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.

 

 

Countdown to Deborah Cramer’s Narrow Edge 7PM talk at Sawyer Free May 4th | Matz Gallery is primed with fine art exhibit

IMG_20170502_070857

Fresh from a National Academies of Sciences talk and before taking flight to the Indiana Dunes Birding Festival (hyperlinked because I know you’re going to want to Google it), multi award-winning author Deborah Cramer will give a lecture about the making of the Narrow Edge on Thursday May 4th from 7-8:30PM at Sawyer Free Library, 2 Dale Avenue, in her hometown, Gloucester, MA. The talk is sponsored by the library, Eastern Point Lit House, Kestrel, and The Gloucester Writers Center.

SPECIAL EXHIBITION

Red knots and horseshoe crabs–and Deborah Cramer— inspired artists Susan Quateman, Michael DiGiorgio, Janet Essley, Patty Hanlon, and George Textor. Their art is featured in a special group exhibit in Sawyer Free’s Matz Gallery alongside photographs from Cramer’s journey. As far as architecture, identity and culture go, a gallery threshold for a library in Gloucester is pretty perfect.

Susan Quateman writes about  her “silk paintings, horseshoe crabs and red knots: Lee Steele, Susan’s 91 year young silk painter friend and former Folly Cove Designer, gave her horseshoe crab shells she’d found on Folly Cove 25 years ago. They’re no longer found there. Susan used them as models to interpret with Jacquard dyes on silk, and painted the red knots from photographs.” Quateman’s  Narrow Edge series premiered at Cedar Tree Gallery in Essex.

IMG_20170501_160600

IMG_20170501_160454

IMG_20170501_160656

IMG_20170501_160603

IMG_20170501_160606

 

DEBORAH’S TALK THIS THURSDAY 7PM

The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab and an Epic Journey
Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s | IndieBound

The Narrow Edge
Best Book Award from the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering
Rachel Carson Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists
Reed Environmental Writing Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center

2017, participant in PBS American Experience film “Rachel Carson”

Piping plover fans local author Deborah Cramer on sandpipers is a must read and oh and dogs

Deborah Cramer upcoming Talks:

National Academies of Sciences, April 30th
Sawyer Free Library, May 4th
Indiana Dunes Birding Festival, May 6th
Northeast Migration Monitoring, May 17th
Salem Literary Festival, June 25th
Thoreau Society, July 12th

DEBORAH CRAMER BOOKS