Mention the words “art” and “North Shore” in the same sentence and most people conjure up images of majestic boats sailing under pink skies on wind-tossed seas or sand dollars sprawled across the beach.
Written by Lauren Carelli
Photographs by Brianna Moore
Colorful surfboards, robots, and abstract rock posters are probably low on the list, but that is exactly what Jon Conant and his wife Karen are going for as they move their funky and upbeat art gallery, The Hive Cape Ann, into the Art Haven Gallery in Gloucester.
Originally opened in Rockport in the summer of 2009, The Hive is a small studio and art gallery where Conant displays his work along with 15 other artists. With just one step into the Rockport gallery, you could find everything from neon-colored skulls to laughing fish to dancing robots, but there was one thing missing: people. The studio was small, and typically the only ones found inside were the Conants.
“It was a rude awakening,” says Conant. “The community wasn’t receptive and didn’t have an appreciation for non-traditional work.”
With the jump to the new location, the Conants hope to expand the gallery and see more exposure, but moreÂ importantly, they want the community to be impacted by the art. The Conants are very supportive of the young, active community around them, having hosted several movie nights, open-studio nights, and sometimes local beach cleanups. Conant says that the move to Gloucester, along with expanding the space to include more artists, will show North ShoreÂ visitors and residents that it is okay to be non-traditional, to have an open mind, and to think outside the box.
“We want to reach people who aren’t jaded already and who are young at heart,” says Conant. “The people who are willing to give back and be open-that’s who we’re trying to reach with our gallery.”
They only hope their vision and excitement for art on the North ShoreÂ will catch on at the new location and inspire others to become involved. 108B Main St., Goucester, 78-546-8300, thehivecapeann.com.