A Month Of New Works Enlivens Town Hall

By: Ed Maroney

“Phases” might be a good name for this untitled watercolor by Nauset Regional High School 10th grader Rachel Giffee. ED MARONEY PHOTO

ORLEANS Theatergoers are familiar with the Night of New Works presented annually by the Academy Playhouse. Through March 31, you can enjoy a whole month of new works at Orleans Town Hall.

The artists are sixth to 12th graders at Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School, Nauset Regional Middle School, and Nauset Regional High School, and their art and media are as distinctive as their creators.

Just inside the front door, you'll think you've taken a detour to the rope line at the Oscars when you encounter “Ruby Woo Gown” by 12th grader Merit Brent of Nauset High. It's a sleeveless slice of glamour that lights up the hallway.

Nearby are glass cases displaying jewelry, a cedar vase, and lovely plates. You can get a sense of their quality by reading the guest book: “The shell earrings made me suck air!! Great perspective.”

Down the hall is a print of “Ptown at Sunset,” by Nauset 12th grader Peyton Flanagan. Its graceful lines would have made old-time Provincetown artists like John Gregory smile. Flanagan also created the dashing winter poncho, another of the fashion creations that extend the show's scope.

Nauset 12th grader Hannah Sweeney's “Recovery” sits right at the crossroads of fashion and art. You'll find yourself debating the meaning of the outspread hands, green and red and in between, on a pair of old jeans.

Keep your brain switched on as you move a few steps to the right to view two powerful works: “Love is Love,” an affirmative statement in acrylic by Nauset 10th grader Logan Heilman and “Children of the Universe,” a plaintive picturing by Nauset 10th grader Francesca Galazzi of nature respecting life in the face of human indifference.

The 2017 Youth Art Show is presented by the Orleans Cultural Council annually. In an email, Meri Hartford of the council wrote that the 113-work show “is a terrific way for the council to engage with the art students in a meaningful, concrete way beyond our work of funding grants that support youth programs in the community. It also helps us establish relationships with educators and parents to help us understand where our support is most needed.”

Another aim, Hartford wrote, is “to foster a connection between the greater community and the fabulous work being done by art educators and the students.” An entry in the show's guest book indicates the council has hit the mark:

“Thank you for sharing your gifts with us and brightening our workplace.”