Updated Local artist, curator and arts educator Susan Erony, whose text piece on silk “To Gloucester with Love” is a setting of a Charles Olson poem, gave a model of an arts center talk on the evolution of text as visual art.
I’ll grab any excuse to drive up to Cape Ann and last week, I caught artist and arts educator Susan Erony’s lecture at the soon to be one-year-old Gloucester Writer’s Center. There are hundreds of such centers springing up around the country but few are as picturesque and intimate as this one-year-old center in the former home of late Gloucester poet Vincent Ferrini. He would have been 98 on June 24, 2011.
Sometimes called “Gloucester’s conscience,” Ferrini’s wrote dozens of critically acclaimed poems, several plays, and a 1988 autobiography titled “Hermit in the Clouds.” Born in Lynn, his family moved to Gloucester in 1948. There he met another local poet Charles Olson (1910-1970) and the two served as inspirations to each other. In The Maximus Poems, Olson wrote about Gloucester’s past and his vision for Gloucester’s future.
Following Ferrini’s death in 2007, his close friend Unitarian Minister Paul Sawyer determined to purchase the house on the East Gloucester waterfront and turn it into a writers center. Together with Ferrini’s film-maker nephew Henry and friend Annie Thomas, he raised $100,000 in four months. The GWC commemorates both Ferrini and Olson.
Local artist, curator and arts educator Susan Erony, whose text piece on silk “To Gloucester with Love” is a setting of an Olson poem, gave a model of an arts center talk on the evolution of text as visual art, a frequent feature of her own work. Amply reinforced with slides, “Text, Image and Visual Art” was a packed art history lecture from the point of view of an artist. Erony began with 14th century illuminated manuscripts, highlighted Cubists, Futurists, Dadaists, Suprematists, Surrealists, Conceptual and Pop artists, ending with grafitti artists like Basquiat.
This was community arts education at its very best. See the GWC’s summer calendar and more here.
Helen Epstein is the author of several books on Kindle about performers and cultural life