Scrapbook: The Outer Cape experience

IMG_2297Last week I went to Cape Cod, where I had paintings in an exhibition at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. I enjoyed participating in a panel discussion that they had organized, and also managed to check out some galleries in Provincetown and visit a couple studios. I put together a scrapbook from the trip.

[Image at top: Life-sized figurative sculptures overlook the tall grass and shrubbery surrounding the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill.]

IMG_2401In the office, this cactus was gloriously in bloom. Maybe it’s a Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii, otherwise known as a Moon Cactus? I’m not sure.

IMG_2365The Center for the Arts had recently purchased Edgewood, a bucolic seven-acre property just up Route 6 that had several houses and outbuildings. Some have already been turned into teaching studios, and Director Cherie Mittenthal plans to raise enough money to renovate all the buildings and develop an artist residency program.

IMG_2363 A previous resident had left some paintings inside one of the houses at Edgewood.

IMG_2350Here’s a shot of a few pieces in “Elementary: Sharon Butler, Sharon Horvath, and Patricia Miranda,” in the Center’s art gallery. Two of my paintings are on the left, Sharon Horvath has one in the middle, and Patricia Miranda‘s hand-dyed book projects are on the right.

IMG_2349 A diagram about color mixing for a beginning painting class. I love color diagrams.


Down the dead-end street across the road from the Center for the Arts, there was a lovely landing and small beach on the Pamet River.

IMG_2323 Michael Carroll, an artist and owner of The Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown, moderated the panel discussion. Abstract painters Deborah Dancy, Andr� van der Wende, and I talked about our art practices, studios, material culture, and the influences that the internet and social media have had on art making. The discussion took place the same night we were beginning to get the terrible news that a man in a truck had mowed down Bastille Day celebrants in Nice. Someone asked if abstraction could still be political, and we all answered emphatically in the affirmative.

IMG_2322 The Center for the Arts has lots of outdoor workspaces. My shih-tzus, Ernie and Fiona, checked out the open-air sheds in the back, but made no paintings this time around.

IMG_2327Mosaics from a workshop in 1983 had me yearning to pour some shaped cement pieces and stick brightly colored things in them. Or maybe I could use foam and paint it look like cement…?

IMG_2317I visited Associate Director Dana Pasila‘s studio in Provincetown. Like many of the artists who live on the Cape year-round, she has a keen interest in the blues and greys, perhaps due to the shifting colors of the winter sea and sky.

IMG_2316I climbed the staircase to DNA Gallery and was pleasantly surprised to find that Catherine Haggarty, an artist I know from NYC, was their artist in residence for the week. She was working on a new series of paintings based on the things we carry. Becky Brown was also in residence but she wasn’t there during my visit.

IMG_2313 Lauren Ewing, The Forest with Micro-aggressions, monotype at The Schoolhouse Gallery.

IMG_2306 Ted Larsen made a series of wall pieces with steel, plywood, silicone and rubber that were on display at The Schoolhouse Gallery.

IMG_2304 Stanley Bielen, Arrangement, oil on panel, at Rice Polak Gallery.

IMG_2302Nick Patten‘s quiet interiors, lit by cool natural light, channel Vermeer at Rice Polak Gallery.

IMG_2300I saw “Surface Tension: Paintings from the Platinum Sea,”  Edie Nadelhaft‘s show at the William � Scott Gallery. Known for her hyper-realistic close-up paintings of skin, Nadelhaft presented a series of water paintings that forcefully reminded me to beware of undertow.

IMG_2298Because the exhibition season is short in Provincetown, most of the galleries I visited were hung chock-a-block with works by many artists. Albert Merola, however, had a compelling Irene Lipton solo in his spacious front gallery. The paintings reminded me of totem designs from the Pacific Northwest with their playful round shapes-within-shapes and curved crosshatching. Andr� van der Wende wrote in a 2013 review that Lipton’s paintings have a “dynamic ease as she unfurls her dancing, rhythmic contours with the dervish of a haywire slinky.” Great concept: a haywire slinky.

Cherie MittenthalOn my last day, I stopped to see some of Cherie Mittenthal’s paintings. The dynamic director of the Truro Center, Mittenthal spends much of the summer managing the Center and overseeing fundraising activities, but she says she has plenty of time in the winter to paint. Look for her solo show in September at Kobalt Gallery in Provincetown.

Related posts:
Video: Studying with Hans Hofmann in Provincetown (2011)
Sharon Horvath: Condensed visionary fictions (2009)
Provincetown pigment (2007)


  1. Great article about Castle Hill. I have had the pleasure to visit numerous times in the last several years, attend the International Encaustic Conference, participate in workshops, and enjoy watching the growth, development and acquisitions during this time. Cherie and Dana are tremendously dedicated and talented people whose warmth, enthusiasm and creativity continue to draw artists from around the globe.

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