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

ArtTalk: Conversations with Essex Artists during ArtWeek

essex ArtTalk_20190419-postcards for May 4 2019.jpg

Essex news from Lee Spence and Lynne and Jay Havighurst:

ArtTalk: Conversations with Essex Artists

Date: Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 10AM – 12PM

Hosted by Essex River Cultural District

Event Location: Essex Town Hall, 3rd Floor, 30 Martin Street, Essex, MA 01929
(An accessible facility)

Get to know a diverse group of Essex artists as they share thoughts on the creative process, inspirations and influences behind their art, in a casual conversation moderated by Karen Ristuben (Program Director, Creative County Initiative at Essex County Community Foundation) with audience Q&A.  Hear from poet Erica Funkhouser, whose latest book, Post and Rail, undertakes an exploration of family history, one mother’s compelling silences and our recent discovery of a way to “hear” gravitational waves that have been traveling to earth from billions of years ago.  Mixed media artist Susan Guest-McPhail, passionate about the process of experimenting and starting new, explores the mystery of creating a non-objective painting.  Glassblower James McLeod of The Bubble Factory uses steel or wood coupled with glass –  creating tension between a very fragile material and a seemingly unbreakable, “heavy” material –  to generate an emotional response and connection to these objects.  Sculptor Chris Williams bends, shapes and welds metal into life-like works of art that appear caught in a moment of stillness.  His process of bending and twisting the metal gives each piece a pulse. Essex Arts Collective comprises the second panel of artists.  This dynamic group of women artists create collaboratively and collectively to inspire each other as they pursue their art.  Featured members are Melissa Glorieux, Jen Groeber, Mallie Pratt, Jen Romans, Margaret Sweet and Alison Taylor.

Doors open at 9:30AM with complimentary coffee and cinnamon rolls by Ripple on the Water Restaurant. Following ArtTalk, clam chowder by Woodman’s Restaurant will be served. Free admission and parking.

This special event, presented by the Essex River Cultural District, is funded by a grant from the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. The event marks the recent 5-year renewal of the Essex River Cultural District designation. ArtTalk: Conversations with Essex Artists is part of ArtWeek (https://www.artweekma.org), a statewide creative festival.

 Artists’ Websites:

 Erica Funkhouser https://www.ericafunkhouser.com/

Susan Guest-McPhail https://susanguestmcphail.com/

James McLeod https://www.bubblefactoryma.com/team

Chris Williams https://www.chriswilliamssculpture.com/

Essex Art Collective https://riversandroads.life/essex-artists-collective/

Facebook Event Page

https://www.facebook.com/events/470793190124676/

ArtWeek Event Page

https://calendar.artweekma.org/Detail/144

A Half Milestone

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Today all systems were go: 33°F, daylight, dry pavement, and a craving to walk some distance without my cane. Janet took the cane at the front door and we walked at a medium pace to my favorite animal sculpture park. After stopping to take a few photos, we walked back home. Total distance: One half mile using no cane or other walking aid.

As the journey started thirteen months ago, I couldn’t roll onto my side in a hospital bed. I graduated to a wheelchair, then a walker, followed by a cane, and now two legs. I’m currently scouting around for a longer full–milestone trail. (Photo by Janet).

Lexicon Gallery Opening in Magnolia!

lexicon gallery

Lexicon Gallery

15 Lexington Avenue

Magnolia, MA 01930

You are cordially invited to the opening of the new Lexicon Gallery on 15 Lexington Avenue, Magnolia, (Gloucester) MA during the Lexington Lights celebration on Sunday December 7, 2014 from 4-8pm.

The ceramic artists represented, including several from Cape Ann, include: Diane Chen KW, Cynthia Curtis, Larry Elardo, Jeremy Randall, Thomas Hoadley, Jenny Rangan, Jill Solomon, Irina Okula, Zachary Mickelson, Judith Rosenstein, Pam Gorgone, Joanna Mark, Chris Williams and Seyrel Williams.

Other artists include: Kerry Mullen (ceramics, watercolor, mixed media), Deb Hardy (mixed media), Cindy Beck Goldstein (collagraphs), Mahri (jewelry), Gary Gilbert (wood sculptures), Eleanor Fisher (glass shard-covered oil paintings), Randall Thurston (cut paper silhouettes) and Lenore Hill (India ink, walnut ink, graphite and gouache on paper), Jay Havighurst (sculptures).

We are thrilled to have live music by guitarist, Ken Bonfield and flutist, Christine Routhier.

Come eat, drink and be artsy with us!

Best Wishes,

Seyrel and Chris

AWOL in Africa 01966

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A giraffe must have wandered  from the sculpted granite animal park, and into someone’s driveway. This striking bronze animal changes color with the sunlight. When admiring the African animal sculpture park on Phillips Avenue in Rockport, turn and look directly behind you into the woods. If I’m not mistaken, this is the work of Chris Williams, who also created the bear family: https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/big-bear-hug/#comments

Big Bear Hug!

The bear family is traveling to its new home at Simon Properties in their Premium Outlets in Quebec, Canada.
This bear family is traveling to its new home at Simon Properties in their Premium Outlets in Quebec, Canada.


FredBear

Fred Bodin gives the Kodiak Bear Family sculpture a “bear hug” during a special preview on the grounds of the Chris Williams sculpture studio in Essex, MA. I am 6’1″ tall, and males of this species of bear grow to over 10′ tall when standing on their hind legs. The tree the bear family is climbing is 17′ high. The Kodiak bear is to scale! Kodiak, or brown bears, are named after an island of the same name in Alaska.