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An Illustrious Achievement

NEWBURYPORT — For decades, the Newburyport Bank calendar has been a hot commodity with customers coming into the bank’s State Street headquarters to grab a copy before they all disappear. and save for a few copies held by the bank for reference, that’s what happens, all roughly 2,000 copies are snatched up rapidly.

Most of its appeal comes from the man who has been hand-drawing and laying them out since the bank started printing them 45 years ago, Exeter artist Christopher Gurshin. Earlier this week, Gurshin visited the bank spending a few minutes being honored by current bank president Lloyd Hamm Jr. and two of his predecessors, Janice Morse and Richard Eaton.

“It’s just a wonderful tradition,” Morse said. “Customers so anticipate the calendars they are excited when they come up.”

Eaton said once the bank starting releasing calendars, they pretty much became an instant classic.

“Once it started, it just took off. We just hope Chris can keep it going on,” Eaton said.

The tradition has been passed by four bank presidents and despite many folks forgoing paper calendars for their smartphones or laptops, it’s a tradition Gurshin will continue playing an integral part for years to come.

“At least another 45 years,” the 78-year-old Gurshin said, with a wry smile.

Gurshin, who has been working as an illustrator since 1966, said each calendar takes about two to three months to complete from concept to finished product. Many of the drawings get their start as photographs that he takes and then brings back to his studio. From there, he maps out each month and begins illustrating. Some of the drawings have been done in a day, but others take much more time.

“It’s a long process,” Gurshin said.

Gurshin added it is common for folks to color in the drawings to enhance the calendar’s appeal.

“The look really neat and you can frame them,” he said.

Hamm said the day calendars are made available to the public is one of the bank’s busiest for the year with many folks considering them collectable items.

“The tradition of these annual calendars is not only special to us here at Newburyport Bank, but is one our customers and community members have honored as well,” Hamm said. “I am the fourth Bank President to continue the tradition and as long as Mr. Gurshin will continue drawing for us, this will carry on.”

Hamm went on to praise Gurshin for his commitment to creating his unique bank drawings.

“And our commitment to continuing this community-favored tradition, are in part what makes our partnership so special and one we have been proud of every one of the 45 years it’s been running,” Hamm said. “Our team is excited that the calendars are arriving in our branches this week and they look forward to handing them out to customers and friends of the bank throughout the holidays and into the new year.”

Newburyport Bank operates 11 branches in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Stop into any Newburyport Bank branch beginning Dec. 15 to pick up a copy of the 2024 calendar.

Source: The Daily News