A group of Cape Ann artists has focused their individual creative energies into work that showcases the uniqueness of this island in a myriad of ways, from a decoupage necklace to a fishing vessel portrait.
An exhibit of the works — with a free public reception Friday — called "Local Catch" is on display at Local Colors Artists' Cooperative in downtown Gloucester.
"This is meant to be a bold new exhibit to celebrate the beauty of Cape Ann," said Kathy Bucholska, a cooperative member for 22 years. "In some years we focus on the 'fish' event but it can have a broad topic, like the ocean. We give the artists a lot of latitude. The idea 'Local Catch' could be many things. It could be literal, such as art that symbolizes fish, or 'catching' a sunset or painting an historic site. It's a surprise every year as to emerges."
This event is scheduled to coincide with St. Peter's Fiesta to celebrate the fishing community and the region's natural beauty, said Bucholska, who created a piece of wall art with a fossil fish surrounded by gemstones and mosaics.
Each of the 18 artists interprets the theme, and creates a few pieces for this show.
"This is our opportunity to honor the Cape Ann community," said Bucholska. "We ask the artists to do new work just for the show."
Kate Webster, a mixed media artist, submitted a colorful necklace that includes decoupage.
"I really liked the picture of a fish so I adhered it to a metal background, and added mixed metal beads and chains. I just happen to love fish images and mix them in with a lot of my work. I look for fish everywhere," said Webster, who had just left a shop with fish-shaped beads in Oregon where she is visiting.
Lois Hertzler submitted a photograph of a fishing boat.
"Even though this photograph was taken in Alaska, it is a reminder of how many people in this country depend on fishing for their livelihood," she said.
Joe Higgins is noted for his "gyotaku" — prints from fish he catches from his kayak.
"My interpretation of 'Local Catch' is literal," Higgins said. "I print from fish caught in local waters. My mom told me never to play with my food, but she never said I can't print it first."
Other pieces on exhibit are a lobster mug for fish chowder from Virginia Townsend; Bonnie Gray who painted "Good Day's Catch"; an image of a lobster and crab made from recycled tin created by Sally Seamans, also known as Tin Can Sally; and a watercolor focused on the sea and salt marshes "and the creatures who inhabit and fly above them," by James Armstrong.
Jewelry artist Ann Schlecht created a small spoon fish mobile, a silver fish wrap bracelet and mixed metal fish earrings.
Other members displaying work are Donna Amero, known for her seashells imbedded in stained glass art; Stephanie Bowens, known for her fiber art; Pat Doherty, known for her scenic local paintings; Bob Kulchuk, who creates wheel-thrown pottery, wood turning and fused glass; Jim Sousa and David Katz, known for photography; Darren Taylor, known for his woodworking and functional art furniture; and the newest member, Christine Garrigan, who makes tie-dyed clothing.
Gail McCarthy may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: New exhibit titled "Local Catch"
When: Public reception with artists Friday from 5:30 to 8 p.m.; refreshments will be served. Exhibit runs through July 7.
Where: Local Colors Artists' Cooperative, 121 Main St., in Gloucester
Why: Local Colors, now in its 23rd year, is celebrating with its annual "Fish" exhibit with the theme "Local Catch." This event celebrates the fishing community and the natural beauty of Cape Ann. Members will be identified with name tags and look forward to meeting the public.
Details: Visit www.local-colors.org or call 978-283-3996.