CHATHAM – Say goodbye to Sharks in the Park. Say hello to Art in the Park.
The Chatham Merchants Association's wildly successful art exhibit featuring sharks bowed out last summer, ending its several-year run by raising more than $70,000, half of which went to the contributing artists and half to the association to support its activities.
Even before sharks took a PR hit with two attacks last summer – one fatal – the group decided to end the use of shark shapes in the annual display and move on to something else. This year artists and sponsors have two shapes to choose from: one is the outline of Cape Cod, the other a mermaid shape.
“It will be different,” said Janice Rogers, who is overseeing the Art in the Park exhibit for the association. “The board loves the shapes and thinks it will be successful.”
The pieces will be displayed in Kate Gould Park, along the west side near the Main Street entrance, from mid-June to Aug. 19.
Sponsors and artists will be able to pick up the shapes – made of the same durable, easy to work with material as the sharks on March 28 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Creative Arts Center, Rogers said. The mermaid shape, designed by Steve Wardle of Forest Beach Design, is about the same size at the shark, five feet in length, while the Cape Cod shape is more square and measures about four feet wide. Sponsors pay $175 for the shape and are responsible for finding an artist to create their piece. Twenty of each shape will be available on a first come, first served basis. The exact date will be announced soon, Rogers said.
Like the sharks, the mermaids and Cape Cods will be auctioned through the online site Bidding for Good, accessible through the website chathamartinthepark.net. The site also includes links to Sharks in the Park auctions from 2015 through 2018.
As in the past few summers, the association is also sponsoring a scavenger hunt. This year, folks will be searching for “Stripers in the Shops,” with merchant association members displaying 30-inch painted striped bass throughout the summer. Completed scavenger hunt forms will go into a drawing for Chatham gift baskets featuring items donated by local merchants. Business owners wishing to participate can pick up a striper shape for $50.
Artists or business owners with questions about Art in the Park and Stripers in the Shops can contact Rogers at 774-722-2515.