On the Outer Cape, Mother’s Day, on the second Sunday of May, is typically the time when stores and restaurants reopen and the spring thaw starts in earnest. Snowbirds, both human and avian, return, and deciduous trees, which have already sprouted leaves on the mainland, finally produce buds. It’s a time to look forward — even in these uncertain days of coronavirus pandemic — and a time to look back.
Anna Jarvis, who originated the modern holiday in the United States in the early 1900s, did it because she believed that a mother is “a person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” That secular sentiment resonated, and, for many of us — despite the commercialization of Mother’s Day, which Jarvis decried — it still does.
The Independent is honoring Mother’s Day 2020 with some images of local artists and their moms, because mothers have so often been the ones to instill in us a love of the arts. The pictures on these pages were shared by artists at our request, and we thank them. What better way, in such a storied art colony, to crystallize a love felt by the community as a whole. —Howard Karren
Artist Bailey Bob Bailey was known as Robert Bailey when this photo was taken, at his home in Vienna, Va., in 1969. With him is his mother, Mona Bailey. Bob lives in Truro with his wife, artist Breon Dunigan (also on these pages), and works at the Fine Arts Work Center as facilities manager and chief engineer.
Sculptor Breon Dunigan rolls her tongue along with her mom, Martha Dunigan, and sister Seanad Dunigan Chang at the wedding of a friend in Silk Hope, N.C., in 1994. Martha Dunigan was also an artist, and the daughter of famed Provincetown art colony painter Philip Malicoat.
“Here is a picture of my mother, Lisa Henrique, my brother, Craig Pecce, and me in our dad’s Model A,” says Provincetown artist Dominique Pecce. “We are at a car show at Mayo Beach, probably in the summer of ’92. It’s a real Model A. I’m playing with a Koosh, a ball made of elastic strings. We were easier to please back then!”
Artist and provocateur Jay Critchley, founder of the Provincetown Community Compact, is seen here (left), circa 1960, with his sister Eileen, brother Don, and his late mom, Bet, on MacMillan Pier.
Provincetown painter Jim Broussard, seen here with his mom in his studio years ago, has been capturing local streetscapes and dunescapes while working as a waiter (most recently at Chach) since 2002.
“I love this picture,” says artist Karen Cappotto. It was taken in Ireland, “probably in the summer of 1970.” Her mom, Peg, is at left and Cappotto, standing tall at right, is the one “with the wide bell-bottoms.” A painter and board member of Provincetown Commons, Cappotto also runs the design studio Peg + Dick, named after her parents. “My mother was an incredible person,” she says.
“My mother was a champion for me and my five brothers and all their friends,” says Mark Adams, painter, cartographer with the National Park Service, and frequent contributor to the Independent. “She loved the most difficult brothers most. Which wasn’t necessarily me — but it was such a lesson in how love is supposed to work. She died of Parkinson’s complications in 2003. With me always.”
Artist Megan Hinton works in many different media, teaches and curates locally, and is based in Wellfleet. She’s pictured here with her mother, Anne Hinton, at the Red Inn in 2015.
“Here we are on holiday in Poros, a Greek island,” says artist Sian Robertson, who works as an office assistant at the Independent when she’s not busy in her Truro studio. “It was October 1972. That’s my brother, Dave Rees, and me with my mum, whose name is Whiz Collis. She’s actually Elizabeth but known as Whiz. She was born during the blitz in Cardiff, Wales, which was heavily bombed. The bombs were called ‘whiz-bang’ bombs because of the noise they made as they rushed through the air from plane to ground.”