Tribute to Jack Frost

This post is an update to my ‘Tribute to Jack Frost” link, and part of a general update to my web site. It is being done now to offer more insight into the background and original vision of Yankee Homecoming as well as the development of an Inn Street Artisan Revival as part of Yankee Homecoming 2016. This post will be updated and expanded in time.

July 2013; Press Release regarding the 2013 Program book cover.

Tribute to Jack Frost and the First Official Program Book

Yankee Homecoming 1958

In July of 2012, Ghlee Woodward of the Newburyport Daily News wrote an article entitled, Yankee Homecoming; Reflection of Port’s Pride. In it she describes how a New England artist by the name of Jack Frost came up with the original idea and vision for a Yankee Homecoming. In all the names I had heard associated with Yankee Homecoming, I never had heard of Jack Frost. After a little more research, my friend and I, Kat Couree, discovered that not only did he have the original idea and vision for Yankee Homecoming, but also designed and published the first official ‘program book’ in 1958 for the festival. After meeting this year’s chairperson Tammy Jennings in the spring of this year, and pitching the idea for the tribute, she felt it was a perfect fit for this year’s theme, ‘The Legends Through the Years’. In addition to tributes to all past chairpersons, what better tribute then to the artist who not only had the original vision, but also created the very first program book.


From there it didn’t take me long to track it down in the Newburyport Library archives. The idea was to photograph the original edition in the library, then replicate and incorporate it into this year’s program book. By photographing the original copy and sizing it up to fit the format of this years, I was able to incorporate all the original text the way it existed on the 1958 edition. Making slight alterations for this year’s date of 2013 and working with the original banner, the text and graphics were set in place

In a ‘symbolic’ dedication, the font used in the theme of this years cover is the same as the font used in WNBP’s radio station, ‘The Legends’. This dedication is to Bob Fuller, the creator of WNBP radio station in 1957, and Joe Mathers, who was then the manager of the radio station in 1958. Together with Jack Frost and George Cashman, the crusade for Yankee Homecoming festival began.


On the original program book cover by Jack Frost, as seen on this years dedication page, there is also a sketch of a Yankee minuteman and minute maid, with a map of New England in-between them. The idea at this point was to replicate the sketched characters by photographing contemporary models in costume and bring them alive in the 21st century. I then finished and encapsulated the design by incorporating an image of the H.M.S Bounty’s last voyage to Newburyport in August 2012, two months before it met its fate off the North Carolina coast due to Hurricane Sandy.


I believe its important to remember, embrace and to pay tribute to original visions when so many times the visions manifest themselves, but the artist behind them are often disregarded, forgotten or overshadowed by corporate sponsors and political motives by others over the years. The principals of such visions must be upheld and given due credit to the visionaries that created them in order to remember and embrace the principals in which they were created for in the first place.

I hope that this special tribute to Jack Frost and the creators of the first Yankee Homecoming in many ways serves as a reminder of these principals and sets an example to never forget, nor undermine the artist contributions to community, heritage and history, as well as their visions for the future.



John Brown

Artist- Photographer

Spirit of Newburyport


yankeehome2013_72         yankeehome2013_7_flat_72

Original Cover by Jack Frost 1958       2013 Program Cover


2015 in Review – 2016 Preview

2015 in Review – 2016 Preview.


January 2, 2016

2016. wow. What a road. What a ride.

Now that the dust is settling on a most tumultuous end to 2015, my intentions are to try and gather the information into some kind of collective, organized presentation here, as a consolidation point. Here’s a short outtake on some of the projects and topics laid out from a “13 Point Master Plan”. Barring any unforeseen detours, this plan is literally the outline of projects for the remaining of my time here on this good earth, however long that may be. I have been recording my work here for the past 19 years. Id be happy with 19 more. In any case,…the seeds have been sown.

* New Gallery and Studio

* Indie Go GO: Video Project
* Artisans Revival; 2016

* New Book: Newburyport; Origins of the New World

* Film and Lecture Series;

* Spirit of Newburyport Blog (Link will be updated soon).

More to come shortly. Happy New Year!

DECEMBER 29, 2015

After a very rocky end of year…2016 is shaping up to be one of the most important years of my professional career. Several avenues that have been set in place after a very long period of time, are now poised to be manifested.



Sometimes I have so many things going on simultaneously, I have trouble keeping up with myself. During this past year an attempt was made to prioritize my projects into what I refer to as my “13 Point Plan”. In short, it is the outline for the rest of my ‘life’s work’. Since my Newburyport ‘re-integration” in 2002, certain projects have been in the works and evolving over the past ten to fifteen years. Major escalations in these projects were made in 2015 that have brought several to the ‘next level”. Since the origins of this web site in 1997 (Yes! the “source” of this web site is going on 19 years!), it has served not only as an informational source, but as a ‘virtual outline for physical manifestation”. All ideas begin with a thought. My thoughts are then formulated, constructed, outlined, prioritized, then envisioned here ‘first’. In a ‘virtual reality’. I then use this virtual reality to construct ‘my physical reality’, at least with my professional creative projects. Yet, it is a personal creative process.

Here is another ‘snipit’ of coming attractions in 2016 that have been in development for a long long time.

In 2013. I had the honor to create the cover for the Newburyport Yankee Homecoming program book. The experience provided ample opportunity to learn about not only the festival but the history of its creators and the city itself. At the end of the festival, I had submitted a writing that was used by that years chairperson as her introduction in the program book. Along with it, I provided a press release explaining the symbolic significance of the cover design, as well as a brief personal message as a ‘tribute to Jack Frost”. This message was an ‘ode to the creators’ of the festival as well as a warning to those involved with the festival in the near future concerning the ‘corporatization of Yankee Homecoming festival, Newburyport’s largest and most well known yearly celebration. This message turns out to be very pertinent in light of what was to happen at last years event. This was the headlines in the Newburyport daily newspaper on Saturday, August 1, 2015.


Inn Street Blues – August 1, 2015


When the festival ended I forwarded this message to Greg Nikas of Sweethaven Gallery, who then shared some of it on the Newburyport Commons online community blog which literally erupted with community comments in regard to the newspaper article.

A Major Positive Spin

Firstly, to be fair to the City of Newburyport and the Mayor, I need to post this updated status of the Inn Street Fountain and Restoration Project , updated since my august message to Greg Nikas. The timing of all this is impeccable. Just another lil tidbit on all this. Yea, thats my design being used by the planning departments website for a backdrop. I dont mind. I like it. Just wished they would have asked ; )

In details that I will elaborate on further in time, ultimately this resulted in the formation of a new Yankee Homecoming Inn Street Artisan Revival Committee, which mission of statement is to create and supplement the corporate sponsorship on Inn Street, with an Artisans Revival, re-aligning with the core vision of the original creation by Jack Frost of Yankee Homecoming in 1958. I will be heading up this committee, and bringing forth its developments over the next few months right here, and on the Spirit of Newburyport Blog (link to be re-activated soon).

More specifics to be posted next year! Happy New year!!. Please stay tuned.