Cape Ann Museum hosts virtual lecture series on local contemporary artists and their work

Featured artists include: Chris Williams, Ken Hruby, Loren Doucette, Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, and Brad Story

GLOUCESTER, MASS. (May 2021) – To highlight the work of local contemporary sculptors, painters, and artists, the Cape Ann Museum will host a series of monthly virtual lectures through July 8.

“With our virtual lecture series, we wanted to pivot and focus on the living artists who call Cape Ann their home, carrying on this area’s tradition as a destination for painters, sculptors, writers, poets, and all kinds of artists who are inspired by the beauty and history of this special place,” said Museum Director Oliver Barker. “With the virtual format, we can reach a much wider audience, and we welcome everyone to join us.” The lectures are free to members and $10 for non-members.

Here are the details:

Conversations with Contemporary Sculptors with Chris Williams and Ken Hruby

Saturday, May 22 at 1:00 pm

Pre-register on zoom

Free for members, $10 for non-members

Join Cape Ann sculptors Chris Williams and Ken Hruby during this virtual lecture live-streamed from the Cape Ann Museum Courtyard. Chris Williams, who works and lives in Essex, created the Gloucester Sea Serpent specifically for CAM in 2019 to honor Ronda Faloon, who served as executive director for 13 years. In addition, he has created pieces for Logan International Airport, Kendall Square in Cambridge, and Salem State University, among others.

Ken Hruby’s sculpture Uneasy Crown, Uneasy Chair, Uneasy Piece has been at CAM since 2008 when it was installed in memory of past Museum president Harold Bell. His work has been shown in numerous group and solo shows on the east coast and is included in several private and public collections, including the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago. The two Cape Ann artists will discuss their pieces on display, their processes, and their current work.

Pride in the Archives

Wednesday, June 2 at 4:00 pm on Zoom

Free for members of CAM and Historic New England, $10 for non-members

To kick off Pride Month, the Cape Ann Museum presents Pride in the Archives, a participatory discussion on the challenges and rewards of interpreting LGBTQ+ history based on archival materials. This virtual panel discussion will start with the story of Eastern Point residents Piatt Andrew, Henry Davis Sleeper, and their circle — collectively known as “Dabsville” — and continue with a consideration of Andrew and Sleeper’s friendship with neighbors John Hays Hammond, Jr. and Leslie Buswell referencing archival documents from the collections of CAM and Historic New England. Tripp Evans, author of Grant Wood: A Life, will be joined by Martha Van Koevering, Site Manager of the Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, and CAM Archivist/Librarian Trenton Carls to discuss how these specific examples provide a window into both the importance and the difficulties of actively collecting, crafting, and sharing LGBTQ+ history.

Contemporary Plein Air with Loren Doucette

Friday, June 11 at 1:00 pm

Pre-register on zoom

Free for members, $10 for non-members

As a peninsula known for its light, waters, and granite, Cape Ann has attracted plein air painters since the form began. In this virtual lecture, Cape Ann Artist Loren Doucette will talk about how contemporary artists like herself both draw inspiration and diverge from this tradition. These painters, while still working from observation, synthesize the information seen on the landscape through poetic expression rather than interpreting it realistically.

Starting with works in the Museum’s collection, including traditional plein air paintings by Aldro Hibbard and more interpretive paintings by Marsden Hartley and Nell Blaine, Doucette will discuss the difference between traditional plein air painting and some of the painters, past and present, that express a more abstracted version of the landscape. This virtual lecture will highlight the stories of artists who, with a freedom deeply rooted in experimentation and innovation, depart from traditional plein air painting to create a vision uniquely their own.

Thursday, June 24 at 1:00 pm

Photographing the Great Marsh

With Dorothy Kerper Monnelly and Doug Stewart

CAM Docent Doug Stewart will sit down with photographer Dorothy Kerper Monnelly to discuss her photographs of the Great Marsh, on display at the Janet & William Ellery James Center from June 28 – July 30. The Great Marsh was the subject of Monnelly’s 2007 book Between Lane and Sea, The Great Marsh which was just republished in 2020. Their conversation will cover the inspiration and process behind her black and white photographs and what they reveal about the everchanging landscape of the marsh. This virtual event will be streamed online via Facebook and Vimeo.

Thursday, July 8 at 2:00 pm

From Boats to Birds, A Sculptors Journey

With Brad Story and Harold Burnham

Join CAM for a conversation between Harold Burnham, a master boat designer, shipwright and sailmaker, and Essex sculptor Brad Story. After graduating from college in 1969, Story returned home to work with his father, Dana Story, in the family shipyard. The Storys had been building boats in Essex since the 1660s and the business was in young Story’s blood.  After 27 years working in the yard, Story gave it up, turning to designing and building three-dimensional works of art that combine his fascination with airplanes, birds and boat building. In this conversation, Story and Burnham will explore the relationship between ships and sculptures and how they’re tied to Cape Ann.

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

Cape Ann Museum

(978) 283-0455 x 124