News Column

City canvases

July 3, 2014

By Gail McCarthy, Gloucester Daily Times, Mass.

July 03--Images of some of the city's most ramshackle buildings have been memorialized on canvas, and now form part of a new art exhibition opening on Rocky Neck's historic art colony.

The show is titled "Building," with works by Laureen Adrienne Maher, a new member of the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester.

"Building" is a collection of old and dilapidated Gloucester buildings that Maher has painted over the past decade.

"What I love most about art is perspective," said Maher. "When starting a painting, I try to surprise people with the not-so-popular view of the subject to offer a fresh new take. In every beautiful vista or building I find what I think is horrifyingly delightful. From there, I like to stage the ugly in a new light, like a 'makeover' ... with the prettiest colors mixed from oil paints."

This show is part of the art colony's Summer Artists Series. The public is invited to a free opening reception and artist talk on Saturday, July 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Rocky Neck Art Gallery Artist Collective.

For Maher, this is a special show because it is her first as a juried artist here. An East Gloucester resident, she described Rocky Neck as a magical place that inspired her to be an artist, although she has always had an interest in the fine arts.

The show includes some familiar paintings of the Birdseye building as well as fresh Gloucester scenes.

She also has an image, "Good Harbor Dreamin,'" that is not a dilapidated building by any means, but a place where she and many others dream about living because of its waterfront location. That is the house that sits atop the rocks at the far end of Good Harbor Beach, which shows up in countless photographs and paintings.

"I wanted to capture the idea that legions of people from all over just dream about that house," she said. "I was going to call it the 'Global Dream' because people from everywhere dream about living in that house."

Maher, who has been painting for 10 years, recently exhibited with the Magnolia Historical Society and had a solo show at Sawyer Free Library. For years she worked in commercial printing and later at Harvard University as an administrative assistant. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

When Maher is not using her paint brushes, she wields a hair brush and more because she is the owner and stylist at the Beauty Bar, 12 Parker St. in Gloucester.

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-675-2707, or via email at

If you go

What and who: "Building," a new exhibition of works by Laureen Adrienne Maher.

When: Through July 22. The public is invited to the opening reception and artist talk Saturday, July 5, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Rocky Neck Art Gallery Artist Collective, 53 Rocky Neck Ave. in Gloucester. For details, visit

How much: Free to public.


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Source: Gloucester Daily Times (MA)

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