Second Annual Beauport Art Show
Over 50 artists displayed their work, influenced by the terrain, nature, and architecture of the North Shore.
The ballroom at Gloucester’s Beauport Hotel was adorned with dramatic paintings of crashing waves, delicate watercolors of flowers, and striking nature photography on Wednesday, May 23, as 54 artists displayed their work at the second annual Cape Ann Art Show.
“I love the setting, I love the crowd,” says painter Debra Bretton Robinson, who was displaying her brightly colored, semi-abstract acrylic paintings of Cape Ann scenes.
Throngs of art-lovers nibbled cheese, sipped wine, and strolled the aisles of the show, perusing the paintings and prints. Almost all the art on display was influenced by the terrain, nature, or architecture of the North shore.
Gloucester native Theresa Testaverde displayed prints, coasters, and cards featuring images from a series she calls “Fish Faces.” Inspired by her childhood as the daughter of a fisherman, the drawings feature bold-lined close-ups of the fish she used to help her father unload on the wharf.
Painter Stephen Lapierre was selling his plein air oil paintings of Gloucester scenes. Lapierre moved to the famed Rocky Neck artists’ colony two years ago and paints scenes in sun and fog, light and dark. He was glad to be at the art show to expose potential buyers to his work and even happier to be in Gloucester, participating in its long tradition of art.
“The tradition of American painters?” he asks, pointing at the Gloucester ground beneath him. “It doesn’t get any better than this.
The art show was the inspiration of Kathy Cuddyer, manager of the Beauport Boutique gift shop. Before she started working at the hotel, Cuddyer for many years owned a gift shop in downtown Gloucester, where she made many connections with local artists. When she began managing the gift shop, many of these painters got in touch to find out if there was space for their work to be sold or displayed.
The tiny hotel shop didn’t have the wall space to accommodate these requests, so Cuddyer hatched a plan for an art show. Hotel management agreed to the idea and the first show took place last August.
“The ballroom was packed,” Cuddyer says. “People were selling. The artists were asking me all year, ‘When’s the next one?’”
This year’s event expanded upon last year’s inaugural show, adding 10 new spots for artists, a piano player providing background music, and a selection of appetizers for attendees. An additional room was added to make space for the additional artists and in an adjacent meeting room, a video from the Cape Ann Museum played, offering a snapshot of the area’s rich artistic heritage.
Even with the additional space, the area was teeming with browsers, some carrying newly purchased canvases. Being able to offer that kind of exposure to local artists is what makes the whole event worthwhile, Cuddyer says. “It opens a doorway for them,” she adds.