Artists have chance to medal in city's 400th

Courtesy photo/Design submissions are being sought for medal commemorating Gloucester's 400th birthday. Pictured are the front and back of medals issued for the city's 300th, left, by George Manuel Aaron, and its 350th, by Daniel Altshuler.eorge Manuel Aaron

The Gloucester 400 steering committee is still looking for submissions for a medal design commemorating the city’s 400th anniversary in 2023.

“Having a commemorative medal of this sort will highlight the importance of this anniversary,” said Realtor Ruth Pino, a tri-chair member of the steering committee.

Submissions must be made online by Aug. 31 and show a Gloucester-inspired design for a two-sided, 6- by 8-inch circular medal. 

The submission should include “1623 - 2023” and the lettering “Gloucester” and “400” on it. Otherwise, the design is entirely up to the artist.

“We didn't want to say what we’re looking for in a design because it should depict the best of Gloucester and whatever that means for the artist,” said Pino.

Three semi-finalists who will be selected from phase one entries will be announced on Oct. 1 and receive a prize of $3,000 each.

Entrants must be at least 18 years old and any professional artist or amateur is welcome to enter. All entrants must be able to produce and submit a pair of plaster models of their designs by Dec. 1 for phase two of the competition, should they be chosen as semi-finalists.

The winner will be announced in February 2020 and receive an additional $10,000.

The competition is sponsored by the 501 (c) (3) nonprofit Gloucester Celebrations Corporation, which was created to organize celebrations for Gloucester's quadricentennial.

Pino, who is joined by former Gloucester mayor Bruce Tobey and Cape Ann Savings Bank President Bob Gillis on the steering committee, said the organization is still finalizing a judging panel for the competition.

Rebecca Reynolds, president of Manship Artists Residency and Studios in Cape Ann and an arts administrator, has also helped organize the competition.

Longtime numismatist and Gloucester resident Tom Lance is working with local and international mints to source the medals, which he expects will be small and mid-sized medals made of antiqued bronze and a limited edition sterling silver medal packaged in a presentation box.

“I am really excited about the limited edition sterling medal,” Lance said. “I believe a beautiful design, coupled with our planned presentation box, will make for a very desirable keepsake for generations.”

Medals were also cast for the city's 300th and 350th birthdays.

To submit a design, see the full guidelines of the competition or learn more information about Gloucester 400, go to