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    Art We Love & Why- Fall Colors

    Anne Packard Art
    October 21, 2020

    Art We Love & Why – Fall Colors

    The streets are quieter and the restaurants are starting to roll up their awnings, but the lights still burn bright in the galleries. Many are cutting back their hours in the off-season so check ahead before a visit, but rest assured the quality and quantity of work that continues to come out every week is extraordinary. And most galleries have a robust online presence so you can browse online as you make your Christmas list….

    Valerie Issacs, Early Reflection (oil on canvas, 12” x 12”), Hammock Gallery

    Valerie Issacs Art

    There’s a new gallery in town with a wonderful old-school Provincetown vibe. Inside the former Hammock Shop (an unsullied old fishing shed on the beach), painter and gallery owner Todd Perry has assembled a collection of art by luminaries of the past century along with talented painters working today. Valerie Issacs is one of the latter. With a style that ebbs and flows between realism and abstraction and an impeccable sense of color and composition, her work grabs you at a distance and then rewards closer inspection. In this piece, I love the way the gorgeous, seemingly disparate slashes of paint elegantly morph together before your eyes to become a crystalline sky reflected on the glassy sea.

    Jo Hay, Kamala Harris (48” x 60”), at Carolyn Kramer Gallery

    Jo Hay Art

    I have long admired Jo Hay’s bold, outsized paintings and was delighted to see this very timely piece in the window of Adam Peck Gallery last week. The latest in her Persisters series, this piece displays Hay’s signature brushwork and masterful color sense. It is a truly mesmerizing experience to stand in front of this giant portrait that so brilliantly captures the subject with a sea of swirling, looping, diving brushstrokes in unexpected hues. And yet what appears to be so spontaneous is actually a carefully considered creative process. Painters of old used symbols of wealth and power to ennoble leaders and heroes — Hay just uses paint, brilliantly.

    Anne Packard, Untitled (oil on board, 6” x 12”), Packard Gallery

    Anne Packard Art

    Anne Packard can be counted in the “living legend” category of Provincetown painters. Now in her late eighties and still painting daily, her large, poetic landscapes have an eternal appeal. And befitting a great, late-career artist, her work is generally beyond the reach of most budgets. However, a visit to her gallery will reward you with a luscious array of small works – “minis” she calls them – with all the grace and beauty of her more epic work. The seascape here is a perfect example. She’s captured the fury of the ocean and the great, leaden sky over the sweep of the bay all in a painting you can take home in your satchel.

    Mike Sullivan, CCKM (giclee print on cotton rag, 11” x 17”), 120 Commercial Street

    Mike Sullivan Art

    For those who worry about the future of the Provincetown art colony, I have two words for you: Mike Sullivan. Young and wildly creative with an inspiring dedication to his art, he’s making some of the most interesting work I’ve seen all year. In a series of photographs he created this summer, you can sense that his creative journey began in performance. His subjects are crowned with jaw-dropping headpieces made of found objects, mirror shards, and extravagant boughs and blooms. Just witnessing one of these exotic creatures perched atop a dune would be a fully satisfying performance piece. But he has gone further: capturing his models, bathed in the magical Provincetown light, in photographs of extraordinary power and beauty. They are utterly contemporary, yet timeless in their language of splendor.

    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 three years ago.

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