The role of public and museum art

Art, preferably public art, is the focus of a new program that offers residencies for three local artists to create work that “challenges existing narratives of life on Cape Cod.”

Public, private, civic and cultural organizations have teamed up to offer $1,000 to three stipends from across Cape Town as a way to “enhance the cultural vitality of downtown Hyannis.” »

The program is funded by MassDevelopment’s Transformative District Initiative and is linked to a pilot program launched last year in “gateway” cities, including Hyannis. Part of the idea here is to create projects, according to George Durante, “to break down the barriers between Main Street and the harbor to get people to walk between those two places.”

Applications are due October 9, with the first residency potentially due to start on October 19. engage and stimulate dialogue about what this downtown village is and can be.

Artists must live anywhere on Cape Cod, and while residencies are open to various media, public art is encouraged. (To apply: artsfoundation.org.) There will be three downtown workspaces: the new CapeBuilt; The Workshop| East end; and Studio 50 @ Pearl on the Hyannis HyArts arts campus.

In announcing the residencies, supporters emphasized the arts as an important part of the tourism industry, year-round economy and building community identity. The coalition involved includes the Arts Foundation, CapeBuilt, the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District, the City of Barnstable, The Design Initiative Inc. Architects and the Cordial Eye.

The “Apollo” exhibition raises topical questions

Can’t make it to Boston to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, or don’t feel comfortable in yet? The museum is creating five free digital programs as part of its “Apollo Boston” exhibit that can be viewed online wherever you are. (In some cases, they replace live events canceled due to Covid-19 concerns.)

The exhibit, on view through October 12, includes artist John Singer Sargent’s drawings of Thomas McKellar, a young black hotel elevator attendant in the early 20th century. McKellar became Sargent’s model for most of the figures—male and female, white, including gods and goddesses—in Sargent’s murals at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Related video tours of the Gardner Museum, recorded lectures and panel discussions, and a performing arts piece will explore themes of race, class, sexuality and erasure that museum officials say “remain highly relevant to our society today. A variety of experts, artists and community members are participating, and one topic will be museum and arts activism.

“We hope to take audiences on an emotional and intellectual journey, told by people of color, that contextualizes Thomas McKeller’s life story with their own 21st century experiences,” said Catherine T. Morris, Director of Programs audiences at the Gardner Museum, which created the content. “I also hope that these programs will spark reflection on how we engage and support artists, and how we can move forward together as a society.”

Programs will be posted on the museum’s website and YouTube channel on Thursdays through early October: gardnermuseum.org.

Follow Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll on Twitter: @KathiSDCCT.

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