The Columbus Day weekend is a time for shopping and browsing countless one-of-a-kind items from local artists and artisans in two major free events. One is an arts and crafts show at the historic Annisquam Village Hall, and the other is around scenic Cape Ann, visiting the studios of working artists and artisans. Here are details of both:
27th Annisquam Arts & Crafts Show
For 27 years, the quiet village of Annisquam comes alive each Columbus Day weekend with the annual Annisquam Arts & Crafts show when it invites shoppers to explore on their own over Columbus Day with dozens of artists and artisans exhibiting their wares. The show takes place at the Annisquam Village Hall at 34 Leonard St. in Gloucester on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The show features 40 local, North Shore and New England artists and artisans, who will be displaying and selling their handcrafted items that include pottery, jewelry, fabric arts, toys, jams, photographs, paintings and more. Local artists in the show include Manchester watercolorist Marion Hall, 13-year-old Teddie Moskall of Gloucester with his photography cards, Kenn “Gramps in the Attic” Tarr with his popular crafted wooden toys, and Annisquam and Rocky Neck artist E.J. Lefavour with her aerial Cape Ann photography and just published “Tales of Bong Tree Island” book.
A portion of the proceeds from all sales will go to the Annisquam Village Church, Cape Ann’s historic Third Parish, established in 1728. There is no entrance fee and the facility is wheelchair accessible.
Cape Ann Artisans fall studio tour
Cape Ann Artisans members will open their doors to the public all three days of Columbus Day weekend, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday. The tour provides an opportunity to interact with 21 artists in 18 different studios and learn about their inspiration and how they transform an idea into art.
Each of the artisans has been inspired by the landscape of Cape Ann, and each interprets that landscape in a unique way. Pia Juhl Nadel, a painter and sculptor new to the group this year, came to this country from Denmark. Nadel, who said she is mesmerized by the rocks on Cape Ann, stated: “I try to simplify them into abstract shapes and use my delight in color to create them on canvas.” Les Bartlett, with his camera, and Marty Morgan with porcelain clay, also portray the many forms and colors of granite as seen at Halibut Point. Bartlett also has spent five years capturing images of Vermont granite quarries.
In Lanesville, Judy Wright has begun using granite from a quarry near Folly Cove for her birdbath mosaics. Also in Lanesville is the studio of Margaret Rack, an art professor at Middlesex Community College, who manipulates wire by hand, to create wall drawings that cast shadows. Visitors can ask Margaret about her work with the Cambodian community in Lowell where she was part of an effort to build a Cambodian-style wood-fire kiln in the National Historical Park.
If one is searching for a perfect coffee mug, or other ceramics, there are six potters to provide an array of options in a range of glazes from cobalt blue on stoneware at David Archibald’s to celadon on porcelain at Marty Morgan’s studio. Cynthia Curtis makes large cups in turquoise with shell decorations; Twin Lights Studio has cream colored and pale green mugs, and Anni Melancon features large mugs with carved and stamped designs.
There are seven painters on the tour: David Montgomery who paints many of the boats built in his family boatyard. Mi Robertson whose work is inspired by her travels. Terry Del-Percio Piedmionte who paints whimsical animals and brightly colored abstracts. Mace Wenniger who paints watercolors of nudes. Mary Ann Winniger who shows how she paints and prints her whimsical collagraphs on a French Tool Press. Sinikka Nogelo who paints abstract works of sea and sky in her studio on East Gloucester’s inner harbor.
On the other side of the harbor, beyond Stage Fort Park, Bart Stuyf creates a world of whimsical animals from sheets of copper which might become dancing frogs in a fountain or free-standing sculptures of birds. Just a short distance away is David Piemonte who works exclusively in black and white photography to create silver gelatin prints that are powerful in their simplicity. In downtown Gloucester, there is the studio of Beth Williams, which is filled with brilliantly colored glass beads fashioned into earrings and necklaces. All her work is done with a torch and every year she has new designs inspired by her trips to Murano, Italy. In Rockport is weaver Sara Wright’s studio where visitors will see her large loom.
Admission is free, and brochures with maps will be available at the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce; the Rockport Information Booth on Route 127; and at each studio. A map can be found at w.capeannartisans.com. A bright magenta Studio Tour banner marks each location.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or firstname.lastname@example.org.