The Provincetown Art Association and Museum has joined forces with the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum for “Members’ Juried: Provincetown 400,” an exhibit of artwork by PAAM members that is on view at PMPM’s East Gallery through the end of the year 2021.
The theme of the show is “liberty, justice, and freedom of expression.” Though a theme as open-ended as “liberty” runs the risk of including everything, the selected artwork is appropriate and relevant, and pushes the theme’s concept in interesting ways. The jurors — Megan Hinton, Joe Fiorello, and Jane Paradise — chose 33 pieces out of 108 submissions.
Here are some of the highlights. This Land Is Their Land, by Sian Robertson, is an American flag constructed of cloth, but instead of stars, there are map cutouts of Native American reservations.
Where Law Ends, Tyranny Begins is a serigraph, or silk-screen print, by Lee Ann Fanning. Titled after a William Pitt quotation, its ordered chaos evokes Jackson Pollock, but in a different medium.
Liberty, a star-shaped sculpture by M.J. Dickson, is constructed of 1,500 matches that are meant to represent the 1,500 men from Cape Cod who volunteered to fight in the American Revolution. The matches resemble the red cap mounted on a pole that served as the first flag.
Jay Critchley’s Pilgrim Hat takes a form symbolic of America’s beginnings, and constructs it out of codfish skin, something once plentiful that is now overfished. This fits with Critchley’s current “Democracy of the Land” series, which points to the introduction of Europeans to North America as the source of environmental catastrophe.
Larry R. Collins’s Vietnam Still Life is expertly painted. A bust of a soldier in a camouflaged combat helmet, his lips curled nearly into a sneer, sits atop a stack of books, where the artist, a Vietnam vet, has signed his name. Like all busts, this one is missing its arms, but is that also a bullet hole in the soldier’s chest? A knife rests in a crystal goblet beside him.
The abstracted human forms in Daniel Wagner’s Freedom to Assemble recall the work of Paul Resika and are rendered in watercolor and pastel. Barbara Cohen’s Displacement Camps of Angola is likewise abstract but evokes crammed tents and makeshift shacks.
The only jarring note: part of the PMPM gift shop, replete with stuffed animals, has been located smack in the middle of the space. Some of the most interesting work is located around the entrance, so take your time to be sure not to miss anything. —Saskia Maxwell Keller
The event: “Members’ Juried: Provincetown 400” exhibit, art by PAAM members on the theme of liberty, justice, and freedom of expression
The time: Through 2021; museum hours: Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The place: Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, 1 High Pole Hill Road
The cost: One-hour time-slots at PMPM: $17; seniors and teens 13-17, $13; children 4-12, $7; under 4, free; at pilgrim-monument.org