Mosaic Gloucester

ACI is excited to be managing an exciting project which will celebrate our heritage, catalyze art and community engagement in Gloucester.  Gloucester artist Lesley Davison plans a visual representation of Gloucester’s oral history, to tell its layered tales —through its citizens— in a lasting, accessible, and engaging way.  This mosaic interpretation of Gloucester’s heritage will be a beautiful addition to the City as it hangs in a prominent location on Americold’s 69 Rogers Street wall.  The mural is being undertaken with the support of Americold, The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, The Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association, The Rose Baker Senior Center, Gloucester Schools’ Art faculty and the City of Gloucester.

Over the next seven months, the community will be brought together to create and then celebrate the unveiling of a 100-square foot mosaic.   We envision this as an annual process which will bring the community together to tell and depict its own stories on the Americold wall over the next few years.

A few the project’s sample tiles, to give an idea of what the community members will create:

Stage one is fieldwork: going out into the community to gather information. Lesley will start with her own hypotheses but will explore, document, chronicle, map out what she discovers about boatbuilding, fishermen and their families, the fish-processing industry, cultural groups and immigration, Gloucester’s particular past, illustrating topics within topics.  Stage two: as designer and facilitator she will synthesize discoveries into a sketch of imagery to be tiled.  Stage three: making tiles. A portion of the tiles will be created in the community through workshops with sites in the community: senior centers, clubs, students in the schools.  Stage four: bringing it all together – The artist will work with student interns, adhering tiles to the surface of the panels, finishing with grout, and then working with engineering experts to hang the panels on the wall.  Stage five:  Archiving of oral histories, installation of coded map with link to audio versions of the Mosaic’s oral histories and publication of book with the mosaic’s imagery and stories

Lesley made a similar large mosaic working with community in Florida:

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Centralized Calendar

Community forums hosted by ACI in April 2016 identified a centralized calendar as an important resource/need for Gloucester – One which will improve the awareness of, attendance at, and coordination of arts and cultural events in Gloucester.  The Gloucester Arts and Culture is responding to this call by putting together a working group to identify and research existing models of effective centralized calendars in other communities and adapt them to create and implement a calendar for Gloucester.

The working group tentatively will be led by  ACI and include The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, Discover Gloucester, local galleries, Good Morning Gloucester and the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation.   The Social Net (Worcester) and ArtsBoston calendars are two models currently under investigation.

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Housing, Studio and Live/Work Space

ACI has put together a working group on housing, studio and live/work space in Gloucester.  The group seeks to identify and foster healthy growth in Gloucester that will serve the full spectrum of an artist’s life and work.

The group is currently exploring two projects:

  • Live/work space zoning overlays

We are currently researching the prospective benefits of introducing live/work space zoning overlays similar those introduced in Beverly last year.

  • SpaceFinder MA

SpaceFinder is an online means of matching available short term and long term commercial, industrial and residential spaces with artists seeking space to make, practice, perform or sell their art forms.  This program is already available and used in other areas of the State, but a critical mass of participation will be necessary to make it useful in Gloucester.   We are working with the Arts and Business Council and the MCC to explore bringing this program to Gloucester.  This would likely entail a series of information sessions and workshops for business and artists who may be looking to rent and lease arts related space.  The goal is to both raise awareness of this resource and provide a working knowledge of how to use this resource.  The goal of this program is economic development.