street art Gloucester: 21st Century Orphans by Danny Diamond graffiti writer and mural artist

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There’s a monumental outdoor mural behind Prince Insurance at 3 Washington Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts, that changes every year. It’s sited on private property.

Thanks to the Greeke family who own Prince Insurance and let him have at it, artist and writer Danny Diamond has expressed his ideas and showcased his can command on this same outside wall annually since 2011.

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My favorite sight line is from Middle Street heading to the Captain Lester S. Wass American Legion Post 3 and the Joan of Arc sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington. It’s in a tight spot, and so is the kid with the green, green eyes staring back from the latest mural.

Diamond is using his talents to bring awareness to homelessness and the economy. Here’s an excerpt from his statement about 21st Century Orphans: “The windfall of green-backs that flies from my letters gives way to dingy news-print and beggars’ placards–this orphaned child’s currency. It’s rarely discussed, in our scenic little fishing town, that the homeless population has increased in Massachusetts by 40% since 2007, even as the national average was in decline. This in part due to the fact that the cost of living here in Mass is among the highest in the country; the cost of housing continues to increase now that the market has come back, and there is no relief in sight… Fifteen percent (over half a million) of our children here in the Bay state live in poverty; of the over seventeen-thousand homeless people here, thirty-eight percent are children.” – Danny Diamond, 2016

A Gloucester native, Diamond is busy with commercial art and commissions on both coasts.  I had a chance to ask him more about his art and writing after I did a post about the sea monster fence he painted. He brushed off the street artist description: “I consider myself a graffiti-writer and sometimes a mural-artist, but not a “street-artist” (semantic distinction).”  I asked him about Gloucester connections and if he went to the high school. Did any teachers influence him? He wrote back swiftly:

I studied art under Jackie Underwood, who was “Jackie Kapp” at the time, as well as theatre and set-design with Krista Cowan and Kim Trigilio. I went on to earn a cum laude BA in English Lit and Creative Writing at UMass Boston, class of ’06… I spent a lot of time at Artspace on Center St. as a kid, and so Gloucester’s sub-cultural grandmaster Shep Abbott had a big effect on me by bringing punk rock and mural art into downtown. I was mentored in the world of graffiti art by the late Jed Richardson of Manhattan who was a major figure in the NYC subway-train art movement of the 1980’s; he moved to Gloucester in 2001 or so and remained here until his passing in September of ’09… ” 

Diamond created a tribute chalk mural to his mentor at Minglewood Tavern. I worked in New York and saw first hand the 1980 era kings (and not so kings) of subway and club graffiti. I didn’t know Jed Richardson’s work and wondered if Diamond had an image to share for this post.

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artist Jed Richardson c.2008 (photo from artist Danny Diamond)

I also thought about the owners who turned over their wall for Diamond’s art. I learned that the building is owned by Peter Greeke who founded Prince Insurance. Aha! A creative family that understood and allows Danny Diamond the use of a large wall to practice and express his art. The Prince Insurance company is on Washington Street between Middle and Main and directly across from the Legion. It is a second generation family business that has specialized  in personal insurance for more than 35 years. It’s now co-owned by sisters, Melissa Moseley and Wendy Prendergast. A third sister, fashion designer Jennifer Greeke, operates Harpy Fashion out of the back office. The Prince Insurance storefront stands out with such original picture window displays.These windows are an entire family affair. Melissa doesn’t remember a time before the windows. Their mother creates them; Jen has made clothing, sculpted papier-mâché  creatures and mermaids. “Of course because of the community we  live in, over time artistic customers and friends joined in…like Richard Harding and the built boat. They’re just a lot of fun.”   Prince Insurance has a beautiful new website.

I hoped Danny Diamond had a record of his devoted wall mural project, which he obliterates and repaints every year. He did. Photographs below are from Diamond or his website, www.skribblefish.com.  His Instagram is @pyse117.  I added one showing a work in progress he is  completing for a new restaurant opening in Salem in February and other local commissions.

Continue reading “street art Gloucester: 21st Century Orphans by Danny Diamond graffiti writer and mural artist”

THANK YOU PASSPORTS FOR AN OUTSTANDING DINING EXPERIENCE!

Chef Eric’s Spanish inspired menu was beyond delicious and Nick Defasio from M.S. Walker selected some pretty amazing wines to go with. I highly recommend trying both of these outstanding wines and am planning to look for them at our local shops–a lovely white, the Burga’ns, Albarino, that Eric paired with a haddock entree; and a rich chocolatey red, the Casa Castilo, Monastrell, accompanying beautiful smoked paprika pork with grilled vegetables.

Passports wine dinners are typically in the $40.00 to 45.00 dollar range and I simply don’t know how they can afford to do that, truly an exceptional value The four course dinners are wonderfully inventive, the portions generous, and the wines, top of the line. Every third Thursday of the month – GO!

Sincerely, Barack Obama…

I think I have posted this letter from the White House once before, but it seemed extra fitting today of all days.  As with the letter I wrote about earlier this week, this is another piece of mail that I will always treasure.  No political rants here…just thankful for this letter…and thankful for the message.  “We wish you a long and happy life filled with chances to learn, ideas to explore, people to love, and dreams to fulfill.” Thank you.

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Cape Ann Community Bulletin Board News For 1/20/17

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Welcome To Cape Ann Community Bulletin Board

Joey C ~

A place where non-profit Cape Ann organizations can post press releases directly and then those press releases will be reposted to http://www.goodmorninggloucester.com . This is not an advertising space for businesses, fitness or wellness organizations, or music listings.

The web address will be http://www.capeanncommunity.com

To have your community organization news posted here, contact Joey C who will grant access for you to post directly.

GED Prep Math Class Starts Tuesday!

Image ~ January 19, 2017 ~ lwheels2636

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After Hours Event at the Cape Ann Museum

January 19, 2017 ~ Cape Ann Museum

CAMafterhours

Friday, January 27, 6:30 p.m. — 8:30 p.m.

An evening of friends, fun and discovery

party goers appetizers

Come celebrate at the Museum after regular visiting hours! Join us for interactive games in the galleries, a dance performance “Dancing the Woods” by artist Dawn Pratson, light refreshments and local beverages.

CAMafterhours is perfect for people looking to meet and mingle with other creative adults, switch up their date-night, and/or experience the Museum in a more hands-on way. If you haven’t visited us before, then this is the night to do so and enjoy the magic of the Museum after dark. Guests are invited to continue the evening with our collaborator, Short & Main restaurant, a short walk away.

Tickets are $20 for Cape Ann Museum members, $25 for nonmembers (ages 21+). Includes Museum admission, guided and self-guided games in the galleries, dance performances, music, hors d’oeuvres and local brews – including Far From the Tree (Salem), Old Planter’s Brewing Co. (Beverly), and Ipswich Ale Brewery (Ipswich), among others.

Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite or by calling (978)879-6349 or emailing info@capeannmuseum.org.


About the “Dancing the Woods” Performance

Dawn Pratson was an active member of the arts community in and around Cape Ann and Boston from 1983–2003 as a dancer/choreographer, musician, teacher and creative arts therapist. Dawn and friends will perform thematic movements throughout the Museum culminating in a music and dance performance in the exhibition gallery of Voicing the Woods. Performers include: Sarah Slifer Swift, Lou Cannon, Carl Thomsen, Reg Edmonds, Cynthia Williams, Sue Ann Willis, Dawn Pratson.

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Gloucester High School FREE Internship Program – Registration Now Open!

Image ~ January 19, 2017 ~ GloucesterU

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