From Manchester Historical Museum | Once Upon a Contest Cape Ann reads opens April 6th!

Following the exhibit Cape Ann Through Artists’ Eyes-

Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads is coming to Manchester!

April 6 – April 26, 2019

  • Public Reception: April 6, 3-5PM
  • Unveiling temporary public art component by Leslie Galacar: April 6
  • Special Program: Seaside Saturday (see flyer below) featuring Juni Van Dyke April 13, 10:30-11:30AM
  • Venue: Manchester Historical Museum, 10 Union St., Manchester, MA 01944. 978-526-7230
  • Hours:  10am -3pm on Tuesday-Friday

Once Upon a Contest coming to Manchester

PDF here: Once upon a Contest – Manchester postcard

Printable flyers from the Manchester Historical Museum

Press release  specific to Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. (March 2019)

About the Once Upon a Contest 2019 travel show

Once Upon a Contest showcases award-winning children’s books by Cape Ann artists & writers. This group show based on the Cape Ann Reads 2017 Gulliver, Honor and Medal Books was made possible with support from the Bruce J Anderson Foundation | The Boston Fund and organzied and circulated by curator, Catherine Ryan.  Acclaimed children’s book author-illustrators Pat Lowery Collins, Giles Laroche and Anna Vojtech joined librarians and Bob Ritchie, Dogtown Books proprietor, on the 9 member jury panel. The Tree in Dock Square by Jean Woodbury and illustrated by Bonnie L. Sylvester is the first Cape Ann Reads Medal book. The show opened on December 18, 2018. Following its launch at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the exhibition will tour the four communities of Cape Ann throughout 2019.

Visitors will find picture books created by traditional author-illustrators (individuals who create both text and illustrations), friends and family pairings, repeat partnerships, volunteer matches, self-taught and master artists, storytellers, published authors, and educators. For a few, inclusion in this show will mark their debut display at a museum. The works on view range from preliminary mock ups and unfinished pages to final published illustrations for original books. They cover diverse themes and points of view and provide glimpses into stories and methodologies. The exhibition will include a reading nook for visitors of all ages. Each venue for Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads will feature new site-specific, temporary public art. Bonnie L. Sylvester created the first work for the debut at Cape Ann Museum, an immersive wrap around mural.

In Manchester the show will feature new work by Leslie Galacar. Galacar’s installation will offer an experience based on discovery of a series of separate elements, reinforcing a larger theme of the show in that it’s best experienced by returning many times. There’s so much to take in! Leslie Galacar illustrated “Where in the World is Catherine Abigail,” a whimsical and humorous verse narrative about the dreamy world traveling adventures of a young girl written by Michael LaPenna. Galacar moved to Manchester after years of residing, working and raising her family in Gloucester and Ipswich. She paints and illustrates every day and sells her own line of cards and wares.

A special family program has been planned for April 13. “Seaside Saturdays”  is a monthly collaboration between the Manchester Historical Museum, the Library and Early Childhood Partners serving area families with craft activities and story time built around a theme. April will be all about Cape Ann Reads.  “We are planning to do a book-making activity, of course” explains Carol Bender, Head of Youth Services for Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library, and Cape Ann Reads juror. “We are delighted to use this special Once Upon a Contest exhibit and share the show with families! Our guest-reader for the story portion of the program is Juni VanDyke who illustrated the If I were series written by James McKenna.” The two books included in the exhibit introduce young children to many North American and African safari animals. VanDyke is a Manchester resident, fine artist and Director of the Arts program at Rose Baker Senior Center in Gloucester.  

About Cape Ann Reads –

Cape Ann Reads came about in 2015 when the four public libraries on Cape Ann –Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library; Manchester by the Sea Public Library; TOHP Burnham Public Library, Essex; and Rockport Public Library– began to work together to encourage and highlight community creativity, regional collaboration, and family literacy through a focus on children’s picture books. “A passion for writing literature and the arts is one thing that ties all four communities together making Cape Ann Reads a meaningful collaboration between our four libraries and the Cape Ann Museum,” explained Cindy Grove, Director, Rockport Public Library.

During the first year of implementation, the collaborating public libraries and Cape Ann Museum offered innovative monthly programming and free picture book themed workshops for families and adults as a vehicle for family literacy, a work of art and literature, and a form of engagement and recreation. The vibrant endeavor culminated in a public art call, Cape Ann Creates for Cape Ann Reads. “What an opportunity for a talented individual or individuals to produce a lasting piece of literature with such special meaning,” exclaimed Deborah French, Director, T.O.H.P. Burnham Library, Essex.

Scores of Cape Ann creatives responded to this open call for a chance to win a first edition printing. In fact, so much interest occurred that a writer’s group led by Gloucester Writers Center was established, and volunteer artists and writers stepped up to help people without a partner. Two jury panels selected Gulliver, Honor and Medal books in the spring of 2017. Inspired by Cape Ann Reads, the country’s first children’s picture book contest hosted by four public libraries, Once Upon a Contest travel exhibition brings special attention to award-winning local artists & writers and the art of children’s picture books. 

About Manchester Historical Museum

One of Manchester’s most beloved landmarks, the Trask House on Union Street, was built in 1823 by local businesswoman, Abigail Hooper, who ran a thriving general store on the property. That same year, she married Captain Richard Trask, one of  Manchester’s most successful merchant ship captains. Abigail outlived her husband by nearly 40 years and, at the time of her death at age 96, was revered as one of Manchester’s most enterprising and public-minded citizens.

Today, the original rooms of the Trask House contain an impressive collection of period furniture, artifacts, and fine art. Especially significant are examples of the fine furniture made in Manchester during the mid 19th century. Other memorabilia on display reflect the town’s important maritime history, and its later prominence as a summer vacation destination for the wealthy during the Gilded Age. Young people will enjoy a visit to the “children’s room” with its fascinating Victorian doll house and collection of antique toys. The Exhibit Hall houses various exhibits throughout the year.

Exhibit Hall & Trask House Tours: 10am -3pm on Tuesday-Friday

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