Winslow Homer: American Passage – an evening with curator and author William R. Cross at the Sawyer Free Library

The Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library is pleased to welcome curator and local author William R. Cross for a discussion of his book Winslow Homer: American Passages on Thursday, May 26 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  

Cross’ newly published book Winslow Homer: American Passage is a definitive biography of the painter. It studies Homer in the context of how his life as an artist was shaped by the turbulent, dramatic political times he lived through, from the Panic of 1837 to the Civil War and Reconstruction. Filmmaker Ken Burns (The Civil War) comments that curator/author William Cross “has done an admirable job bringing to life this most American of painters. Finally, Winslow Homer’s brilliant work and fascinating life are united in one volume.” 

During this special presentation, Cross will discuss Homer and his art, illustrated with slides of images and photos collected from his research.  

William R. Cross is an independent scholar and a consultant to art and history museums. He served as the curator of Homer at the Beach: A Marine Painter’s Journey, 1869–1880, a nationally renowned 2019 exhibition at the Cape Ann Museum on the formation of Winslow Homer as a marine painter. Bill is a graduate of Yale College, magna cum laude, and received an MBA at Harvard Business School.  He and his wife live on Cape Ann. 

Winslow Homer: American Passage will be available for sale at The Bookstore of Gloucester, located at 61 East Main Street in Gloucester, for those interested in having it autographed at the event. 

This event is free and open to the public at the Sawyer Free Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. Registration is not required. For more information, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org

Celebrating Wellspring’s 40 Years of Supporting Families with “Voices of Belonging, Immigration Stories in Light & Sound” public art event

Artist Stephanie Benenson’s Harbor Voices Public Art creates immersive family-friendly sound and light experience: May 6 & 7

For 40 years, Wellspring has supported hundreds of families from all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life achieve employment and financial security through stable housing, education, job training and career readiness. To mark its four-decade anniversary, the Cape Ann-based nonprofit organization is hosting “Voices of Belonging: Immigration Stories in Light & Sound” to bring the stories and sentiments of immigrant families alive with music, spoken word, and laser lighting for a captivating, participatory immersive experience.

Inspired by collective storytelling and powerful personal histories, Stephanie Terelak Benenson, a sound, light, and social impact artist, founded Harbor Voices Public Art  Art in 2017. Her laser and sound installations feature more than 100 global stories of recent and ancestral immigrants to Cape Ann, ages 6 to 86, as choreographed lasers immerse you in a multilingual sound & light public art experience. 

The works celebrate empathy, cultural identity, diversity, inclusivity, and resilience from the past to the present. The stories and experience then become a vehicle for social change. Her installations have been shared in Lynn, Worcester, Boston, Gloucester, Salem, and New York City.

The “Voices of Belonging” Friday Night Opening Party will be May 6 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased online. On Saturday, May 7, “Voices of Belonging” will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to the community at no charge for the family-friendly, all-are-welcome event. Free, timed tickets are strongly encouraged but walkups will be accommodated.

Floral Arrangements Paired with Artwork, on Display at Cape Ann Museum

Cape Ann Blossoms brings together 20 floral designers to create arrangements that are paired with artworks, on view Sat. May 14 & Sun. May 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To celebrate the beginning of spring, 20 North Shore and Cape Ann floral designers will create eye-catching, beautiful arrangements that will be paired with art works around Cape Ann Museum as part of the popular Cape Ann Blossoms event on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cape Ann Blossoms will open with a ticketed Gala preview party on Friday, May 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The party will include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and a chance to have the first view of the inspired floral compositions located throughout the Museum. Tickets are available online at capeannblossomspreviewparty.eventbrite.com. Free guided tours will be offered on Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with Museum admission. Space is limited and is first-come, first-served.

The show also dovetails with Judi Rotenberg’s exhibition at the Museum, featuring large-scale paintings, many of them colorful, grand floral designs. Among the artists in the Museum collection who will be paired with local floral designers are: Walker Hancock, Virginia Lee Burton, Umberto Romano, John Sloan, Frank Stella, Fitz Henry Lane, and others.

Among the designers and garden clubs participating will be: All Purpose Flowers, Audrey’s Flower Shop, Backyard Growers, Cape Ann Garden Club, Celia’s Flower Studio, Danvers Garden Club, Generous Gardeners, Glass Onion Floral Design, Ipswich Garden Club, Maia Mattson, Manchester Garden Club, Melon Rose, Meredith McCarthy Floral Design and Event Styling, Rockport Garden Club, Sage Floral Studio, Two Finches, and Vidalia’s, Leslie Pope & Mary Ethel Stuck, and Rumphius Flowers.

Tickets for the Cape Ann Museum can be purchased here: https://www.capeannmuseum.org/visit/hours-and-admission/

Vibrant contemporary work by Judi Rotenberg, well-known Cape Ann painter and gallery owner

Large-scape paintings on view: April 30 to July 3, 2022

In time for spring, the Cape Ann Museum will proudly host an exhibit of the vibrant, large scale works of Judi Rotenberg. Life-long Rockport summer resident and highly-respected gallery owner, Rotenberg has spent 40 years creating vivid, colorful floral still life paintings that capture the fragility and strength of life. Her works will be on view from April 30 to July 3 at the Museum at 27 Pleasant St., in Gloucester.

Working primarily in acrylic, Rotenberg’s recent paintings are unabashedly beautiful, alive with color and motion.  Each composition is vibrant and fresh and represents a new challenge for her. Her canvases are rich in detail, from the foreground and the table on which a vase and bouquet sit, through the center of the canvas with its explosion of blossoms, to the top of the composition where she often includes the view across her studio or out over Rockport Harbor.     

The tradition of women artists working on Cape Ann is a strong one and through her work Rotenberg has earned a place among the most accomplished of them.  Although long overshadowed by their male counterparts, women have consistently made important contributions in the field and continue to today. Many women painters have focused on still lifes, perhaps most notably Nell Blaine, but none have endowed their work with the color and power that Rotenberg has.

In connection with this special exhibition, the Cape Ann Museum is pleased to be presenting an encore of its 2019 program, Cape Ann Blossoms, May 14 and 15. Gallery talks are also planned and information on them can be found at www.capeannmuseum.org.

Tickets for the Cape Ann Museum can be purchased here: https://www.capeannmuseum.org/visit/hours-and-admission/

Sculpting Self: Student Sculptures Paired with Works by Walker Hancock

A unique Cape Ann Museum exhibit: Youths learned about renowned sculptor and created own renditions, on view April 16 to June 12, 2022

Sculpting Self is an inventive program that had eighth graders learning about the renowned work of Cape Ann sculptor Walker Hancock (1901-1998) while creating their own sculptures for an exhibit that will pair the student and master works together. They will be on view at the Museum, 27 Pleasant St., in Gloucester from April 16 to June 12, 2022.

The program was inspired by Hancock’s Basketball Series. Over 15 years from 1961 to 1977, the sculptor made sculptures inspired by watching the Gloucester High School varsity basketball team practice.

During the 2021-2022 school year, Cape Ann Museum Education Manager Miranda Aisling visited three area schools with classes of eighth graders twice to talk about Hancock’s work and to teach the students how to create their own wire armature and then cover it in clay. Each student was asked to portray themselves doing their favorite activity from reading to dancing to listening to music to playing video games. The sculptures capture the interest of eighth graders from Manchester-Essex Middle School, Rockport Middle School, and Gloucester’s O’Maley Middle School.

Beginning in 2020-2021, the Museum sought to bring together community members across Cape Ann for its annual Community Art Exhibition. The unique initiative provides an opportunity to celebrate student artwork alongside the Museum’s collection, creating a juxtaposition of emerging and established artists’ works. Last year, the exhibition was Quilted Together, featuring more than 637 self-portraits drawn by area residents of all ages during the pandemic.

In connection with Sculpting Self, the Cape Ann Museum will be free for families during April Vacation Week and will give a Free Family Tour on the Sculptors of Cape Ann on Saturday, May 28. The exhibition opening will take place on Saturday, April 23 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm. Meg Black, PhD will be presenting CAMTalks: Behind Walker Hancock’s sculptures, The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane on Saturday, May 21.

Tickets for the Cape Ann Museum exhibits can be purchased here: https://www.capeannmuseum.org/visit/hours-and-admission/

Saunders House WPA Mural Restoration Presentation with Lisa Mehlin Saturday, 2/26, 2pm at Library

As reported by the Gloucester Daily Times, the Saunders House’s grand WPA are currently being restored by the Sawyer Free Library.

Come learn more about the historic murals and the restoration process from the project’s professional conservator Lisa Mehlin this Saturday, February 26 from 2 to 4pm on the Main Floor of the Sawyer Free Library.

Registration not required. For details, go to: sawyerfreelibrary.org or 978-325-5500.

Gloucester Education Foundation’s Annual Arts Festival on display at Sawyer Free Library – come see the community’s young artists’ talent and creativity!

The Sawyer Free Library has partnered with the Gloucester Education Foundation for the Gloucester Public School Arts Festival 2021 which showcases the artwork of local students from kindergarten through high school.

The community’s young artists’ talent and creativity is front and center for all to enjoy at the Library located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester now through June 5, 2021.

Gloucester Education Foundation’s Annual Arts Festival has kicked off in the Library’s Matz Gallery with a display of works by Gloucester High School seniors and Honors Art students, Advanced classes in Sculpture and Clay Work, and Advanced Photography.

Photo by Kyle Clifford, GHS Senior on display in Matz Gallery at Sawyer Free Library

Then, Wednesday, June 2 – Saturday, June 5, 2021, the community is invited to enjoy a special video compilation produced by the Gloucester Education featuring artwork by students of all ages, kindergarten through high school.

The video, which local filmmaker Stephen Brock generously produced, will be shown Library’s big screen on the first floor as well as in the Children’s room through the day during regular Library hours. The video will also be available to view on GEF’s website, thinkthebest.org beginning on June 6th.

Hearts created by students at Beeman Elementary School

For more information about the Gloucester Education Foundation Art’s Festival, visit thinkthebest.org and for information on the Library, go to sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Slice of Cake by GHS Senior, Aryana Moreno on display at Matz Gallery at Sawyer Free Library

Gloucester Literary and Art Trivia Night hosted by the Sawyer Free Library

How much do you know about the of Gloucester? The Sawyer Free Library wants to know! Join the Local History Librarian, Jacklyn Linsky, for a night of Gloucester Trivia focused on the community’s rich literary and art history.

Register here as a team or by yourself, all are welcomed. Community teams are encouraged!

If you have any questions please feel free to email Jacklyn at jlinsky@sawyerfreelibrary.org.  Zoom link will be provided.

For more information about this and other great community programs offered by the Sawyer Free Library visit, sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Gloucester Lyceum kicks off a new monthly series: Exercises for the Quiet Eye with Annie Storr this Saturday, Jan 23

This Saturday, January 23 the Sawyer Free Library’s GLOUCESTER LYCEUM will kick off a new monthly virtual series “Exercises for the Quiet Eye” presented by art historian and museum educator, Annie Storr. This interactive, creative program is designed to open the moment when someone can fully see the art in front of them. It aims to suspend attention, to quiet the drive to “figure out” and “move on.”

Storr developed “Exercises for the Quiet Eye” to encourage patient reflection, appreciation, and an attempt to avoid the rush to understand, or determine a set interpretation for what we see. It guides participants to use art to embrace ambiguity, intellectual exploration, and personal reflection.

This special virtual program will take place from 2-4pm on Saturdays: January 23, February 27, March 27, April 24 and May 22

Please be sure to register to join and receive the Zoom link.

Cape Ann Museum launches “Virtual Vault” lecture series and more stay-at-home activities during temporary closure

Cape Ann Museum Logo

Virtual programming from the Museum’s exhibition lectures, educational programs, and archives offers at-home opportunities during closing for COVID-19

Cape Ann Museum Video Vault

GLOUCESTER, MASS. (May 20, 2020)Although the Cape Ann Museum is closed temporarily during the pandemic to protect staff and visitors, there are many rich opportunities to experience the Museum virtually with a new initiative called CAM Video Vault, which features 60 lectures, programs, and archival material dating back to 1992.

The wide range of offerings include exhibition and program lectures by curators, artists, community leaders, educators, and others. Featuring discussions about past museum exhibitions, well-known artists with Cape Ann roots, natural environments and habitats around Cape Ann, as well as the region’s maritime history all 60 programs are accessible via the Museum’s website.

To help at-home educators and parents looking for a variety of online resources for their children, the Museum is also adding educational content from its robust programs, using art and the region’s history as the basis for art-making activities, reading adventures, and virtual tours and experiences. From the Museum archives and library, there is also now online content called “Stories from the Stacks.”

For more information about the exhibition and related programming, please visit the Museum’s website www.capeannmuseum.org.

The Cape Ann Museum has been in existence since the 1870s, working 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 June 2021, the Museum will open a new 12,000-square-foot collection storage and public exhibition space in Gloucester as part of its Cape Ann Museum Green campus. The campus includes three historic buildings – the White Ellery House (1710), an adjacent Barn (c. 1740), and the recently acquired Babson-Alling House (c.1740) which are located on the site at the intersection of Washington and Poplar Streets in Gloucester.  Visit capeannmuseum.org for details.

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. While temporarily closed due the COVID-19 pandemic, regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 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 x10. Additional information can be found online at www.capeannmuseum.org.

For a detailed media fact sheet please visit www.capeannmuseum.org/press.