The iconic images of Cape Ann have become the kernels of creativity for a group of cutting-edge artists who have tackled these symbolic scenes in a new art exhibit opening Saturday at iartcolony art gallery in Rockport.
The show, titled "icons: signposts to an art colony," features eight artists' reinterpretations of some of Cape Ann's most historic structures.
The pieces showcase landmarks from Rockport's twin lighthouses and tool company to Gloucester's Cut bridge and Our Lady of Good Voyage Church, with the Tarr and Wonson Paint Factory in Gloucester Harbor figuring most predominantly.
The exhibit showcases a mix of nationally recognized and emerging artists, including alumni of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Tufts University in Medford, Clark University in Worcester, Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, and Montserrat College of Art in Beverly.
Lending their talents to the show are Andrew Bablo, Andrew Houle, Cody Justus, Greg Lookerse, Greer Muldowney, Pawel Przewlocki, Emily Reinauer and Molly Segal.
Gallery co-founders Bob and Jill Whitney Armstrong said they strive to bring both new visions and new visitors to town to showcase the art of the 21st century.
Jill Whitney Armstrong noted the region's artistic legacy.
"There is a remarkable history of great artists creating on Cape Ann — artists like Fitz Henry Lane, Homer, Hopper and Hartley. We want to continue this tradition by bringing in the next generation of artists," she said.
The exhibit is a sequel to the gallery's 2015 exhibition focusing on Rockport's Motif no. 1, but takes an expanded interpretation of Cape Ann icons.
"There is a renaissance unfolding right now and it is very exciting," Bob Armstrong said. "We want to contribute by turning these artists on to this area, and continue to bring Cape Ann into the 21st century."
Bablo, a Montserrat graduate, has created a piece using original beams taken from the recently dismantled sections of the paint factory.
"He is reconstituting these relics into a piece that references Cape Pond Ice — another icon in danger of disappearing," Bob Armstrong said.
Photographer Muldowney, a New Jersey native, said in her artist statement that as an outsider to Cape Ann and New England in general, she held assumptions about the socio-economic makeup of the area as well as the visual landscape — envisioning hydrangeas, lighthouses and lobster traps.
"Upon arrival, I was informed by seasoned locals and business owners alike that these visual tropes are well entwined with the tourist and architectural history of the island, and are celebrated and used to stimulate more growth for a future that still relies on the icons of its past," wrote Muldowney, who serves on the board of directors for the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester.
"This push-and-pull to keep the past and maneuver the future are represented in this small selection of photographs I made on Cape Ann; to highlight the unique sensibility of the place and the conjured visuals of the New England coastline.”
Rounding out the show is a work by a late Gloucester native son, Robert Douglas Stephenson (1935-2015), capturing the Blynman Bridge, also known as Cut bridge, over the Blynman Canal, circa 1994.
Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-675-2706, or at email@example.com.
IF YOU GO
What: "icons: signposts to an art colony," exhibit featuring eight Boston-based artists reinterpreting the icons of Cape Ann
When: Opening Saturday, Sept. 10, with reception from 5 to 9 p.m.; runs through October. Gallery hours Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment.
Where: iartcolony art gallery, 42 Broadway, Rockport
More information: Visit www.iartcolony.com.