The grateful eight!
These emerging local artists are young, inspired, and appreciative of those from whom they have learned
When someone has it—whatever rare talent or gift “it” may serve to represent—it is undeniable. Oftentimes, it’s unexplainable, too. Many others want it, while others hope the “it” in question is simply not squandered.
In conducting interviews for this article on eight emerging artists who live or work on Cape Cod and the Islands, that “it” factor was evident from the start. Basically, the eight artists profiled on the following pages, who range in age from a 17-year-old high school student to a blossoming 30-year-old painter, are blessed with it!
Through the use of paper or photo clippings, paintbrushes or a quill pen, glass or animation technology, these artists create colorful, creative, and inspiring work. A number of the artists also credit the training and instruction they received from teachers, mentors, and employers for helping them get to where they are now. We think readers will enjoy these artists’ work—and will likely be seeing more from them in the years to come.
Traditional tools, modern medium | artist profile • Tom Coute
Tom Coute’s love affair with cartoons began one lucky night when he was 7 years old. With his mother away working a night job, Coute’s father let he and his brother, Mike, watch whatever cartoons they wanted. “I have a very specific memory of my dad letting me watch The Simpsons with him,” Coute says. “It was the best night ever.” From that night on, Coute was allowed to continue watching The Simpsons, which he did every night through seventh grade. “It’s a very nostalgic thing,” he says.
A freshman at the Rhode Island School of Design, Coute, 19, has won gold medals through the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers for his comic art, which he creates using a traditional dip tool pen. “I still use a quill and dip it into an inkwell,” Coute says. “I use it for a grotesque appearance, which is a nice contrast with the silly world of cartoons. I like playing on an irony between how cartoons are supposed to be very silly and fun, childish almost, and my cartoons are very adult-like.”
Coute, a Dennis Port native and a graduate of Dennis-Yarmouth High School, draws inspiration for his comics from real life experiences—including his “Ain’t no sunshine in the nighttime” character. “My friend and I were out one night walking around Providence, and we bumped into this guy playing saxophone for tips, and he was just saying the most random stuff.” When the musician said the phrase in quotes above, Coute was moved. “It was very oddly poetic.”
As a sophomore, Coute plans to begin studying animation, with hopes of one day creating his own animated cartoon for the Cartoon Network. To learn more about Coute and his work, email email@example.com.
Young artist, mature approach | artist profile • Nick Glaser
Painting seems to be second nature to Osterville native Nick Glaser; his portraits are so strikingly realistic and evocative that it’s hard to believe he is just 17.
Glaser, a soon-to-be senior at Pope John Paul II High School who has won three prizes in Cape Cod LIFE’s annual art contest—including the 2016 Grand Prize for his depiction of Nantucket’s whale ship Essex—says he’s drawn to painting people, largely because of the range of emotions he gets to explore in his depictions. “Sometimes I don’t know where I’m going with the emotion,” he says. “I like to figure it out as I go.” And that might take a while: Glaser says he often spends hours at a time working on a piece and making revisions. He enjoys the process.
Color plays a key role for Glaser in the direction his paintings take. From deep purples and blues that convey a calmness in a portrait he completed of his friend Chloe, to intense, foggy grays and splashes of red that he used in a brooding self-portrait, Glaser uses color to set an emotional tone. “The different colors make the painting interesting,” he says, “and pull it away from reality. When I paint, I want to achieve something new and challenging.”
Glaser did just that through a recent internship with artist James Wolf, the founder of the Cotuit Center for the Arts. “He helped me to not be afraid of trying something new,” Glaser says, adding that Wolf introduced him to more abstract painting. Glaser, who plans to study fine arts in college, says he now likes to incorporate an abstract layer into his portraits. “I’m still growing in what I like to paint,” he says, “but I always come back to painting people.”
To learn more about Glaser and his work, visit nickglaserart.wix.com/myart.
A passion for animation | artist profile • Sander Goldman
To Brewster native Sander Goldman, the medium of animation is limitless. “I never have to worry about whether something is possible,” he says. “If I can think it up, I can do it.”
A graduate of Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis and a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Goldman, 19, says his passion for animation stems from a love of two other art forms: film and drawing. “Animation was the perfect combination of both,” he says. “It has all of the narrative and movement of film but with none of the limits of reality. That’s the kind of thinking and art I like to do: totally from imagination.”
Goldman is particularly inspired by TV shows and movies, like Disney’s Zootopia and Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe, that have an intellectual and emotional impact on children. “I want to make stuff for kids mostly because I think that’s one of the most powerful mediums that exists in art,” he says. “That’s the kind of thing that will have a really huge impact in the future. Kids will watch [these animations] and it will carry on with them through their lives.”
One day, Goldman says he would like to create his own animated show. And the premise for his future creation is already taking shape in his mind. “The captain is a space pirate who doesn’t know what pirates are because he was abducted by aliens when he was 4,” Goldman says. “He has a whole crew, and they just do whatever he thinks pirates do.”
To learn more about Goldman and his work, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green’s goal: fun and colorful glasswork | artist profile • Isabel Green
In less than 10 minutes, Isabel Green can transform a colored rod of glass into a striking hummingbird sculpture, complete with detailed feathered wings. “They’re kind of like my bread and butter,” Green says of her glassblown hummingbirds, which she makes by the dozen in her North Falmouth studio.
Green, 25, says she finds the art of glassblowing fascinating; she describes the glass, when heated, as like taffy—moldable to any desired shape.
Green started glassblowing when she was 13, after her mom signed her up for a workshop at McDermott Glass Studio in Sandwich, where she currently works and has continued to hone her craft ever since. From the start, Green was drawn to the medium. “I collected little glass animals when I lived in New York City until I was 5, and now I get to make them,” she says.
With the training she has received from David McDermott, whom she credits for helping her become the glassblower she is today, Green says she is always keen on having her work—mostly nautical sculptures like octopuses and sea turtles—completed the right way. “I go for a very realistic feel,” she says. “I don’t necessarily like interpretations, so I want my octopus to look like an actual octopus. I strive for that perfection of the actual form.”
Green has been selling her own glasswork on the Cape for five years, and she plans to continue to hone her craft for the foreseeable future. “I’m always evolving,” she says. “Every time is better than the last.”
Telling her story through photo clippings | artist profile • Jill Hedrick
With one glance at her work, it is obvious Jill Hedrick’s creative process is unique. Each of her artistic creations is made from photo clippings. While working at CVS during college, Hedrick, a 2010 graduate of Barnstable High School, discovered that when customers print out photos, the edges are cropped slightly, leaving photo-paper strips behind measuring 6” by 1/12”. These pieces are usually thrown away, but Hedrick collected them, and began to use them as components of her art.
“I consider my work conceptual,” Hedrick says. “There’s a meaning and a reason for everything that’s done to it. There’s a story.” She starts each piece with a quote: something she has heard, or something she’s been told or texted. It gets personal. “You saved my sanity babe,” is the name of one piece. “I thought you’d be taller” is another. She created “The heart of our family,” another piece, with her mother, Susan Hedrick, in mind. “My work is all about my family,” she says. “Every single piece has something to do with my mom, dad, or my sisters. Each piece has its own story.”
With the quote in mind, Hedrick spreads out the clippings on wooden or Masonite panels with the idea of visually representing the quote. She affixes them to the panels with gloss. “The process is repetitive and almost meditative,” she says. “I just think, work, and listen to music or watch a movie.”
Why share such personal stories through her artwork? “Family is an idea that everyone can relate to,” says Hedrick. “It’s my story, but I’m not exactly informing everybody about what it’s about. I’m just giving them a taste.” ~Matthew Gill
Hedrick’s work can be seen at Miller White Fine Arts Gallery in South Dennis, and at her website, jillhedrick.com. This summer, she will also exhibit four pieces in the Cape Cod Museum of Art’s “At the Crossroads” exhibit, which celebrates the museum’s 35th anniversary.
Painter puts in the time for perfection | artist profile • Theodore Ladd
Theodore Ladd had no idea he could paint . . . that is, until he wanted to hang a painting above his mantel. When he and his now wife, Becky, were visiting the Osterville Angler’s Club on a summer’s day in 2014, the marina’s surrounding vista sparked inspiration. “I was like, ‘I really like that sunset,’” Ladd recalls, “and I told Becky I was going to paint it, and she laughed—not in a bad way.”
Becky elaborates. “I just didn’t know he could do that,” she says, that being creating an acrylic painting of the day’s scene so realistic it looks like a photograph. “I just didn’t want to have to pay for a painting,” Ladd says with a laugh.
A native of Osterville, Ladd, 30, always had artistic inclinations—he has been drawing since he was 8 years old. “I’ve always liked to create things,” he says. “I like painting more because it builds on itself.”
Ladd’s painstaking attention to detail causes him to spend 30 to 50 hours on a given piece, but he says the time spent is important to realistically capture the landscapes he depicts. “A lot of painters let the paint do the flowing,” he says. “I’m very structured, like, ‘I need this line to be perfect!’ I try to use my mind to be what creates it instead of the paintbrush.”
Going forward, Ladd says he would like to take painting lessons and eventually have his own studio. “They say ‘Find something you like to do and you’ll never have to work,’” he says, “and I really like painting.”
To learn more about Ladd and his work, email email@example.com.
Things are looking up for Little-Lex | artist profile • Leonie Little-Lex
To Leonie Little-Lex, Cape Cod is a magical place. “I’m always down there scouting locations for my next painting and being inspired by the environment,” says Little-Lex, a native of West Barnstable who currently lives in Brookline and works as the lead faculty and studio coordinator at the Brookline Arts Center.
“What I really like about Cape Cod is not just the obvious beauty that tourists come to see,” she says. “I really like the quiet spots—the kind of scraggly environments like the trees, marshes, and spots off the beaten track. I find them inspiring.”
Little-Lex, 29, says she tries to portray these hidden Cape scenes in her paintings through a “magical lens,” particularly the pieces in her “Vertices” series, which explores her fascination with atmospheric occurrences such as storms and cloud formations. “I’d say that the landscape portion is one-fifth of the composition, and then the rest is sky,” she explains. “I use composition and scale to present the viewer with themes where natural magnificence looms over the manmade world.” Measuring 36 x 12 inches, each painting in the series is narrow, Little-Lex says, with the goal of presenting the viewer with a different take on Cape Cod. “It’s a different perspective, showing the beauty of the natural world—and how we’re a small part of that.”
Little-Lex credits her high school art teachers, Carl Lopes and Eiblis Cazeault, with encouraging her to pursue art as a career. This summer, she will exhibit her work at Truro Vineyards, and down the line she would like to exhibit in galleries in the Lower Cape and beyond.
To learn more about Little-Lex and her work, visit leonieart.com.
Stone cuts paper for fantastic creations | artist profile • Taylor Stone
To some, cutting countless pieces of paper and forming them into three-dimensional, lifelike works of art may seem a tedious job. Martha’s Vineyard-based paper illustrator Taylor Stone does not fall into that category. “I actually like sitting down and doing a repetitive task for hours,” says Stone, who does just that while crafting her paper creations. “What most people think of as the most dread-provoking step is actually the one I find very meditative and I really enjoy.”
Like many artists, Stone, 25, says her illustrations reflect how she sees the world—and for her, that involves a lot of whimsy. “Most of my pieces are nature in the context of a world filled with magic,” she says. “I grew up really loving children’s books, and mythology, and folklore, but when you’re on the island, it’s hard not to have nature really inspire you as well. I’ve always been inspired by nature and how awesome it is, so a lot of my pieces will be a big scene with the person not really the star of it but just experiencing it—journeys, quests, things that are all about that place they’re in.”
In addition to selling her creations through her Etsy shop, Stone, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, now sells her paper flowers in Vineyard floral shop Morrice Florist. This summer, she will release her first book—a small, hand-bound nature guide to what she describes as “the magical side of Martha’s Vineyard flowers.” To bring the book to life, Stone drew all of the flowers and then had them laser cut. “My mom helped me write all of the whimsical words for them,” she adds. “It’s pretty exciting.”
You might also like:
Bon Appetit! A new showroom proves the kitchen is the heart of the home.Read More
“I’ve always told prospective clients that our business is more like a buffet than a sit-down dinner. Of the many…Read More