Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Artistic Tradition in Newburyport

The later half of the 20th Century was an interesting time in Newburyport. Along with the resurrection of the downtown from its many years of commercial decline, there was a renaissance of sorts taking place in the cultural scene. In the shadow of Rockport and Cape Ann, a vibrant group of locals set up shop and staked their claim toward becoming a new destination for collectors of contemporary American art. Galleries and studios ranging in style from the traditional to the eclectic began springing up in the old mill buildings and abandoned lofts.

Two such artists who were highly collected during that time were Jim Mickelson (upper left) and Jon Kodwyck (lower right).  Some of their works can be seen at Connor Summers Gallery on Market Street.               

There were others. Richard Gibney, Waldo Pierce, and galleries like Inn Street, Santiago and Churchills. This all took place within the last 50 years, and provided the wonderful set up for the thriving gallery scene we have in Newburyport today. Make a little extra time on your next artWalk to meet the artists, find out what inspires them, and ask them how they ended up in this town, at this time. 

The next ArtWalk Weekend is June 21 ~ 22.    Hope you can make it.