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Centuries in the Making: Gloucester’s Wives & Fishermen Shine On
The 20th anniversary of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives memorial took place on Thursday August 5, 2021. Luminartz, whose mission is to educate, inspire and connect diverse audiences through iconic, nocturnal public art events led a wide range of sponsors and contributors to make this night possible. Lyn Burke, executive director of Luminartz and a resident of Gloucester, was inspired to create a public illumination display to honor Gloucester’s centuries of strong and influential women on their platinum anniversary.
About the Statue
The Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Memorial monument is bronze,12-feet high and located on Stacy Boulevard along Gloucester’s historic harbor. The statue’s sculptor is Cape Ann sculptor Morgan Faulds Pike and it depicts a woman with two children looking out to sea. Surrounding the statue are gardens that are the work of Landscape artist Ann Gilardi Johnson.
The Luminartz Event
The opening celebration of Centuries in the Making: Gloucester’s Wives & Fishermen Shine On was delayed slightly due to rain, but that did not deter the notable crowd that showed up to join the celebration. Guests included dignitaries, fishermen, and friends who came to honor the efforts of fishermen’s wives in working for their families and their community. Father Jim Achadinha, Pastor of Holy Family Parish, gave a blessing to those fishermen’s wives who had passed since the memorial was built.
Gloucester Wife and Vice President of Fishing Partnership Support Services Angela Sanfilippo addressed the crowd as did Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Theken who introduced Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy who was honored by the wives for her strong support of the fishing industry.The speaking portion of the program concluded with Sanfilippo’s reading of the poem “How God Created a Fisherman’s Wife.”
Immediately following the podium presentations, the light and sound installation began as guests surrounded the statue to hear the voices of fishermen’s wives and observe the illuminations.
Cape Ann Museum’s Quilt Display
On view through October 10, 2021, the Cape Ann Museum has an exhibit of The Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Quilt. This narrative quilt was created in 1998 in a collaboration with Clara Wainwright, a nationally known quilt maker.
Centuries in the Making: Gloucester’s Wives & Fishermen Shine On Event sponsors & contributors included:
Essex County Community Foundation’s Creative Writing Initiative
The Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association
Fishing Partnership Support Services
Cape Ann Museum
The Boston Foundation / Bruce J. Anderson Foundation
City of Gloucester
LEAP for Education / Gloucester High School
John Michael Kennedy