A World of Art in Provincetown:A Guide to the 2022 Gallery Season

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by Rebecca M. Alvin

The Provincetown gallery scene has been waking up from its annual slumber over the past few weeks, as it always does around this time of year. But this year is a little bit different, a little more than just a return to Friday night openings as we’ve gone without the festive atmosphere of years past for two years now. And while last year there was a sense of optimism and some galleries moved forward cautiously with their return to normalcy, this is really the first season that the majority of galleries surveyed say they will indeed have openings again, some offering wine to the traditional Friday night art strollers, others holding back and just having the artist present without the wine and cheese trays of the past.

Untitled piece by Dairan Fernandez
De La Fuente (Galeria Cubana)

The Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) is a good example of the general feeling. While masks are still required inside the museum, they have ended their timed-entry policy and all other Covid-related regulations. With a fairly full slate of shows year-round, PAAM will have many openings that will be on the gallery stroll. Two shows that particularly stand out are Zehra Khan’s first solo show, which runs practically all summer (June 24 – August 28) and features her multidisciplinary work, incorporating textiles, painting, photography, crafting materials, and installation. Later this summer, a beautiful show of cyanotypes, intriguing blue photographic prints by Midge Battelle, Rebecca Bruyn, and Amy Heller will be featured (August 26 – November 3). In between the two shows, there is also an exhibition of works by Edith Lake Wilkinson (July 1 – August 21).

Detail from Lapin Laundrette by Zehra Khan (PAAM)

While we’re all working our way back to the familiar, there are a few changes in the gallery scene this year. When it was announced last year that Kobalt Gallery was closing its Commercial Street gallery and going fully online, the future of that prime location across from the Johnston Street parking lot was uncertain. . In stepped Greg Salvatori, whose own eponymous gallery had opened in the Whalers Wharf Mall only two years prior. Greg Salvatori Gallery is now located at 366 Commercial St. and will feature a roster of artists, including Salvatori himself.

Untitled work by Greg Salvatori (Greg Salvatori Gallery)

Two brand new galleries make their debut in the East End this season. Artist Jackie Fuchs has opened her own Art Love Gallery at 445 Commercial Street after showing at Gallery 444 and elsewhere for short runs. Fuchs will show her own work along with works by a full roster of artists at all times, but highlighting a different artist each week. Although there is a range of works in the gallery, and each is unique, many reference the pop art milieu and feature contemporary iconography.

Con$umr(Art Love Gallery)

Photographer Mischa Richter, who has deep roots in Provincetown, is opening his own place, Land’s End Gallery & Books at 437 Commercial St., which he says will show his own work as well as those of others in various media. The gallery opened its season a few weeks ago with a show of MP Landis’ early work made in the 1990s here when he lived in Provincetown. That show closes July 6 and will be followed up by a show of pencil and collage portraits of women artists who have been in Provincetown, created by Brooklyn artist Nancy Loeber (opening July 8).

Another artist with roots in the Provincetown art world is Cynthia Packard, an accomplished painter who has shown alongside her mother Ann Packard’s work in the Packard Gallery for many years, has decided to make a move over to Bradford Street. She will be showing at Berta Walker Gallery this year (July 1 – 23). It’s an interesting move and a great addition to Berta’s gallery, which has a full slate of shows with openings well into the fall. A show of paintings by sculptor Gilbert Franklin (July 29 – August 20) looks intriguing. Also, abstract photographer Grace Hopkins, who is also the gallery’s manager, will have a show (August 26 – September 17).

Over at AMP Gallery, which owner Debbie Nadolney says is entering its final season, a different kind of photography is highlighted with a retrospective of works by photographer Bobby Miller, whose career spans 45 years. Miller (August 12 – September 7) is known for his unique approach to portrait photo. In addition, AMP is also a great gallery for cutting-edge work, often made in media such as video or performance art, which is underrepresented in Provincetown even today. Hopefully, next year someone will pick up where AMP left off and bring more media and performance arts to the gallery scene.

At Rice Polak Gallery, Unanswered Prayers (July 7 – 20) is an interesting collaboration of words, music, and images by writer Mary Gordon, musician Suzzy Roche, and artist Ellen LeBow around the theme of prayers for those usually not prayed for. For example, works included are titled In Praise of Liars, For Those Whose Work is Invisible, and Those Devoted to Sexual Love, etc. Many other shows are on the slate at this gallery, but of special note is painter Nick Patten’s show (July 21 – August 3) celebrating his 30th year showing work in Provincetown.

What Remained by Nick Patten (Rice Polak Gallery)

Across the street at William Scott Gallery, performer Ryan Landry has joined the roster with his recent forays into painting. His work is currently in a show there with John Dowd through July 6, (who will return with another show September 2 – 15). Landry will show again there August 5 – 17 with Dakota X’s work, but the gallery also has a number of shows of interest this season, including one featuring beautiful paintings by Chet Jone and Frederick Brosen, as well as Paul Wirhun’s batiked eggshell-on-wood pieces inspired by traditional Ukrainian pysanky techniques
(August 19 – 31).

The Simie Maryles Gallery specializes in rich oil paintings by owner artist Simie Maryles, Kenneth Cadwallader, and many others, although there are acrylics and other media in this gallery as well. An interesting departure for them this season is an exhibition of Cadwallader’s paintings of Costa Rica (August 26 – September 1), featuring beach imagery unlike our own shores. David Mueller, whose work features lush, expressive portraits, will also be featured (July 29 – August 11).

Albert Merola Gallery has just closed its John Waters show, but they continue to feature a wide range of work, this year with overlapping shows throughout the season. For the first time, the gallery will give over its entire space to one artist: Jack Pierson (August 19 – September 14). This show will include some of his iconic word pieces as well as some other surprises, they say. Also, in the fall it will be wonderful to see the late Michael Mazur’s work again (September 16 – October 5).

Star by Jack Pierson (Alebert Merola Gallery)

The Schoolhouse Gallery continues its always-engaging shows this season with too many artists to list here. Sculptors are often overshadowed by painters and printmakers in Provincetown. There are a number of sculptors featured in various galleries this season, however, the Adrian Fernandez show (August 12 – 31) at Schoolhouse looks fantastic. The Cuban artist and NYU Professor of Documentary Photography is known for his cultural portraiture, however, he will be showing new work in sculpture, adding another dimension to his body of work, exploring architectural conventions through it.

Volume VII by Adrian Fernandez (Schoolhouse Gallery)

But closer to the center of town, Cuban art has its real Provincetown home at Galeria Cubana, which has exclusively featured work from the island nation for 15 years now, in some cases even managing to bring Cuban artists to their opening receptions here, despite the visa difficulties in the U.S. This year, multiple artists are coming for their shows. One exciting example is Dairan Fernandez De La Fuente (July 7 – 18 ) who paints large-scale works with a vibrant palette. Also on view will be his drawings and woodcut prints. Showing with him will be other Cuban artists, Darwin Estacio Martinez and Harold Lopez.

The nearby Bakker Gallery specializes in Provincetown’s rich artistic heritage, often serving a museum-like service educating visitors about legendary Provincetown artists whose works they represent such as Arthur Cohen and Karl Knaths. Now celebrating their 10th season, the gallery specializes in shedding light on underappreciated artists. This year they do so for Taro Yamamoto, a Japanese-American artist who lived here and was in the same circles with better known fellow artists from the New York school of abstract expressionists, but who has somehow not been shown much in recent years. His show (August 19 – September 5) will feature his non-objective paintings from his estate.

Untitled work by Taro Yamamoto
(Bakker Gallery)

Artist Arthur Egeli mostly shows his own work, however, he will bring in a couple of shows this season to Egeli Gallery, including one featuring painter John Clayton (July 29 – August 4). Across the street, Bowersock Gallery will have another edition of its Modern Male exhibitions that celebrate male subjects through the works of widely varying artists. This year, Modern Male IV (July 1 – 12) continues this tradition. Also, late in the season Christopher Pothier will have a show of his thought-provoking, contemporary realist paintings (September 2 – 20).

Should I or Shouldn’t I by Kelly Birkenruth (Bowersock Gallery)

At On Center Gallery there is an eclectic roster of artists, with several interesting shows this season. For example, Joey Brock has a show there of his unique portraits (July 1 – 12), and later in the season, the gallery will feature two artists that are new to the roster: Tucker Eason (July 15 – 21), a painter who incorporates collage into his expressive realist paintings, and Malu Tan (July 22 – 28), a Filipina abstract painter.

Woodman Shimko Gallery also represents a range of artists. You will certainly want to catch the Adam O’Day show (July 22 – August 4), featuring his cityscapes, and for something completely different, an exhibition of Craig Olson’s photographic self-portraits made up as different celebrities (June 24 – July 14), such as Cher, Mick Jagger, and Salvador Dalí.

Likewise, Stewart Clifford Gallery presents a diverse range of works in photography, sculpture, and painting. A show featuring Lennie Alickman’s vivid, kinetic, gouache-on-panel paintings (August 12 – September 14) will be a lovely one, as will Barney Levitt’s show (July 22 – August 31) featuring realist paintings of whimsical subjects like dangling sneakers on a telephone wire or mice munching on blueberries.

Untilted work by Lennie Alickman (Stewart Clifford Gallery)

The Fine Arts Work Center (FAWC) of course offers many artist and writer talks connected with their fellowship programs, but this year they have one summer-long exhibition in their Hudson Walker Gallery, which opened a few weeks ago. Density’s Glitch (through August 28) features works by former FAWC fellows, including multimedia artist Elliott Hundley, sculptor Sarah Oppenheimer, collagist Troy Montes-Michie, and others curated around the general concept of what the “glitch” and alternative means of interaction with materiality. In addition, they return with their annual Summer Awards gala at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, this year honoring Ted Chapin, poet Major Jackson, and Caribbean artist Firelei Báez, whose installations are concerned with power structures and colonialism as they continue to resonate today. It is FAWC’s major fundraiser of the year and always a wonderful time to celebrate the arts here.

Brutalist by Sarah Peters (FAWC)

As we move over to the West End, there are fewer galleries, but no less fascinating work to look at in the galleries that are located here. Adam Peck Gallery and Frederick Studios are mostly planning exhibitions of their artist/owner’s works (Adam Peck and James Frederick, respectively) throughout the season, while artist-owned Cusp Gallery and Studio Lacombe mix it up with some guest artists as well. Cusp will feature owner Curtis Speer’s photography in shows that demonstrate his range from his current show (through July 5), which is inspired by the Robert Frost poem, “The Exposed Nest,” to a show (July 14 – 21) that contains images photographs of gay cruising, which Curtis poses in with a friend. Likewise, Gaston Lacombe will present his own work, which incorporates bold color and design elements into striking images, including a show about masculinity in sports (July 8 – 31), but also a show of work by artist Benji Weinryb Grohsgal, (August 5 – 11) who incorporates monsters and creatures (connected with this year’s Carnival theme) with deeper symbolism into his paintings.

Lock by Gaston Lacombe
(Studio Lacombe)

Gary Marotta Fine Art continues to show high-quality works by painters and photographers such as Puerto Rican photographer Ruben Natal-San Miguel (August 11 – Spetmebr 15), but brings in a new addition in the work of Lauren Klimenchenko, who also happens to be Marotta’s sister. Klimenchenko’s work (July 22 – August 21) offers glimpses into a mysterious inner world through her abstract paintings.

And finally, although our focus here is on Provincetown, it’s worth mentioning that one town over, in Truro, there is a very special anniversary going on. Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill is turning 50 this year! This milestone will be marked by a free gala event at Edgewood Farms on July 23 (registration required and donations accepted), as well as celebratory exhibitions at Gaa Gallery (September 2 – November 26) and Berta Walker Gallery (September 23 – October 15) here in town.

Things may take a while to feel 100 percent normal, but from what we can tell so far, this looks like a great new season to explore all forms of art on the Outer Cape.

SIDEBAR
For complete, up-to-date schedules and opening
reception information, as well as special events, please
consult these websites for the places mentioned in this
feature, listed here in alphabetical order:


Adam Peck Gallery • adampeckgallery.com
Albert Merola Gallery • albertmerolagallery.com
AMP Gallery • artmarketprovincetown.com
Art Love Gallery • studiojackie.com
Bakker Gallery • bakkerproject.com
Berta Walker Gallery • bertawalkergallery.com
Bowersock Gallery • bowersockgallery.com
Cusp Gallery • cuspgallery.com
Egeli Gallery • egeligallery.com
Fine Arts Work Center (FAWC) • fawc.org
Frederick Studios • frederickstudioprovincetown.com
Gaa Gallery • gaa-gallery.com
Galeria Cubana • lagaleriacubana.com
Gary Marotta Fine Art • garymarottafineart.com
Greg Salvatori Gallery • gregsalvatori.com
Land’s End Gallery & Books • instagram.com/landsendgalleryandbooks
On Center Gallery • oncentergallery.com
Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) • paam.org
Rice Polak Gallery • ricepolakgallery.com
Schoolhouse Gallery • galleryschoolhouse.com
Simie Maryles Gallery • simiemaryles.com
Stewart Clifford Gallery • stewartcliffordgallery.com
Studio Lacombe • studiolacombe.com
Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill • castlehill.org
William Scott Gallery • williamscottgallery.com
Woodman Shimko Gallery • woodmanshimkogallery.com

Kobalt Gallery • Kobaltgallery.com