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.

 

 

LIVE at City Hall: GEF Gloucester Arts Festival

Listen to sweet voices from Veterans school chorus, “Imagine”.

 

Gloucester High School chorus

 

More theater, bands and chorus coming up!

Kurt Lichtenwald and GHS robotics presented at 1pm. GHS has 11  engineering courses — teaching to the top! Showing us Propane furnaces, LADAR, magnetic Newton’s cradle (no sound), a hovercraft that can carry 60 pounds… Design. Build. Modify. (More than one kid behind me said “I can’t wait to go to high school.”) Displayed art by O’Maley Middle school artists throughout City Hall, Cape Ann Museum and Sawyer Free.

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Woodwork display is amazing!

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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