Suddenly, forsythia – Hello h̶y̶a̶c̶i̶n̶t̶h̶ scilla

Clearing at Grant Circle on the Cape Ann Museum properties revealed a carpet of grape hyacinth scilla (correction thanks to helpful GMG reader comment). The patch across the street is a favorite stretch of spring.

Forsythia, 1965, Mary Ellen Solt_ From Flowers in Concrete _Bloomington Fine Arts Department Indiana University 1966_ The Getty.jpg

NEA allocates 27 million and the winning arts applicants are…

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) 2019 grant recipients were announced this month. Poetry was competitive.

  • For the NEA 2019 Artworks 972 of 1605 eligible grants were funded (ranging from $10,000-$100,00 totaling more than $25 million)
  • For the NEA 2019 Challenge America 138 of 221 eligible applications to receive $10,000 each for a total of $1.38 million
  • For the NEA 2019 Creative Writing Fellowships in poetry–  35 of 1700 eligible applicants (none having won an NEA fellowship before) to receive $25,000 each. “Visit the Arts Endowment’s Literature Fellowships webpage to read excerpts by and features on past Creative Writing Fellows and recipients of Literature Fellowships for translation projects.”

Comparison by state from N. Dakota 1 grant $30,000 to NYC 252 grants 6.8 million

NEA 2019 grant awards state comparison © catherine Ryan.jpg
NEA 2019 grant awards popped into chart comparison©catherine ryan

 

Here are the details for Massachusetts 40 grants totaling $1,085,000. In 2019 there were three projects awarded on the North Shore: RAW Beverly; Decordova Museum; and PYD in Somerville. Continue reading “NEA allocates 27 million and the winning arts applicants are…”

My Pen in the Air | RIP poet Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver (1935-2019)

I Happen to Be Standing

I don’t know where prayers go, / or what they do. / Do cats pray, while they sleep / half-asleep in the sun? / Does the opossum pray as it /crosses the street? /The sunflowers? The old black oak / growing older every year? / I know I can walk through the world, / along the shore or under the trees, / with my mind filled with things / of little importance, in full / self-attendance. A condition I can’t really / call being alive. / Is a prayer a gift, or a petition, / or does it matter? / The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way. / Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not. / While I was thinking this I happened to be standing / just outside my door, with my notebook open, / which is the way I begin every morning. / Then a wren in the privet began to sing. / He was positively drenched in enthusiasm, / I don’t know why. And yet, why not. / I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe / or whatever you don’t. That’s your business. / But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be / if it isn’t a prayer? / So I just listened, my pen in the air.

Sign up to read to Zyla the dog at Sawyer Free Library!

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library children’s services offers fantastic weekly programming. Zyla the Therapy Dog loves a good book! The next “Sign up to read” or sit with Zyla are January 29th, March 5th and May 14th. Looking ahead: there’s plenty of time to prepare for the annual Poetry Without Paper contest co-founded by Jon Ronan with Christy Russo, Director of Children’s Services. This year, national Poem in Pocket Day falls on April 25, 2019.

 

Hundreds of riveted readers | Patricia and Donald Oresman renowned art collection selling at Doyle’s Auction 11/20/18

I’ve been an arts adviser, curator and gallerist  for more than three decades. Patricia and Donald Oresman were clients and friends– curious, erudite, generous and kind. The Doyle auction on Tuesday November 20, 2018 features 567 works from their renowned collection. Have some fun viewing – they loved to share it– here’s a link to the complete catalogue on line: https://doyle.com/sites/default/files/pdf/catalogue/2018-11-15/18OR01-catalogue_0.pdf 

Patricia and Donald Oresman sale at Doyles Tuesday November 20 2018 _
Cover art- I sold “Special Edition“, a 1936 color linocut masterwork, by Australian artist, Ethel Spowers (1890-1947) acclaimed Grosvenor School of Modern Artist 

 

photos of the Oresman collection illustrated in the Doyle auction catalogue (for Cape Ann locals- there is one work inspired by Gloucester, and some artists with connection here, e.g. Louis Lozowick, John and a Helen Farr Sloan, and a couple of works by Sally Avery, etc.)

 

Throwback photos at the Oresman library. I suppose a more accurate photo of Donald would show him sporting his favorite hat. He took it off when he met my kids 🙂 

 

Salem witch trials end with Esther Elwell, from Gloucester, Sarah Jessica Parker’s ancestor

Sarah Jessica Parker season 1 episode 1 NBC Who Do You Think You Are tv show_ ancestor ESTHER ELWELL one of 3 women from Gloucester was accused of witchcraft.jpg

In the tv show, Who Do You Think You Are? (March 5 2010), produced by Lisa Kudrow, season 1, episode 1, Sarah Jessica Parker learns that her tenth great grandmother, Esther (Dutch) Elwell, was found guilty of witchcraft in 1692. Her arrest was the last formal accusation recorded during the Salem witch trials. The grisly court was dissolved days prior to her sentencing because spectral evidence was banned. Esther lived to be 82 years old. Parker visited Danvers to meet with historians and inspect the original records, and then on to Salem to pay respects.

Did Sarah Jessica Parker come to Gloucester?

Well, not according to the final edit. The show could have filmed here.

Witches of Gloucester

Beckoned to Gloucester, Salem teenager and accuser, Betty Hubbard, officially confirmed the false suspicions in 1692. And just like that three women from Gloucester– Esther Elwell, Abigail Rowe and Rebecca Dike– were arrested for killing Gloucester resident, Mary Fitch, by witchcraft. Historians determined that nine women from Gloucester were caught up in the witchhunts, jailed, and released (by the spring of 1693). Accused were more often than not related and at odds with accusers, well off, and/or “trouble”.  Collaborating institutions and collections have gathered and digitized 17th century documents. You can peruse them here: http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/17docs.html

Later history of witches in Gloucester revolve around Dogtown. In the 1896 book,  In the Heart of Cape Ann, Charles Mann described Gloucester’s Dogtown as “practically the only ruined city in America.” By then Dogtown legends persisted about “witches” like Tammy Younger (died 1829), her aunt Luce George, Peg Wesson, and Judy Rhines.  Percy Mackaye’s 1921 poem Dogtown Common acknowledged Mann’s book, “curious reader may learn many strange, half fogotten facts concerning the old Puritan life of that region…”  Here’s the eerie opener setting a fitting scene for Halloween.

Inland among the lonely cedar dells
of old Cape Ann, near Gloucester by the sea,
Still live the dead–in homes that used to be.
     All day in dreamy spells
They tattle low with toungues of tinkling cattle
     bells,
Or spirit tappings of some hollow tree,
And there, all night–all night, out of the
     dark–
They bark–and bark.

eerie opening Dogtown Common 110 page poem by Percy Mackaye 1921.jpg

 

Apparently, when Sarah Jessica Parker starred in Hocus Pocus (1993), she did not know this family history. Some of the movie was filmed on location in Salem and Marblehead.

Ed Sanders selected as 2018 Olson lecturer presented by Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Writers Center

olson lecture - sanders print courtesy image from Cape Ann Museum Gloucester Mass.jpg

Read the press release prepared by the Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Writers Center:

Continue reading “Ed Sanders selected as 2018 Olson lecturer presented by Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Writers Center”

LAST CHANCE: Peter Morse and David West artist reception at Jane Deering Gallery September 29

art exhibition closing soon! Meet the artists at the closing reception Saturday, September 29 5-7pm. Neither Mustard Nor Teeth, photographs by Peter Morse, drawings by David West, Jane Deering Gallery, 19 Pleasant Street, Gloucester

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jane Deering September 2018

from the exhibition release:

“Neither Mustard nor Teeth, by artists Peter Morse and David West, is an exploration of the everyday discipline of the artist searching to find the extraordinary and the beautiful among the quotidian rhythms of ordinary life.

Morse’s photos call attention to the overlooked. They catch moments of light, pattern, form and structure that might otherwise be sensed only out of the corner of the eye. What is captured in the frame draws us nearer, asks us to pause. While grounded in the ordinary, they leave the viewer with questions about time and place and the seemingly familiar. West’s drawings feature the townscape of Gloucester as seen by a non-native. They are visual handshakes from a Southern alien coming to terms with a new place for the first time. The quiet empty spaces offer little peace; the architectures crowd each other and jostle for attention as they attempt to stay upright.

Both bodies of work are rooted in the act of stopping and looking, the life blood of the artist. Slowing down. Being present in the moment long enough to pay attention and to record. Whether the action is contained in the fraction of a shutter click, or the longer process of drawing, each is a response to the quiet call of objects and moments at hand. The phrase — neither mustard nor teeth — is from the essay, Of Power and Time, by the Massachusetts poet Mary Oliver. Oliver tells of the tensions between the necessity of living in the world with its demands of time and task and energy, all the while striving to see the inherent beauty of it all, to make sense of it through the creative process:

It is six a.m., and I am working. I am absent-minded, reckless, heedless of social obligations, etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written. I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt. My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely. It does not include mustard, or teeth.

Peter Morse lives in Amesbury, and David West is resident here in Gloucester. Both artists are in need of going to the grocery as well as the dentist.

Peter Morse holds a BA Summa Cum Laude from Gordon College and an MFA in Photography from the University of Hartford, CT. Residencies include Berlin, Germany, New York, NY and Portland OR. He teaches at Gordon College where he is also Manager of the Barrington Center for the Arts and the Gallery. He has exhibited in the US, Germany and Cuba. Morse maintains a studio in Amesbury MA.

David West is originally from Mississippi. He holds an MFA from Louisiana State University with a concentration in printmaking. He is Associate Professor of art at Gordon College, Wenham MA where he is Chair of the Art Department. West is also Co-Founder/Curator of ArtSpace 86 Gallery in Jackson MS. He has exhibited widely in the US. West is now living in Gloucester MA

Beautiful September exhibition: Peter Morse and David West at Jane Deering Gallery

Neither Mustard Nor Teeth
photographs by Peter Morse
drawings by David West 
September 1-30. Reception September 29, 5-7pm, Jane Deering Gallery, 19 Pleasant Street, Gloucester

 

Jane Deering September 2018

from the exhibition release:

“Neither Mustard nor Teeth, by artists Peter Morse and David West, is an exploration of the everyday discipline of the artist searching to find the extraordinary and the beautiful among the quotidian rhythms of ordinary life.

Morse’s photos call attention to the overlooked. They catch moments of light, pattern, form and structure that might otherwise be sensed only out of the corner of the eye. What is captured in the frame draws us nearer, asks us to pause. While grounded in the ordinary, they leave the viewer with questions about time and place and the seemingly familiar. West’s drawings feature the townscape of Gloucester as seen by a non-native. They are visual handshakes from a Southern alien coming to terms with a new place for the first time. The quiet empty spaces offer little peace; the architectures crowd each other and jostle for attention as they attempt to stay upright.

Both bodies of work are rooted in the act of stopping and looking, the life blood of the artist. Slowing down. Being present in the moment long enough to pay attention and to record. Whether the action is contained in the fraction of a shutter click, or the longer process of drawing, each is a response to the quiet call of objects and moments at hand. The phrase — neither mustard nor teeth — is from the essay, Of Power and Time, by the Massachusetts poet Mary Oliver. Oliver tells of the tensions between the necessity of living in the world with its demands of time and task and energy, all the while striving to see the inherent beauty of it all, to make sense of it through the creative process:

It is six a.m., and I am working. I am absent-minded, reckless, heedless of social obligations, etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written. I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt. My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely. It does not include mustard, or teeth.

Peter Morse lives in Amesbury, and David West is resident here in Gloucester. Both artists are in need of going to the grocery as well as the dentist.

Peter Morse holds a BA Summa Cum Laude from Gordon College and an MFA in Photography from the University of Hartford, CT. Residencies include Berlin, Germany, New York, NY and Portland OR. He teaches at Gordon College where he is also Manager of the Barrington Center for the Arts and the Gallery. He has exhibited in the US, Germany and Cuba. Morse maintains a studio in Amesbury MA.

David West is originally from Mississippi. He holds an MFA from Louisiana State University with a concentration in printmaking. He is Associate Professor of art at Gordon College, Wenham MA where he is Chair of the Art Department. West is also Co-Founder/Curator of ArtSpace 86 Gallery in Jackson MS. He has exhibited widely in the US. West is now living in Gloucester MA

👏👏 A Mayor that ❤️ arts: Sefatia Romeo-Theken shares Ruthanne Collinson #pocketpoem ✍️

It’s free and simple to participate in National Poem in Your Pocket Day.  From Mayor Romeo-Theken:

“I’ve selected a poem by former poet laureate, Ruthanne “Rufus” Collinson, “Jumping In”. The view from my City Hall office is the building Collinson writes about, and the poem’s span of time and special moments –celebrating kids, seniors, connections and kindness– are music to read.”- Mayor Romeo-Theken, Gloucester, MA

JUMPING IN

I was 12 years old
dreaming already
of the life within life,
writing plays and poems,
clumsy beyond description
when I arrived at Central Grammar School,
to a daily journey over the bridge,
learning about the universe of Gloucester
from my new friends,
learning art and history and language
from my new teachers.
What I will never forget
is the lesson I learned from the kind eighth grade girls
on the playground.
In elementary school, I fell down everyday at recess,
playing jump rope, trying to jump in.
My new friends at Central Grammar
taught me to look up,
to wait until the rope swung high,
to wait for the thin shimmering line
to reach its highest arc,
to enter then
and begin to keep the rhythm.
And here I am today.
The school has become a residence for the elders
and, once again,
I am learning to jump in

-RUTHANNE “RUFUS” COLLINSON

Reminder- kids poetry contest is closing soon. Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Libraray childrens services Poetry Without Paper 2018 contest And send them to the Mayor’s office– she promises to read them!

✍️🎶Happy #pocketpoem day! Three from John Ronan. What poem will you share?

It’s free and simple to participate. Carry a Poem. Share a Poem.

John Ronan, a poet, playwright, journalist and a National Endowment for the
Arts Fellow in Literature, shares two sonnets: “The Parlor” and “The Lesson.”  And the very short, “Arrowhead.”

Arrowhead
The bifacial point, found in a potato
field in Maine, is still sharp,
a Micmac weapon or crafted heart
knapped from the whole cloth of stone.
Flint’s a slap in the face, elegist
relic only as long as you look.
Says: crow shadow and opaque.
Adds: I will exist without witness.

-John J. Ronan

John Ronan served as Gloucester’s Poet Laureate 2008-2010, maintaining the website resource dedicated to Gloucester poets, Gloucester Poet Laureate, and producing Salt and Light: An Anthology of Gloucester Poetry, published spring 2010. He is the host of the Cape Ann TV (now 1623 studios) program, The Writer’s Block.  His most recent anthology is Taking the Train of Singularity South from Midtown. He read “We, Helsmen” at Mayor Romeo Theken’s 2018 Inauguration. Ronan helped to establish Poetry without Paper; the 12th annual deadline for this beloved annual tradition is approaching. Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Libraray childrens services Poetry Without Paper 2018 contest 

Poetry without Paper deadline reminder from Christy Russo Sawyer Free Library, John Ronan, O’Maley School, & Mayor Romeo Theken

Two weeks to go. Kids- send in your poems: Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Libraray childrens services Poetry Without Paper 2018 is underway

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Now in its 16th year (!) Sawyer Free’s annual poetry contest for all students who go to Gloucester schools or live in Gloucester is LIVE. Participants can submit up to 3 poems through April 30, 2018. Some of the previous winning poems are published on the library web site. 2015  2016 2017

Former Gloucester Poet Laureate, host of The Writers Block, and co-founder with Christy Russo of the dynamite Poetry without Paper contest, John Ronan, included this reminder plug along with his January column and poem in the Gloucester Daily Times: Continue reading “Poetry without Paper deadline reminder from Christy Russo Sawyer Free Library, John Ronan, O’Maley School, & Mayor Romeo Theken”

Plant a Poet-Tree! Sawyer Free Children’s Library Services April 20 poetry celebration

“April is National Poetry Month! Kids can celebrate by writing a poem & planting a tree! All supplies will be provided for this make & take program on April 20, 2018 from 2-3pm”

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Always busy, busy fun programming through children’s services at Sawyer Free Library

Poetry without Paper deadline reminder from Christy Russo Sawyer Free Library, John Ronan, O’Maley School, and Mayor Romeo Theken

IMG_20180409_160523

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Poetry Without Paper 2018 is underway!

Now in its 16th year (!) Sawyer Free’s annual poetry contest for all students who go to Gloucester schools or live in Gloucester is LIVE. Participants can submit up to 3 poems through April 30, 2018. Some of the previous winning poems are published on the library web site. 2015  2016 2017

Former Gloucester Poet Laureate, host of The Writers Block, and co-founder with Christy Russo of the dynamite Poetry without Paper contest, John Ronan, included this reminder plug along with his January column and poem in the Gloucester Daily Times:

“Students! Families! Grandparents, aunts and uncles! The annual Poetry Without Paper contest, sponsored by the Sawyer Free Library, will again open from March 1 to April 30. All students living in or attending school in Gloucester are eligible, from elementary to high school. This is the 16th year of the contest and hundreds of students participate each season, winners claiming prizes, a public reading, and a chance to be on TV. Spread the word! Watch for details at: www.sawyerfreelibrary.org.”

Mayor Romeo Theken broadcasts and celebrates National Poetry Month every April, Poetry without Paper, and Poem in Your Pocket Day which is April 26 in 2018. #pocketpoem

Poetry Without Paper posted at City Hall.jpg
Mayor Romeo Theken National Poetry Month 2018 poster at City Hall, Gloucester, Mass

O’Maley Innovation Middle School has it posted in several spots and it’s been included in newsletters since the contest opened. Good luck to all the writers!

 

What’s your favorite LOVE poem? Monthly Poetry and High Tea gatherings @SandpiperBakery by Eastern Point Lit House

Naturally Love is the theme for February, the first month for Bread Poets Society Monthly Poetry and High Tea gatherings @SandpiperBakery by Eastern Point Lit House. Philip Storey set up shop last week to spread the word.

February 2018 – What’s Your Favorite Love Poem? Lit House Philip Storey will lead. Specialty French pastries, tea, coffee and themed poetry. 3pm Sunday, February 11, 2018. Sandpiper Bakery, 65 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA. $25

Eastern Point Lit House High Tea at Sandpiper Bakery monthly poetry gatherings.jpg

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Gloucester Daily Times update on Cape Ann Reads

Look for special group exhibits and readings to be announced later in 2018- “Cape Ann Reads to Hit the Road” by Gail McCarthy, Gloucester Daily Times

This month: come to Gloucester’s City Hall on January 27 for a Cape Ann Reads celebration. Explore early drafts & drawings as well as published children’s picture art and books–all by Cape Ann artists and writers. The Book Store of Gloucester will have a satellite book shop devoted to published picture books right on site.

Gail McCarthy Gloucester Daily Times announcing Bruce J Anderson grant award for Cape Ann Reads January 8 2017

Edward Hopper at Oxford and T S Eliot at Turner Contemporary

Several European museum shows in 2018 contain examples or are devoted to American 20th century artists and modernism like the ones curated for the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, the Royal Academy, Tate Modern and British Museum.

Massachusetts loans boast the Edward Hopper painting Manhattan Bridge Loop from the Addison Gallery of Art collection, Phillips Academy, Andover, selected for America’s Cool Modernism at Oxford. Three Hopper etchings (The Cat Boat, Night Shadows, and The Railroad) are on the checklist. Hopper depicted Gloucester in over 110 works of art. Besides Hopper, notable artists and writer with various Gloucester connections selected are: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, e e cummings, and Louis Lozowick.

Edward Hopper Manhattan Bridge Loop Addison Gallery of American Art Phillips Academy Andover MA.jpg

 

Forgot the cry of gulls and the deep sea swell

 

 

Upcoming at Turner Contemporary – “Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’   a major exhibition (Sat 3 Feb – Mon 7 May 2018) considering Eliot’s watershed poem through visal arts, and Margate. I hope they turn to Gloucester and Cape Ann, unspoken in the final poem yet approachable (and specified in excised iterations). From the museum’s press release:

“Presenting artworks from the 19th century to the present, including film, photography and artefacts, the exhibition explores how contemporary and historical art can enable us to reflect on the T. S. Eliot poem, The Waste Land, and its shifting flow of diverse voices, references, characters and places.

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If Not, Not (1975-6), R.B. Kitaj, National Galleries of Scotland

In 1921, T.S. Eliot spent a few weeks in Margate at a crucial moment in his career. He arrived in a fragile state, physically and mentally, and worked on The Waste Land. The poem was published the following year, and proved to be a pivotal and influential modernist work.  Building on Turner Contemporary’s extensive experience in participation and engagement, the exhibition is being co-curated with a research group of 30 volunteers from the community, supported by the programme team at Turner Contemporary and external curator Professor Mike Tooby. Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ is being funded by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the John Ellerman Foundation.”

City Hall acoustics Inauguration Celebration 2018

Here are a few brief (less than 30 seconds each) sound snippets from the 2018 City of Gloucester Inauguration Celebration including Gordon Baird (God Bless America), Alexandra Grace, Josh Cominelli (National Anthem, You’ve Got A Friend), Fly Amero, John Ronan recitation (poem We, Helmsmen), Charlee Bianchini & Jack Tomaiolo (Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow). To see great photos and portraits of the day, see Kim Smith’s post Inspiring City of Gloucester Inauguration Ceremony 2018. To see the printed program and the Mayor’s full remarks, visit the city website: http://gloucester-ma.gov/index.aspx?nid=956. I’ll add Cape Ann TV video link if/when it’s ready. Ray Lamont’s excellent coverage in the Gloucester Daily Times Taking the Oath of Office 

Gloucester Daily Times Inauguration Celebration 2018 Ray Lamont article.jpg

 

Continue reading “City Hall acoustics Inauguration Celebration 2018”

Gloucester Writers Center knocking out must read and see projects: Cape Ann Veterans book launch at Gloucester House

Sunday December 10, 2017, 1PM, at the Gloucester House

Book launch for THE INNER VOICE AND THE OUTER WORLD: writings by veterans and their families from the Cape Ann Veterans Writers Workshop, a Gloucester Writers Center project, supported by Cape Ann Veterans Services (also stunning outreach and programming)

The inner voice and the outer world.jpg

Before Dogtown was Dogtown: Archaeological Survey project to be presented at City Hall November 29! Maybe hello blueberries bye bye Lyme Disease

Old tree Rockport Road ca.1892

Dogtown is eligible for the National Register! Will Gloucester earn another major district designation?

Nov 29th, 7PM, Public Meeting

Come to a special public presentation November 29th in Kyrouz Auditorium in Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, at 7pm.

Read excerpts from the press release shared by Bill Remsen, local project coordinator, and Mary Ellen Lepionka, co-chair Gloucester Historical Commission, and some Dogtown maps and memorabilia 1633-1961:

Continue reading “Before Dogtown was Dogtown: Archaeological Survey project to be presented at City Hall November 29! Maybe hello blueberries bye bye Lyme Disease”