Creativity flourishes in North Shore art associations this spring

If you’ve ever taken a springtime stroll along Newburyport’s boardwalk, Marblehead Harbor, or another North Shore waterfront location, you’ve no doubt encountered painters, photographers, and other artists inspired by our beautiful landscape and scenery.

So it’s no surprise that the North Shore has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to art associations, which showcase work from artists across the region—and even the country—in rotating galleries, exhibitions and competitive juried shows. that showcase the best. of the best, while also providing education, public art and connections throughout the community.

Here we take a closer look at three North Shore art associations, but don’t be fooled. There are many more waiting to be discovered.

Marblehead Arts Association


“We’re not just a gallery,” says Xhazzie Kindle, director of operations for the Marblehead Arts Association. Founded in 1922, the association — which now has about 450 members — is housed in the nearly 300-year-old King Hooper Mansion, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. “We have different aspects to us. We have the art on the wall, and also the Hooper Mansion itself is fascinating,” says Kindle. In fact, much of the building’s original woodwork, architectural details and even the windows are still intact. Its seven exhibition galleries rotate approximately every six weeks and feature more than 1,200 original pieces each year by members and guest artists. “You come back a few weeks later, and there’s something new to explore,” Kindle says.


Exhibitions at the Marblehead Arts Association feature a combination of member shows, photography shows, and solo artist shows, as well as gallery space that is permanently reserved for works by students under 18. Over the past century it has also counted extraordinary artists as members, from founding member Samuel Chamberlain to painter Mark Shasha and hundreds of others today.

Photos by Joel Laino

Plan your visit

A visit to the Marblehead Art Association involves more than the art on the walls, although there is plenty of that. There’s also a monthly jazz series, a community gathering tavern, and an ever-rotating slate of exhibitions, including the upcoming “Variations,” an annual, national, juried exhibition featuring fine art, photography, and three-dimensional pieces such as jewelry and sculpture, by artists from around the country. “The variants really live up to its name. There’s no theme to it, so artists can decide what they want,” says Kindle. “The quality of the work is outstanding.” This year, Variations runs from April 20 to June 16, with an opening reception on Sunday, April 21.

8 Hooper St., Marblehead, 781-631-2608,

Newburyport Art


Founded in 1948 under the leadership of painter, teacher, and Newburyport native Sam Sargent, Newburyport Art prides itself on its commitment to its mission of promoting and exhibiting the work of members and providing art education and access to the entire community. . “It is simple and comprehensive”, says the executive director Dr. Lisa Naas. “It’s big and wide, but wonderfully comprehensive.” Visitors can see that mission in action from OpArt for People with Disabilities realized in partnership with Opportunity Works, to student exhibitions, to many open, juried, invited, featured artists and other shows in its galleries.


Newburyport Art provides a venue for artists from all walks of life to display their work, counting among its members painters Susan Jaworski Stranc and Michele Champion, as well as sculpture artists Jeffrey and Lindley Briggs, who created carousel animals for The Greenway Carousel on the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston. Newburyport Art also extends beyond its walls, with the Range Lights Sculpture Garden and the NBPT Mural Project, which is bringing outdoor murals to Newburyport in partnership with Tannery Marketplace, the City of Newburyport, Blochaus Art Gallery and more than a dozen others. area artists, says Naas.

Plan your visit

This spring is full of events at Newburyport Art, including the member and non-member themed show “We Share One Sky,” April 5-28. There is also an Art Symposium April 19–21; an OpArt exhibit May 2–19; and a National Juried show May 24-June 30.

65 Water St., Newburyport, 978-465-8769,

Rockport Art Association and Museum


Founded in 1921, the Rockport Art Association & Museum has been a center for artists drawn to Cape Ann’s stunning natural beauty and otherworldly light. There are more than 300 juried artist members and hundreds of contributing members, as well as a museum on Main Street, located steps from the ocean. “Continuously changing exhibitions in five galleries offer fine art for sale, including original paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings and prints, while a sixth gallery displays works from the Museum’s Collection by RAA&M founders and other historic Cape artists Ann,” he says tentatively. executive director Kristin Czarnecki.


In addition to rotating exhibitions and shows, the museum’s collection includes pieces by founding artist members such as Aldro Hibbard, Harry Vincent, William Lester Stevens, and Antonio Cirino, as well as other artists who created in Cape Ann, such as Childe Hassam, Leon Kroll. , and Eric Hudson.

Plan your visit

With free admission and events throughout the year, the Rockport Art Association & Museum is a great place to take in works from some of the region’s most talented artists. This season is packed with shows and activities, says Czarnecki. “Current exhibitions include the Pre-Auction Exhibition, culminating in the Annual Art Auction on May 4, the Spring Group Show and the Small Works Show,” she says. “RAA&M will also have four summer shows featuring works by members of the Juried Artists along with the GRASSROOTS-Emerging Artists Show.” Events continue later in the year, with RAA&M hosting the American Impressionist Society’s 25th Annual National Juried Exhibition from September 27th to October 26th. The year will end with the RAA&M National Show, which will take place from November 23rd to December 31st. you can also find artist demonstrations, classes and workshops; programs for children, youth and families; and receptions and other special events.

12 Main St., Rockport, 978-546-6604,

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