This weekend is all about art and fairs, some of which mark the start of the holiday season just prior to Thanksgiving.
Saturday will bring a special visit from the granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill, who will visit a Manchester jewelry shop in conjunction with an exhibit displaying her artworks.
Two of the local holiday fairs that have drawn great attention over the years are the Holy Family Parish fair at St. Ann Church on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., which features everything from a spin-the-wheel game to fresh fish chowder to putting together a box of homemade cookies.
The Rockport PTO fair at Rockport High School on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. features many Cape Ann artisans, food, children’s games, Santa and more. This is only the start of the fairs that will continue in the weeks ahead.
Also, the 18th annual Taste of Magnolia, a benefit for the Magnolia Library and Community Center, is slated for Friday night from 7 to 9:30 at the library, located at Lexington and Norman avenues in Magnolia.
Edwina Sandys at Gladstone
Edwina Sandys, the granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill and a renowned British-born artist and author, will be at Gladstone jewelers in Manchester for a special event.
The shop is hosting an exhibit of her prints and drawings beginning Friday and running through Jan. 25, with an opening reception for the exhibit to be held on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.
Then, on Saturday, from 3 to 6 p.m., Sandys will be at the shop at 36 1/2 Union St. for an artist reception and book signing. Sandys will not be at the reception on Friday night.
Sandys — recipient of the 1997 United Nations Society of Writers & Artists Award for Excellence — creates provocative and playful art on diverse subjects, which addresses essential questions about politics, society, and feminism. Her work is in the collections of the Tate Britain and the Brooklyn Museum of Art among other prominent galleries, museums, and international sites. Her book “Edwina Sandys ART” was a 2011 Book of the Year.
Her work spans the sacred to the secular — from “Christa,” a bronze sculpture of a female Christ, to “Breakthrough,” a sculpture created with dismantled sections of the Berlin Wall, and installed at Westminster College in Missouri, where Churchill gave his historic “Iron Curtain Speech” in 1946.
All are welcome. For information and hours, call 978-704-9410.
Taste of Magnolia
Friday night’s 18th annual Taste of Magnolia will offer attendees to sample food from a number of area restaurants while also tasting fine wine and beer.
The event will include a silent auction, a prize raffle and a 50/50 cash raffle, with all proceeds going to the the nonprofit library and community center.
Tickets are priced at $30, covering all food and beverages, and will be available at the door. To purchase tickets for both the taste and the raffle, call 978-290-3734. All attendees must be at least 21 years of age.
Law and art
“The verdict is in — law and water do mix,” according to Ken Riaf, a local attorney and artist. “On weekends, I’m re-purposing my law office as an art gallery, featuring accomplished artists in mixed media, ceramics, paint, and photography.”
Riaf will hold a free opening reception on Saturday from noon to 7 p.m at the Law & Water Gallery at 18A Pleasant St. in Gloucester. The exhibit includes work by Jon Sarkin, Paul Cary Goldberg, Susan Kotulak, Earl Dotter and Riaf.
The gallery brings together two bodies of art under one roof. The first has, as its starting point, the written and unwritten laws that shape society. The second centers around the body of water that surrounds and sustains our island. These works offer fresh perspectives on law and justice, port and place, work and environment,” according to the website. For more information, visit www.LawAndWater.com.
Jeff Weaver opening
Artist Jeff Weaver will hold a free public opening reception on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at his gallery at 16 Rogers St. in Gloucester. The name of the show is: “2012, New Works.”
”The richness of the Cape Ann landscape continues to inspire my work. This show presents recent works in oil, as well as watercolor and drawings in pastel of a variety of subject matter,” he wrote in an artist statement. The show runs through Dec. 15. For more information on the Jeff Weaver Gallery, call 978- 590-2979.
The Fishing Strike
The Cape Ann Museum will present the third and final installment of David Rich’s Gloucester Rediscovery Project with a talk titled “Charles Olson, Newman Shea and the Fishing Strike of 1917,” on Nov. 17 at 3 p.m.
This program is free with museum admission, with Rich narrating the encounter between aspiring poet Charles Olson and Newman Shea, a business agent for the Fishermen’s Union of the Atlantic, on board the swordfish schooner Doris M. Hawes.
In July 1936, Olson, then a 25-five year old academic in search of maritime adventure, signed on for a three-week sword fishing trip with Ben Pine’s Atlantic Supply company. On board, Olson met a mysterious fisherman named Newman Shea whom Olson would later recall in both his influential essay on writing poetry, “Projective Verse,” and his verse masterpiece, “The Maximus Poems.”
By investigating the life of this enigmatic Gloucester fisherman, Rich uncovered long-buried years of epic conflict on the Gloucester waterfront from 1917 to 1924, a time when Shea was the business agent of a short-lived and now-forgotten fishermen’s labor union.
For more information, call 978-283-0455 or visit www.capeannmuseum.org.
Eric Dolan reading
A reading featuring author Eric Dolan takes place tonight at 7 p.m., at The Bookstore at 61 Main St. in Gloucester.
Dolan will read from his latest book, “When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail.” This book captures a time in history where ancient China collides with America in stories of opium smuggling, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships.
Dolan is also the author of “Leviathan” and “Fur, Fortune and Empire.”
‘True Colors’ exhibit
”True Colors,” a collection of recent works by Rockport photographer, Brenda Ahlstrom and her son, Dylan Metrano, will be the first of a series of “pop up” shows on the North Shore.
The exhibit takes place at the Paper Mermaid of Main Street, Rockport will host, with a sale, on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Ahlstrom will show photos from travels in Europe and Central America featuring bold colors and a “free-spirit style.” Her photographs depict the character found in the people and the places she travels, often in off beat destinations. Metrano will exhibit his original papercuttings, ranging from animals to architecture.
The public is invited to attend the opening reception with the artists or stop by Paper Mermaid throughout the weekend, and, as a “pop up” show, will run for one weekend only. only.
Locals at Topsfield art show
Two Cape Ann artists — Barbara Donnelly of Gloucester and Gayle Macklem of Manchester-by-the-Sea — will be part of the Saltbox Gallery’s annual holiday art show and sale at the Topsfield Fairgrounds on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 with a Friday artists’ reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The gallery’s 18 artists fill Coolidge Hall at the Fairgrounds with handcrafted jewelry, carved birds, inlaid wooden boxes, wood-turned bowls, pottery, hand-made furniture and original artwork featuring etchings, French dye paintings, oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors. The artists will be available throughout the three-day show to answer questions, and some will paint on site as well. A favorite event is the Saltbox Gallery silent auction, which will culminate on Sunday. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free with ample parking and HP accessibility.
Spotlighting Pigeon Cove
Photographer and Rockport Council on Aging board member Gil McCarthy will host a computerized movie about Pigeon Cove on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Rockport Senior Center at 58 Broadway in Rockport.
The movie, a photographic history, is titled “Pigeon Cove Then and Now,” and showcases computer images of photos of people from the past, buildings, homes, and schools.
Included are photos of Pigeon Cove Harbor, historic homes in Andrews Point and other neighborhoods, famous inns and hotels, and the Cape Ann Tool Company and its efforts during World War II, accompanied by a musical sound track.
There will be time for the audience to share their memories, and a table provided for a display of photos that guests would like to bring.
The event is free and refreshments will be served. Pre-registration is requested by calling Diane Bertolino at the senior center at 978-546-2573.
Singer-songwriters at Old Sloop
Old Sloop Coffeehouse will present a performance by Mark Erelli and Jeffrey Foucault on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Rockport, 12 School St.
Erelli and Foucault are two highly regarded singer-songwriters in the folk and Americana scene. A few years ago, they sat down to record a collection of murder ballads. The result was their album “Seven Curses” dealing with love and death.
Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 from the website at oldsloopcoffeehouse.org, at Gloucester Music, and Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport. The suggested donation at the door is $14 for adults, $9 for those 65 and older, $5 for those younger than 18, and $28 for a family.
Rising Berklee musicians
The Berklee World Strings come to Rockport’s Shalion Liu Performance Center on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. in a concert that will feature an international collection of Berklee’s most accomplished and promising soloists, chamber players and fiddlers in a lively program that includes new compositions and arrangements from a variety of world music.
The repertoire draws from Celtic, bluegrass, South American, Arabic, Gypsy, jazz, and classical styles. Berklee World Strings redefines the traditional string orchestra with bright melodies, dance rhythms and improvisation. The group will perform a contemporary program including Bernard Herrmann’s “Psycho—A Narrative for String Orchestra,” Bruce Thomas’ “East River Mountain Suite,” Andy Reiner’s “Fiddle Suite for String Orchestra,” Friesen’s “Maracaibo and Asreon,” and more. Tickets are $10 for adults and free for 18 and under (general admission).
For tickets and more information, visit www.rockportmusic.org. Tickets are also available at the box office at 978-546-7391 or 35 Main St. in Rockport, open week days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The ‘JFK Experience’
The Cape Ann Community Cinema continues its film festival with movies and music.
Tonight at 6:30 p.m. features “The JFK Experience,” a live, multimedia theatrical event focused on the life and presidency of John F. Kennedy. The show features Kennedy historian and expert Mike Lowe, who delivers JFK speeches verbatim, answers questions from the audience (in character, if requested), and hosts an event that includes an historic slideshow, audio narrations and more.
The Sunday film at 6 p.m. is “Maritime Capsule,” which tells the story of the Grand Banks dory from the heyday of high-lining schooners to the current group of locals who sustain the ancient rowboat as an important part of Gloucester’s maritime culture. Co-director and Gloucester native Keith Palazzola will present the film. For more information, visit www.CapeAnnCinema.com.
Also this week, folk musicians, John Roberts and Debra Cowan, will appear in concert at the cinema on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. They met at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in 1999. They share a passion for the old songs and ballads that have been handed down through the oral tradition in the English-speaking world. The evening also features contemporary songs.
BankGloucester will host a public reception for Rod Peterson on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the bank lobby.
A collection of his paintings will be on display through Jan. 11, 2013. The reception is an opportunity to talk to the artist regarding his work. Light refreshments will be served.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3445, or at email@example.com.