Thanks to all involved in today’s lovely and meaningful graduation ceremonies. Mayor Romeo Theken shook hands with each and every student; I have not seen that with a middle school before. President of BankGloucester, Patrick Thorpe, helped with the presentation of certificates. The student speakers and the O’Maley chorus were awesome. Allison Cousins played a pivotal role in the lives of these 8th grade students through all three middle school years. Now she’ll begin again with the incoming 6th grade class. Thanks to all the 6th, 7th and 8th grade O’Maley educators! Double congratulations to Principal Debra Lucey who is retiring and to her family who welcomed a new baby grandson just before the event.
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
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.
photo L-R: Principal Debra Lucey; Steven Winslow Community Development; Val Gilman Ward 4 City Councilor
Thirty people came together in the beautiful library at O’Maley for a public meeting concerning safer walking on nearby streets. The meeting was presented by Ward 4 Councilor Val Gilman and Mayor Romeo Theken. Read prior post with announcement details. Steve Winslow from Community Development gave a presentation before a crowd of residents, mostly from the neighborhood with a smattering of O’Maley parents. O’Maley’s terrific Principal, Debra Lucey, participated.
Winslow explained that he and Principal Lucey worked on the crux of the issues back in 2012 through a “Safe Routes to School” planning study. Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School are implemented by MassDOT (Massachusetts Department of Transportation). Principal Lucey, a Lanesville resident, drives to school via Reynard Street, arguably the route most discussed as being problematic at this particular meeting. People are driving too fast on Cherry Street.
Nothing is final and the discussion was open. Attendees were encouraged to put a sticker by projects they wanted to prioritize and/or take off the table. What three would you tick?
Lucey and her husband relocated to Gloucester because of the O’Maley job and a sweet connection with Gloucester. She and her husband had their first date here: Good Harbor Beach and dinner at the Rudder!
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO