State Sen. Bruce Tarr's painted bowl titled "Little Man Sitting on the Greasy Pole" was a big hit at the silent auction, says Julie LaFontaine, Executive Director of The Open Door.
But the biggest bids at Thursday night's Empty Bowl Dinner silent auction went to Rocky Neck artist Sigrid Olsen's "Soul of the Sea," and Rockport artist Kevin Ellis's "Apple Blossom."
"They fetched $500 each," said LaFontaine, contributing to the final grand tally for the evening — which drew a crowd of 934 to Cruiseport Gloucester and raised what LaFontaine said was "a quarter short of $28,740, at exactly $28,739.75."
The silent auction, which this year showcased 31 bowls painted by local elected officials and artists, is a popular part of the annual fund-raiser, and accounts for a big slice of its final take.
But the 1,000-plus bowls lovingly hand-painted in workshops by members of the community over the months preceding the event are also a huge draw. That's not to mention, the soups, donated by local restaurants, that filled them at Thursday night's dinner.
LaFontaine said she's seen the annual spring event evolve into a multi-generation family tradition over the 12 years it's been running.
Two new additions this year were compostable bowls, utensils and napkins from Change is Simple, Inc., which reduced the amount of garbage generated by the big crowd down to just 2 1/2 bags — and table center "peaces," as LaFontaine called them, designed by Rockport's Daphne Congelosi and created from treasures found at Second Glance by "artist-volunteers" including students at Art Haven.
"It's always great to see all the ways this one event touches all sorts of Gloucester residents, and brings them together," LaFontaine said. Most importantly, she always stresses, are the beneficiaries — the one in seven Gloucester residents who currently rely on The Open Door for food aid.
"The Open Door's Empty Bowl Dinner assures continuity of their Summer Lunch and Mobile Market programs," LaFontaine said Friday, "and in the end, that is what the evening is really all about."
Tickets on sale for jazz great tribute
The buzz is out about next Friday's concert at Fuller auditorium in tribute to Gloucester's native son, Herb Pomeroy (1930-2007).
"The music will be all Herb," said organizer Dan Leahy. "Phil Wilson, a world famous trombone player, is putting the music together." Wilson, a professor at Berklee, played with Pomeroy's band from 1955-1957.
Tickets are now on sale at the Liquor Locker and Gloucester Music, or through Dan Leahy at 978-876-1953. Tickets are $20 and are also available at the door. Doors open for the May 18 concert at 7 p.m., and music starts at 8 p.m. There will be refreshments at the intermission.
An anonymous donor purchased 100 tickets for senior citizens, which will be distributed by the Rose Baker Senior Center.
Urban green public celebration
A public opening reception for the Cape Ann Museum Park and Sculpture Garden takes place later today at 4:30 p.m., immediately following the local schools' Arts Festival.
The event takes place across the street from the museum, located at 27 Pleasant St. in Gloucester. There will be a few remarks by J.J. Bell, the museum vice president. In attendance will be John Raimondi, the Rockport artist who created the central bronze sculpture, Dance of the Cranes.
The park includes a granite stairway leading up from the corner of Pleasant Street, a variety of plantings and two granite benches.
With this park and sculpture garden in the heart of Gloucester, the museum hopes to establish a more visible connection with the public and to contribute to the creation of a "cultural campus" comprising the museum, city hall, the Saunders House and the library. There will be refreshments.
Beach stickers on sale
The 2012 beach stickers go on sale Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m.
While the stickers went on sale a little later than usual, the prices aren't any different from last year. Full-time resident stickers cost $20 and are on sale in the City Hall auditorium, not the Treasurer's office. You'll need the payment, proof of vehicle registration, and a self-addressed stamped envelope when you go.
A senior citizens' resident sticker costs $5, a nonresident property owner sticker costs $20. Seasonal renter stickers cost $50, and Essex and Rockport residents can pay $250 for a sticker.
Anyone else from out of town can pay $250 for one of 200 stickers.
Beastie Boys' local ties
Last Saturday came the news of Adam "MCA" Yauch's death from cancer.
Yauch, 47, was a member of the influential rap group Beastie Boys, with Adam "Ad-ROCK" Horowitz, whose father, playwright Israel Horowitz founded Gloucester Stage Company, and Mike D.
The three were featured on the cover of Rolling Stone in August 1998, and they talk about driving to Gloucester to write the lyrics for their album, "Hello Nasty," in the cover story.
Mike D said that Adam wouldn't let him drive; Horowitz said, "I need to get more confidence behind the wheel," so basically Yauch did the driving from New York, where they lived, to America's oldest seaport.
City schools' arts fest
For taking in today's downtown Gloucester Citywide Schools Arts Festival, here's who's playing and presenting when — and where:
AT CITY HALL
11 a.m. — Opening Ceremony
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — City Wide Elementary and O'Maley Middle School Band Performance
12:30 p.m. — Robotics presentation
1:15 p.m. — GHS chorus
1:45 p.m. — Elementary School folk dancing demonstration
2:15 p.m. —- GHS Docksiders Stage Band
2:45 p.m. — Docksiders with the GHS Chorus
3 p.m. p.m. — Closing Ceremony; combined GHS and Elementary School Choruses with The Docksiders
Art Exhibition- Gloucester Elementary and O'Maley Middle School students
Community Art Project (everyone welcome to participate)
Cabinet Design and Innovation Display- GHS cabinet making class
AT ART HAVEN
12:30 to 2 p.m. — pottery wheel throwing demonstration and workshop
AT SAWYER FREE LIBRARY
10 — 11 a.m. — Poetry reading featuring GHS and O'Maley Middle School students
11:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.— GHS arts reception, GHS art display
12:30 — 1:30 p.m. — GHS Culinary Arts Reception
AT CAPE ANN MUSEUM
11:30 a.m. — Poetry Reading, Gloucester Elementary School Students
12 noon — Children's Stories, Cape Ann Pre-School
1 p.m. — SEmD Music Petting Zoo, Come try out different instruments.
The flag at the Veterans Center will fly this week in honor of World War I veteran Arthur Sirois. Born May 15, 1892, he served in the United States Army as a horse shoer, in the U.S., Germany, Africa, Italy and France. He died March 1, 1950. The flag was requested to fly in his honor by his son, Roger Sirois.
Anyone wishing to fly a flag in honor of a deceased veteran can call the Office of Veterans Services at 978-281-9740.