Meet the Artist

September 10, 2019 / Art and Music, Good to Know

Gloucester has a thriving artist community and is home to Rocky Neck Art Colony, the oldest continuously operated art colony in America.  We’d like to introduce you to three very talented women who make their living through their art here on Cape Ann.

Donna Soodalter-Toman JEWELRY DESIGNER, MAKER, COLLECTOR

Inspired with a love of jewelry from her mom, Donna made pieces while at Boston University, using macramé and Indian bead looms from designs planned on graph paper, and sold them at local shops and Harvard Square. After college, she traveled in Europe collecting beads, and, after she met her then future husband in Cambridge, took silver making lessons from his friend, Fred Finkel, who opened a jewelry shop in Marblehead. In parallel with a long healthcare career, including an MPH from University of Michigan, faculty at Harvard School of Public Health, CEO of HMOs, etc., she held two shows a year for 20 years in her home, and opened DIVA Newton in 2008, receiving accolades from the Boston Globe and Reader’s Choice. She moved DIVA to Gloucester in July 2016. Donna enjoys making one-of-a kind pieces often inspired from vintage pieces, like sterling earrings/rings from vintage Czech buttons and gold pieces from antique Chinese gambling counters. Her work, and that of hundreds of makers from every time period, is at DIVA, 161 Main St.

Elynn Kroger PAINTER

A native of Massachusetts, Elynn Kroger has exhibited her work for the past 40 years and can be found in collections internationally. Intuitive, abstract, expressionist, textile, gestural, calligraphic, spatial, and organic, her work is not easily categorized. Kroger works primarily with water-based media, though her tools also include graphite and oil sticks. Sometimes hundreds of washes or layers go in to a single work, making the artist’s expression of freshness, subtlety, and use of color all the more remarkable. Kroger has been acknowledged since the start of her career, placing first in painting in her debut showing, to receiving a Massachusetts Council for the Arts grant and achieving the status of “CopleyArtist” in Boston. She was also selected a member of the New England Water color Society, the youngest artist at the time of her induction. Elynn moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts in 2001 and has become an integral part of the vibrant art scene there. She is an active member of the historic Rocky Neck Art Colony and her work can be seen year round at the Elynn Kroger Gallery on Rocky Neck.

Jaqueline Ganim-DeFalco SEA GLASS JEWELRY

Jacqueline launched Cape Ann Designs in 2003 and showed at the first Sea Glass Festival. Inspired by her husband and their mutual passion for antique glass, she combined her business and creative skills to use her found sea glass. Initially focusing on hair accessories, today she creates a full collection of jewelry from her extensive collection of sea glass and pottery from local shores. Her designs have a distinct style showcasing the natural shape, size, and color of the found materials. Jacqueline’s work appears prominently in the book A Passion for Sea Glass. She is a juried member of the CapeAnn Artisans and founder of these ARTS Wearable Art group which holds exhibits, salons and the exciting event, Celebrate Wearable Art. Jacqueline was awarded Discover Gloucester’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Award in 2018. Find her work at CapeAnnDesigns.com