Artist: Alexis Chipperini
Design: “Call of the Storm”
Description: The artist’s goal in this design was to recognize the hardworking residents
of Gloucester, whose determination and strength built the city’s rich 400-year history and propelled Gloucester forward despite obstacles. The front of the medal depicts a stalwart commercial fishing vessel cutting through storm-driven waves, while the reverse evokes the familiar sounds and power of the storm through crashing waves, a bell buoy buffeted by high seas, and wind-tossed gulls.
Biography: Whether making art or playing with her dog, Frank, the ocean holds a special place in Chipperini’s heart and mind. The artist grew up in Gloucester and, although now living in Boston, considers the city her home. She has been eager to introduce her art to the community and give back in some way to the place where her family and roots remain. When the opportunity arose to create a design for the quadricentennial medal, it simply “felt right.” And, in creating her design for Gloucester 400, the artist also found a way to strengthen her moorings to her hometown.
Artist: Beth Swan
Design: “Out at Sea”
Description: Swan chose to depict the city of Gloucester as seen from the harbor –
like a ship returning home. Mixing the city’s historic, landmark buildings with a modern-day wind turbine, the artist looks back at the city’s sturdy origins and ahead to a skyline that reflects progress and the future. A codfish swims beneath the waves in a reminder
of the ocean’s contribution to Gloucester’s economy. The reverse is dominated by Gloucester’s iconic ‘Man at the Wheel’ shown against a rising sun that symbolizes
the hope and optimism of a new day.
Biography: The artist lives with her family in Gloucester, where they count their blessings that they reside year-round in a place with such a rich, working waterfront history, lively community of artisans, and extraordinary scenic beauty. “One of our favorite activities it to visit Stage Fort Park to play on the playground, walk along the boulevard among the flowers, watch the cut bridge go up and down, and end up on Main Street for treats!” Ms. Swan’s design began as an illustration inspired by life in Gloucester long before she knew about the design competition. The possibility that “Out at Sea” could represent Gloucester’s 400th for generations to come has left her happily surprised and deeply honored.
Artist: Shannon Wilkins
Design: “Gloucester: America’s Oldest Seaport”
Description: This design represents the imagery and memories that come readily to mind when the artist thinks about Gloucester, “… lighthouses, ships, and whale sightings are not just part of nautical romanticism here, they’re part of everyday life and the lives that came before us…” The front of Wilkins’ medal design is dominated by an image of ‘Man at the Wheel’ as a gull soars overhead. The reverse evokes the breathtaking sight of a whale preparing to sound, with the Annisquam Lighthouse in the background representing home and safety.
Biography: In the artist’s own words, “Gloucester means family. It’s a home by the sea with a proud heritage. My father was raised in the Portuguese Hill neighborhood of Gloucester, Massachusetts. His mother was a strong, self-sufficient, hardworking woman who took her five children to Our Lady of Good Voyage Church every Sunday and knew the struggles of being a fisherman’s wife … my family’s story is similar to many who lived, left, came back, raised families, and continued to love this place they call home.” Now living in Maine, Wilkins’ design goal was to help connect people with the families, places, and history that built Gloucester over the past 400 years and will sustain it through the next 400.