Cape Cod Art

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

We are busy innkeepers on Cape Cod managing two lovely Bed and Breakfasts in Brewster, Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn. One of the best parts of being an innkeeper is having the opportunity to visit with guests. We love to sit down when they first arrive to help with any dining or activity planning. The next morning at breakfast we always ask, how did you sleep and how was your day? We learn so much from our guests and learning about the wonderful art that is on Cape Cod is no exception. Many of our guests love to include stops at their favorite art galleries during their stay.  Art is such a wonderful part of what makes Cape Cod special. We attract many talented artists that in many cases have their home and gallery together in many of our quaint sea towns.

Mark Kundmann

Marc Kundmann

My absolute favorite artist on Cape Cod is Marc Kundmann. His work can be seen at the Addison Art Gallery in Orleans. He described his recent work as “an exploration of painting with encaustic wax, one of the oldest forms of painting. The technique allows me to build and remove textured layers of color, transparency, and pigments. Keeping true to that first piece of advice, I try to focus on the joy of creating, and also painting with honesty. My hope is that the resulting layers create not only intriguing and beautiful surfaces, but also give emotional life to the subjects, whether figures, structures, or boats, and hint at the mystery inside” I love the picture he did shown above that is titled “Welcoming Committee”

Managing editor of Cape Cod Life, Susan Dewey, described it perfectly, ” Art is all about making connections, the artist to the subject, the viewer to the artist’s work”. Such a simple statement but the meaning so paramount.

I just looked through the recent Cape Cod Life annual publication of Cape Cod Art. I always look forward to seeing which local artist they have chosen to preview. While I am no expert in art, I loved Art History in college and love walking through galleries. My eye immediately can zone into what I like and what I don’t…….I guess after all that’s what art should be about…..it’s all in the eye of the beholder or in artists case the eye of the buyer:)

Some of my favorites included:

Eric Abrecht- his work is represented by Eisenhauer Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard. His present work includes landscapes which surprisingly are not about the place. The painting’s are powerful and used as a departure point. “For me, the landscape is just being used as a vehicle for the paint application to play around with colors and movement”, Abrecht says. “It’s a good home base to start from-there’s a lot of different directions I can take”. He presents the idea of a landscape and encourages his viewers to be transported. These are hazy, unspecific places of the imagination.

Kimberlee Alemian- her work may be seen at the Elizabeth Rowley Gallery in Orleans. I love Kimberlee’s work! Alemian’s vivid emotionally immediate paintings are a work of evolution. According to Alemian it’s about ” painting, scraping, sanding, and going back into it sort of like palimpsest she says of her method.In addition to the charcoal and pastels are drawn into her paintings and leave traces of the history of the painting” her floral paintings create a unique lighting pattern.

Herb Edwards- his work can be seen at his gallery in Cataumet. While many painters devote themselves to a single medium, Edwards finds merit in both oil and acrylic. His diverse paintings in both mediums have a lightness of touch and simplicity on line reflecting the natural uncluttered beauty of New England and America’s far west. As quoted in the magazine that summarizes his work so perfectly” From Impressionistic pieces like “Sunny Afternoon”, to more austere, Hopper-like works with bare renderings of line and color such as “Inner Harbor”, Edwards paintings reflect the simple beauty and symmetry of natural surroundings that have always been his source of inspiration.”

The Cape is a wonderful place to live and visit. Having so much wonderful art here is just the icing on the cake.

Cape Cod Art Galleries

Fall is my favorite time of year to be on Cape Cod, as most of the crowds have left for the season but all of the beauty that surrounds this special place remains. It’s this unique natural beauty that brings so many artists to the Cape – they come here looking for inspiration and boy do they find it! Brewster is home to many talented painters and sculptors, several of whom have works displayed right here at the Captain Freeman Inn, and some of my favorite galleries are sprinkled throughout Cape Cod and the Islands.

This is a painting of the Captain Freeman Inn by local artist Karen North Wells

Karen North Wells is an award winning painter of both watercolors and oils, and she has one of the most interesting galleries you will ever see. The Underground Art Gallery was designed by her late husband, renowned architect Malcolm Wells, back in 1988. It is an earth-covered structure that was built to demonstrate environmentally sound construction practices, and it houses both Karen’s studio and her exhibit space. They are open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12-5.

Chatham Cat by Timothy Jon Struna

Timothy Jon Struna works with the mediums of watercolor, oil, acrylic and copper plate engraving. Over the past four decades he has developed his own characteristic style, incorporating subtle abstract qualities into traditional realism. His work reflects a great appreciation for this area – focusing on the beaches, marshes and cranberry bogs as well as classic studies of Cape architecture, all with an apparent absence of people. “I rarely put figures in my paintings because I want myself, and in turn the viewer, to be the human element in the painting. I want my viewers to experience the scene on their own, just as I painted it in the studio. To see the subject as I am seeing it, like the beach at sunrise before there’s another footprint in the sand.” To see his subjects in person, visit Struna Galleries in Brewster, open daily from 11-5.

Highland Light Sunrise by Amy Sanders, featured at the Addison Art Gallery

Addison Art Gallery in Orleans is a rare and special place that cultivates relationships between artists, collectors and gallery staff to create a truly memorable experience. Set in a classic half-Cape full of natural light, the gallery has a comfortable atmosphere and feels more like a private home than a business. There is a sculpture garden in front, cathedral ceilings upstairs to display more contemporary art, and a fireplace so people can see what a painting would look like over a mantle.

The Haze by Patrick Kitson, featured at Tree’s Place

Also in Orleans is Tree’s Place, one of America’s finest contemporary art galleries specializing in realism, impressionism, and post-modernism. Their goal is to recognize and support those artists whose work demonstrates the competence of classical training while simultaneously depicting the modern world, and they are committed to presenting traditionally rendered original works which preserve the integrity of fine art.

Memories Evoked by Peter Quidley

And though the Quidley & Company Gallery is located all the way over on Nantucket, I would be remiss to leave it out of my list of local favorites. Their featured artist, Peter Quidley, is a personal friend of mine and truly one of the most talented people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. As one critic said “The first thing you notice about Peter Quidley’s oil paintings is the shimmering, lustrous character of the light which seems to radiate from the inside out, as if each picture is infused with its own individual incandescence.” Trust me, it is definitely worth stopping by this gallery the next time you are on the Islands!

Ptown and the Arts

From — Sunie Pope  Innkeeper

For those of you that don’t know, I am an actor among other things.  I am currently working on The Common Swallow in Provincetown, MA, which will be making it’s NYC premier this winter/spring.  I drive up from Brewster every day to rehearse and just adore the drive.  It’s quite a treat to drive between two enormous bodies of water.  Whenever I get a chance to stop, I take a quick break at one of our stunning beaches.  I recently discovered Lecount Hollow Beach in Wellfleet, one of my favorite towns on the Cape.  The parking lot is high on top of the dunes.  You have to walk down the extremely steep dunes to make it into this practically untouched beach.  So lovely.  Be sure to stop along the way at PB Boulangerie & Bistro for delicious french pastries or a fabulous dinner.  Another one of my favorites is Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro, I always seems to stop there at nighttime.  It’s an easy walk from the parking lot and flat.  Really nice stargazing.

Ptown has so much to offer beyond fantastic restaurants and striking beaches, the art world is very active.  The best art galleries on the Cape are located in Ptown and the theater world always has something to offer.  Many well known artists were involved over the years in Ptown’s art community, including Eugene O’Neill, John Dos Passos, Tennessee Williams, Norman Mailer and Michael Cunningham.

I highly recommend making your way up to Ptown while here and check out our talented artists and the active lifestyles there.  It’s quite a treat and sweet addition to our little peninsula.  Definitely my favorite town out here.  And it’s the very end of the USA.  A magical place.

Brewster in September

From — Sunie Pope

The temperature is falling to that perfect fall level, the tourists are dwindling, the sea is warm and the restaurants are buzzing with local faces.  Welcome to Autumn on Cape CodPaine's Creek on Cape Cod Bay.

This season is the loveliest all.  Cape Cod finds it’s second wind as it reawakens to it’s locals.  There is space on Cape Cod’s National Seashore beaches and on the bayside beaches as pictured in this blog.  No lines at the restaurants, the creativity in artwork is rekindled, the transients transplant themselves elsewhere and the smell of fresh crisp salty air returns.  It is quite a treat to live here year round.   The extremes Cape Cod “travels” through on an annual basis is quite a wild ride for the land, locals, tourists and businesses alike.

I am a newbie on Cape Cod, although for a place like the Cape, that may not be entirely true.  I have lived here for 1 full year and 2 winter seasons.  What a treat it has been, living in the most beautiful place in the US.  Having traveled throughout this country of ours, I believe the Cape offers the best quality of life around.  We experience solitude, peace, the hustle and bustle of moving forward and beauty all in one.

For those of you who have never been to Cape Cod in the “off-season” your chance is now.  It is a wonderful place to be for quiet-time; relaxation, long walks along the beach, peaceful drives on Rt 6A, biking along the practically private bike trail, exploring stunning artwork in our festive galleries, enjoying an evening of professional theater, indulging in fresh tender seafood, sitting by the bay listening to the gulls and waves and sharing your love for beautiful Cape Cod with so many friendly faces.  A perfect Bed and Breakfast Getaway at the Captain Freeman Inn can make all of this happen!

We hope to see you here. Fall 2011.  Keep checking back for updates on our progress at the inn, the happenings on Cape Cod, my Yoga experiences and reviews on local theater and the arts.