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The Goetemann Artist Residency (GAR), part of The Rocky Neck Art Colony (RNAC), welcomes local artist Vanessa Michalak as its 2021 Gloucester Invitational Resident.

Vanessa Michalak has an MFA in painting from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  She also has a BSN in Nursing from the University of Maine, Orono. She was scheduled to participate in the GAR program in May 2020 but due to Covid-19 the residency was postponed to 2021. During that time Michalak continued to explore her surroundings in Gloucester, spending many days plein air painting within Dogtown, while also continuing to visually advocate for the nursing profession.

Michalak refers to her painting as “the vehicle through which I can best experience this world.” According to her artist statement, “painting helps me understand who I am, where I am and what calls my attention and expression. It is not necessarily about subject matter, although as I make my way through life there are certain themes that I have repeatedly chosen to paint: my love of the outdoors and my relationship with the profession of nursing.” 

Michalak’s “The Nurse Project,” is an ongoing portrait series that honors the spirit, courage and the heart of nurses during this difficult time.

Olivia, ICU Whiplash, Vanessa Michalak

Michalak began her residency with her talk on May 3, and wraps up her residency with a talk on Thursday, May 27. She observes, “as I continue to paint, I simultaneously proceed with both grit and surrender and in so doing, explore the world and myself.” Her stay on Rocky Neck will give her the time and space to continue this exploration. 

The Goetemann Artist Residency at Rocky Neck Art Colony celebrates diversity and creativity and seeks a range of the art of our time. It provides each of five visual artists and one teacher with a four-week stay in a two-level, live-work studio with access to the rich cultural community of Gloucester. Selected artists demonstrate a high caliber of work, originality, and seriousness of purpose. Celebrating its 17th year in 2021, the Goetemann Artist Residency was founded by Gloucester painter and teacher Gordon Goetemann (pronounced GET-a-min) in 2004 and renamed in his honor in 2010.

The Rocky Neck Art Colony (RNAC) was founded in the mid-19th century and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1973. With the creation of the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck in 2012, RNAC programs are reaching a wider demographic as the visual arts focus is expanding to include more diverse cultural and educational offerings. The Cultural Center is located at 6 Wonson Street, Gloucester. For more information, visit