Beyond Art Appreciation, ArtWeek Encourages Creation

By: Alan Pollock

Topics: Arts

ArtWeek at the Harwich Cultural Center.  FILE PHOTO

If you think art is something to be appreciated from afar, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, pick up a paint brush, knitting needle, or chisel and start creating. That’s the message from the organizers of ArtWeek, a 10-day, state-wide festival that gets underway tomorrow.

While there are ArtWeek demonstrations, classes and lectures around the Cape, the Lower Cape—and Harwich in particular—will be a center of activity. The Harwich Cultural Center at 204 Sisson Rd. is hosting more than two dozen activities between April 26 and May 5. Harwich will also be hosting “Light Up the Night,” a colorful illumination of local iconic buildings and structures. The feature is being organized by Robert Doane, known for creating elaborate holiday light decorations paired to music. Through the duration of ArtWeek, visit an exhibit of photos by Russ Allen that highlight the 17 stone memorials and monuments throughout Harwich. The photos will be on display at the Harwich Cultural Center.

On Friday, April 26, local artist Liz Perry will lead an evening of sketching at the Chatham Historical Society’s Atwood House Museum from 6 to 8 p.m. Participants will sketch artifacts from the museum’s collection, and will enjoy cheese and refreshments. Admission is $30, and while some materials will be provided, participants should bring their own supplies if they can. Also on April 26, Gail Hickey will demonstrate “fanciful furniture painting” in Studio 214 at the Harwich Cultural Center.

Saturday, April 27 launches the first weekend of ArtWeek with a full slate of activities. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Harwich Cultural Center will host demonstrations on bird carving, rug braiding, painting, sculpture and bookbinding, with various other programs in the cafeteria and lobby. There will also be a concert by the Resurrection Folk Project in the cultural center’s auditorium. The concert will feature songs from the 1960s that called for peace, equality and social justice, from the songbooks of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Tickets are $20 and $30, and doors open at 6:45 for the 7:30 p.m. show. For information, visit

Several ArtWeek activities are taking place in Orleans at the Old Firehouse Community Center at 44 Main St. At 1 p.m. Saturday, “move and groove” artist Acqua Hildebrand will invite art fans and curious walkers on a one-hour “Eye Spy Art Walk” around downtown Orleans, searching for 10 sculptures and murals and learning about public art. Ellen Scott will lead a workshop on dyeing silk scarves; admission is free, but a fee of $10 is required to dye a scarf. Bring an old towel for transporting your work of art. Also in Orleans, Addison Art Gallery at 43 Route 28 will host oil and pastel demonstrations, with live music and book signings from 4 to 6 p.m. Learn more at Also, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Brooks Free Library at 739 Main St. in Harwich will host Process Art for Kids, a hands-on workshop that gives young children the chance to try a variety of art techniques and materials.

On Sunday, April 28, the Harwich Cultural Center will host several demonstrations. Sharon DiGennaro will demonstrate silk scarf dyeing in Studio 105 from 9 to noon; Janet Fitzgerald will show how she braids rugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lobby today and each day through April 30; and Laurinda Raquel will demonstrate “SoulCollage” from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Stop by the cultural center on Monday, April 29 for the monthly figure drawing open studio at the Harwich Cultural Center. The activity happens from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in Studio 112, and a $10 fee applies. At Brooks Library, local authors and members of the Rising Tide Writers’ Group will share their works and answer questions from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

On Tuesday, April 30, visit the students and faculty of Monomoy Regional High School for demonstrations, tours and special classes. Several sessions are scheduled for 8:45 a.m., 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m.; meet students at the main office. At 11 a.m., visit the Harwich Community Center on Oak Street for the presentation “Cape Verde and the Journey Continues,” an overview of the journey of the Cape Verdean people who made Harwich their home. Artists, designers and entrepreneurs are invited to a series of workshops offered Tuesday by the Community Development Partnership at the Harwich Cultural Center. Sessions include an introduction on building a website, search engine optimization and Facebook use for small businesses. Sign up at and choose “upcoming events” from the menu. Also Thursday, visit NY Hair Co and Spa, 32 Main St., Orleans, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. to learn how to create a mandala, a painted symbol that expresses the themes of the artist’s life. Wear old clothes. And at the Brooks Library at 1:30 p.m., Assistant Library Director Emily Milan will teach the basics of “bullet journaling,” a strategy for keeping up with the tasks and details of busy modern life.

At the Harwich Cultural Center on Wednesday, May 1, the program “Liberating Gifts from Celtic History and the Labyrinth” will happen from 10 to 11 a.m., while the Brooks Library will sponsor “Knit Lit,” where experienced knitters share their knowledge with novices from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. On Thursday, May 2, Bernadette Waystack will hold an open art salon from 6 to 8 p.m. in Studio A05. Also happening Thursday evening is “The Art of Sushi,” a presentation on the history of that popular Japanese dish and a demonstration of how to create maki rolls. Tickets are $50 and include food, tax, tip and beverages. The event will be held at the Cross Rip Gallery, 486 Route 28, Harwich Port, and will feature Chef Ken of Bluefins Sushi and Saki Bar of Chatham.

On Friday, May 3 at 10 a.m., there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Seaside Marketplace at Saquatucket Marina, featuring local dignitaries. The marketplace features colorful shanties where local artists will show their creations each summer. Also on Friday there will be a special presentation at 2 p.m. at the Church of the Transfiguration, 11 Bay View Dr., Orleans, explaining and demonstrating the restored and expanded E.M. Skinner Organ, with an exhibit of costumes from the Elements Theatre Company. The event is free. At the Creative Arts Center in Chatham, artist John Clayton will give an oil painting demonstration from 1 to 3 p.m.; admission is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers, and refreshments will be served.

The second weekend of ArtWeek starts on Saturday, May 4, when the Guild of Harwich Artists will hold its Mystery Painting Puzzle event. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors to the Harwich Cultural Center will be invited to create a small canvas painting, with help from experienced artists. Around 50 small paintings will be created, and will then be combined to create a larger “mystery” image that will be revealed later. The completed work will hang in the lobby of the chamber of commerce’s visitor center in Harwich Port. Organizers are also recruiting businesses and others to sponsor canvasses for $25 each. For information, visit and click “ArtWeek.”

Also on Saturday, Brooks Free Library will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to showcase the Cahoon paintings in the Local History Room and the collection of Rogers Group statues. The library will also showcase a workshop on Gelli printing with MJX Artworks starting at 1 p.m. In Orleans, potter Nancy Craemer of Coastal Craft Gallery will demonstrate how a hand-thrown clay form created on a potter’s wheel is shaped into animals. The demonstration will happen from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., and will be held at the old Firehouse Gallery in Orleans. And at the Creative Arts Center in Chatham, kids can get in on the arts action with Barn Babies. Patrons can visit, view and pet baby animals during this free program, which includes face painting, an art activity and refreshments. Sessions happen at 11, 11:30 a.m., noon and 12:30 p.m. and numbers are limited. Call 508-945-3583 during regular business hours for sign-up and information.

On Sunday, May 5 at 1 p.m., the program “Liberating Gifts from Celtic History and The Labyrinth” will take place at the Harwich Cultural Center. At the Brooks Library in Harwich, author Dorothy Leone will speak about her novel, “Where the Herring Run.” And from 4 to 5:30 p.m., the Creative Arts Center in Chatham will hold the opening reception for “Hidden Images,” works from the Visual Artists’ Cooperative. The event is free and refreshments will be served, and the exhibit will be on display through May 24.

ArtWeek 2019 is produced by the Boch Center and the Highland Street Foundation, with support from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism and the Mass. Cultural Council.