Center), the group went ahead with what program director Juni Van Dyke admits felt like a daunting task. Since then, with an ongoing invitation from the Art Program at the Rose Baker Senior Center, nearly one hundred participants – primarily Senior Citizens – from every corner of the community, have enthusiastically participated in the project commonly referred to as “The Neighborhood Quilt Project.” The project has since grown to include quilts representing thirteen neighborhoods – from Lanesville to Eastern Point, Magnolia to Brier Neck – with a fourteenth now in progress.
“From the very beginning” Van Dyke says, “my assurance to all was that one need not to have attended art school to create beautiful works of art…. What is necessary is time and passion.” Fabric, both accessible and forgiving, proved an ideal medium for the project, allowing for imaginative and expressive approaches to the work. While most of the participants had not had any formal art training, many of the accepted principals of fine art – balance, contrast, harmony, composition – are apparent in the works in this exhibition. As Van Dyke puts it, “the Senior’s (mostly intuitive) utilization of these principles, tethered to their tenacity, spirit of participation, and devotion to place is inspirational and helps to inform the definition of what it means to be an artist.”
In conjunction with this exhibition, Juni Van Dyke will present an illustrated talk on Saturday, January 16 at 3:00 p.m. in the Cape Ann Museum auditorium. The program will be free and open to the public.