Jack and Jillson Frost Project

March 15, 2019

Jack Frost  (1915-1997), A New England artist has played a major part of the development of the Artisans Revival  here in Newburyport. The story is well documented within the links of its web site.

A few weeks ago, I received the following message;

"Hi, I'm assuming I have the right John Brown. My name is Jillson Frost. I am the first daughter of Jack Frost the New England Artist. I was just scrolling through the art world which I don't know much about other than my Dad, and came across your name and saw your tribute to his Yankee Homecoming creation and I would like to thank you and appreciate you for that. Anyway, I live in New Mexico and have about 250 pieces of my Dad's work and wondering if you may have some suggestions on how to go about selling his work, or where I should go."

When we come to crossroads in life, I like to think that when you don't know which way to go, ....you can always come back home.

The Artisans Revival has made a major effort to support artist and their stories since its conception with Yankee Homecoming , in order to honor its long tradition of charity work. First, there was the story of Lucy Grogan  and Lucy's Love Bus , as well as Sandra Thaxter's Small Solutions and Big Ideas  work with the Children of Kenya during the Inn street Artisans debut in 2016. Then there was the story of Titus Blade Steele  from Tennessee and his murals of Newburyport. Last years featured Yankee Homecoming Artisans Revival exhibit was retired Army Staff Sergeant Zeke Crozier  of Handy Cappin LLC  from Kansas City, demonstrating the power of art, therapy, and healing. We ended last year with a huge collective effort to create a Parks Initiative- Arts program with the Newburyport Artisans Village  holiday chalet show.

There is a lot more to tell about these stories and that's what this years Jack and Jillson Frost Project is all about.

Born in Eastport Maine in 1915, Jack Frost was best known throughout New England as a sketch artist. He produced and illustrated over sixty books in his lifetime. He was the original visionary and creator of the Newburyport Yankee Homecoming  festival, along with twenty nine other cities in 1958. He published the "Yankee Homecoming Sketch Book" as well as the first Yankee Homecoming Program Book in 1958 . Before that, he worked as an illustrator in Boston and was employed by the Boston Herald, then the Boston Post. He was friends with William Schofield who was a journalist there in the early fifties. William Schofield  is credited with creating the  'Boston Freedom Trail ". Jack was involved in creating the first "Freedom Trail Guidebooks ", and may others. 

Jack had a strong motivating interest in the American Revolution, as with history and heritage. Contrary to the official word, Jillson proudly claims her dad actually created the Freedom Trail too!

I agree that he should least have 'honorable mention' ; )

Well, when Jillson asked me if I had any idea of what to do I like to think she came to the right place. After a few initial ideas and conversations, we determined that instead of having to sell the last of Jacks work and the most precious last belongings of her father in order to sustain herself in the latter stages of life, the Jack and Jillson Frost Project would be dedicated to preserving and protecting the last of Jillson Frosts collection of Dads work.

We will attempt to do this first by creating an illustrated book of Jack Frost's 'lost works'. It will then be introduced, prefaced, and narrated by Jillson Frost and produced by the Spirit of Newburyport. We will then reproduce a selective amount of Jacks work for a limited edition series of prints and cards.

The project will also serve many other purposes as well as preserving. Since the beginning of this project we have actually EXPANDED the collection by obtaining twelve exquisite pieces from a Boston Contractor. Stay tuned for a lot more regarding the story behind these works.

We will then exhibit the project. The goal is to return Jack and Jillson Frost back home and be featured exhibit at the 2019 Inn Street Artisans Revival. The exhibit will be displayed at Sweethaven and Nauti Pearl Galleries on July 27th  as a special event of the Newburyport 62nd Annual Yankee Homecoming Festival.

Almost immediately after being contacted by Jillson, amazing things began to happen......

(This Story will be continued.....Follow the Updates and Stay tuned on the progress of this project! )

In the meantime, a word from Jillson Frost;

Dear Friends and Fan's of My Dad, and Potential Donors:

My name is Jillson Frost~I am the first born child of Jack Frost ~ a well known Cape Cod/New England sketch artist. My Dad was born a naturally God gifted artist. By age 10 he was selling public portraits on the wharf in back of his dad’s haberdashery store in Eastport Maine of people he approached (esp pretty ladies as he was quite a charming, handsome boy with a very magnetic personality, quick wit, and the “gift of gab”)~ He would charge $1 per 8-1/2 x 11” school lined paper portraits. He would come home with pockets full of money and gave it to his mom for food and toys he and his brother Glen wanted. Dad was one of the few blessed artists who actually ended up being able to support himself and his family on his art, ideas, entrepreneurial pursuits, his creative genius, his books, projects, calendars, and much more.

My father was the creator of the Boston Freedom Trail (At least in my eyes) and the successful 62 year running 9 day annual Yankee Homecoming festival up in Newburyport Mass  ~ I believe both of these projects were created by Dad (or had great influence) as his biggest love was the colorful history of New England and The American Revolution! Jack also was the Hood Milk annual calendar artist for myriad years which was handed out annually to their valued customers. Dad also produced, sketched, wrote, and edited around 60 historical books on famous people and places.

This is the 62th annual Yankee Homecoming and the fourth annual Inn Street Artisans Revival

The Artisans Revival's coordinator, John Brown, and producers of this event are dedicating this project in honoring my Dad during this year’s event. I have been asked to contribute to an exhibit of dad’s last remaining Original pieces while they produce a line of limited edition prints, cards and a book, in order to preserve this collection.

This leads me to needing some initital funding as I am 71 and existing on social security. I do not have money for shipping transport, high resolution photos of 250 pcs, and production of this massive project ~ in fact I don’t even have money enough to get to the festival, framing these sketches, or restoring some of them, let alone the cost of the 9 day festival booth cost, a rental car, or air travel to get there.
I have been assured that the Artisans Revival will do all they can to help.

In conclusion~ I would like to thank all of you in advance for any and all donations of the heart both great and small towards this yugen project to honor my Fathers’ prolific legacy which he fully dedicated lovingly to the historical heritage of New England, its historical people, places, and events.

Many blessings to you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

In deep gratitude.

Jillson E Frost

See more at;

Yankee Homecoming

 Artisans Revival;

'Tribute to Jack Frost';

The Jack and Jillson Frost Project


John Brown
Newburyport, MA

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