Motif Monday- how about monumental murals at O’Maley by art school grads that were former alumni

The O’Maley Innovation Middle School campus setting is rather bucolic. There’s a line of apple trees that still bear fruit and suggest the original farm, playing fields are stepped down surrounded by marsh and pond, Dogtown stretches along one edge, and Pole Hill rises up across the way. Community volunteers and students have created lovely decorative gardens. Yes, the track needs work and the playing field could be upgraded to turf like Gloucester High School’s New Balance-Newell Stadium. But it’s a beautiful spot to walk or catch a game. Ed Tedesco designed O’Maley in 1971. Although I believe the architect was quite sensitive to the setting, I understand how people criticize the exterior as harsh, or worse. “It feels like a prison!” exclaim some (and others joke. It is a middle school afterall.) You know what I see on the exterior when I come to O’Maley? Beautiful walls. Interesting shapes. Expansive public space ready for art and ideas.

O’Maley walls, photos from 2015

ideal canvas for murals by former alums now emerging artists art school grads - O'Maley Innovation Middle School Gloucester Mass- Feb 3 2016 ©c ryan_100917 (13)

You can’t judge a book by its cover. OR can you? O’Maley has the potential for its shell to match the creative arts and legacy at its core. There are stunning historic murals from the 1930s and 40s in the Commons. The arts curriculum is valued and celebrated. The arts teachers are amazing. If there is any school in Massachusetts that sings out arts and legacy, let it be here. Monumental public art and street art abound in Gloucester.

Parsons Street before, after, and after

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public art in Gloucester, MA and context collages

 

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Py$eMoNeY117 21st Century Orphans, Gloucester, MA, Skribble Fish – graffiti art – not street art

And not just for flat surfaces. Artists have suggested creative responses to Americord’s striated surface like a piano keys mural along the wall (a motif you may have seen elsewhere); others proposed a changing light installation when the cultural district designation was underway. 

Stephanie Benenson’s temporary installation Harbor Voices at City Hall

Stephanie Benenson Gloucester MA Harbor Voices temporary public art light social sculpture immersive at City Hall.gif

Street art has become big business. Cities and towns around the world vie for renowned muralists in a competitive commercialized market with varying degrees of success.

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I vote Former Alumni

O’Maley Innovation Middle School has the perfect walls for showcasing creative voices of former alumni who are art school grads (or currently enrolled)– professionally trained and inspired to leave a mark. Ever since the dynamite 18UP and Under 30 exhibition, supporters hoped to catalyze possibilities for these emerging artists. Murals taken to this scale warrant investments of $15,000 per artist per wall.

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Jason Burroughs https://www.jasonburroughsgallery.com/

just a few of the grads…Chris Budrow | Kate BresnahanJason Burroughs | Lexi Chipperini |Jon Cooney | Jeff Cluett | James Curcuru | Nicole Dahlmer | Leon Doucette | Alessia LoGrasso | Avery McNiff | Micah O’Conner| Mary Sullivan

Before I saw walls of possibility. I still see that, but now I imagine specific artists and I hope you do, too. There are plenty of walls to go around at O’Maley.

 

 

a few more international street art mural examples

Continue reading “Motif Monday- how about monumental murals at O’Maley by art school grads that were former alumni”

Gloucester Public Schools 10th Annual Arts Festival TODAY! See the first student prints from Folly Cove Acorn press, GHS Cabinet Design celebrating 50 years, and more #greatartteachers #GloucesterMA

Gloucester Public School 10th Annual citywide arts festival held at City Hall, Sawyer Free and Cape Ann Museum May 12, 2018. Thanks to the fantastic teachers, all the parent and community volunteers that pull this beautiful event together, and the special host venues. The Arts Festival is strongly supported by the Gloucester Education Foundation.

A full program of performance and music is underway as well.

O’Maley & GHS students at City Hall | elementary schools at Cape Ann Museum | Gloucester High and elementary school at Sawyer Free

Here are some scenes from City Hall starting with  linocuts created by the first 8th grade printmaking classes to use the historic Acorn press on temporary loan from generous supporters of the Manship estate and thanks to Mayor Romeo Theken and O’Maley’s art teacher Brett Dunton. The invited special guest instructor was Mary Rhinelander.

CHARLES inaugural linocuts on historic Folly Cove press-teachers Brett Dunton Mary Rhinelander -GPS arts festival - City Hall Gloucester Ma - O'Maley school student art _May 12 2018 ©c

AVA - inaugural linocuts on historic Folly Cove press-teachers Brett Dunton Mary Rhinelander -GPS arts festival - City Hall Gloucester Ma - O'Maley school student art_May 12 2018 ©c ry

 

Fantastic display from Gloucester High School cabinet design and innovation– Celebrating 50 years!

GPS annual arts festival - City Hall Gloucester Mass - O'Maley middle school student art _May 12 2018 ©c ryan_101352 (8)

More children’s art from O’Maley classes displayed at City Hall

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#AcornPress in action: Mary Rhinelander demonstrates printmaking at #GloucesterMA O’Maley Middle School, also

the upcoming weekly workshop at Cape Ann Museum that Mary Rhinelander will be teaching is SOLD OUT, again. Look for future offerings.

The very dedicated and talented O’Maley art teacher, Brett Dunton, shares some action shots of fine artist and master printmaker, Mary Rhinelander, guest teaching printmaking with the authentic Acorn press in one of the 8th Grade art classes at O’Maley Innovation Middle school. Note the foot.

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Fine artist Mary Rhinelander guest teaching linoleum block printing on historic Acorn press at O’Maley Innovation Middle School, with teacher Brett Dunton art class, Gloucester, MA February 2018

Historic portraits sometimes belie the physicality of the process

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Aino Natti (Isabel’s grandfather)

Wonder if the O’Maley students will try this energetic technique? photograph of Aino Clarke from the Cape Ann Musem Folly Cove collection  Continue reading “#AcornPress in action: Mary Rhinelander demonstrates printmaking at #GloucesterMA O’Maley Middle School, also”

BREAKING #GloucesterMA: Passing the legacy– an historic Folly Cove Acorn printing press for the outstanding art department at O’Maley Middle School

Thanks to Mayor Romeo Theken, teacher Brett Dunton, Principal Lucey, and the extreme generosity of Manship Artists Residency & Studios (MARS) under the direction of Rebecca Reynolds, the O’Maley Innovation Middle School ramped up in a powerful fashion with an amazing and enviable addition to the art department:

a rare loan of a Folly Cove Acorn fine art printing press for the art room!

Acorn printing presses were used by Gloucester’s legendary Folly Cove guild of artisans, most notably Virginia Lee Burton, an internationally renowned artist, children’s picture book author-illustrator, dancer, teacher and Folly Cove co-founder. O’Maley students study Gloucester, printmaking, and the history of Folly Cove artists through a myriad of units in each grade and subject, often in partnership with Cape Ann Museum, local artists and other community partners. And now, to have this pedigree press, … Wow! Enjoy some photographs from Brett Dunton from the exciting installation day.

 

teachers Brett Dunton and Ashley Doke with 8th grade students admiring the newly installed famous Acorn press O’Maley Innovation Middle School, Gloucester MA

teachers Brett Dunton and Ashley Doke with 8th grade students admiring the newly installed famous Acorn press O'Maley Innovation Middle School, Gloucester MA

The O’Maley press is one of the last actual Folly Cove presses remaining on Cape Ann. It was owned and used by Elizabeth (Libby) Holoran and Isabel Natti, eventually taking up Holloran’s floor space in the Sarah Elizabeth Store which she opened in 1974. Superstar sculptor, Paul Manship, was Isabel Natti’s grandfather. Aino Natti, Natti’s uncle, was one of the Folly Cove co-founders and the original owner of this particular press. Acorn printing presses were fabricated and distributed by companies like the Adams Brothers in Boston circa 1830-1870. The name “Acorn” comes from the cut away which resembles the shape of an acorn; the presses are RARE and beautiful. One is on view at the Cape Ann Museum.

Mayor Romeo Theken was hopeful that MARS would consider the schools and Gloucester’s students when determing a most suitable location. Teacher Brett Dunton knows Natti and all about this famed press. He was thrilled to build a print room around it and get going. Natti had already given him some of her drying racks. This opportunity would not have happened without MARS working with donors to rescue the press and Mr. Dunton’s expertise and enthusiasm for taking it on. This has to be one of the nicest feel good full circle art stories coming home ever! I look forward to sharing some of the results from the inaugural student printmaking classes, original print editions from this stellar art room addition.

 

 

Art teachers: they get the job done. Mary Sullivan and Brett Dunton at O’Maley Innovation Middle School

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Mary Sullivan and Brett Dunton, fine artists and visual arts teachers at O’Maley Innovation Middle School, Gloucester, MA, act like art is the best subject anyone could dream of teaching. It’s evident that they’ve established an inspiring collaborative approach; they work together seamlessly and dazzle the students.  Their art rooms are just the way you’d dream they should look–ample rooms that look like art work is done there in a big way.

 

They are super resourceful and adept at re-purposing and re-inventing materials. They adhere to the ‘your trash is our treasure’ school of thought. Any donated supplies can be dropped off at room 130 before or after school.

 

Art Room Wish List

– Yogurt cups (clean)
– Cardboard (clean)
– Wood (untreated by chemicals)
– Large paper grocery bags
– Magazines
– Hardcover books
– Yarn or string
– Fabric
– Any art supplies (crayons, colored pencils, paint, brushes, etc)
– Any kind of paint (tempera, acrylic, watercolor, latex house paint . . .)
– Posters of artwork
– Hardware (hammers, nails, screwdrivers, clamps, saws, sandpaper . . .)
– Other building supplies such as carpet, tiles, and linoleum
– Doo-dads and whatcha-ma-call-its
– Anything that could possibly be turned into art

contact: msullivan@gloucesterschools.com   mcsullivan.com and bdunton@gloucesterschools.com

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drop off outside this door