Artist Profiles 2021

Cape Cod Art  /  ART Annual 2021 /

Writer: Elizabeth Shaw

“I don’t think about art when I’m at work. I try to think about life.” ~ Jean-Michel Basquiat

Ask 100 artists on the Cape why this area is inspiring to them, and you’ll get 100 different answers. But one thing is constant; the supportive community of artists that make up the Cape and Islands. In this last year, one of the most important lessons we’ve learned is that coming together, whether physically or in spirit, is what makes us strong. 

In the following pages you will meet 19 artists who embody the spirit of the region. Arnie Casavant not only evokes nostalgic joy through his work, he is also sharing his passion for painting by teaching others. Karen Crocker loves to paint so much that the world has become her canvas; beyond actual canvas, she paints houses, pillows, wallpaper and more! Julie Crowley can be found all over the Cape, painting and loving the area’s beaches and landscapes anytime of the year. William R. Davis’ marine paintings and attention to detail have enraptured viewers since his first one-man show in 1988, and he’s not slowing down. Jack Dickerson’s wave and ocean motifs draw viewers in with their calming auras. Linda Emerson continues to challenge herself and learn, and captivate her followers, by changing up her medium. Joe Gallant has spent 25 years highlighting the quiet, peaceful corners of the Cape. Sandra Hadley piques our curiosity with her black and white charcoal drawings, capturing the essence of color through the absence of it. 

Syd Hale’s love of the Cape has only grown during her 35 years here, and the feeling shows in her bright, impressionistic work. Greg Haynes’ intricate and precise process creates realistic paintings of glass that will have you doing a double take. Bettina Lesieur inherited her love of art from her mom, and she uses that passion to cover a wide range of subjects. Wendy Lichtensteiger carved out her place in the art world when famed woodcarver Wick Ahrens asked her to help him in his last years. Michael Marrinan’s innovative use of copper as both a canvas and medium was discovered during his work in construction. Michael McGuire melds the iconic landscape of the Cape with the light and colors of his favorite spot in France. Jonathan McPhillips draws his inspiration from the different relationships tourists and year-round residents have with the region. Curtis Speer was laughed at when he announced he was leaving the corporate world to pursue art; his work has since been featured on HGTV, and most importantly, the permanent collection at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Ann Sullivan continues to bring peace and simplicity to the world through her serene sea and beachscapes. Steve Wardle has been making jewlery since he apprenticed with his father in 1969, and later opened Forest Beach Designs in Chatham, bringing handcrafted, gold artwork to the Cape. And finally, Trevor Watson created his unique, moody style by being self-taught, and has never looked back. 

As is evident by the fact that every year we have more than enough artists to fill the space of this special magazine, the Cape and Islands are host to a thriving community of creatives. And it’s no mystery as to why. Wherever one turns, there is no shortage of inspiration. 

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth Shaw is a former assistant editor, photographer & videographer for Cape Cod Life Publications. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Elizabeth spent many summers on the Cape, before she and her family moved down full time in 2016. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island as a double major in Writing & Rhetoric and Film Media, and started at Cape Cod Life the following fall. In her free time, she takes as many pictures of her dog, Watson, as possible, in between beach trips.