, Gloucester, MA

December 6, 2007

Former nurse, Peace Corps volunteer shows her art

By Gail McCarthy , Staff writer

Cape Ann artist Nina Fletcher will hold an open house in her third-floor studio at the Blackburn building in Gloucester this weekend to share her somewhat nontraditional art, which may be created of almost anything ranging from women's footwear to roofing lead. The hours are from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Fletcher, raised in the Boston area, brings to her art a varied background. After a liberal arts education, she lived in Senegal in West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years. She returned to the United States where she settled in Berkeley, Calif., working as a nurse practitioner. She returned to New England to take up a lifelong passion for art, and attended the Massachusetts College of Art, where she majored in painting. She studied under the late Rob Moore.

She undertook several endeavors, which included work as an art critic for the alternative weekly newspaper Worcester Magazine. She owned and operated a small neon sign business. She continued her own artistic work using both two and three dimensions in a variety of media, including old clothes, shoes, aluminum screening, wire, bones, nails, pins, buttons, Kleenex and more.

"Much of her art draws on the human body and its many layers. Her background in medicine remains an important reference for her inquiries into the body and beyond - namely, into that which makes us human," according to an artist biography. For more information, visit

Open house in Rockport this weekend

On Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., there will be free hayrides along Bearskin Neck. The hay wagon, pulled by Belgian draft horses, departs from Dock Square.

Both Saturday and Sunday feature the Seaside Village Open House where shops provide refreshments as well as gift ideas. This takes place throughout the downtown area.

On Sunday, Rockport inns host their popular open house from 1 to 5 p.m. Those participating include the Yuletide Inn; the Addison Choate Inn, which will feature the decoupage of Shelley Vincent; the Beach & King Street Inn; the Beech Tree Bed & Breakfast, the Old Farm Inn, which will showcase local artwork and sports memorabilia; the Sally Webster Inn; and the Seven South Street Inn, which will feature floral arrangements by Blue Gate Gardens. For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at 978-546-6575.

Lobster trap holiday tree

The lobster trap holiday tree returns to downtown Gloucester, bigger than ever. The official lighting is on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the courtyard near the Gloucester police station on Main Street. All are welcome to attend. Bring jingle bells to witness the unique local tradition.

Author of new Chagall book

Author and critic Jonathan Wilson will discuss his latest book, "Marc Chagall," at Temple Ahavat Achim on 86 Middle St. in Gloucester on Sunday at 4 p.m. Wilson is the author of seven books, including the novel "A Palestine Affair," which was a finalist for the 2004 National Jewish Book Award. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Best American Short Stories, among other publications. Wilson has received a Guggenheim fellowship and is director of the Center for Humanities at Tufts University. This event is free and all are welcome. Call the temple office at 978-281-0739 for more information.

David Roth appears

David Roth will appear at the One World Coffee House in Essex at the First Universalist Church at 59 Main St. on Friday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.

"David Roth is a real gem of a performer. He has a great voice, writes beautifully, sometimes funny, and almost always has thought-provoking songs," said organizer Fran Pierce. "He gives us a wonderful night of laughter, food for thought and an occasional tear."

The donation is $15. For reservations, call 978-768-7056.

New show at RAA

A new show opens at the Rockport Art Association featuring the work of Carolyn Latanision in an exhibit titled "Cape Ann and Beyond." There is a free opening reception on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The show will be on view at the art association at 12 Main St. in downtown Rockport through Dec. 31.

The subject matter of the paintings include Cape Ann as well as Boston, Cape Cod and Naples, Italy.

Latanision has been distinguished with invitational memberships to national societies, including the National Watercolor Society, the Hudson Valley Art Association, and the National Association of Women Artists. She serves on the board of directors of the New England Watercolor Society. The artist has won national awards for work from Audubon Artists, the Salmagundi Club, Adirondack National Exhibition of American Watercolors, and Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition.

People and architecture figure prominently in Latanision's work. She often paints urban scenes as the artist is attracted to the building styles and the abstract patterns of light and dark they create. She studies the juxtaposition of people and architecture and the connections they create.

Her work may be seen at the Westin Hotel at Copley Place in Boston; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Katayama Chemical Works in Japan as well as in many other private and corporate collections. For more information, visit

Mercury Gallery exhibit

A new exhibit opens at Mercury Gallery tomorrow featuring works by Harriet Bain, Remo Farruggio, Joseph Solman, Harry Gottlieb, Jon Marshall, Daniel Robinson, Lucette White, Karen Clarke and others. The gallery exhibits pottery by Lavaflow Ceramics and Miranda Thomas. The show runs through the holidays. Gallery hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday through Sunday at 20 Main St. in Rockport. Call 978-546-7620, 617-859-0054 or visit for information.

Beeman/Plum Cove fair

The Beeman/Plum Cove PTO will host its holiday fair and tree sale on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is free local tree delivery. Families will enjoy games, prizes, crafts, raffles, gingerbread house decorating, food, and the popular sleigh ride sing-a-long. The school is at 138 Cherry St. in Gloucester.

Adult book discussion

An adult book discussion group at the Sawyer Free Library will take place Tuesday at 7 p.m. to discuss "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" by Kim Edwards. Discussions are held the second Tuesday of the month. All are welcome to attend. No sign-ups are necessary. For information, call the library at 978-281-9763.


The Rockport Art Association's "ARTxtravaganza" is entering its final stretch. This is the RAA's first online auction and exhibition, which serves as a fund raiser. The auction includes close to 200 items including a variety of fine art, art-related gifts and luxury gift packages, workshops and dining packages. Bidding continues through Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. There is no live auction; all bidding is done online. For bids and viewing of items, go to, or call 978-546-6604.

Cape Ann scenes exhibit

Manchester artist Anne Cowman will exhibit her oil paintings at Sovereign Bank, 17 Union St., Manchester, through the month of December. Featured are landscapes and seascapes of Cape Ann and scenes of Manchester.

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, ext. 3445 or, or fax to 978-281-5748.