Just a quick note of a Cape Ann summer tradition: The free annual Harbor Loop Concert Series will open next Thursday, featuring Jake Pardee and The Super Session Band.
The series will take place every Thursday through Labor Day weekend, usually with showtimes at 6:30 p.m. The concerts take place on the lawn of at the Fitz Henry Lane house, overlooking the Inner Harbor.
But for this week, there is more than enough to do: the second week of a Broadway musical masterpiece at Gloucester Stage, several artist show openings and a poetry slam on the theme of "God and Country."
Summer is when residents and visitors can take a garden tour, which this weekend is in Rockport.
Coastal Gardens Tour
Rockport Garden Club will feature 13 gardens on this year's tour, which will take place, rain or shine, tomorrow and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Many of these gardens have never before been open to the public. The gardens vary in size, location, composition, and plant materials.
The tour includes water gardens, an impressive collection of low-maintenance grasses and bamboo, garden sculptures, cottages gardens bursting with color from early spring through late autumn, dramatic use of local granite as hardscape, and a crafted garden overlooking the sea.
Each day a luncheon and a sale of original works by local artists will be hosted at an oceanside garden. Tour proceeds help pay for the planting and maintenance of Rockport's 12 town gardens, civic projects and scholarships.
Tickets are $25 each, and may be purchased in advance by calling 978-546-2896 or 978-546-6861. They are on sale in Rockport at Toad Hall Book Store, 51 Main St.; La Provence, 6 Main St.; and Pier and Main Fine Gifts, 1 Main St. Today, tomorrow and Saturday, they will be sold from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce Information Booth on Upper Broadway and at the Information Booth at Barletta Park.
Poetry slam at St. John's
St. John's Episcopal Church in Gloucester is hosting a prose and poetry slam, "For God and Country" tomorrow at 7 p.m. The slam has scheduled eight Cape Ann poets and writers to read selections from their works, some of which focus on the relationship between belief in God and patriotism. Gloria Masterson-Richardson, the first-place winner of the 2010 Inglis House Poetry Contest, and Charles Curti are the co-organizers of the event.
The eight poets and writers are Bill Chapin, Cecily Merrell, Masterson-Richardson, Jan Goodwin, Rick Britton, Bob Stains, Lydia Priest and Curti.
The slam is free to the public. People attending are asked to bring a canned food item as a donation to The Open Door, Cape Ann's food pantry. For information, call 978-283-1708.
This event will feature Chapin reading the speech of Harold Ickes (who was Franklin Roosevelt's Secretary of the Interior) introducing Marian Anderson's 1939 performance at The Lincoln Memorial. Those attending will be asked to join in singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee."
St. John's, at 48 Middle St., will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2013.
Magazine launch party
The Cape Ann Museum will host a launch party for Art New England for its July/August issue tonight from 6 to 9. This is the magazine's second annual Focus On section, which features Cape Ann.
"New England is home to uncountable enclaves of art and Cape Ann is one of the most important of those places. Art New England has committed to shining a light on these pockets of creative energy and we are particularly pleased to showcase Cape Ann, a region that has long attracted artists looking for solitude and inspiration," according to Art New England publisher Tim Montgomery.
Gloucester artist Jon Sarkin will be on hand to celebrate the launch, which features Sarkin's work "i am what i am" on the cover. Sarkin is also the subject of Amy Ellis Nutt's recent biography, "Shadows Bright as Glass: The Remarkable Story of One Man's Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph."
Guests will have the opportunity to mingle with some of Cape Ann's artists and gallery owners featured in the latest issue, as well as partake of hors d'oeuvres and wine.
Stage soiree, musical
Gloucester Stage Company will host A "Most Happy" Summer Soiree on Sunday, July 10, at the theater's home on 267 E. Main St. This benefit extravaganza features Frank Loesser's musical "The Most Happy Fella" and includes the opportunity to see the 4 p.m. performance and attend a buffet reception to meet the cast, participate in a silent and live auction, and be entertained by and join in a Broadway cabaret sing-along.
Tickets to Gloucester Stage's A "Most Happy" Summer Soiree are $125 per person. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 978-281-4433 or visiting www.gloucesterstage.org.
The musical continues through July 17, and received high marks in its first week from Boston area critics. This is one of the theater's largest productions. Contact the box office or website for ticket information and reservations.
Gloucester Stage Managing Director Andrew Burgreen is the next featured speaker in the new free Gloucester Stage Theater Thursday Luncheons. He'll speak Thursday, July 14, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at TD Bank, 2 Harbor Loop, Gloucester.
Burgeen moved to Cape Ann in April 2010 to take over as general manager of Gloucester Stage.
The free public luncheons are hosted by TD Bank. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Call 978-282-1200 for reservations.
Chamber Music Festival
A limited number of turn-back tickets may be available for Rockport Chamber Music Festival's 30th season at the Shalin Liu Performance Center. Although many concerts are sold out in advance, there may be a chance to secure a ticket by calling the Rockport Music box office at 978-546-7391, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Also visit www.rockportmusic.org. There a tickets for tonight's concert at 8. The concert is titled "The Music of Evan Ziporyn," featuring Ziporyn on clarinet along with his band of other musicians.
Local artist's show
Rockport photographer Robert Loren Lerch is unapoligetically a fan of the people of New England, and this is the theme of an exhibit of his work in the show "Sensuality with Sinew — Studying Character in New England" at The Cambridge Homes through Sept. 4. An opening reception with the artist will take place Tuesday, July 12, from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Cambridge Homes at 360 Mount Auburn St. in Cambridge.
Lerch has been a fine art photographer for 33 years in the center of Rockport's economic hub, Bearskin Neck.
The show is curated by the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, one of only a handful of museums in the country that deals exclusively in photographs.
"The work is documentary in nature and about deep-seated New England values: self-reliance, dignity, stoicism, and a sense of propriety" said Lerch. "The human presence is felt, but not explicit."
Free a cappella concert
The 2011 Summer Concert Series continues with North Shore Acappella on Sunday, July 10, at 7 p.m. in Gloucester. This free outdoor concert takes place at the Antonio Gentile Bandstand in Stage Fort Park, at the edge of scenic Gloucester Harbor. Free parking and restrooms are available. Concert-goers often bring picnic dinners, lawn chairs and blankets. For information, call 978-281-0543 or visit www.davidlbenjamin.com.
Youth art workshops
The Rockport Art Association is again holding its summer workshops for children and students. Classes take place from 10 a.m. to noon. Workshops are Garden Sculpture with Kathy Hilliard from July 11 to 15; "Resist & Dye" with Hilliard from July 18 to 22; Painted Furniture with Pam Jones from July 25 to 29; Sculpture with Erin O'Sullivan from Aug. 1 to 5; Drawing & Painting Session I with Becky Merry from Aug. 8 to 12; Cartooning with Will Workman from Aug. 15 to 19; Drawing & Painting Session II with Merry from Aug. 22 to 26.
For details, call 978-546-6604 or visit rockportartassn.org.
New studio open house
Painter and hair-stylist Laureen Maher of Gloucester is having a show at the Kahn Studio/Good Morning Gloucester Gallery tomorrow through July 22, with an artist opening on Sunday, July 10, from 6 to 9 p.m. The show, "Brushwork," features new Gloucester landscapes as well as the "Catch of the Day" series of eight portraits of Gloucester rock stars. The artist, who is a hairdresser in her day job, may even include some of her other brushwork: haircuts and upstyles in a photographic and multimedia form.
The Downtown Gloucester Block Party Committee has launched a poster contest. Artists can submit any media to the Good Morning Gloucester website for online voting right now. The contest and voting ends Aug. 1.
Joe Ciaramitaro will run a poll and the winner will be announced on Good Morning Gloucester. The winner will receive dinner for two at Alchemy on Duncan Street.
Poster entries should be 8 1/2-by- 11 inches and contain the following information: Downtown Gloucester Block Party, Third Saturday of the Month, Aug. 20 and Sept. 17, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and "Free" "Outdoor Dining" "Street Performers" "Music" "Fun for All Ages" - or some arrangement of these phrases without quotation marks ö as well as the website, www.downtowngloucester.com.
Submit a photo of your entry to: http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/.
In addition, the original copy should be dropped off at Art Haven at 180B Main St. in Gloucester, along with name and contact information.
Wenniger open house
"People at Work and Play, Painterly Prints" is the title of a new show by printmaker Mary Ann Wenniger, and "Pentimento," that of layered watercolors by Mace Wenniger. The exhibition opens Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Wenniger Cottage Gallery at 70 Holly St. in Gloucester.
For this show, Mace Wenniger reworked favorite watercolors with pastels so images are just suggested. This is an experimental technique he has used since the 1940s. Wenniger layers his watercolor landscapes and palette-knife figure drawings with a sealing agent, then reworks the surfaces with transparent oils and pastels.
Mary Ann Wenniger's original prints are printed from detailed matrixes created by Wenniger as a collage. Her collagraphs include many local scenes.
For details, call 978-281-1181.
The Cape Ann Museum will open a new exhibition of recent work by artists Bernard Chaet and Ninon Lacey, a husband and wife team, with sculpture by Lawrence Fane on Saturday, July 9, with an opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. This program is free to the public.
Chaet and Lacey have spent summers painting and drawing in Rockport for more than 40 years. They first came to Cape Ann in the 1950s to visit fellow artist Barbara Swan and her husband Alan Fink. Chaet's preferred subject is Cape Ann's rocky shoreline, particularly in the early morning hours as dawn is breaking. Lacey, who works primarily in black and white producing ink drawings and etchings, focuses on more intimate and serene subjects. Her depictions of the natural world are detailed and precise, giving the viewer the sense that she examines her subjects through a magnifying glass. When viewed together, the work of these two is at once striking though complementary. The exhibition will remain on display through Aug. 28.
A small selection of Fane's welded steel sculptures will be on display. A long-time close friend of the couple, Fane came to Boston in the early 1950s to study at Harvard to become a doctor. His true passion, however, was drawing, and he had the good fortune to take a drawing class with sculptor George Demetrios who taught in Boston and Gloucester. Fane chose art over medicine. In time, Fane would apprentice to Demetrios and finally be his assistant, spending many summers on Cape Ann.
In conjunction with this exhibition, the museum offers Focus Tours on Saturdays, July 30, Aug. 6, and Aug. 20 at 11 a.m. For information, visit www.capeannmuseum.org.
An exhibit featuring the works of Stephanie Vieira will open at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport on Saturday, July 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. Stephanie Vieira Photography is based in Lanesville. Vieira, who specializes in photographing people and landscapes, is always seeking interesting subjects and places to photograph. She loves to meet new people and share their stories. She is a member of the National Press Photographers Association.
Her photographs will be displayed through Aug. 14. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by appointment at 978-546-2989.
New Rocky Neck show
Contemporary realist painter Claudia Kaufman's "Simply Looking: Looking Simple," the third in the Rocky Neck Gallery Summer Artist Series, has opened and runs until July 19. A public reception for the artist will be held Saturday, July 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Rocky Neck Gallery, 53 Rocky Neck Ave. in Gloucester.
Kaufman lives in Marblehead and is a member of the North Shore, Rockport, and Marblehead art associations and the Copley Society of Art. "As a contemporary realist painter, my works are studies in observation ... still life set-ups of familiar objects that are deceptively simple, yet complex. Stopping short of photo-realism, I work to keep the signs of my hand and brushstroke in my work and am particularly intrigued by the drama of light, transparency, reflection and strong shadows," said Kaufman in a statement.
For information, visit www.rockyneckgallery.com, call 978-282-0917.
Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-283-7000 x3445, or email@example.com. Items should be submitted at least two weeks in advance of the event.
More Around Cape Ann
Open Mike on Sunday
Rockport Unitarian Universalist Church, its music committee, and Jennifer Ober, its music director, pianist and organist, will present its monthly Open Mike event on Sunday, July 10. The event is an opportunity for people of different talents to share their creativity, and to connect, learn and even collaborate. There is a $5 cover charge, and each performer to play will sign up on a sheet. Everyone is welcome to listen or play. The church is at 4 Cleaves St. in Rockport. For information, call 978-546-2989.
Meet the Author: Holly LeCraw
Holly LeCraw, who won kudos for her debut novel "The Swimming Pool," will be the featured speaker at Rockport Public Library on Wednesday, July 13, at 7 p.m. Her book was a top selection of Kirkus Reviews, the Daily Beast and Good Morning America when it was published in hardback last year. The book, set on Cape Cod, is an intricately woven tale of family secrets, murder, and a May-December romance. A woman who once had an affair with a married man becomes involved with his grown son.
Art, bad and ancient
Starting this week, the Cape Ann Community Cinema at 21 Main St. in Gloucester is hosting a selection from The Museum of Bad Art — of "art too bad to be honored" — from the overflowing collection that now needs three Boston area locations to contain it. The pieces range from the work of talented artists that have gone awry to works of exuberant, although crude, execution by artists barely in control of the brush. The cinema will host a "Bad Art Open House" on Sunday, July 10, from 5 to 7 p.m., with roughly 20 pieces on display.
Ironically, the cinema is presently running the documentary "Cave Of Forgotten Dreams," about a recently-discovered cave in France containing the first human artwork ever created (roughly 30,000 years old), by director Werner Herzog. The film shows nightly through Sunday at 7:30 p.m., and daily from July 11 to 17 at 5 p.m.
This year's Oscar-winning Best Foreign Language Film. "In A Better World," about a Danish family in turmoil, opens with shows starting Friday.
The full schedule can be found at www.CapeAnnCinema.com, or call 978-309-8448.
Call to artists
"Here & Now: Contemporary Artists Working in The Sargent House Museum Garden" will take place at the museum on Sundays in July and August from noon to 4 p.m. Artists are invited to participate in the series, which provides working artists with an opportunity to interact with the residents and visitors of Cape Ann. Artists are encouraged to set up and work on their art in the garden, talk to the public, engage individuals in the artistic process, while working and selling their artwork. For information, contact Kate Laurel Burgess-Mac Intosh, site director of museum, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-412-5290.
Save the Dates
The Schooner Adventure Summer Lecture Series continues next Thursday, July 14, at 7 p.m. at Sawyer Free Library with Kate Sardi Sampson in a talk titled "Sea Turtles in New England: Our lesser Known Coastal Residents." Sampson is the sea turtle stranding/disentanglement coordinator of NOAA Fisheries Northeast region.
The next illustrated talk at the Cape Ann Museum is titled "Cape Ann Fishermen, the Pilgrims and England in 1623" presented by Todd Gray, who was raised on Cape Ann, on Thursday, July 14, at 7 p.m. This program is free with admission. Reservations are required; contact Jeanette Smith at 978-283-0455 x11 or email email@example.com. Gray is an honorary research fellow at the University of Exeter and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in England. He has published more than 40 books on the history of England.
Ken Bonfield and Kristen Miller will perform "Frets & Strings: An Evening of String Music and Other Delights" on Friday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cape Ann Community Cinema (above Mystery Train) at 21 Main St. in Gloucester.