Sea serpent coming to the museum

Courtesy photoDrawing of Cassie the Sea Serpent by Gloucester-born Michael Grimaldi of Grimdrops. Cassie will be the focus of several activities at the Cape Ann Museum in the coming weeks.

Gloucester’s legendary sea serpent will be the centerpiece of activities planned for children and families by the Cape Ann Museum, 27 Pleasant St., in coming weeks.

Gloucester-born artist Michael Grimaldi, known as Grimdrops, has created a family-friendly guide, “Cassie the Sea Serpent,” for a series of programs, a virtual lecture, and events this spring. Grimaldi, a local muralist, graphic designer, and Montserrat College of Art graduate who now lives in Beverly, will be live painting Cassie throughout the galleries so that visitors can see him at work.

Inspired by the legendary story of the Cape Ann sea serpent, a creature that was seen in Gloucester Harbor between 1817 and 1819 by hundreds of residents, Cassie will be focus of a socially-distanced scavenger hunt through the museum, and a series of programs over April school vacation week (April 22-25). Families with children younger than 18 are invited to visit the museum for free during the school vacation week. Preregistration for timed entrance tickets is required.

“The importance of this initiative is that we are introducing a new youth narrative throughout our galleries - an interactive and engaging new voice to engage younger audiences in the important stories behind the art and industries that so define the seminal role that Cape Ann has played in both American art and history,” museum director Oliver Barker said in a prepared statement.

In 2019, a 9-foot bronze sculpture of the Gloucester sea serpent was installed at the museum’s front entrance. It was designed by Essex artist Chris Williams who has created a scaled-down version of his serpent for families to take home during the vacation week. 

Beginning Friday, April 16, visitors can watch Grimaldi as he paints Cassie in the Maritime and Fisheries Gallery from 1 to 3 p.m. Museum members are invited for a special after-hours event that day from 6 to 8 p.m. while Grimaldi paints Cassie in the Central Gallery, and light refreshments will be served. 

Next Saturday, April 17, at 1 p.m. CAM education manager Miranda Aisling will offer a a virtual gallery tour of the museum with Grimaldi and a virtual lecture about bringing Cassie the Sea Serpent to life. This event is free for members, $10 for non-members, and pre-registration required for the Zoom event.

More details about the Cassie the Sea Serpent programs and events as well as tickets can be found at www.capeannmuseum.org.

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