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Dream Life

Naya Bricher Presents Her First Solo Show  In Provincetown

Top Image: Detail of Friends, Family, Everyone: Between Propriety and Joy Choose Joy (oil on canvas, 20 x 20)

by Steve Desroches

Applause fills the air within the creative cup formed by the Fine Arts Work Center (FAWC)’s campus. It’s a Thursday evening in mid-August, which means the writing students are reading their work produced during their week-long courses at the Pearl Street arts organization. Like most people who live and work in Provincetown, for Naya Bricher and her co-workers at FAWC this is the pinnacle of their busy season. It’s been a crazy summer, but then again, they all are. Working in administration Bricher is part of the team that allows people to come to Provincetown to explore their artistic impulses each summer. Walking up the steps to the second floor and passing by the typically Cape Cod weathered shingles, Bricher turns the key and opens the large door to her own studio, and much like Willy Wonka, presents a Technicolor world of pure imagination.

A geranium soaks in the sun as several paper lanterns form a cluster of blue bubbles in the corner. An old chair finds new life covered in a vibrant purple and green vintage paisley print. A pale green lamp covered in pink and yellow flowers sits on a table with a rainbow of uneven book spines lined up, resembling a literary EKG line. These are some of the artfully functional items in her workspace, which is full of her canvases, brushes, and palettes, as well as a tabletop full of about 50 containers holding various shades of glitter. And on the wall are finished pieces that will hang at her first ever solo show in Provincetown at the Four Eleven Gallery, as Bricher presents Reveries & Confections.

Friends, Family, Everyone: Between Propriety and Joy Choose Joy (oil on canvas, 20 x 20)

The paintings on the wall are each a surrealistic splash of colors and seemingly unrelated imagery. In Take Five, a hand punctured with stigmata emerges next to a pink and orange cake while an Italian greyhound in a multicolored sweater strikes a pose in the corner. Each painting is a wild kaleidoscope ride with a touch of a psychedelic narrative. Whether as a collective whole or bit by bit with each detail Bricher knows what each image means, at least to her, and welcomes each and every individual interpretation anyone may have. When she’s working she’s white water rafting down a stream of consciousness and her paintings are the travelogue.

“I’ve never done any drugs, ever,” says Bricher. “People don’t know how to take that.” Her inspiration is organic and her skills finely honed; as a young artist she’s crafting her own voice. Born and raised in South Kent, Connecticut, the daughter of two artists, Bricher studied studio art at Smith College. It was in Northampton where Bricher met Liz Carney, owner of the Four Eleven Gallery, who, upon seeing Bricher’s work, asked to hang one of her paintings. That summer of 2012 Bricher completed an internship at FAWC moving to Provincetown knowing little more about the town than its geographical location. After graduating in 2013 she was a resident at the Vermont Studio Center, and then she moved to Provincetown year-round in 2014, joining the staff at FAWC and receiving studio space as part of her compensation package.

Naya Bricher

She lives in the aesthetic she creates. In the cozy, muted grays of a winter in Provincetown, Bricher stands out as a shock of color with a lime green coat or a flash of a turquoise scarf. Standing in her gallery she has on neon yellow espadrilles, green pants with an Escher like pattern of purple butterflies, and a shirt imprinted with a mostly orange representation of a Gauguin painting. While an undergraduate she worked in mostly black and white, but it didn’t feel quite right to her. It wasn’t her authentic voice. Like Dorothy landing in Oz, when Bricher got to Provincetown her world and work exploded into full color.

“It’s been a place of really inspiring self-confidence,” says Bricher of being an artist in Provincetown. “It really just grows inside of you. All of the artists out here I meet, they’re doing exactly what they want to be doing. They aren’t concerned with what’s cool or trendy. That’s not the priority. They practice what they envision.”

Take Five (oil on canvas, 20 x 20

Laughter erupts from the Stanley Kunitz Common Room just downstairs and across the parking area from her studio as the audience appreciates a comedic point in someone’s story. Founded in 1968, the Center is a hive of energy all year, a continual fulfillment of the goal to maintain a vibrant, year-round arts community in Provincetown. Bricher is exactly the kind of emerging artist those founding members had in mind: smart, ambitious, thoughtful, and bold. She flashes a gentle, yet wide smile at the thought of the opening of her show. A tinge of nerves perhaps, but mostly excitement and gratitude. In the five years she’s lived in Provincetown she’s cloaked herself in the town’s creative energy, ignoring the bombast of artistic fads and tourist art, to stake a claim in the continually expanding universe of the Provincetown art colony. That gives her a thrill as she shakes her shoulders with enthusiasm.

“I’ve earned my little piece of Provincetown,” says Bricher. “Or, I guess, I’m continuing to earn it.”

Reveries & Confections: New Paintings by Naya Bricher is on exhibition at Four Eleven Gallery, 411 Commercial St., Provincetown, August 23 – 29. An opening reception is planned for Friday, August 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information call 617.990.6673 or visit

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Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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