Art We Love – The Locals
Provincetown is an art lover’s paradise, with galleries on nearly every block and art for every taste. It’s also a place that many artists call home. They’re the talented folks you see around town at the corner store or out sketching in all kinds of weather. The Provincetown art community is a gem, and these are some of the artists who make it shine.
Mark Adams, Blue Swimmers in Eelgrass
(inks, acrylic, graphite on velum, 36” x 45”), Schoolhouse Gallery
Mark Adams is the kind of artist I want to be when I grow up. His creative output is prolific, and it’s all the more impressive given his day job as a cartographer for the National Park Service and his dedication to human rights causes. I love the interplay, or interdependence even, of nature and humanity in his work. Here the floating figures glide across the page in a beautiful dance. He’s managed to make controlling the watery cobalt pigment look easy, using the white of the blank page to define the swirling, intertwined bodies. It’s lovely, but it’s bold and powerful – a combination that ensures a lifetime of enjoyment for whoever snaps up this piece.
Christopher Sousa, The Moon
(oil on canvas, 28” x 22”), William Scott Gallery
Nobody gets the male figure like Chris Sousa. But his work is more than just a faithful rendering of a model in the studio. He imbues his figures with a psychological depth and a powerful presence that bely the often modest scale of the canvases. Here the flat discs of color against a starry sky make a strong compositional impact, but also lend an iconic power to the figure, a figure that is not heroic or objectified, just beautifully painted with bravura brushwork you could marvel at all day.
Valerie Isaacs, Gold Reflection
(oil on canvas, 8″ x 16″), Hammock Gallery
I was lucky enough to take an open-air drawing class with Valerie Isaacs during the pandemic, and, not only did I learn a lot, I discovered her gorgeous art. This painting is a superb piece of abstraction with a composition and color choices that make it sing. But it’s also a lovely harbor scene of beautifully rendered boats bathed in golden light. That’s the genius to me of Valerie’s work – there’s an intelligence behind it that makes it appealing on so many levels.
John Clayton, The Yellow Door
(acrylic on canvas, 20” by 24”), Egeli Gallery
John Clayton is one of those painters you’ll wander by this summer, set up on a street corner at his easel. And you’ll marvel at how he wields a palate knife (not brushes) to effortlessly capture the world in front of him. It’s a beautiful world that he sees. Employing all the colors of the rainbow (and leaving out the less attractive bits of the landscape), he captures Provincetown as we feel it, full of glorious sunshine and moody shadows.
Mike Sullivan, Race Point
(archival ink on paper, 11” x 17”), Schoolhouse Gallery
Mike Sullivan is an artist who defies labels. With his background in theater, you could see his work as performance. Or considering his exuberant, elaborate, edgy masks and headpieces, you could rightly call him a sculptor. And then there are the photographs. Combining all the facets of his current artistic practice, these exquisite works of two-dimensional art present enigmatic figures bathed in the luscious golden light in the dunes. They’re a window into the many worlds – art, performance, dress-up, pride, light – that are Provincetown.
George Rogers is an artist and ceramicist. After a career in museums including the MFA in Boston and the Smithsonian, he and his husband moved to Provincetown full time four years ago.