Contemporary Art Installation at the White-Ellery House: Christy Park and Rosella Park Sagall



The Cape Ann Museum invites you to Captain Ellery’s Tavern, a one day contemporary art installation by artists Christy Park and Rosella Park Sagall at the historic White-Ellery House on Saturday, October 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The house is open that day as part of 17th Century Saturdays, an Escapes North program. This program is free and open to the public.

Rosella Park Sagall presents life size drawings of 18th century figures and Christy Park has spare portraits of 18th century faces. These, together with colonial era music, create an ephemeral atmosphere in the rooms of old beams and plaster and wood walls. The works have been designed to reflect people in a tavern 271 years ago. Both the artists have all their lives enjoyed visiting recreated historical sites spanning time periods from the 1600’s to early 1800’s, and that no doubt is one of the inspirations for this installation. The artists researched period clothing, music, and tavern life in order to give an accurate feeling to what they are calling tracings of an earlier time. The installation also includes interesting material about an 18th century tavern.

Christy Park began her career as a painter, studying at the Art Students League in New York. She quickly began to include other varied media in her work, and in the 70’s began to work with photography. In New York she was a founding member of the 55 Mercer St. Gallery, one of the earliest and longest standing artist run galleries in the city. She moved to Ohio for graduate school and as part of her MFA program at Ohio State became involved with filmmaking. After 3 years on the faculty of Indiana University she moved to Boston to join the faculty at the Massachusetts College of Art. In 2003 she moved to Gloucester. Christy has shown her work locally and nationally in solo, two person and juried group exhibitions, and has created installations at the Massachusetts College of Art and Montserrat College of Art.

Rosella Park Sagall received a BFA from Ohio State University then returned and did a full undergraduate program in Graphic Design. She worked in this field in Ohio and Maine where she also worked as an artist. In 1996 she moved to Philadelphia, PA where she received a Masters Degree in Museum Education from The University of the Arts. She was also active in Artist’s Equity and showed her work in a number of juried exhibitions. Among other honors she was awarded a solo exhibition at the Widener University of Art Gallery. She moved to Gloucester in 2006 where her work continues to evolve.

The White-Ellery House is one of a handful of surviving First Period buildings in Massachusetts, which retains much of its original interior fabric. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites because of its design, materials, and workmanship, and its plank frame construction. The house was built in 1710 for the Reverend John White, Gloucester’s first settled minister, and exhibits an elegance and refinement commensurate with White’s esteemed position in the community. The second owner of the house was James Stevens, who kept it as a tavern until 1740, at which time it was sold to the Ellery family. In 1947, when plans were unveiled showing Route 128 traversing the Town Green, the house was taken by the City of Gloucester by eminent domain, turned over to the Cape Ann Historical Association, and moved safely out of the path of the highway. The present location of the White-Ellery House is at 245 Washington Street.

Funding for these programs was made possible through a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Museum is closed during the month of February, on Mondays, and on major holidays. Admission is $8.00 adults, $6.00 Cape Ann residents, students, and seniors. Children under 12 and Museum members are free. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information please call: (978) 283-0455. Additional information can be found online at www.capeannmuseum.org.