Four years ago, Dawn Noble of La Provence in Rockport organized ten stores to open late on a Friday night to accommodate holiday shoppers. That number grew to 25 and now there is a record 56 shops and eateries throughout the downtown that will be open tomorrow night until 8, with shops offering various promotions or light refreshments. The festivities start at 4 p.m.
“Regulars and locals have been asking me if we were going to do it again, and it’s more fun as more stores get involved and promotions change,” Noble said. “A lot of stores are doing straight discounts, some are doing raffles, and some have other ideas.”
The idea is to create the atmosphere of a New England village, “straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.” As is traditional in Rockport, the town has removed parking meters, which are replaced with miniature Christmas trees secured atop poles, illuminating the streets below.
on Cape Ann
Eventide Fine Art Gallery will host its holiday reception Saturday, Dec. 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. at 63 Main St. in Essex. The exhibit includes new works by gallery artists and photographers including Teri Canelle Eramo, Marion Hall, B.J. Wayne, Phyllis Kaplan, Susan Luca, Pattie Owen and Dennis Sheehan.
Local Colors Artists’ Cooperative at 121 Main St. in Gloucester welcomes the public to its annual holiday exhibit with many gift ideas through Dec. 31. Original art includes paintings, photographs, jewelry, furniture, stained glass, mobiles, pottery, fiber arts, metal arts, mixed media, holiday ornaments and greeting cards. The shop will offer light refreshments on Ladies’ Night tonight and Men’s Night on Dec. 13.
Flatrocks Gallery’s holiday open house takes place Saturday, Dec. 8, from noon to 8 p.m. The current show has been described as “fresh, wonderful and fun.” The gallery has a distinctive collection of local crafts worthy of being memorable gifts. Ten Pound Island Books and Celia’s Flower Studio will add to the festivities. The gallery is at 77 Langsford St. in Lanesville, Gloucester. Open noon to 5 p.m. Thursday to Sunday and by appointment. Call 978-879-4683.
Marty Morgan will hold her annual holiday open house Saturday through Dec. 16. The studio features stoneware and porcelain vases, lamps, mugs, and serving pieces as well as tile-framed mirrors. The studio is located at 428 Washington St. in Gloucester. Hours are weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekdays by chance or appointment. Call 978-281-3347 or visit www.martymorganpots.com.
Cynthia Curtis Pottery will hold its seventh Student and Studio Potter Holiday Show in Rockport during the “Christmas in Rockport Gallery Stroll” on Saturday, Dec. 8, and Sunday, Dec. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A free artists reception takes place Saturday at 80 Pigeon Hill St. in Rockport, from 4 to 7 p.m. For information, visit www.cynthiacurtispottery.com. Plenty of parking.
Central Street Gallery invites the public to a free opening reception for its “Small Paintings, Great Gifts” show on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. The gallery, at 11 Central St. in Manchester, is open Wednesdays through Sundays, noon to 6 p.m., or by appointment. The gallery features small plein air paintings by award-winning artists, including Phyllis Feld and Charlseen Onanian of Gloucester. For information, visit www.centralstreetgallery.com.
Bestselling author Roland Merullo will appear at two events on Cape Ann. On Friday, Dec. 7, he will be at Toad Hall Bookstore to read from his latest novel, “Lunch with Buddha,” at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 8, at Bass Rocks Golf Club at 34 Beach Road in Gloucester, he will discuss his book “Golfing with God” at 10:30 a.m., along with local film producer Meg Montagnino Jarrett. An author of 15 books, Merullo has won awards for many of them. “Breakfast with Buddha,” a nominee for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, is now in its 14th printing. “The Talk- Funny Girl” was a 2012 ALEX Award Winner and named a “Must Read for 2012” by the Massachusetts Library Association. “Revere Beach Eulogy” won the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction. His books have been translated into German, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and Croatian.
The Gloucester Writers Center presents the Poetry Salon series on Saturday, Dec. 8, featuring author, poet and musician Damon Krukowski and award-winning poet Darcie Dennigan at 7:30 p.m.
Krukowski and his partner, Naomi Yang, run the press Exact Change, which specializes in writings associated with the historical avant-garde. They are also musicians. Krukowski works at the Peabody Essex Museum.
Dennigan’s books are poetry collections, and her work has received awards from the Poetry Society of America and Discovery/The Nation. She lives in Providence, R.I., and teaches at University of Connecticut, Brown Continuing Studies, and Holy Cross.
The readings give local audiences an opportunity to engage with both established and emerging poets from outside Cape Ann who are working in a wide range of literary traditions. The quarterly salon is hosted by board member and poet Kate Colby.
Jane Montecalvo will hold a book signing at the Weathervane at 6 tonight as part of the Ladies Night Out shopping event in Gloucester. She said her book, “Sammy C. Gull,” was written to let children know they are all special and they should be kind to one another.
On Saturday, Dec. 8, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, the Essex Shipbuilding Museum will offer “Fantastic Wood Sculptures,” an activity for children, in the Waterline Center at the museum in Essex. All ages are welcome. Children younger than 7 must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $7 per child or teen. For information email: email@example.com or call 978-768-6441. Drop-ins welcome.
Belafonte daughter presents film
This Saturday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m., Gina Belafonte will present her documentary film, “Sing your Song,” about her father — singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte — at Cape Ann Community Cinema at 21 Main St. in Gloucester. Told from his point of view, the film charts the elder Belafonte’s life from a boy born in New York and raised in Jamaica, who returns to Harlem in his early teens where he discovers the American Negro Theater and the magic of performing. Belafonte also confronted the reality of the Jim Crow laws and prejudices, and the film presents a brief look at the Civil Rights movement. After the film, Ms. Belafonte will host a discussion followed by a reception. Tickets are $15, and benefit The Open Door, which runs Cape Ann’s food pantry, and the Los Angeles charity, 2nd Call. Tickets are available at the box office or on the website at www.CapeAnnCinema.com.
Soulful Strings Holiday Concert
Guitarist Ken Bonfield and cellist Kristen Miller will perform a “Soulful Strings Holiday Concert” on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church.
Bonfield and Miller bring a mix of talents to their performances, including humor and extraordinary sounds produced with the help of old and new acoustic technologies. Concert themes include Celtic, American folk, Delta blues, and jazz. Along with duets, Bonfield will play arrangements from his holiday album, “WinterNight,” while Miller will perform works from her fourth CD, “Winter Loves Company.”
Miller, a classically trained cellist and composer, augments her antique Parisian cello with electronics, including a digital phase recorder and effects pedals.
Bonfield, an American fingerstyle guitarist, will perform on his new Carruth harp guitar, with an extra five sub-bass strings to cover a broad symphonic range.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door. The church, Gloucester’s oldest and most historic, is located on Middle Street at the corner of Church Street.
Overboard at coffeehouse
Old Sloop Coffeehouse will present a performance by a cappella ensemble Overboard on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Rockport at 12 School St. Overboard is familiar to Cape Ann audiences from two previous appearances at Old Sloop Coffeehouse and from a summer concert series in Gloucester. Overboard began in 2006 as a street performing group, but has grown to be featured entertainment for the likes of “American Idol” and “The CBS Early Show.” The energetic group, which won the competitive Boston Regional Harmony Sweepstakes Festival in 2011, has six albums. The group will include some Christmas music in this show. Advance tickets are $10 from the coffeehouse website at oldsloopcoffeehouse.org, at Gloucester Music, and at Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport. Suggested donation at the door is $12 for adults, $7 for those 65 and older, $5 for those younger than 18, and $24 for a family. Bring a gently-used coat, hat, or gloves for donation to a shelter and receive a free drink as a thank-you.
Nancy Caplan opening reception
The public is invited to a solo show of paintings by Cape Ann artist Nancy Caplan in the Rockport Art Association’s Pearson Gallery, with an opening artist reception on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. An avid gardener, she often chooses flowers, fruit and vegetables as subjects for her watercolors painting. She studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and with noted artists Betty Lou Schlemm, Paul George and Marla Greenfield. She has received awards from Rockport Art and North Shore arts associations, both of which she is an artist member. The show runs through Dec. 31. For more information, visit www.rockportartassn.org.
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 gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.