Friends of the Sawyer Free Library Annual Art Auction

Have you checked out the Friends of Sawyer Annual Art Auction yet?

If not, come by soon to the Library’s Matz Gallery to preview and bid on the incredible art before the online auction begins on Friday, October 1 and runs through Tuesday, October 5 on www.sawyerfreelibrary.org.

The benefit auction features over 50 exceptional quality works, including paintings, drawings, and mixed media, all generously donated by established and emerging artists throughout the Cape Ann community including Coco Berman, Ray Crane, David Curtis, Carol Loiacono, Peter Tysver, Jeff Weaver, and so many others.

The bidding book available through September 30 in the Matz Gallery. The highest September bids will be the beginning bid for the online auction October 1-5.

All proceeds from this annual event benefit the Sawyer Free Library. The funds support a variety of special programs offered throughout the year for children, teens, and adults along with museum passes made available to the community, and many other Library requests.  

The Friends of the Sawyer Free Library are very grateful for the talented and generous artists who offer their art, time, and talent year after year to make this library fundraiser a success.

So don’t miss it! Come and join the fun! Enjoy the art, bid for those pieces you love and support the support the Sawyer Free Library! It is a Win Win for everyone!

To learn more about the Annual Art Auction, the Friends of the Sawyer Free Library, and how to become involved, please visit: www.sawyerfreelibrary.org.

“Chess in the Amphitheater” at the Sawyer Free Library

Chess is more popular now than ever! Are you looking to learn the basics of the game, for a partner to play, a challenge, a new move? Then you’re in luck! Kicking off this Saturday, September 18, the SAWYER FREE LIBRARY is hosting CHESS IN THE AMPHITHEATER, a new weekly program from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm each Saturday through October.  All ages and abilities are welcome!

Sawyer Free Library’ Weekly “Chess in the Amphitheater” begins 9/18

The weekly Saturday sessions will offer an opportunity for people to learn how to play chess including the fundamentals and tips for playing a better game. For more experienced chess players looking to play a match, there will be several boards and pieces with time clocks. All chess players will be paired with a partner who will challenge and engage them at their skill level. 

Chess in the Amphitheater will be led by Gloucester’s own Kim Genereux, an avid chess player herself and a passionate supporter of both amateur and professional level chess. 

This new program is open to players of all levels, ages and abilities. Weather permitting, those interested are welcome to gather in the Library’s Amphitheater anytime between 11 am and 1 pm to learn and play chess with the last games beginning at 12:45 pm. No reservations or advanced signup is needed.

For more information visit: sawyerfreelibrary.org

Friends of the Sawyer Free Library ANNUAL ART AUCTION- The Bidding Has Begun!

THE ANNUAL ART AUCTION sponsored by the FRIENDS OF THE SAWYER FREE LIBRARY is now on display in the Matz Gallery located in the main lobby of the Sawyer Free Library throughout the month of September!

Come In, Enjoy and Bid on the exceptional works of art, including paintings, drawings, and mixed media, all generously donated by talented artists throughout the Cape Ann community including: Jeff Weaver, Ray Crane, Peter Tysver, Carol Loiacono, David Curtis and Coco Berman.

The Bidding Book is available through September 30 in the Gallery for silent bids. The top bid from the September bidding will be the beginning bid for the Online Auction being held October 1-5.  

Please note, this year’s live auction has been moved online due to health precautions. Details are forthcoming.

Selections of art work being auctioned to benefit the Sawyer Free Library.

All proceeds from the Art Auction benefit the Sawyer Free Library. So be sure to bring your family, friends, neighbors and more along with you to the Matz Gallery this month, to preview the beautiful art, and bid on your favorites!

For more information about the Art Auction and the Friends of the Sawyer Free Library go to sawyerfreelibrary.org

Sawyer Free Library honors legacy of Gloucester’s Local Civic Leader Janis Davidson Stelluto

On Tuesday morning, August 10 the Sawyer Free Library hosted a ribbon-cutting to commemorate their amphitheater’s new awning in memory of one of Gloucester’s preeminent and beloved public citizens, the late Janis Davidson Stelluto.

Dr. Michael Stelluto, Janis’ husband, her family, friends and colleagues, along with the Sawyer Free Library leadership, came together to mark the official opening of the Library’s now shaded expanded outdoor space. Gloucester’s Mayor Sefatia Romeo Thenken , former chair of the City Planning Board Jack Clarke, President of Library Board of Trustees Mern Sibley and Library Director Jenny Benedict offered remarks prior to the ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Through the Stelluto family’s generosity, the Library was able to bring to fruition the installation of a state-of-the-art awning over its amphitheater as a lasting tribute to their family matriarch Janis Davidson Stelluto, who dedicated herself to serving the Gloucester community for over two decades. Among many other organizations, Janis Stelluto served in leadership roles at the Sawyer Free Library for more than twenty years.

Sawyer Free Library Amphitheater Awning Dedication and Ribbon Cutting with Stelluto Family
Stelluto Family joined by Jack Clarke, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Thenken, Library Director Jenny Benedict

Shaded by the new awning, the Sawyer Free Library’s outdoor amphitheater located on Dale Avenue now serves as an inviting venue for Library programs, public performances, including theater and musical performances, art exhibits, lectures, and community activities. 

“We are very grateful for the Stelluto family’s generosity,” said Mern Sibley, the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library’s Board of Trustees’ President.  “Janis made it her life’s work to find ways to improve our Gloucester community, all the while seeing beauty in the world. It only seems fitting that the awning has been installed in her memory, creating a welcoming space where people can take advantage of all that the Library offers while enjoying being outside.”

“The awning has created a welcoming outdoor gathering space for Sawyer Free Library’s summer programs which are open and free to the community,” said Library Director Jenny Benedict.  “From children’s storytimes and adult book club gatherings to family concerts, we have found with the new awning, the sky’s the limit to what we can do!  Stay tuned because we have big plans, and we can’t imagine Janis Stelluto would want it any other way.” 

The Sawyer Free Library is open throughout the summer, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday 12 – 7:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am to 1 pm and 24/7 at sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Summer Fun at the Sawyer Free Library

There’s one month left of summer reading, and the Sawyer Free Library has prizes for children, teens, and adults who want to jump into the action!

Click HERE to see how much fun Clawdia the Library Lobster and friends are having this summer!

Or better yet, come into the library today or visit sawyerfreelibrary.org to learn more about Sawyer Free Library’s summer reading programs.

View video here: https://fb.watch/6-3tKDVoMk/

Sawyer Free Library’s New Public Computers

The Sawyer Free Library is excited to share that it has 8 newly upgraded public computers which are now available to the public on the Main Floor of the Library. 1-hour sessions are available with a 2-hour daily limit.

Be sure to head to the Library to do some job hunting, explore the its online Gloucester history resources, research their vast databases, and much more!

Sawyer Free Library’s summer operating hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday 12 – 7:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am to 1 pm and 24/7 at sawyerfreelibrary.org.

For more information about the technology available and all the library’s programs and resources visit: sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5501.

Sawyer Free Library’s Summer Workshops for Job Seekers

The Sawyer Free Library’s Job Seekers Summer Workshop Series continues through the summer. The workshops, presented by career counseling expert Gary Gekow, are free and accessible to those in the Gloucester community and beyond. Each offer practical advice and guidance to those looking to discover a new career path, gain new job skills, find jobs opportunities. Register HERE for the free classes!

To follow are the upcoming virtual classes:  

The Importance of Linked In, Tuesday, July 27, 7-8:30 pm

Did you know that there are over 467 million LinkedIn users worldwide? The workshop will review best practices as they relate to online profile creation and managing one’s account. The class will also highlight the many additional usages of LinkedIn, including the importance of joining groups and getting others to offer testimonials. 


Online Job Search and Resume Submittal, Tuesday, August 3, 11 am-12:30 pm & 7-8:30 pm

This workshop will analyze and discuss numerous online search strategies, including job alerts, job boards, job aggregators, and company  employment pages. The group led by expert Gary Gekow will then discuss how to best utilize these websites for submitting one’s resume. 

The Art of Networking, Tuesday, August 10, 7-8:30pm

Job fairs, corporate hiring events, Meetups, and other online social media platforms are just some avenues where people can promote their networking skills. While attending these events and dropping off a resume is a good start, deeper engagement is required in today’s job market. Learn from the career professional about networking strategies to better enhance your employment attainment prospects. 


Adjusting to a Changing New Normal, Tuesday, August 24, 7-8:30pm

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on employment issues and job search trends. This interactive virtual Zoom meeting will address a series of topics including, but not limited to working from home, remaining positive and productive amidst disruptions to everyday life, building relationships through collaborations, and taking advantage of free online tools. 

The Job Seekers Summer Workshop Series is a part of the Sawyer Free Library’s recently launched Resources for Job Seekers Program. The program also features one-on-one resume sessions and a dedicated webpage, available in over 100 world languages, with extensive resources specially curated by Library staff and expert-led virtual workshops.  

For more information about the program, call 978-325-5500 or email: jobseeker@sawyerfreelibrary.org. To register for a workshop session or to reserve a resume review session, go to sawyerfreelibrary.org


This program has been made possible through a federal Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) grant awarded by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner (MBLC).

 

The Grill is Hot at the Sawyer Free Library!

Yes, you can become the envy of your neighbors by becoming the ultimate grill master!

All you have to do is join the Sawyer Free Library on Wednesday, July 21 from 2:30-4:30pm for a fun and informative live and in-person event and learn all you need to know about Summer Grilling from local Farm-to-Table Chef Justus Dunton.

Chef Dunton has worked in premier and starred restaurants from Boston to Costa Rica. He has created his own company, Dagger Board Hospitality that brings farm-fresh, hand forraged, and delicious food to our local community through his pop-up dinners and teaching programs.

Weather permitting, we will meet outside in the Sawyer Free Library amphitheater.

Register here as space is limited!

For more information, go to SawyerFreeLibrary.org

Adult Book Bingo at the Sawyer Free Library

Get in on the summer fun at the Sawyer Free Library with ADULT SUMMER READING 2021: BOOK BINGO!

From now until September 1, 2021, those 18 and older can keep track of the books they read on the Sawyer Free Library’s downloadable custom bingo card by writing the title and author in the matching square.

Each completed horizontal, vertical or diagonal line enters you into a raffle to win $25, $50, or $75 Cape Ann Gift Certificates.

Thanks to the generous support of The Friends of the Sawyer Free Library, program participation is free, and registration is now open for this and all family summer reading programs. Check out all the fun activities, events and reading challenges for children and teens too!

Sawyer Free Library’s summer operating hours are Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday 12 – 7:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am to 1 pm and 24/7 at sawyerfreelibrary.org.

For more information about the “Summer at the Sawyer Free Library,” or to register for programs, visit: sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5501.

Murals to be Given New Life at Sawyer Free Library’s Historic Saunders House

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library is pleased to announce the restoration and conservation of its grand murals by renowned artist Frederick L. Stoddard (1861-1940) with the assistance of Howard Curtis (1906-1989). Located in the Library’s historic Saunders House, the murals were painted in 1934 as part of the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration. Along with Gloucester’s City Hall, the Sawyer Free Library was a local beneficiary of the federal government program designed to create jobs for artists and bring art to public places and communities across the country.

“Restoring these significant WPA murals depicting Gloucester’s origins is not only our responsibility but our great privilege. They are community artistic treasures and historically significant features of the Saunders House,” said Mern Sibley, the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library’s Board of Trustees’ President. “This project will preserve these unique works for historic study and enjoyment by residents and visitors.”

Saunders House WPA Murals

The artists’ work, completed over 80 years ago, was done entirely in oil paint on the bare plaster wall, giving the murals an antique appearance, harmonizing with the age of the Saunders House constructed in 1764.  Built by Thomas Saunders, a prosperous merchant and a Representative to the Massachusetts General Court, at the time, it was one of the grandest houses in Gloucester and Boston’s North Shore. It became the permanent home of the Sawyer Free Library in 1884 when Samuel Sawyer generously deeded it for a public Library.

The Library’s murals titled “Scenes of the Region,” depict maritime culture against a backdrop of the agrarian life that supported the early settlement of Gloucester. Filling the great space throughout the main stairway of the Saunders House, the murals capture  the activity of the busy working harbor with views of the distant rocky shoreline, the city, Rocky Neck, and Ten Pound Island. They also feature a simplified representation of Dogtown Common and old “Whale’s Jaw,” along with other colorful scenes offering unique glimpses of what life was like in Gloucester’s early days.

“As stewards of our city’s library, we are committed to the Saunders House’s preservation, as it is still the anchor of the Sawyer Free Library, rich with history and purpose,” added Sibley. “It is appropriate that this mural restoration project is the first of many as we move forward in realizing a reimagined, renovated, and expanded Sawyer Free Library, one that is worthy of our heritage and our future.”  

The Stoddard mural restoration will be done by local conservator Lisa Mehlin of Essex, MA, who holds a Master of Art Conservation, and has seventeen years of experience in the conservation of oil paintings for government agencies, private institutions, and individual clients in the U.S. and Canada.  She most recently completed work on the murals in The Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens for the Trustees of the Reservations in North Andover. 

The project will be completed in two phases with the first being consolidation, ensuring that all original mural pigment is still attached to the plaster.  Phase two is the visual restoration process. After securing the pigment to the plaster, paints will be used to carefully tone back any white gaps where the paint flaked away, allowing the original design to shine through once again.  The project is funded through Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library corporate funds.

The next phase in preserving and restoring Saunders House is anticipated to begin in early 2022, planned under the guidance of the Saunders House Stewardship Committee of the Library Board. The work will include, but not be limited to, stabilization of the building structure and restoration of the murals in the Anderson Room. Further renovation is planned to improve accessibility and upgrade building systems to support contemporary use by Library staff and the public. 

For more information about the Saunders House’s mural project and the concept design for the 2025 Sawyer Free Library and Saunders House, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org.