, Gloucester, MA

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February 4, 2013

Bring in the art, bring in the mess

Hands covered in paint and clay and tables splattered in inks and glue mixed loudly with swarms of exuberant local children hunkered down around tables creating all manner of art on Friday evening during the fourth annual Messy Art Night at Essex Elementary School.

The open spaces in the cafeteria and in the hallways grew smaller and smaller as more and more art was laid out to dry on bleachers, floors and walls, the level of excited chatter and the hum of creativity rising and rising.

From fish prints and monoprints to Valentine’s bags and ink splatter drawings to still life painting, to pottery and sketching, there were also lines of kids waiting impatiently to try out a new medium.

Occasionally there were mad dashes to the restrooms to clean up. And members of the school’s Green Team were on hand to help recycle, compost and dispose of any discarded items safely and cleanly, too.

The Essex Elementary School PTO sponsored the event, which featured about 14 local artists, including the staffs of Cape Ann Art Haven, Cogswell Grant and the Essex Shipbuilding Museum.

Allegra Boverman is the chief photographer and a staff writer for the Gloucester Daily Times. She can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3448 and at

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