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Coming of Age

Through the years, members have left and new ones have joined. The process of adding to the roster has always been more of a conversation among the group and less of a process of recruitment. “We have always been a democracy,” Dangelo notes and mentions that the group has never had formal officers or leaders, other than the few members who have performed treasurer functions over the years. “We have a moderator,” explains Nadeau, who says she filled that function for a time since she had a loud enough voice. The evolution of the get-together has seen the group mature, both in years counted on the earth, but also in their impact upon the art world of the Cape and Islands. The women talk about making their mark 20 years ago as well as today, particularly in a still male-dominated industry. “I have never considered myself as a female artist,” asserts Carol Odell, who along with her husband has been creating and selling art in their Chatham gallery for over 30 years. Maryalice Eizenberg, an oil painter whose keen eye for light is akin to that of Edward Hopper’s, confirms when she says, “It is other people that make that determination.” Dangelo adds that the organization has given her opportunities she would not have had otherwise. “One of the things 21 in Truro has offered me is the opportunity to create on another level—not just art, but the collection boxes, shows, friendships. We’ve created a lot of things that we’ve acknowledged and noted in our archives, that have been other than making a piece of art.” The collection boxes Dangelo refers to are custom-crafted linen boxes that house collections of 21 eight-by-eight-inch themed paintings the group has created for the permanent collections of the Cape Cod Museum of Art, Provincetown Art Association Museum and the Cahoon Museum to recognize milestone events for each of the institutions.

21 in truro recipe for success – By Kate Nelson

5 cups of heart-to-heart conversation

1/3 cup solitude

2 to 3 perfectly ripe sunsets over the Pamet River

5 to 6 cloves of mid-day yoga on the deck

1 very juicy threat of an approaching hurricane

Just a pinch of nostalgia

All combined in a generous bowl of loving acceptance

When asked how they account for the longevity of the group, Eizenberg quickly credits Sladeville, “I strongly believe Sladeville owns a piece of success in keeping us together,” she states. But truly, it must be more than the landscape, a conviction the group clings to in this unprecedented year when the annual retreat is threatened by the pandemic. Rosalie Nadeau says that it is the “community of women,” that holds the group together, “It is a way to be yourself and make your voice in your art heard, and still be there to nurture the others. These are my friends on the Cape.” Carol Odell goes on to say, “I think it is the art that holds us together, really. We all come from a great variety of backgrounds and influences, and family dynamics. But we all share what it is like to try to be an artist, and create, and all the tribulations that go along with that. All of these people understand all of those things collectively, yet we all respect each other, even though we are all different.”

21 in Truro are:
Heather Blume, Laverne Christopher*, Michele Dangelo*, Jane Eccles, Maryalice Eizenberg, Sarah Fielding-Gunn*, Susan Hollis*, Martine Jore, Jane Lincoln*, Jerre Moriarity, Rosalie Nadeau*, Kate Nelson, Carol Odell, Julie Olander*, Suzanne Packer McGarr*, JoAnn Ritter*, M’lou Sorrin*, Lorraine Trenholm, Christie Velesig*, Linda Young*, Joyce Zavorskas*
* original member

Kate Nelson, an abstract artist credits most of the inspiration for her lyrical and colorful work to her ability to connect with the natural world. Her mastery for distilling the nuances of Mother Nature as well as human nature is reflected in her recipe (above) for what has kept the group together as they venture into their third decade.

Overall, it is clear, 21 women, each fall, gather together and feed the artistic landscape of the Cape with their recipe for success.

Julie Craven Wagner is the editor of Cape Cod ART.

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