GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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September 18, 2012

Business briefcase

seARTS Partner with an Artist grant

The Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (seARTS) has awarded the Partner with an Artist $1,500 grant. Recipient John Bassett of Rockport will create and complete new work in partnership with three businesses located in the new Rockport Cultural District.

Partner with an Artist, seARTS’ signature artist grant program launched in 2005, invites artists to submit proposals for innovative collaborations with business partners.

Rockport is one of the first five communities, along with Gloucester’s

Rocky Neck, to receive state Cultural District designation from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. A cultural district is a compact, walkable area of a community with a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets that attract residents and visitors, and benefit the local economy.

Trained as an architect and skilled carpenter, Bassett will create three sculptural glass panels which will be on display in three restaurants in the heart of Rockport — Brackett’s Oceanview, Roy Moore’s Fish Shack, and 7th Wave.

Bassett transforms recycled glass from the

Rockport Transfer Station into colorful, textured sculptural panels. His technique involves slumping and fusing the glass in a kiln. His work has been exhibited throughout New England.

Bassett’s new work refers to a noted chapter in Rockport’s history, its evolution from a dry town, a result of the 1856 protest led by Hannah Jumper during difficult economic times, to a community that now permits the sale of alcohol in several restaurants.

In fall 2012 seARTS, the Rockport Cultural District, Bassett, and the restaurant partners will present the completed work to the public. Details will be available this month.

The panel of local jurors is comprised of ceramicist

Jill Solomon of Rockport, artist and art educator Ed Touchette of Gloucester, and artist and gallery owner Karen Tusinski

of Rockport.

“PWA’s focus is to celebrate the arts, strengthen partnerships with the business community, and to further the impact of art and culture on the local economy,” said Anne Robinson, vice president of seARTS board of directors, in a statement. “PWA’s and the new Cultural Districts’ goals are aligned, so partnering makes perfect sense.”

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