Home, shelter, refuge.

Cape Cod Life  /  May 2023 /

Writer: Valerie Gates

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” — Maya Angelou  Cast • 10" x 10" • watercolor assemblage All manner of dwellings feature strongly in Traci Harmon-Hay’s personal life and her work. Her recent series of miniature mixed media pieces, highlighting her deft use of watercolors, features houses, cottages, studios, and barns, and frames who she has become as an artist and a person. “Every piece I create comes from a need to tell a story about my life,” she states. Traci studied with watercolorist Fritz Briggs at the Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore, and received a BFA in illustration and painting from the Maryland Institute of Art. After graduation, she stayed in Baltimore and found community in being represented by New York’s Creative Freelancers, and by co-founding Studio Six, an illustration co-operative, with five other illustrators.  After working in the world of commercial and editorial illustration for couple of years, Traci came to the Cape with a friend on vacation and instantly felt at home.  Tired of the commercial art world and looking for an opportunity to, “...just paint and be who I wanted to be as an artist,” she rented a U-Haul, grabbed her two dogs and moved to Wellfleet. Little did she know at the time that a big red barn off Commercial Street, with Wellfleet’s conservation lands within view, would be the location of many future life events.  Traci got a job right away working at The Left Bank Gallery and settled into the community quickly. Living in a little cottage, she was looking for a larger studio space outside of her home so she could focus on her art. She approached George and Dennis Mooney about renting…

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Valerie Gates