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Sculpting Self Exhibition Opening at Cape Ann Museum
April 23 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Join the Cape Ann Museum for an opening reception of “Sculpting Self,” a special exhibition pairing sculptures by Walker Hancock (1901-1998) with sculptures created by over 300 eighth graders at Manchester-Essex Middle School, Rockport Middle School, and Gloucester’s O’Maley Middle School. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Hancock made his home in the Lanesville section of Gloucester and devoted his long and distinguished career to capturing the spirit of the human figure. His subjects were diverse, ranging from prominent American political and military figures to important artists, to his neighbors and friends in Lanesville.
“Sculpting Self” was inspired by Hancock’s Basketball Player series. Created over a fifteen-year period (c. 1961-1977), Hancock made these sculptures while watching Gloucester High School’s varsity basketball team practice. The basketball players would repeat moves like “Sky Hook” and “Waiting for the Pass” so that Hancock could capture their dynamic movement in sculpture. During the 2021-2022 school year, CAM’s Head of Education & Engagement, Miranda Aisling, visited each class of eighth graders twice to talk about Hancock’s work and to teach the students how to create their own wire armature and cover it with clay. Each student was asked to portray themselves doing their favorite activity. From basketball to reading, ballet to dabbing, listening to music or playing video games, these sculptures capture the interest of today’s eight graders on Cape Ann.
The Museum would like to extend special thanks to Hope Fishburn and Brett Dunton at O’Maley Middle School, Tina Doherty at Manchester-Essex Middle School, and Pam Jones at Rockport Middle School for supporting this project in their classrooms. This exhibition was funded in part by the Rockport Cultural Council, Essex Cultural Council, and Manchester Cultural Council.