This investment has really paid off, Annual 2017 Cape Cod ART | capecodlife.com

The Cultural Center of Cape Cod’s new Education Wing was completed in 2016 • Photo courtesy of the Cultural Center of Cape Cod

Organization in South Yarmouth offers art classes, exhibits, studio space and more!

With its many classes and programs, and artists of all ages and skill sets coming and going, the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth could be compared to a bank, trading in diverse currencies for the benefit of those who participate. In fact, since it opened in 2007, the center has been operating out of the former Bass River Savings Bank at 307 Old Main Street.

In 2017, the large community of artists, teachers, students, staff, volunteers and others who have invested time, energy and funds in the center are celebrating its 10th anniversary. To mark the milestone, several members of the community shared their thoughts on what makes the place so special and how the center fulfills its motto, “All the arts for all of us.”

Betsy Payne Cook of Mashpee, who teaches at the center, commented on the wide variety of classes available in traditional art media as well as cooking and dance. “There’s something for everyone,” she says. “It lives up to its name as a cultural center. Even the newsletter is impressive.”

“I love being here,” adds Nicki Palmer. “There’s something about this place that’s magical.” A resident of Harwich, Palmer says she has come to know many great people at the center, and a welcoming attitude runs throughout. “When you come in, there’s no place you’re not allowed to go,” she says. “The center is so many things.”

What things? To begin, the center displays the work of local artists, both established and emerging. “We really encourage artists to get their work up on the walls,” says Robert Nash, the center’s executive director. The center also hosts several large exhibits each year, including the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod’s National Juried Show every summer. For online competitions, the center’s reach is even greater. “We get entries from all over the world,” says Amy Neill, the center’s education director. In April, the Great Hall—the center’s largest exhibit space—displayed black-and-white photos on every wall, while in the Blue Room, once a loan officer’s work space, the oil paintings of Yarmouth’s Lucille Noble were on exhibit.

The Artisans Gallery is a gift shop stocked with handmade creations, all made on the Cape by Cape artisans. Offerings include jewelry, textiles, notecards and other items.

The center’s current course lineup—some 80 classes—includes painting, pottery, cooking and Italian, the last of which is taught with aplomb by Guido Farina of Yarmouth. Harwich’s Odin Smith leads Paint Night classes, guiding students step by step through the painting process.