Gloucester Sea Serpent Sighting | Cape Ann Museum unveils new public art

CHRIS WILLIAMS_Sea Serpent bronze glass granite Cape Ann Musuem commissioned sculpture tribute to Ronda Faloon_unveiled July 20 2019_Gloucester MASS_©c ryan (2).jpg
photo caption: Chris Williams, Gloucester Sea Serpent, 2019, 9 feet tall mixed media metal sculpture (bronze, glass, granite), collection Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., a 2018 commisioned gift of CAM and donors in honor of Ronda Faloon, Cape Ann Museum Director (2006-2019). Chris Williams resides and works in Essex, Mass. © c ryan

Gloucester Sea Serpent

The Gloucester Sea Serpent is like a Massachusetts Loch Ness monster though an ocean rather than freshwater creature. Alleged sightings date back to 1638; see excellent research by Lise Breen for the HarborWalk marker #19 “The Sea Serpent”.

In 2017, the Cape Ann Museum (CAM) celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Sea Serpent’s peak folklore moment when hundreds of accounts were published in newspapers. (In comparison, the first written record of a monster in Loch Ness dates way back to 565, picks up popular speed by 1802, and on to global recognition by 1933). Swampscott and North Shore sightings surged as competition with Newport and other summer tourism hotspots increased.  Sea serpent inspired art across media continued into the 20th and 21st centuries.

Sea Serpent exhibition banner_Cape Ann Museum Gloucester MA_20171028_©c ryan
photo caption: Cape Ann Museum – street banners heralding Sea Serpent Exhibition 2017

 

Below: A Sea Serpent at Cressy Beach Stage Fort Park in Gloucester was originally painted by fine artist Robert Stephenson circa 1960 and is kept fresh by adoring community. Many moons ago, a free standing climber serpent was a favorite element at the Stage Fort Park playground. My photos in this post span years/seasons, roughly 2011-2019. Hover for descriptive details or double click & enlarge.

 

July 20, 2019

The new sculpture commission, Gloucester Sea Serpent, by Chris Williams at Cape Ann Museum was dedicated July 20, 2019,  to honor Ronda Faloon, distinguished Cape Ann Museum Director (2006-2019) who retired in 2019.

CHRIS WILLIAMS_Sea Serpent bronze glass granite Cape Ann Musuem commissioned sculpture tribute to Ronda Faloon_unveiled July 20 2019_Gloucester MASS_©c ryan (7)

 

Before

Look for the serpent’s nocturne visage: the Williams sculpture is the first one on museum grounds to incorporate light amidst its mixed media.

The Gloucester Sea Serpent at the entrance joins other sculptures on view in the Cape Ann Museum Courtyard and Sculpture Garden, a special public space dedicated to the memory of Harold Bell, President of Cape Ann Museum (1979-2003).

ALBERT HENRY ATKINS (1880-1951) Spirt of the Sea 1915 bronze [fun fact courtesy Alex Monell: architect (Cape Ann Museum & CAM board) Don Monell held this sculpture on his property until the best re-siting]

ALBERT HENRY ATKINS_ 1880 to 1951 _Spirit of the Sea_1915 bronze_Arion_Cape Ann Museum_Gloucester MASS_sculpture courtyard _20180830_©c ryan.jpg

 

ROBERT AMORY, Reflection, 1970 gift of the artist

ROBERT AMORY sculpture_Cape Ann Museum courtyard sculpture garden_20171028_© cryanLooking back to city hall through ROBERT AMORY sculpture Cape Ann Museum courtyard_Gloucester MA _20180830_©c ryan

 

KEN HRUBY Uneasy Crown, Uneasy Chair, Uneasy Piece, 1986 (cast 2008) Gift of Judith McCulloch in memory of Harold Bell

KEN HRUBY Uneasy Crown Uneasy Chair Uneasy Piece 1986 cast 2008 _Cape Ann Museum courtyard sculpture garden_20171028_© cryan

 

And dappled today, GEORGE DEMETRIOS bronze fountain, Spring

dappled GEORGE DEMETRIOS Spring bronze fountain_Cape Ann Museum_sculpture courtyard_Gloucester MASS_©c ryan _20190721.jpg

Across the street, the Cape Ann Museum sculpture park and gardens designed by Clara Batchelor, CBA Landscape Architect Principal, opened in 2011. Its centerpiece features

JOHN RAIMONDI sculpture, Dance of the Cranes

IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans curated by Ken Hruby at Rocky Neck

The creative response to military service is vast.

Several Gloucester and Cape Ann artists and writers were veterans officially engaged as combat documentarians and/or military artists, like Larry O’Toole (1908-1951), marine artist, official USCG artist and WWII Veteran.

Ron Gilson visiting Larry O'Toole oils commisioned ca1945 by Ben Pine for YMCA and Master Mariners moved to Essex Shipbuilding-  then O'Maley ©c ryan.jpg
Author and historian Ron Gilson viewing Larry O’Toole murals at O’Maley Innovation School, originally commissioned by Ben Pine ca.1945; after fire and demolition, temporarily relocated to Essex Shipbuilding Museum ; rescued and returned to Gloucester by Raye Norris. When he was a teenager, Gilson helped O’Toole with general art handling-studio assistance such as readying and moving these murals.

 

Addison Center’s 1866 portrait of Ulysses S. Grant is to the left upon entry in City Hall. (On the right is a 1946 memorial commission by Marguerite Pearson to 5 WWII marines: Sherman B Ruth, Ralph Greely, Wilfred Ringer, John M. Sweet, and Robert M. Maguire.)

Others created art in response to their service experience like fine artist, Robert Stephenson (1935-2013).

Good Morning Gloucester readers have been following an indeliable original illustrated series, Stories from Vietnam, with illustrations and writing by David Hussey. The Gloucester Writers Center established a Veterans Writing Workshop in the fall of 2013 and published a compilation book, The Inner Voice and the Outer World, launched in December 2017.  Cape Ann Veterans Services brought copies of the children’s picture book, Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhoodand super volunteer readers, into local Kindergarten, first and second grades to read aloud in the classes. Copies of the book were gifted to the classroom libraries. (Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood ©2012 is by Valerie Pfundstein with illustrations by Aaron Anderson and foreword by John Vigiano Sr., a Marine Veteran and retired FDNY Captain, who honors his sons’ memories –both lost on 9/11– by volunteering his time and resources to Gold Star families and wounded heroes.) Gloucester native and Gold Star mother, Anita Coullard Dziedzic, helped support this outreach through Cape Ann Veterans Services, to honor her son Sgt. David J Coullard.

© c ryan Bradley Smith poet and veteran
Artists-veterans throughout Cape Ann. Bradley Smith, poet, veteran

NEXT MONTH, Rocky Neck Cultural Center will present a visual arts group exhibition featuring artists who are currently active or served in the military curated by fine artist and veteran Ken Hruby:

IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans, Curated by Ken Hruby
May 17 – June 24, 2018

Courtesy photos credit info and press release below from Rocky Neck.

  • Mourning the Loss of a Comrade, GySgt Michael Fay, USMCR- Served in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Walking in Two Worlds, US Army Signals Linguist Cara Myhre, Served in Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Haunting Memories, Lt. Col. Deveon Sudduth, US Army, Served in Iraq
  • Ready for Ga Noi, Sgt. Robert Louis Williams, USMC, Combat Artist, Served in Vietnam
  • Woman Marine, GySgt Michael Fay, USMCR, Served in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Through The Elephant Grass, Sgt. Robert Louis Williams, USMC, Combat Artist, Served in Vietnam

PRESS RELEASE – “The Rocky Neck Art Colony (RNAC) proudly presents “IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans”, a multi-media, juried exhibition of over sixty works by more than thirty combat artists from the military services and by veterans making art from their experiences in zones of combat…Congressman Seth Moulton of the 6th congressional district of Massachusetts, himself a Marine Corps veteran of four tours in Iraq, states of this exhibition, The ‘incommunicable experience of war,’ as Oliver Wendel Holmes once described it, indeed often defies explanation by words alone. That veterans can share some of their experience through art can help us all better understand what they went through. And as a veteran myself, who returned to war with a camera after I left the Marines, I know how cathartic art can be for those of us who were there. The work of combat artists is important for civilians as well, to deepen their understanding of the lives of our service men and women, and their families. “In War and After” is an a very important exhibition for both communities.”

Few people are aware that when US military forces go to war, some of them carry, in addition to their weapons, their sketch pads, graphite pencils, watercolor brushes and cameras. These are combat artists, tasked to not only serve the combat mission but to record that mission in ways only an artist can.

Continue reading “IN WAR AND AFTER: The Art of Combat Veterans curated by Ken Hruby at Rocky Neck”

Leigh Slingluff show at Lone Gull Coffeehouse until February 28th

Lone Gull Coffeeshop 146 Main Street, Gloucester, MA, stands out with local art. Two dynamite mini solo shows are currently on view:

One exhibit features 20 oil paintings, acrylic paintings and gouache drawings by fine artist, Leigh Slingluff. Slingluff works on Cape Ann and resides in Rockport. You may have seen her award-winning painting on exhibit during Cape Ann Plein Air or in the seArts Art Loan @Bass Rocks annual exhibit.

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Paintings by William (‘Bill’) A. Travis are also on view www.watravis.com along the brick gallery wall.

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Lone Gull maintains a sign up sheet for 2 featured art exhibits monthly. They have begun booking into 2018 (although scattered months with 1 wall may still be available)

Bob Stephenson’s painting is on permanent display.

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Lone Gull gives space to various art books and an entry peppered with local current notices, too.

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New public art: LOOK UP downtown! Ken Riaf’s Pleasant & Main ARTISPHERE sign, last chance to see group show at Trident, wall mural on Parsons HarborWalk

Cat Ryan submits-

Hi Joey,

Look up downtown if you haven’t yet seen the wonderful Pleasant & Main ARTISPHERE sign designed and project-boosted by artist and dealer, Ken Riaf. Then head on into his Jeffrey Marshall exhibit Law & Water Gallery.

I bet you’ve seen that Ed Touchette painting catching your eye through Trident’s window—last days to see the group exhibit at Trident Gallery. Just one week away from Ed Touchette’s solo exhibit at Trident. East Gloucester and Veterans School parents please get ready to bring your kids to see his exhibit. East Gloucester kids can find an Mr. Touchette throwback tucked away on East Main. Here’s a snapshot – try and find it.

Pass through Parsons down to Rogers or up to Main to see the progress of the artists of Art Haven/Hive. Their wall mural along a private building of Parsons Street is coming along and their depiction of Man at the Wheel is filling in…check it out! We have cleaned and scrubbed out graffiti on many walls, more than once, and are happy to see new public art added alongside the temporary FISH NET street mural and Dress Code’s.

I’m not sure what artist, Bob Stephenson, would have thought of the latest mural, but I wish he could have seen it. I do know he liked the Calderwood Fish Net mural and was grateful to have the graffiti painted out, the lights installed and anytime we swept and weeded.

Special thanks this week to the folks with Dan Leaman Landscaping and Maintenance Corp for extra clean up and weeding along Parsons Street.