During last month's summer sabbatical, I thought of you often my dear blog friends, I really did. Not in a creepy, stalker sort of way, but more along the lines of, Wow, I can't wait to share this!
Rocky Neck Artist Colony in Gloucester, Massachusetts is one of those wish-you-were-here destinations.
America's oldest continuously working art colony, Rocky Neck has been inspiring and nurturing artists (including world renown talents: Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Frank, Vuveneck, Childe Hassam, Milton Avery) for more than 150 years.
Overlooking busy, Gloucester Harbor, of movie (Perfect Storm), and reality TV show fame (Wicked Tuna), the galleries and restaurants along 'the Neck' are charming, authentic and utterly unassuming. Save the attitude for elsewhere.
In spite of a distinct lack of posturing, the folks and the work they do here are the real deal. Painters, potters, photographers, print makers, jewelry designers, ceramicists and fine furniture makers live and work in an atmosphere of community and creativity. (with great access to lobster and fresh-off-the-boat seafood...)
The Rocky Neck Gallery is a cooperative exhibit space featuring a variety of work by the area's Art Colony members.
Sailor Stan's serves up breakfast and lunch April - December, and for dinner I highly recommend, The Rudder! Delish!! It's one of the places we return to every year and it's the perfect spot to spend a summer evening. Great seafood, fun atmosphere, a view of boats floating in the marina, and a glass of wine...
The jewelry store is a treasure box! Be prepared!
Although it's definitely a place that encourages visitors, it doesn't have a cheesy, tourist trap feel. It's more like the kind of place you feel lucky to have stumbled upon.
This year, one of the things I enjoyed most about my visit was listening to the artists discuss and describe their work and their process. In my opinion, that's not an easy thing to do -describe something so personal and visual.
Since I have once again signed on to participate in the Long Beach Open Studio Tour coming up in October I had an ulterior motive in listening more closely, and was particularly interested in observing how the pros presented and spoke about their work.
Although I have had great experiences showing my own pieces, and meeting people who for the most part are very kind (there was that group who thought my still life display was an appetizer...I totally get the confusion) I find the process more than a little intimidating.
Ultimately, I think it boils down to honesty and maybe not taking my-own-neurotic-self so seriously.
I especially loved the whimsical entrance to the Elynn Kroger Gallery, and I completely agree: wherever you go, there you are! It is, what it is.
Wish me luck, I'm going to try and go with that.