Columbus Day Weekend ushers in the fall tour of the Cape Ann Artisans, who throw open their studio doors for visitors to get an inside look at their creative process and chat with the artists and artisans.

It doesn’t hurt that many of these studios are located in areas of Rockport and Gloucester with panoramic vistas and ocean views.

The 36th annual Cape Ann Artisans Open Studios will place Saturday, Oct. 12, through Monday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

The self-guided tour features 15 studios and 17 artists, whose works include pottery, painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, mosaics, prints, textiles, jewelry and accessories.

This year’s participants include David Archibald, Cynthia Curtis, Rob Diebboll, Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco, Deborah Gonet, Andy Matlow, Anni Melançon, Sinikka Nogelo, Marcie Rae, Margaret Rack, Mi Robertson, Deb Schradieck, Pam Stratton, Twin Lights Studio’s Erin O’Sullivan and Scott Place, Beth Williams and Sara Wright. The group’s “From the Studio” blog features details of their continued evolution as artists and other elements of their work.

Details of the tour are available on printed brochures available at major tourist locations such as the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and Stage Fort Park visitors center as well as online at

Hammond Castle haunting begins 

Hammond Castle Museum in Gloucester presents its annual “Halls of Darkness, Fears and Phobias” the next three weekends.

This year’s production will focus on people’s fears, whether it is the dark or spiders or clowns or other phobias, as they walk through the maze of hallways and rooms — and even the laboratory inside the property.

The “Halls of Darkness” is open Fridays and Saturdays from Oct. 11 through 26. Visitors park at Stage Fort Park on Hough Avenue to board the bus for the short ride to the museum. Parking opens at Stage Fort Park at 6:30 p.m. and the first tour starts at 7. The last bus of the day leaves the park at 10:30 p.m., with the last ticket for the event sold at the museum at 10:45 p.m. 

Admission is $15 and tickets are available only at the museum during the haunted festivities. For more information, visit

Master storytellers sharing secrets

Literary Cape Ann showcases four master storytellers — Steve Almond, Brunonia Barry, Susan Oleksiw and Bruce Coffin — on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Rockport Public Library, 17 School St., Rockport.

The featured authors will immerse listeners in the “thrilling realm of suspense, drama and storytelling.” Setting the tone for the evening will be Peter Berkrot, an award-winning audiobook narrator and actor, who will perform dramatic readings from the works of each author.

Following the readings, New York Times-bestselling author Almond, who will serve as moderator, will lead the authors in a discussion about the love and challenges of storytelling.

Barry penned the international bestseller “The Lace Reader,” plus “The Map of True Places” and “The Fifth Petal.” Coffin, a former detective who supervised homicide and violent crime investigations in Maine and then investigated counter-terrorism cases for the FBI following 9/11, is the bestselling author of the Detective Byron mystery series. Oleksiw’s short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, and her nonfiction appears in “A Reader’s Guide to the Classic British Mystery” (1988) and “The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing” (1999), for which she was co-editor. 

The program is intended to appeal to both writers as well as those who love reading. Books will be available for sale and signing. Admission is free. For more information, visit Literary Cape Ann’s Facebook page.

Historical novel with ties to Cape Ann

Minnesota author Ames Sheldon, who grew up coming to Cape Ann every summer, will highlight her new historical novel titled “Don’t Put the Boats Away” in a reading on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. at The Bookstore of Gloucester, 61 Main St.

Sheldon’s first novel, “Eleanor’s Wars,” about a woman who drove an ambulance during World War I, won the 2016 Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Best New Voice: Fiction. In this new novel, which is a sequel, several chapters take place on Cape Ann in the late 1960s and early 1970s. 

For more details, visit

Finnish music at the St. Paul piano

Ruusamari Teppo, great-great-granddaughter of famed Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, will perform “Sibelius at the Piano,” a concert program of his well-known music, on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 4 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1123 Washington St., Gloucester.

In addition to the music, Teppo will share personal stories and other information to help listeners understand the development of her musical style.

This event is sponsored by the Cape Ann Finns and St. Paul Lutheran Church. Donations will be accepted. For more details, visit

End of Season party on Rocky Neck

The public is invited to attend Gallery 53’s festive End of Season party on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 53 Rocky Neck Ave., Gloucester. The event will feature an array of food and drinks. Original artwork by the member artists — whose works includes jewelry, pottery, paintings, photographs, cards, ornaments, glass and sculpture — will be given away as door prizes. For more information, visit

Book reading for Boston Marathon pioneer 

Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, will read and sign copies of her illustrated children’s book, “The Girl Who Ran,” on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 11 a.m. at The Paper Mermaid, 57 Main St., Rockport.

Gibb shares her story with new generations in the book, which is based on her trailblazing run in 1966. The book won the Amelia Bloomer Award from the American Library Association as one the best feminist books for young readers

For more details on Gibb’s appearance, call 978-546-3553.

Solo show of sculpture and drawings 

John Fleming, a sculptor and graphics member of Rockport Art Association & Museum, is opening a solo show titled “Signs of Life” on Saturday, Oct. 12 in the association’s Marguerite Pearson room, 12 Main St., Rockport.

“After three years of being unable to work on my art because of health issues and, let’s face it, aging, ... I discovered that I had to retrain myself to use the materials and methods that were once so dependable. I decided I would use nature’s seemingly random way of creation and see what happens,” he wrote in his artist statement. 

A free public reception takes place Saturday, Oct. 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. The show runs through Oct. 24. For more information, visit

‘An Octave of Prints’ at Jane Deering Gallery

Jane Deering Gallery, 19 Pleasant St., Gloucester, is presenting a new exhibition titled “First Violin: An Octave of Prints” by artist Patty Rosenblatt.

The series of eight images grew out of a commission from the Boston-based Longwood Symphony Orchestra to make a sculptural piece using an unfinished violin.

“Inspired by a relished theory, which posits that clay is the substance from which all life on Earth first sprang, Rosenblatt decided to submerge the violin in a well of wet clay and allow the complexity of time to alter the submerged instrument,” according to the exhibition statement. 

Rosenblatt studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, and a master’s degree from Boston College. From 1999 to 2013, she served on the advisory board of the Aidekman Art Gallery at Tufts University in Medford. 

An opening reception for the exhibition takes place Saturday, Oct. 12, from 4 to 6 p.m. Gallery hours are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m., and by appointment by emailing

Around Cape Ann is a column devoted to events happening on Cape Ann and artists from Cape Ann performing elsewhere. If you would like to submit an item, contact reporter Gail McCarthy at 978-675-2706, or, at least two weeks in advance.


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