By Gail McCarthy
---- — The heart of Gloucester will be beating with dozens of free activities and events during the 15th annual Middle Street Walk, which features everything from a gingerbread exhibit at City Hall to a serenaded trolley ride.
The event runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Middle Street from the Cape Ann Museum at one end to St. John’s Episcopal Church at the other end. Other venues include Art Haven, just a few steps away from Middle Street, and the finale is the Lobster Trap Tree lighting outside the Gloucester District Courthouse at 4:45 p.m., also just a short walk from Middle Street.
Among the events geared for all ages are performances by the 17-piece Cape Ann Big Band at City Hall, as well as an opportunity to have photographs with Santa and hot cocoa.
Gloria Parsons, the Middle Street Walk committee chairwoman, encouraged those attending to stop first at City Hall to pick up a program, which is also available on Facebook.com/MiddleStreetWalk and the Good Morning Gloucester blog.
“We’re calling City Hall the kick-off area where people can pick up their programs and head off from there,” said Parsons. “We have a lot of things going on all day long. In some cases, there are specific programs and others are ongoing.”
Two floors of wearable art at Sawyer Free Library
For the sixth year, the seARTS Wearable Arts group will transform Saunders House, part of Sawyer Free Library, into an elegant shopping venue for locally made clothing, accessories, jewelry, and small gifts. A free opening reception takes place Friday, Dec. 7, from 5 to 8:30 p.m., featuring an evening of socializing highlighted by food prepared by the hosting artists and music by the Cape Ann Big Band Jazz Trio. The sale continues throughout the day Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show supports both the Sawyer Free Library and seARTS.
“This is an artist’s show, created and run by artists under the umbrella of seARTS. The camaraderie and shared responsibilities make it unique,” said founding member, Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco.
To accommodate the growing event, the library has now allocated space on both floors of Saunders House — where one can view the historic venue and its WPA murals — for the seArts show and sale.
Newcomers this year include Mahri from Manchester . Diane Giardi, who is on the visual arts faculty at Endicott College, will showcase her work with recycled fabrics for the first time locally. Ten Pound Studio, which recently evolved as a working group of silk painters, will have its own table. Artist Christine Gauthier-Kelly of Ten Pound Studio is returning for her second year.
“What struck me most was the amazing display of creativity from our local artists — not your standard ‘stuff,’ but one-of-a-kind, drop-dead gorgeous creations that made you proud to be part of this group, and to reside here on Cape Ann,” she said.
Returning artists include Meredith Anderson, Marlene Cann, Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco of Cape Ann Designs, Camilla MacFadyen, Candy Marshall, Heather Outlaw, Marcia Settipani, Fran Osten, Susan Kenna, Rebecca Williams, Beth Williams, and Judy Wright and Jan Weinshanker of Apple Bay Designs.Peggy Russell, who has completed her third year running Pop Gallery on Main Street, will return to showcase her hand-painted accessories for the home and body.
There is a special raffle, the items which will be on display across from the library’s front desk. Tickets are available from participating artists or at the desk. For information, visit www.searts.org/events.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or firstname.lastname@example.org.