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Provincetown :: Sunday, April 23rd 2017

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Raising the Artistic Bar

Notes from Land's End: July 24

July 24th, 2012

The international art world convened on Commercial Street for a landmark Cape Cod exhibit: “Robert Motherwell: Beside the Sea” Friday, July 22nd through Saturday, September 30th at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. Curators Lise Motherwell, the artist’s daughter, and multiple NEA Recipient Dan Ranalli (PAAM 2010) designed a monumental show featuring twenty paintings and three collages all created in Provincetown from 1962 (Beside the Sea Series) to 1990 (Blue Guitar).

If you love a great art crawl, there is no better place to be than Provincetown on a Friday night.

Other works by Motherwell were in the adjoining “Long Point: An Artist’s Place” exhibit. A cooperative formed in 1977 when Provincetown had only five commercial galleries, the combined works of Varujan Boghosian (1926-), Robert Beauchamp (1923-1995), Paul Bowen (1951-), Fritz Bultman (1919-1985), Carmen Cicero (1926-), Gilbert Franklin (1919-2004), Sideo Fromboluti (1920-), Ed Giobbi (1926-), Dimitri Hadzi (1921-2006), Budd Hopkins (1931-), Rick Klauber (1951-), Leo Manso (1914-1993), Michael Mazur (1935-2009), Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), Renate Ponsold (1935-), Paul Resika (1928-), Judith Rothschild (1921-1993), Sidney Simon (1917-1997), Nora Speyer (1923-), and Tony Vevers (1926-2008) when viewed side by side are just astonishing.

This presentation of both Motherwell and Long Point at PAAM is a visual feast; a testament to the masters that call Provincetown their muse; a message to the international art world that the oldest continuing arts colony is a cultural destination with gravitas.

Walking among the crowds of people along Commercial Street, I made a quick detour to Berta Walker’s Gallery at 208 Bradford. Recently honored at the Fine Arts Work Center for her formidable contributions to Provincetown artists, she represents many of the former Long Point members. Berta opens “Color, Collage and Collaboration” August 10th through August 26th. I can spend hours basking in Paul Resika’s light-infused canvases or revel in the mystery of Varujan Bogosian’s delicate, beautifully crafted collages and look forward to this upcoming show.

Further west at a new gallery in town, Todd Warnken brings painter Samantha French’s “Sea Change” to Todd James Gallery. The space at 136 Commercial is drop dead gorgeous, with its floating walls and white leather seating. Warnken comments that French’s oil paintings are a “combination of memory, observation and photography (old and new) [that] has allowed Samantha to preserve the transitory qualities of water and remembrance.” A closing reception for the artist is scheduled for August 10th from 6-9 p.m.

As I crawled along on a magical Friday evening, the works of the following artists called out to me:

HELEN GRIMM at Four Eleven - 411 Commercial

DOMINIQUE PECCE at Spank the Monkey Fine Arts – 288 Commercial

POLLY COTE at Cortile Gallery - 230 Commercial

ZACK LUSTER and COLIN MCGUIRE at Dimitri Kennedy-Kavouras’ 200 Commercial Street location.

CHRIS SOUSA at A Gallery -192 Commercial

If you love a great art crawl, there is no better place to be than Provincetown on a Friday night.

“Notes from Lands End”, by artistic bon vivant Laura Shabott, is a weekly account of the people, places and events that make our town so special.

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