There’s a Class for that!

these local arts centers are sure to bring out the inner artist in you

At the heart of the reason people love the Cape and Islands are the splendid vistas and iconic subjects that stop us in our tracks, where we catch our breath and pause for just a moment to, at the very least subliminally, take in our surroundings. It isn’t anything new. The recognition of this area as a place of dramatic, yet simple, beauty has been understood for centuries. So the creative impulse to funnel that inspiration through an artistic outlet is a very natural response.

The Cape’s history of artistic proclivity is perhaps best understood when examining the early art colony of Provincetown. Origins trace back to when Charles Webster Hawthorne opened his Cape Cod School of Art in 1899. With the completion of the railroad to the outer tip of the Cape, the region became a destination for tourists and affluent society who had the luxury of leisurely pursuits. Hawthorne’s school allowed students—numbering over 90 within a few short years—to practice in the style of impressionism, a French style that had come into vogue just a few decades before. And classes were conducted outside, or “en plein air” as the French would say. By the 1930s, a Boston Globe headline would declare, “Biggest Art Colony in the World at Provincetown.”

As the Cape, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard grew, and the middle class of American society started to incorporate travel and vacations into their lifestyle, the seaside New England region became a destination for artists. Across the region, the small villages were the perfect backdrops for small galleries, which began as places to find a memento of a special vacation, but have now evolved into showcases for work by some of the greatest talent around. 

With all of this inspiration, and all of the interest and support dedicated to the artistic endeavors on the Cape, a question comes to mind. What do you do, where do you go, if artistic exploration is on your bucket list? Luckily, we are literally surrounded with a plethora of options across the region. No matter what your passion is, which medium may interest you, how flexible your budget may be, or where you are located, there is a class for you.