Reflections on Ten Years – # 2

The Spirit of Newburyport opened its first Signature Gallery on April 29, 2006 at 49 Water Street during Newburyport’s first ArtWalk of the season. John Moak was the Mayor of Newburyport at the time. In July, I did one of my first outdoor art shows at Brown’s Square, right across from City Hall. At one point during the show the Mayor came across the street and purchased one of my prints, my first rendition of ‘Market Square Summer’.


He told me it was a gift from the city for Senator Ted Kennedy who was going to be in town for the Yankee Homecoming festival finale. I told him I couldn’t have been more humbled and honored.

On July 29th, 2006, Sen. Ted Kennedy recited ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ with the Symphony by the Sea at the Newburyport Yankee Homecoming. Shortly after his performance at the waterfront stage, he was escorted to his limousine. Right before he was to depart, I could see mayor Moak and his wife hand him the wrapped picture, and shake his hand.

I can still remember watching him driving away, while echoes of the symphony and ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ still echoed in my mind. I believe it was the last time Senator Ted Kennedy came to town. I wonder sometimes where that picture is now.

I went on to be commissioned by the Essex Street Inn in June of 2007 for their new ten room addition and conference center. Mayor Moak had shown up for the ribbon cutting ceremony. That’s where the above picture was taken. A couple years later I was to add two larger murals in the Main Lobby. Between the two buildings there are over 25 pictures still adorning the walls of the Inn.

Over the years I have had the distinct pleasure and honor to adorn several offices and buildings in and around the Newburyport community including the new Avita center at the Anna Jaques hospital last year. For me, nothing can be more satisfying knowing that my work brings not only a sense of beauty, but a feeling of affinity with the community to those that dwell within it. That ever-longing sense of ‘home’.

On April 23rd, 2016, I celebrated ten years in business as the Spirit of Newburyport by officially opening a new Gallery at 32 Water Street during the first Newburyport Artwalk of the 2016 season, as I did ten years ago in 2006. The best part was seeing my Brother and his family walk through the door with my Dad. I knew my Mom was there too. She’s still my biggest fan, and wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

I owe a ton of gratitude for all those that have helped and supported my work over the years, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You know who you are. I only hope that the next ten years I can give back, but a portion of what you have given me.

By any account, and no matter the consequences, it was a milestone for me. And nothing will ever take that away from me now.

Fanfare for the Common Man

By Aaron Copeland

Another new day takes up on you
A fanfare wakes the land
The naked lives just a shining down
At the dawn of the common man

Outside in the madding crowd
He laughs along the way
Traffic city, what a pity
It doesn’t have a word to say

Troubled people, billions of people
They can’t seem to understand
The ringing ears are unable to hear
The sounds of the natural plan


Inn Street Artisans Revival Update

Yankee Homecoming Facebook Announcement

General Flyer

Artisan and Vendor Flyer

We are excited to announce a brand new event! Yankee Homecoming Inn Street Artisans Revival 2016: Artisans, Crafters, Culinary, Healing Arts, Agricultural, and Small Creative Businesses Wanted! To participate in the Inn Street ‘Artisans Revival 2016 ‘ Daily or Full Nine Day Event Bookings Now Available. Please contact

John Brown Thanks for your likes, comments and interest in the YH Inn Street Artisans Revival 2016! We realize that nine days is a pretty intense period for vendors for many reasons. So, as a first time event, the idea is to make it available to as many as possible in offering both ‘daily’ and ‘full nine day’ (YH has even extended its ‘vending days’ from 7 to 9 this year) event bookings, even though it is going to be a little more challenging to work out the logistics. Personally, I feel its worth it.

The details are as follows;
Non-Profits and Humanitarians – $30.00 a day – $250 for full event.
We have some great ‘humanitarian events’ being scheduled and cant wait to share them all with you!

Artisans, Farmer Market, and Culinary Arts – $100.00 a day – $650.00 full event.

This years Inn Street Stage is being designed to incorporate Musicians, Performing Arts, Writers, Poets, Buskers, Demonstrators – (Demonstrations Open to everyone and anyone that has something to offer; i.e. a product, service, historical, lecture), etc, FREE.

Would love to fill anyone in on more specifics for this exciting new event that promises to have and offer ‘something for everyone’ as time goes on, and/or by emailing;
or by going to the Yankee Homecoming Event page;…/inn-street-artisans-revival/
Stay tuned as more details will be posted shortly.

One last note for now. As you can imagine, there has been a great response to this event, and is growing exponentially. Volunteers for a ‘Artisans Revival Committee’ is now being formed.

For more information Please see;



PDF General Flyer for printing;




WNBP Radio Interview

For Live Stream ;

Archived Interview with Newburyport Artwalk begins at the 23;45 mark.

April 16th, 2016 Show

3 hours ago Local PulseOn

Tomorrow’s edition of Local Pulse I’ll be talking with artists John Brown, Kiki Larouge, AJ Smith, and Julie Cook, from Newburyport ArtWalk; from Newburyport Choral Society, Penny Lazarus and Dr. George Case to talk about their upcoming spring concert honoring Beethoven; and, from 1634 Meadery, mead brewer (is that what someone that makes mead is called? We’ll find out tomorrow!), Dan Clapp.

There’s a lot happening in the area, and we talk about it every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on WNBP 1450AM & 106.1FM “The Legends!”

John, AJ, Kiki and Julie –


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Tune in every Saturday at 9:00 am
for the Local News, Views, Arts and Food
WNBP, The Legends
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Dear Joe and WNBP,

Thank you for this opportunity. Looking forward to it.

Here are my bullet points; links and attached file provided for further information;

* The Spirit of Newburyport; Celebrating Ten Years with official opening of its New Gallery at 32 Water Street Coinciding with first Artwalk of 2016, as it did in when it first opened in April of 2006.

Web Site

About the Artist/Gallery

Spirit of Newburyport Blog

* Establishment (Seventh Season) of its Inn Street ‘Artcart’ satellite retail operation.

* Current Exhibit at Parker River Wildlife Refuge Center entitled ‘Plum Island’.

* Latest creation as Coordinator of the Yankee Homecoming Inn Street Artisans Revival 2016 (First Time Event)

Yankee Homecoming Inn Street Artisans Revival

Tribute to Jack Frost

* Gratitude Acknowledgment


John William Brown

Spirit of Newburyport
32 Water Street
Newburyport, MA 01950

Yankee Homecoming Inn Street
Artisans Revival Coordinator

Hi Joe – Here are the general ArtWalk points:

ArtWalk has a wide range of art in traditional and contemporary styles, different media (oil, acrylic, watercolors, painting, photography, sculptures, jewlery, handbags) and something for every price range & taste. Great for locals and visitors.
ArtWalk will be held on 4 Saturdays from 11-6 p.m. this year: April 23, June 18, Aug. 20, Nov. 5 (change from previous years where we did a few weekends)
It is based on a self-guided tour of more than 20 galleries and partner sites that can be done at any time in Newburyport’s Cultural District. During ArtWalk, we have special programming: special exhibits, artist talks, demos, tours, etc. in a casual reception environment. There will also be pop-up events during the year.
You can get a free brochure/map of all the venues at participating galleries, the Chamber office, the passageway between State and Inn Street and at ArtWalk partners’ locations.
visit and to stay up to date on all the activities
The April 23 ArtWalk has some unique offerings: yarnbomb at the NAA with public participation; pre-party on Friday night at Paula Estey’s Gallery; artists on hand to discuss their work; Greenhead Project to engage local students.
John Brown will discuss his new gallery space.
AJ Smith will discuss the details of the Greenhead Project.
Kiki Larouge will discuss her shared gallery at 36 Liberty St. & special guest handbag designer
Hope this helps. The other interviewees may add some points.

Reflections on Ten Years


Reflections on Ten Years of the Spirit of Newburyport

Special dedication to Ted Kyrios

I just came upon a newspaper article in my archives from ten years ago. I had just hosted a speaker presentation at the Newburyport library entitled ‘Newburyport; An American Perspective’. Wow, talk about flashbacks, I cant believe its been ten years. Micheal Whalen, one of my favorite musicians.

I was saddened deeply to hear of Teds passing just this past year. My interest in this city began with him, and I owe him a great deal of gratitude. Ted Kyrios did a slide show on the history of Newburyport during that presentation, and provided images taken in 1976 of Inn Street and Market Square during the bi-centennial celebration of America. I will never forget these first few days in which I look back on now as setting sail on a remarkable discovery.

I used these images to put forth some of the first series of what was to become the first exhibit of Spirit of Newburyport at Off The Wall Gallery on Pleasant Street, what is now Three Sisters Artisan Shop, later that fall. One of these images is used as the featured image for this article entitled; ‘The Inn Street Griffin – 1976’ and is one of my favorites.

Along with re-discovering the following news article in my extensive eighteen year archives, I also found three audio files from the ‘Newburyport; An American Perspective’ at the library in February of 2006. Please keep in mind this was ten years ago, and my very first public presentation in Newburyport.

Introduction to ‘Newburyport; An American Perspective

Part 11 – What are you doing out there?

Part 111 – Amy Bachellor on Personal Transformation


Home  >  Newburyport Current  >  Arts & Lifestyle  >  RSS Feed
Prolific artist has more in store
By J. C. Lockwood/
Friday, March 3, 2006
It was a busy weekend for Jon-William Brown: First, the Newburyport artist, whose latest exhibit, “Newburyport: An American Perspective,” is on display at Carry Out Cafe, hosted a multimedia program that focuses on the Clipper City’s contributions to American political and social history, and to its future.

The program was illustrated with digitally restored photographs from the collection of Newburyport from Theodore Kyrios, an American history teacher who Brown met last summer.

    During the program, which also included a talk on sustainable community development, Brown introduced five new giclee prints. He then took these new digital images, originally taken during the federally financed reconstruction of a distressed, downtown Newburyport in the late 1970s, to the Carry Out and incorporated them into his exhibit, which captures the vibrant downtown scene of today.

    During a reception, he planned to talk about the history, techniques and applications of the Newburyport series, which are significantly broader than what it may initially appear. Williams, who also teaches alternative holistic treatments, believes the city – and the country – is on the precipice of major change.

    It didn’t quite work out that way. A weekend storm forced Brown to cancel the reception. The work doesn’t end there, anyhow. Williams, who moved to Newburyport four years ago after travelling the country on a spiritual quest for over three years – and then spending a year and a half writing a book about the experience – is preparing to launch another exhibit, one that dovetails with the current show, as soon as the Carry Out show closes in three weeks. Eventually, the work will be combined with the personal stories and perspectives of Newburyport residents and publish in a pictorial book with the same name as the exhibit: “Newburyport: An American Perspective.”

    It’s an ongoing, multi-dimensional project that deals with history, social issues and spirituality. “It’s like a memoir of small-town America,” he says. “It’s a reflection of America itself.”

    Brown has a bird’s eye view of Market Square from his downtown loft and draws from the “remarkable energy” from the location. The idea is to depict the city during the transformational period of the 70s and during the current era, another period of potentially great change. The work represents “baby steps. a photographic evolution” of a larger portrait, he says, illuminating the city as a social, political and historical force, but also as a metaphor for progressive, socially conscious blueprint- a reexamination of the current state of the American dream.

    Brown was born in Chelsea and attended Revere High School in 1977. He spent 10 years as a photo-technician and participated in the first major all-digital photo exhibition in Boston in 1996. He designed furniture from 1991 to 1995.

    “By then I had had just about enough of Boston,” he says., and began his trek around the country. Since landing in Newburyport, he has put on a number of shows.

    The newer work in the current exhibit actually points to an older time: The 70s. The photos show the first phase of the restoration of Market Square. Digital images taken from the collection of Theodore Kyrios were initially color photos. They were then changed into a sepia-tone format, then hand colored, giving it a quality of new-meets-old. One, for example, is an image of Market Square from the bottom of Inn Street and looking to the northeast. The buildings are the same, but their function is different. He added traces of color: Gold in the griffin, blue to the plant hanging on the lamppost. Photographs like these, which speak economic hard times, are contrasted to images of the new, improved Newburyport that appear, at first blush, documentary: Images of contemporary storefronts.

    The format is horizontal and were created using a process called digital stitching, in which multiple images of the storefronts, taken 10 feet at a time, are blended together, eliminating the kind of distortion that comes from wide angel lenses. All are digitally manipulated and presented as giclee prints.

    Brown is aware that some people don’t “get” this kind of work.

    “People have a misconception about digital art,” he says. “They think you press a couple of buttons and out comes the art. It doesn’t work like that.”

    He spends hours experimenting with the form, the elements and the colors. “Purists don’t understand. The computer is just another tool. It’s like a painter’s brush.”


And now, after ten years, I could not be more proud, and honored, to be presenting the Yankee Homecoming Inn Street Artisans Revival.


Talk about transformations…