Cassie the Sea Serpent makes debut in Cape Ann Museum galleries and programs this spring

Drawing of Cassie the Sea Serpent by Gloucester-born Michael Grimaldi of Grimdrops

GLOUCESTER, MASS. (April 2021) – To engage and involve more children and families at the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester-born artist Michael Grimaldi has created a family-friendly guide, Cassie the Sea Serpent, for a series of programs, a virtual lecture, and events this spring. Grimaldi, a local muralist, graphic designer, and Monserrat College of Art graduate who now lives in Beverly, will be live painting Cassie throughout the galleries in the coming weeks so that visitors can see him at work.

Inspired by the legendary story of the Cape Ann Sea Serpent, a creature that was seen in Gloucester Harbor between 1817-1819 by hundreds of residents, Cassie will be the centerpiece of activities, a socially-distanced scavenger hunt through the Museum, and a series of programs over April School Vacation Week (April 22-25). Families with children under 18 are invited to visit the Museum for free during the school vacation week.

“The importance of this initiative is that we are introducing a new youth narrative throughout our galleries – an interactive and engaging new voice to engage younger audiences in the important stories behind the art and industries that so define the seminal role that Cape Ann has played in both American art and history,” said Museum Director Oliver Barker.

In 2019, a nine-foot bronze sculpture of the Gloucester Sea Serpent was installed at the Museum’s front entrance. It was designed by Essex artist Chris Williams who has created a scaled-down version of his serpent for families to take home during the vacation week.

Beginning Friday, April 16, visitors can watch Grimaldi as he paints Cassie in the Maritime and Fisheries Gallery from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Museum Members are invited for a special after-hours event that day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. while Grimaldi paints Cassie in the Central Gallery, and light refreshments will be served.

Here are more details about the Cassie the Sea Serpent programs and events:

Live Painting in the Gallery

Friday, April 16 from 1:00-3:00 pm

Free with museum entrance: timed entrance required

CAM After Hours: Live Painting

Friday, April 16 from 6:00-8:00 pm

Members event, reservations required

Virtual Lecture: Bringing Cassie the Sea Serpent to Life

Saturday, April 17 at 1:00 pm

Explore the Cape Ann Museum through the eyes of our new family-friendly gallery guide, Cassie the Cape Ann Sea Serpent. Cassie, inspired by the legendary story of the sea serpent that visited Gloucester Harbor from 1817-1819, will be painted at child height throughout the museum by local artist Mike Grimaldi of Grimdrops. Visitors of all ages will be able to follow in Cassie’s wake to discover and engage with the Museum’s collections.

Grimaldi, a graduate of Montserrat College of Art, is a muralist and graphic artist with pieces all over Beverly and Salem. Although a Gloucester native, these paintings of Cassie the Sea Serpent will be Grimaldi’s first works on display in his hometown. See Cassie for yourself during this virtual gallery tour of the Cape Ann Museum with Grimaldi and CAM’s Education Manager, Miranda Aisling. During the tour, learn more about CAM’s new efforts to bring accessible family friendly activities directly into the galleries.

Free for members, $10 for non-members

Pre-registration required, event is on Zoom.

April Vacation Week

Thursday, April 22 – Sunday, April 25

Free Museum entrance to all families with children under 18

Take a break from the screen and come visit the Cape Ann Museum with your kids during April Vacation Week! Reserve timed entrance for you and your family to follow the Museum’s new family-friendly guide, Cassie the Sea Serpent, through the galleries. Inspired by the Cape Ann Sea Serpent, which was seen by hundreds in Gloucester Harbor between 1817-1819, Cassie poses questions and activities for students of all ages to engage with the collection. During April Vacation Week, all visitors will receive a free copy of Cassie’s Scavenger Hunt with activities and crayons included.

For more information about the Museum, its programs, exhibits, and collections, visit

The Cape Ann Museum, founded in 1875, exists to preserve and celebrate the history and culture of the area and to keep it relevant to today’s audiences. Spanning 44,000 square feet, the Museum is one of the major cultural institutions on Boston’s North Shore welcoming more than 25,000 local, national and international visitors each year to its exhibitions and programs. In addition to fine art, the Museum’s collections include decorative art, textiles, artifacts from the maritime and granite industries, three historic homes, a Library & Archives and a sculpture park in the heart of downtown Gloucester. In Summer 2021, the Museum will officially open the 12,000 square foot Janet & William Ellery James Center at the Cape Ann Museum Green. The campus also includes three historic buildings – the White Ellery House (1710), an adjacent Barn (c. 1740), and the recently acquired Babson-Alling House (c.1740), all located on the site at the intersection of Washington and Poplar Streets in Gloucester.   

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, operating hours have been reduced to better protect the safety and well-being of visitors, staff and volunteers. The Museum is currently open Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Timed tickets are required for all visitors at this time and can be reserved online at Admission is $12.00 adults, $10.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Youth (under 18) and Museum members are free. Cape Ann residents can visit for free on the second Saturday of each month. For more information please call (978)283-0455 x110 or visit  

For a detailed media fact sheet please visit

MEDIA CONTACTS:            

Ashley Elias
Teak Media
(213) 400-3402

Rebecca Robison

(978) 283-0455 x 124