All Calm on West Falmouth Harbor
For Velesig, an important part of being an artist is the community that’s fostered amongst artists on the Cape. What started as a girls’ art week for Velesig and fellow artist Anne Boucher has since turned into an annual—going on 22 years—getaway for Cape based female artists. The group, known as 21 in Truro, gather every year in Truro to spend a week together, creating, sharing and supporting each other for whatever they may need at the time. “Anne and I always wanted to get together, and we loved the Corn Hill area in Truro. One day she said to me ‘Why don’t you and I rent a cottage out there for a week and just paint, no housework and no cooking, we’ll just get pizza every night and paint and photograph all week.’ I said sure that sounds great,” recalls Velesig. “We planned it out, and I was at Hyannis art supply later the next day and I ran into a fellow artist and told her about it and she said, ‘Oh I would love to do that.’ So, I said let me ask Anne, you can probably come too, and I went home and called Anne, and she said ‘I ran into someone else and they said they wanted to come too.’” Boucher and Velesig sat down and worked out the logistics of how to house as many artists as they could, figuring the Corn Hill cabins would comfortably fit 21 women. “We got on the phone and started calling; we just wanted women, and we wanted professional artists. We made some phone calls and had a meeting at my house. We decided we would go up and just do it. We named ourselves 21 in Truro and it was history from there. We love it!”
Poet Nayyirah Waheed said, “If the ocean can calm itself, so can you. We are both saltwater mixed with air.” An easy way to calm oneself would be to take a look at a painting by Christie Velesig. Her body of work certainly imparts the calm, peace and serenity felt by time spent by the Cape’s water. “I hope people take away a sense of joy. If you look at most of my work it’s very clam and serene and I try to use colors that are pleasant, at least to me,” she laughs. “I would hope that other people get that feeling; of beautiful color and serene calm, peaceful, and I would hope it would make their day more enjoyable. I also like to put a little humor in my work. I try to put things in there that would make people smile.”
You can find Velesig online at christievelesig.com, and view her work at Chapman Gallery in Cotuit, at the Christina Gallery in Edgartown and on display at the Woman and Infants Hospital in Rhode Island and Cape Cod Hospital in Falmouth. She also has pieces in the permenant collections at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and Cahoon Museum of American Art.
Elizabeth Shaw is the senior editor at Cape Cod Life Publications.
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