Ninety years ago, a group of artists came together in East Gloucester to celebrate the founding of a new arts association and opened with a gala art show. The North Shore Arts Association is now holding a free 90th anniversary art show featuring the work of these original charter members.
This month-long historical exhibit, “NSAA at 90,” commemorating the association’s founding in the 1920s, runs through Sept. 18. The gala opening, featuring music and refreshments and free to the public, is Sunday, Aug. 19, from 2 to 4 p.m. The public is encouraged to come dressed up in period attire.
The historic exhibit features more than 60 paintings and about 20 sculptures.
This show features works by Cape Ann masters such as Lester Stevens, Aldro Hibbard and Émile Gruppé, as well as seldom seen works by first-year members Kathryn Cherry, Harry Vincent and Edmund Klotz. In addition to paintings, organizers note that the exhibit features more than a dozen works by some of the era’s most renowned sculptors including Anna Hyatt Huntington, Katharine Lane Weems and Richard Recchia.
The arts association is housed in a rustic red wooden building with sweeping views of Gloucester Harbor.
“This show is in the very same gallery where the artists first showed their work, “ said Peter Tysver, an artist member and historian of the arts association. “This exhibit features a lot of the artists who were in the first show. There is a lot of excitement about this event.”
The exhibit also features old photographs of artists that will be hung adjacent to the paintings. Many of these photos are on loan from the Cape Ann Museum.
“The idea of the show is that we want to celebrate the diversity of our members from the very beginning to this day,” said Tysver. “We have so many different styles and skills.”
He explained that many of the founders were involved with Gallery on the Moors, founded in East Gloucester in 1916, which featured a prominent group of artists who were invited to participate. But some of these artists found it too small and were unhappy that it was by invitation only and wanted something a little democratic, explained Tysver. An exhibit catalogue is for sale featuring color reproductions of the current show. Gloucester’s Judith Curtis wrote an article that was published in the American Art Review for August, part of which is included in the catalogue.
The show is free and the gallery is open seven days a week. For more information, call 978-283-1857 or visit www.nsarts.org.
Gail McCarthy may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go What : "NSAA at 90," an exhibit of 80 works. Where : 11 Pirates Lane, East Gloucester. When : Now through Sept. 18. Gala opening Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. How much: Both the exhibit and opening are free to the public.