ALL ABOUT sEVEn: A Multi-media Exhibit by 49 Cape Women Artists
Curated by Shawn Nelson Dahlstrom
February 14 - March 30
Reception: March 1, 2014, 3 - 5 pm
March 8: Music to celebrate International Women's Day, 3 - 5 pm
March 15: Poetry, 3 - 5 pm
March 22: Theater, 3 - 5 pm
March 29: Dancing & Drumming, 3 - 5 pm
Click here for details on these events
Many people consider seven a lucky – or even magical – number. There are seven days in the week, seven continents, seven notes in the musical scale and seven colors in the rainbow. Now, the Cape Cod Museum of Art’s exhibition “All About sEVEn” will explore seven themes related to the number seven, each as interpreted by seven female artists – for a grand total of 49 participants. The show will go on view Friday, Feb. 14, and continue through Sunday, March 30, with a variety of special programming along the way.
“All About sEVEn” is the brainchild of East Dennis artist Shawn Dahlstrom, who also organized and curated the exhibition and arranged for related programming. Participants include such well-known Cape artists as Teresa Baksa, Jane Lincoln, Mary Moquin, Kate Nelson, Carol Odell, Suzanne Packer, Joyce Utting Schutter, Jan Collins Selman, Kathleen Sidwell, Gretchen Romey-Tanzer, Vicky Tomayko and Joyce Zavorskas (though many of the lesser known talents will prove a revelation). A variety of mediums are represented throughout the exhibition as well as within each theme. These include painting, encaustic, fiber, glass, printmaking, photography, sculpture and assemblage.
Each group of seven artists chose its own theme, with most eschewing the more obvious options. The themes they elected to pursue are as follows:
1. Spectrum. The women who chose the seven colors of the visible spectrum as their theme reported that it was “effortless” for each of them to select one color for emphasis in her work. Weaver Gretchen Tanzer simply went with her favorite color in “Yellow Goddess.” The strongly vertical piece incorporates seven evenly spaced blocks of red, seemingly floating and ascending – or, possibly, descending – against a field of intensely sunny yellow. Glassblower Yukimi Matsumoto actually created seven remarkably lustrous vases, always using blue in combination with other colors. Given the “EVE” in “sEVEn,” it’s probably not coincidence that most of her vessels resemble softly curving female forms.
2. Elements. The number of elements can vary widely – from the classic four up to 118 on the most recent version of the Periodic Table. But for the purposes of this exhibition, this group reflected on the properties of water, air, fire, earth, wood, metal and electricity. In each artwork, one of the elements dominates while others often play a supporting role. Carole Ann Danner’s encaustic painting “Provincetown Cloud” gives a strong sense of the sky towering over strips of dunes and sea. Bright blue air and frosting-like clouds alternate like the layers of some atmospheric cake.
3. Pleiades. Also known as “The Seven Sisters” in myth and astronomy, this luminous blue star cluster is visible in the constellation Taurus. Perhaps influenced by Pleiades being a showpiece of the winter sky, painter Teresa Baksa envisioned a star as a twirling skater in “Becoming a Star.” The figure shimmers in frosty white light against a sapphire sky. Printmaker Kathleen Sidwell’s idea for the joyful abstraction “Night Dancers” came to her in a dream. Sayuri Kingsbury made seven discs of swirling blue glass that – suspended in the air – do a slow-moving dance of their own.
4. Seven Deadly Sins …? This group’s especially thoughtful statement reads, in part: “We commit them regularly and recklessly. Committing them is part of who we are. We know that here lies guilty pleasure and instant gratification. We convince ourselves it’s merely a matter of degree.” The interpretation of lust fell to Dale Michaels Wade. Her trompe l’oeil painting shows a guitar with a body that is, simultaneously, the torso of a woman – and of her arms and hands, trying to cover her nakedness. A heart hangs in the instrument’s sound hole. The work is an affecting statement of such conflicting states as desire, pleasure, vulnerability and guilt.
5. Intentions. More fully, this category is “The Seven Faces of Intentions,” as enumerated by self-help author and motivational speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer. One of them is “Beauty.” For this, photographer Mary Doering created a mixed-media work centering on the image of a woman, her hands coming together in the respectful Namaste salutation used by Hindus and Buddhists. “When we celebrate the joy, grace and truth in every human being we will see only beauty,” she wrote. Suzanne Packer interpreted “Receptivity” with an abstract oil painting, its flower-bright colors seemingly migrating from one area of the canvas to another in an easy, fluid manner.
6. Seven Generations. In accordance with Native American philosophy, ecological decisions are to be made in light of their impact on the seventh generation yet to come. Landscape designer Shannon Goheen – who also weaves tapestries from plant materials – used eelgrass to mimic a strand of DNA. “All life on earth shares some identical DNA,” she wrote. “Remove one strand and the pattern is irreparably altered.” With “Animystic,” a mixed-media totem more than seven feet tall, Deb Mell found a new way to tell the story of her own family’s past generations.
7. Formal 7. In a united show of artistic liberty, these seven women chose to focus on the formal elements of their artworks (such as line, shape, form, tone, texture, color and composition). “In choosing a formal emphasis – whereby we include seven elements in each one of our pieces – we could also choose our own subject, each speaking with our truest voice without impediment,” they offer in a joint statement. Nathalie Ferrier calls her conceptual piece, “Inspect the forest for hands and needles,” a self-portrait. A row of seven gargantuan needles formed from self-hardening clay symbolize her heights from birth through varying stages of life. “Needles have always been my main tool,” she says. For her mobile “Dalle de Verre (Spectrum in Balance),” Iren Handschuh used glass fragments representing the seven colors of the spectrum.
Above image: Carol Odell, Pleiades
Sunday, March 16, 12:30 - 4:30 pm
Falmouth printmaker Alice Nicholson Galick will teach the workshop “Styrofoam Reduction Three-Color Block Printing” from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at the Cape Cod Museum of Art. All materials will be provided.
Galick, who began making prints in the late 1960s, specializes in monotypes but is skilled at many types of printmaking. She has taught art for some 30 years and exhibited in galleries, museums and juried shows throughout New England. She is represented in the group exhibition “All About sEVEn,” running from Feb. 14 through March 30 at the Cape Cod Museum of Art.
The block printing workshop is free with the price of admission to the museum. However, the instructor will collect a $5 materials fee on the day of the class. Space is limited to 15 participants. Reservations are recommended and made be made by calling 508-385-4477, ext. 16.
The ALL ABOUT sEVEn topics, artists, media and towns are:
Seven Generations (from Native American lore):
Deb Mell SCULPTURE, MIXED, CONCEPT Truro
Sarah Holl PAINTING Hyannis
Zehra Khan SCULPTURE MIXED, CONCEPT, PAINTING Provincetown
Shannon Goheen FIBER Dennis
Marilyn J. Rowland VIDEO Falmouth
Andrea Moore MIXED, PRINTMAKING Falmouth
Jeanmarie O’Clair CLAY Yarmouth
Lauren Wolk MIXED MEDIA Centerville
Jan Collins Selman PAINTING Falmouth
Cecelia Rossey PRINTMAKING Wellfleet
Sue Pellow FIBER Eastham
Chris Andresen GLASS Provincetown
Carole Ann Danner ENCAUSTIC Hyannis
Lois Grebe ENAMEL Yarmouth
Formal 7 :
Marie Canaves PAINTING Brewster
Joyce Utting Schutter SCULPTURE Sandwich
Vicky Tomayko PRINTMAKING Truro
Iren Handschuh GLASS Wellfleet
Elena Tobin FIBER Centerville
Nathalie Ferrier CONCEPTUAL Truro
Claudia Smith-Jacobs PAINTING/COLLAGE Falmouth
Seven Deadly Sins . . .?
Dale Wade TROMPE L’OILE Eastham
Anne Garton PAINTING Eastham
Beth Minear FIBER Orleans
Donna Mahan GLASS Truro
Kate Nelson PAINTING Brewster
Alice Nicholson Galick PRINTMAKING Falmouth
Maryalice Johnston MIXED MEDIA Provincetown
Carol Odell ENCAUSTIC Chatham
Susan A. Clark FIBER Eastham
Robin Grebe SCULPTURE Chatham
Teresa Baksa PAINTING Dennis
Kate Sidwell PRINTMAKING Brewster
Sayuri Kingsbury GLASS Barnstable
Tessa D’Agostino FOUND MATERIALS ASSEMBLAGE Pocasset
Mary Moquin ENCAUSTIC Sandwich
Katie Hickey FIBER Wellfleet
Joyce Zavorskas PRINTMAKING Orleans
Rosa Pimenta CISELAGE Yarmouth
Suzanne Packer PAINTING Yarmouth
Mary Doering MIXED MEDIA/PHOTOGRAPHY Orleans
Isabel Green GLASS Falmouth
Jane Lincoln PAINTING Falmouth
Gretchen Romey-Tanzer FIBER Orleans
Ellen Lebow DRAWING Wellfleet
Sara Ringler MIXED Sandwich
Tina Holl SCULPTURE Dennis
Mike Wright, SCULPTURE Provincetown
Yukimi Matsumoto GLASS Sandwich
The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod
Bourne Cultural Council
Mashpee Cultural Council
Sandwich Cultural Council
Harwich Cultural Council
Brewster Cultural Council
Chatham Cultural Council
Dennis Cultural Council
Mid-Cape Cultural Council
Salvatore Del Deo: Faces & Figures 1969 - 2012
February 6 - March 9
Reception: February 6, 5:30 - 7 pm
Gallery Talk by the artist: Thursday, February 27, 2 pm
This spring marks the completion of artist Salvatore Del Deo’s sixth decade as a year-round Provincetown resident. For all this time he’s masterfully painted virtually every aspect of his environs at the Cape’s end, including dunes, wharves, fish and lighthouses. But his portraits and figurative works are especially compelling.
The strength of Provincetown’s people certainly shines through in “Salvatore Del Deo: Faces and Figures 1967-2012.” The show features some 20 works – most of them oils on canvas – selected by the museum’s curator, Michael A. Giaquinto.
Early in his career, Del Deo assimilated the teachings of Charles W. Hawthorne (as passed down through Hawthorne protégé Henry Hensche). Del Deo’s 1989 “Self-Portrait” is a wonderful manifestation of Hawthorne’s admonition to build a painting by placing one carefully observed “color spot” next to another. Featuring the artist wearing a big hat and a jacket with an upturned collar, the painting shows an intensity of sunlight illuminating just one half of his intelligent, rugged, self-assured face. The same casual mien is evident in the 2012 seated portrait “John Browne.” The subject, a Provincetown fisherman wearing a green jacket and cap, looks like he might have just happened by Del Deo’s studio (though he may well have been invited to sit). He’s painted with great dignity, with a powerful effect achieved through broad color planes and strong shadows. Del Deo’s portraits inevitably demonstrate his ability to be utterly true to life while offering penetrating insights concerning his subjects’ personalities and delighting us with his facility for handling paint.
One of the highlights of the museum’s exhibition is “The Shuckers,” a six-foot-wide painting done in homage to the Patricia Marie, a 50-foot fishing vessel that went down off Provincetown in 1976. Captain Billy King and all six members of his crew were lost. Del Deo began the painting in 1976, working on it off and on until its completion in 2001, the 25th anniversary of the sinking. His models were all local fishermen, including King’s son and grandson. Their faces reflect a profound sense of loss as they read a newspaper account of the disaster.
Born in Providence, R.I., in 1928, Del Deo received scholarships to attend Saturday and summer classes at Rhode Island School of Design while he was still in high school. He began his formal training at the Vesper George School of Art in Boston in 1945, enrolling in a three-year program. When Hensche gave a portrait painting demonstration at the school, Del Deo was impressed, so much so that he went to study at Hensche’s Cape School of Art in Provincetown the following summer. He also continued his training at the Art Students League of New York, where he studied with Edwin Dickinson and John McPherson.
Following military service, Del Deo spent a winter painting in the Southwest and Mexico. On his travels, he met – and received considerable encouragement from – prominent Mexican artist Diego Rivera. In fall 1953, he met and married the poet Josephine Breen. Then, in spring 1954, following an extensive tour of Italy and France, the newlyweds made their home in Provincetown, where they put down deep and abiding roots. Del Deo formed close friendships with such distinguished artists as Ross Moffett, Karl Knaths and Dickinson. Sal’s Place – the Italian restaurant he started in 1963 – is still in business (though in other hands).
In addition, Del Deo has repeatedly played a major leadership role in the town’s art community. He’s served on the boards of the Fine Arts Work Center and Provincetown Heritage Museum and was a founding member of both institutions. He chaired the Provincetown Art Commission from 1974 to 1983; was a member of the jury for the national design competition for the Provincetown Playhouse in 1978; and taught painting and drawing at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill from 1986 to 1993. He’s had an especially long involvement with Provincetown Art Association and Museum, serving in the capacities of trustee and vice president; conducting children’s art classes for six years, beginning in 1965; and teaching adult classes in the early 1990s.
Del Deo has had regular opportunities to exhibit his work, including New York City shows at the Roko Gallery, the Landmark Gallery, the 47 Bond Street Gallery and Helio Gallery (which gave him a comprehensive one-person show in 1990). Provincetown Art Association and Museum honored him with a 40-year retrospective in 1993. Since 1992, he’s been represented by Berta Walker Gallery in Provincetown. Del Deo is also represented in the collections of a number of noteworthy institutions, including the Houghton Libraryat Harvard University; Smith College of Art in Northampton; Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown; and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Image: "The Shuckers"
Mikhail Zakin: An Exploration of Form
Curated by Joyce Halpert
January 23 - March 5, 2014
New Jersey potter Mikhail Zakin taught ceramics at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill from its inception in the early 1970s until 12 days before she died on Sept. 9, 2012. Ninety-two years old at the time, she was anticipating the prospect having a retrospective of her salt-glazed pottery at the Cape Cod Museum of Art this winter. While she didn’t live to see it, the show – on view from Thursday, Jan. 23, through Sunday, March 9 – will go on as scheduled, serving as a testament to the creativity of an exceptionally vibrant woman.
“Mikhail Zakin: Salt-Glazed Pottery” has been guest-curated by Joyce Halpert of East Dennis, who knew Zakin for just shy of 40 years, both as a student and associate. Halpert has gathered more than 30 pieces from four or five private collections, including her own. These will range from the late 1960s through vey recent years.
For most of her years as a potter, Zakin generally worked with stoneware and explored salt glazing – a process that actually doesn’t involve glazes. The clay is fired in a very hot kiln until it passes the stage where it glows cherry red and becomes white-hot. At that point, the potter shuts down all of the burners, closes all the ports and flows common, or rock, salt into the kiln. The salt vaporizes under the intense heat and pressure, but not before producing a satiny, translucent and slightly orange-peel-like texture on the stoneware. It’s a difficult process and – because of the amount of fuel required – very expensive. The results are also unpredictable. But Zakin loved salt glazing. “Her work is very sculptural and architectural; it’s very organic,” Halpert says. “She wanted the glaze to enhance the body of the clay, not to cover it. She wanted the pot to reveal itself to the viewer."
Originally named Miriam Attkins, Zakin was born into a prominent Russian Jewish immigrant family in Massachusetts. Her mother died while she was still quite young, so she went to live with an uncle who encouraged her to explore stone sculpting and silversmithing. After leaving home at age 17, she tried to sell her sculpture and jewelry. Having little success, she changed her first name to Mikhail (pronounced Michael), hoping to attract more serious interest with a man’s name. Her last name changed when she married Gabriel Zakin, who worked in medical advertising. They had three children.
Zakin studied sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Art Students League in New York. At the time, she liked working with stone and metals. But she turned her attention to clay after meeting master potter Karen Karnes in 1954. Zakin worked with her for three years at Stony Point, N.Y., initially concentrating on throwing functional forms on the wheel. With her husband’s help, Zakin built her first kiln in the mid 1950s. Then, in 1969, she and Karnes built one of the first private salt kilns in the country at Stony Point, and she joined the vanguard of a revival of interest in salt glazing in this country. Initially she created hand-built tied box forms inspired by photos of her parents immigrating with tied bundles. Later, these evolved into larval, biomorphic and anthropomorphic forms.
Teaching was a huge part of Zakin’s life. As one of its original teachers, Zakin had considerable input into the development of Truro Center for the Arts. She took her students on expeditions seeking natural clays at Cape beaches and, one summer, guided them in constructing a primitive wood-fired kiln behind the school. Castle Hill’s founder, Joyce Johnson, has called her the center’s “Pied Piper of clay."
In 1974, Zakin co-founded the Art School at Old Church in Demarest, N.J. With the help of many others in the community, she restored a historic 19th-century building – a former Baptist church fallen into disrepair – turning it into a nonprofit art school and gallery that continues to thrive. Zakin served as president and taught there every single semester until she died, according to Halpert. For 37 years she also ran an annual art show to raise funds for the school.
From 1976 to 1990, Zakin was on the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, where she chaired the Visual Arts Department for a number of years and taught ceramics as a studio course with a historical component. She also organized and participated in many workshops and seminars throughout the world, including Canada, Scotland, England, Holland, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, Japan, Korea and China. Through her “Travel with a Focus” program – sponsored jointly by the Art School at Old Church and Sarah Lawrence College – she made multiple trips abroad with her students, introducing them to the cultures of various countries. The first such trip – “The History of English Pottery from Pre-Roman Times to the Space Age” – was to Cornwall, England.
“I loved the teaching, and came to feel it was easily as important, challenging and fulfilling as working in clay,” Zakin once wrote. “The students who came into my life enriched and renewed me with their growth and blossoming, as they found their own infinitely unique voices in the material we each loved.”
Halpert counts herself among the many students whose lives Zakin touched. “Every time you turned a corner, you saw another facet of this woman,” she says.