ROCKPORT – The Rockport Art Association & Museum will reopen on Wednesday, with a show called “Welcome Back!”
The historic art association, with its spacious galleries on the first floor, closed on March 10 due to the coronavirus pandemic, ahead of government mandates.
Its first summer exhibition features around 90 works of art, including paintings, photographs and sculptures by its exhibiting artist members, and runs until August 2.
James Craig, executive director of the Rockport Art Association & Museum, said the organization looks forward to welcoming the return of its artists, patrons and visitors after this period of social distancing and a spring filled with all disinfection protocols.
âWhen we started working from home, we were constantly adjusting the schedule because we had so much planned for this year, and we had to find a way to reopen in a way that would benefit the members, so that was a wait and – see what was allowed. Once we had those answers in hand, we began the process of reopening, “said Craig.
The closure gave the art association the impetus to create galleries online.
âIn the future, we will do this with every major exhibition we have. At the same time that the pieces are hung on the wall, they will also be available for sale online, âsaid Craig.
Visitors will be required to wear masks and there is a strict schedule for daily cleaning.
Show of female artists
Another exhibition will open from July 25 to September 7. It was at this time that the association organized an exhibition of the work of members of the Massachusetts branch of the National Association of Women Artists.
Many women artists from Cape Ann and the North Shore are members of this association, said Heidi Caswell Zander, chair of the association’s board of directors.
The exhibit, “Collectable”, was judged by Jennifer Liston Munson, former senior member of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ Exhibitions and Design Department and Executive Director of the Armenian Museum.
Zander said staff and the board have been meeting weekly since the closure to consider ways to continually reach out to the community.
âWe started online workshops and were preparing how we could be open so that we were ready when deemed appropriate and safe,â she said. “In addition, the online courses have allowed us to reach people who have not taught because they live far away but are now able to teach. We are trying to have a strong online presence and ‘offer a range of possibilities. We are trying to balance contemporary and traditional classes as well as outdoor classes. ”
In another effort, the arts association is embarking on a community art project open to all. The project is called Mail Art, which refers to a movement focused on sending small-scale works by post.
âWe were looking for something that people can do individually at home, but that can be part of a collective experience,â Zander said.
All submissions must measure 4 inches by 6 inches and be in whatever medium will pass through the postal system. They can be abstract, figurative, written or a combination, and made from cardboard, construction paper. Each submission must have a stamp and a mailing address.
Submissions should be mailed to Rockport Art Association & Museum, 12 Main St., Rockport, MA 01966. Postal art should not be placed in an envelope; it must be sent by post. Make sure to include your name and contact details somewhere on the postcard. All entries must be postmarked no later than July 25, 2020.
“We are considering joining the Mail Art postcards together, at the corners, to create a hanging wall that viewers can walk through and explore from both sides. We want to document and share both the individual and collective ‘NOW’ through this. Mail Art process. If events remain possible, this will be part of a Better Together celebration in mid-August. The final collection of these works will be on display and then archived, “according to a statement.
The Mail Art Project exhibition is scheduled from August 15 to September 13.
You can reach Gail McCarthy at 978-675-2706 or at [email protected]