Walls That Connect: The Cape Cod Mural Project, curated by Samuel Tager, includes both an indoor and an outdoor component. Three murals commissioned by the Cape Cod Museum of Art will be mounted along the museum’s front exterior. These muralists are: Joe Wardwell, Jackie Reeves and Esteban del Valle. The accompanying indoor gallery exhibition celebrates the studio practices of all five participating artists. Two of the artists - Felipe Ortiz and Sophy Tuttle will be creating new, site specific installations in the CCMoA gallery allowing museum visitors to observe the creative process.
Murals have the power to engage with and transform communities like no other art form. Paintings on walls have expressed our aspirations, values, interests, and concerns since the beginning of human history. Public murals connect to diverse audiences and inspire a sense of neighborhood and community ownership by creating a direct and unmediated viewer experiences.
We are living in a great age for public art and mural painting.
Community-based mural projects have transformed post manufacturing-based urban areas in Massachusetts and beyond in a widespread acknowledgment of the positive impact that art and culture sector investment can have on communities struggling with challenging social and economic conditions.
Artists can express ideas like no-one else. We are fortunate that in this time of major change to our environment, we may look to today’s talented and professional mural artists to create beautiful, inviting, and inclusive images
even while their subject matter often inspires a serious call to action.
This exhibition has been organized to celebrate the creativity and accomplishments of 5 professional artists with strong ties to Cape Cod and to acknowledge the contributions that they have made to celebrating the importance of our natural environment and engaging with and giving a voice to the best values of our communities.
- Samuel Tager, Guest Curator and Executive Director of the Provincetown Public
Samuel Tager has been developing, designing, producing, and installing museum and gallery exhibitions for the past twenty five years. He served as Director of Exhibitions at Harvard University's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and more recently as the Assistant Director and Senior Designer for Harvard’s, newly formed, Museums of Science and Culture. In 2020, Tager became the founding Executive Director of the Provincetown Public Art Foundation and since that time has guest-curated and designed exhibitions for the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM), The Cape Cod Museum of Art (CCMoA) The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum (PMPM), Harvard Law School, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, in Boston. Tager also serves on the board directors of Provincetown Arts Press.
"Public Art creates access to art in what I like to call an Outdoor Museum
presenting formats beyond a traditional museum setting. When art reflects
the zeitgeist or feeling of the moment, it can bring change to cultural, civic, and
intellectual discourse. Public art gives people access to far flung periods of history and creates opportunities to engage with and bring art to communities who may feel excluded from or otherwise, not able to access traditional museums."
- Josilane Santos, special advisor to the exhibition
The Cape Cod Museum of Art extends special thanks to:
Samuel Tager of Provincetown for curating
Walls That Connect:The Cape Cod Mural Project
Josilane Santos, Special Advisor to the exhibition and Massachusetts
Transformative Development Initiative Fellow
This Exhibition was made possible with support from:
The Cape Cod Foundation
The LaMontagne Gallery - Boston
The Rugosa Gallery, Eastham
Mid Cape Home Centers
Esteban del Valle
Esteban del Valle is a Brooklyn, NY based interdisciplinary artist originally from Chicago, IL. He received his M.F.A. from RISD and has exhibited his work and produced murals internationally. His work has been featured in various publications, including HiFructose and Washington Post.
Del Valle has been the recipient of several visual arts residencies and fellowships including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Fine Arts Work Center, Smack Mellon Artist Studio Program, and The Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship. He has also been awarded residencies at Chulitna Lodge in Lake Clark, AK, Hub-Bub in Spartanburg, SC, Djerassi in Woodside, CA, and received a fellowship from the Arts Student League in New York. In the Spring of 2020, he was awarded The Daniel F. Breeden Eminent Scholar Chair at Auburn University. Del Valle also has original work in several permanent collections including the Urban Nation in Berlin, Germany, The Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick, NJ, and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in Provincetown, MA. Additionally, in the summer of 2021, he was awarded the inaugural commission for the Provincetown Public Art Foundation.
“If I had to draw a picture of my life as an artist it would look like a doodle of looping circles and lines that overlap and retrace.
Fresh out of art school I worked in design, illustration and graphics but soon fell into a fifteen year career painting murals for corporate, private, and public spaces. At mid life I was inspired to move away from the commercial art realm and return to art school for an MFA. During the last 12 years I have focused on studying art history and developing my artistic voice. Now, to my surprise, mural painting has seeped back into my life and found a place in the mix of my artistic expressions.
The lines of separation that once existed in my mind between, design, illustration, drawing, painting, high art, low art, commercial art… have blurred into one giant scribble. It’s all art that feeds my soul and shows me how interconnected we all are.”
~ Jackie Reeves
Jackie Reeves is a Cape Cod based artist living in Sandwich and working out of Chalkboard Studio in Barnstable Village. She has a BFA from Concordia University (Montreal) and an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Low residency at Fine Art Work Center in Provincetown).
Colombian artist Felipe Ortiz focuses on the practice of painting, from traditional studio
practice, to large scale public mural installations. In 2009, he earned a BFA in 2D Fine Arts
from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Felipe has participated in numerous art
exhibits of private and public collections, including the Fuller Craft Museum, Provincetown
Art Association and Museum, Punto Urban Art Museum, and the corporate loan collection
at DeCordova Museum. His installations have been featured in the Knight Foundation’s
Horizontes Project, Northeastern University’s public art collection, U.S. Embassy in Beijing,
China, and the Ministry of Culture in Cali, Colombia. Felipe has been awarded Mass MoCA’s
2018 Assets for Artists Grant and Massachusetts Cultural Council’s STARS residency in 2023
to continue the ongoing Harvest Mural project in East Boston in Collaboration with HarborArts,
Eastie farm, and the Boston Public Schools.
Felipe has also participated in various public art projects at local and international levels.
In 2016, he founded the Fresco Exchange, a group invested in the creative and cultural
exchange for artists across countries. This collaborative project supports artists through
traveling art exhibits, public art interventions, workshops, and community engagement. The
core mission is to share ideas between creative economies and exchange best practices in
the arts. The collective traveling experiences have helped shape this project while providing
valuable knowledge of the art world. Currently, Felipe maintains his studio practice while also
coordinating public art projects.
Joe Wardwell is currently an Associate Professor of Painting at Brandeis University (Waltham, MA) and is the founder the Brandeis-in-Siena program. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA). He received a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Boston University (Boston, MA).
Currently on view through 2023, Wardwell has a large scale wall drawing commissioned for the renovation of building 6 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. In 2022, he completed his first large scale public art project for the Boston Public Library, Roxbury Branch. Wardwell has also completed large scale installations for the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, citizenM Hotels, Facebook Inc., and the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Lincoln, MA), the Rollins Museum and the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, and Wardwell’s work is in the permanent collection of each. Wardwell has been a recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant for Painting and was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Creative Arts at Boston University.
In addition to numerous group exhibitions throughout the region, he has held solo exhibitions in New York, New Haven, Boston, and Seattle. His work is represented in Boston by the LaMontagne Gallery (Boston, MA). Wardwell lives with his family in Jamaica Plain and his studio is in Dorchester, MA.
Sophy Tuttle is an English-born American muralist, painter, and installation artist. Her work celebrates nature, reconsiders our position in the web of life, and creates new narratives that explore regenerative, resilient culture-building among all forms of life.
Sophy began painting murals after a residency in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2013, where she learned from local activists and artists. Her indoor and outdoor murals can now be seen from Massachusetts to Colombia and she has participated in several mural festivals including Pangeaseed’s Sea Walls Festival (2020 & 2021). Often vibrant and dynamic, her murals are a way to begin conversations within the community about our relationship with nature and instill the same sense of awe that she feels for the world around us.