Artist shanties moved over the weekend

The artist shanties were moved last week to land near the Custom House Maritime Museum after being located on Waterfront Trust land behind the Firehouse Center for the Arts. DAVE ROGERS/Staff photo

NEWBURYPORT — Five artist shanties whose appearance on the west side of Waterfront Park in early June caused confusion and concern were moved over the weekend to a small swath of land near Custom House Way. 

While one of the five wooden shanties stood on land owned by the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority, the remaining four were accidentally placed on property owned by the Waterfront Trust.

Now, all five shanties, part of the city’s Newburyport Arts & Culture Shanty Program, are on land owned by the Redevelopment Authority. 

Last week, Waterfront Trust Chairman Steve Hines expressed dissatisfaction with the shanties’ placement, saying the trust “did not have room” on its property.

Lois Honnegger, board president for the Firehouse Center for the Arts, which is leading the project, said she made the mistake of having the shanties placed there because she incorrectly believed the land was Redevelopment Authority property.

The shanties are a collaboration of the city, local arts organizations and BLB Custom Builders.

They were funded by a $30,000 grant from the Essex County Community Foundation and the Barr Foundation.

The shanties are intended to house a rotating lineup of artists and craftspeople who can work and display their wares inside. 

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