One of Cape Cod's newest art venues in that quintessential summer town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts is called the Sandpiper Gallery. This historic red building with the ample shell white parking lot, situated on "The Creek," is filled with paintings and other objects d'art of diverse styles and subject matter.
Thrilled with the opportunity to design a gallery of her own, Mary, with Jerry's help worked all winter renovating the inside of the space. "The biggest change was opening up the wall space," says Jerry. "We took down a lot of unnecessary walls, and exposed some of this beautiful wood that was being covered up" he adds, referring to the attractive antique posts and beams that now pervade the interior. A well-stocked storage area has been added in case an interested client needs to see more work by a particular artist. The other tenants that share the building are the Tracy Harmon watercolor studio/gallery, Leap Frog Press, and an assortment of artists' work spaces upstairs.
When asked if she had a particular style in mind for the look and feel of her gallery, Mary's answer is as straightforward and sincere as one could expect. "I choose things that I like looking at," she says simply.
Looking around the gallery walls, one finds an assortment of interesting painting styles and themes to look at, most of them created by Cape Cod artists. And while there are ample depictions of the usual Cape Cod fare (competently rendered sailboats and marshes), one can also find refreshing surprises.
Lillia is part of an upper Cape Cod contingent of artists that Mary and Jerry discovered while visiting the Cataumet Art Center in Bourne, Massachusetts, last February. Herb is represented by the Blue Heron Gallery, a fact that suggests how intimate the Cape Cod art world can be. The Sandpiper Gallery now represents several artists associated with the Cataumet Art Center.
Also present at the Sandpiper Gallery is Dorothy Watson and her vintage jewelry collection, an impressive assortment of genuine gold, silver, and plated fashion jewelry, dating from as far back as the Victorian era, and up until the art deco period of the 1930s. Dorothy is a long-time friend of the Houks. She also helped start the Wellfleet gallery tradition in 1953 by opening "The Golden Cod." Named for the famed state mascot hanging in the legislators' building in Boston, "The Golden Cod" was the first Wellfleet gallery devoted exclusively to fine arts. Today, Wellfleet might have more galleries per capita than any other town in the state. That is probably the reason it bills itself as "Cape Cod's gallery town."
The official grand opening of the Sandpiper Gallery for this season was held on a gorgeous late spring evening in May, not coincidentally the same night that several other prominent Wellfleet galleries staged their season openings.
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