Museum show spotlights Roger Martin works

February 12, 2015

Gloucester Daily Times, Times Staff - The Cape Ann Museum is opening a new exhibition this weekend honoring one of Cape Ann’s own with “Bill of Lading,” a special showcase of work exploring the art and poetry of Rockport’s Roger Martin.

Martin is a founder of Montserrat College of Art and a long-time member of its faculty, as well as Rockport’s first poet laureate. He has written three books celebrating the people and poetry of his hometown.

The exhibition — which takes its title from one of Martin’s poems — opens with a public reception from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14. 

Martin’s creative talents are diverse. He is also a graphic designer, illustrator and painter.

Born on Cape Ann in 1925, he spent his life in Rockport. 

In 1946, following his service in the war, Martin enrolled at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he concentrated on book design and illustration. He graduated with honors in 1950, after which he went on to work freelance in advertising design in Boston and New York City. During this time, Martin’s illustrations began appearing in such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times and Atlantic Monthly. 

Returning to his hometown of Rockport in 1953, Martin began to broaden his horizons, experimenting with watercolor, oil and wood block printing. By the early 1960s, he was exhibiting at the Rockport Art Association, in the Cape Ann Festival of the Arts, and at Gallery Seven and Nexus Gallery in Boston.

Founding Monteserrat

In 1970, Martin and eight other like-minded artists founded what is now known as Montserrat College of Art in Beverly

During his 20-year career at Montserrat, Martin taught a wide range of classes. Retiring in 1991, he was named as its first professor emeritus.

The rugged beauty of Cape Ann has been the artist’s driving inspiration over the years for both his poetry and his art.

Working with Bob Perrigo of Essex, Martin published a limited portfolio of poems and woodblock prints titled “7 Woodcuts & Poems.”  

Included in that work is the poem Bill of Lading, from which this exhibition takes its title.

The exhibition will be on display through June 28.  

For more information, visit capeannmuseum.org.

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