The Boston Globe: When quarries are the photographic quarry

July 2, 2023

 In Gloucester, 9 photographers look at the remains of a once-thriving Cape Ann industry.

GLOUCESTER – “QuarryArt” is a double-edged title. The show consists of, yes, art about quarries: 37 photographs by nine photographers, with various Cape Ann stone quarries as their subject. That’s the more obvious meaning of quarry art. The other is that, as so many of the images show, the quarries themselves are a kind of art.

What we see is a violation of the land, the residue of literal gouging for profits. Yet what remains behind has a stark and unmistakable beauty. The quarries are a version of Earth art, land art, environmental art — take your pick — long before the terms existed.

 “QuarryArt” is at the Cape Ann Museum Green. It runs through July 30. Note that CAM Green is slightly more than a mile away from the museum’s main site, in downtown Gloucester. It’s a five-minute drive or not-unpleasant 20-minute walk. Speaking of not-unpleasant, admission is free. It’s open Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays.

The exhibition is in the Janet & William Ellery James Center, one of four buildings on the CAM Green campus. The gallery space is airy and unfussy: high ceiling, exposed ducts and pipes, everything painted white. The spareness suits the photographic subject matter.


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