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Artfully Available

Across the Cape, the Islands and even statewide, the first week of May makes sure everyone is an artist

The harbingers of spring include iconic daffodil blooms, deep greens found in lawns and new leaf buds, and the cacophony of the birds as they set about their busy springtime lives. Another hallmark of the season can be found across the state as the eighth year of ArtWeek finds its way into galleries, restaurants, bookstores, boutiques and a myriad of unexpected corners. “What is ArtWeek?” you might ponder. Originally conceived in 2013 and modeled on the success of Boston’s Restaurant Week (without adopting their business model), venues across the city turned the concept of presenting art to the public on its head. Sue Dahling Sullivan, Chief Strategic Officer at Boston’s Boch Center, who oversees the organization and implementation of ArtWeek says, “We used research provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, that said people are looking to engage with arts, culture and creativity differently. It’s not enough to just sit and listen to a concert or to watch a play or see an art exhibit. People wanted that learning or social aspect—behind the scenes, interactive, hands-on, demos, panels, that kind of VIP access—where they could peek behind the curtain. And that helped us define the ArtWeek twist.”

Now that ArtWeek has expanded statewide, the natural inclusion of the Cape, Islands, South Shore and Southcoast communities means that the innovative interpretations and presentations previously found in dynamic cities like Boston, are happening in our local villages. This year, the third consecutive year for the area, there are over 125 events on the Cape and Islands and more than 50 in Plymouth County. The popularity and concentration of occasions to experience ArtWeek are impressive, but it is the unexpected creativity and sense of discovery that resonates most with the intrepid souls that delve into the programming. Out-of-the-box thinking is rewarded with memorable experiences that pair artistic expression and exploration against a variety of unusual backdrops. In other words, give creative individuals an excuse to abandon the barriers and confines of everyday life for 10 days, and the results will inspire and amaze.

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