Trees of Courage
Berta Walker Gallery in Provincetown will present a sprawling group show, “Trees of Courage,” featuring works from gallery artists as well as a series of photographs of forests by John Romualdi. The exhibition, running from May 20 to June 18, was conceived to honor the nation of Ukraine, with 50 percent of gallery commissions being donated to World Central Kitchen.
In a few of the pieces, trees function symbolically, as in Romolo Del Deo’s Portrait of a Dream, a bronze sculpture of wrapped branches, or Donald Beal’s luscious depiction of a forest with a tree diagonally slicing through the foreground (Woods and Cardinal).
In other paintings, trees are merely part of a larger landscape, as in Brenda Horowitz’s color-saturated marsh in Shearwater III. Trees function as visionary imaginings in a matriarchal family tree by Deb Mell and in Bert Yarborough’s African-inspired palm tree encircled by a wooden frame painted in abstract patterns. A pair of Paul Resika paintings and an untitled gray painting by Joe Diggs, where trees disintegrate into drips of paint, use abstraction to approach the subject. A side gallery shows smaller, quieter watercolors and drawings, including a historical piece by Oliver Chaffee.
Romualdi’s photographs, at the center of the gallery, present the most focused body of work and revel in the textures and character of trees, weathered by time. It’s a hopeful subject, speaking of life and resilience — a fitting metaphor for “the courageous people of Ukraine,” whom the press release describes as “inspiring and changing the world.” —Abraham Storer
Max Mattei’s ‘Light and Shadow’
An exhibition of Max Mattei’s photographs titled “Light and Shadow” opens Friday, May 20 at Stewart Clifford Gallery, 338 Commercial St. in Provincetown. Mattei locates his fascination with light and shadow in a range of places, from the sea to urban streets. In a number of photographs he zooms in closely, focusing more on the experience of light and less on the depiction of a scene. A press release describes each picture as “an investment of time spent chasing light and shadow, patiently stalking and waiting for the perfect moment.” There will be an opening reception on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. The show continues until June 15.
A ‘Musical Mosaic’ From Outer Cape Chorale
The Outer Cape Chorale and Chamber Singers celebrate spring with their “Musical Mosaic” series of three free concerts on Friday, May 20, 7 p.m.; Saturday, May 21, 5 p.m.; and Sunday, May 22, 3 p.m. The Friday and Saturday concerts take place at Provincetown Town Hall, 260 Commercial St. Sunday’s is at Nauset Middle School, 70 Route 28 in Orleans. The chorale also celebrates its 20th anniversary this year by providing free concerts to the community. Donations to the organization are welcome.
According to the chorale’s website, the program will be as “diverse as a bouquet of flowers.” Arthur McManus accompanies the singers on piano as they perform pop, folk, and classical pieces ranging from “Mr. Sandman” and Josh Groban to Randall Thompson’s “Frostiana,” based on Robert Frost’s poetry.
Saturday’s concert will be live-streamed on the Outer Cape Chorale Facebook page, facebook.com/www.outercapechorale.org. Masks are required for those attending in person.
Wortham and Morris at the Hawthorne Barn
Devin N. Morris and Jenna Wortham, currently in residencies at Twenty Summers, will be “in conversation” at the Hawthorne Barn, 29 Miller Hill Road in Provincetown, on Saturday, May 21, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Both arrived in Provincetown on Tuesday. Twenty Summers Executive Director Aziz Isham says he expects there will be a question-and-answer session following the conversation between the two.
Wortham is continuing a residency that was interrupted by the pandemic in 2020. A Brooklyn-based reiki practitioner, herbalist, community care worker, and journalist, she writes for the New York Times Magazine on music, culture, and political art. She also co-hosts the podcast Still Processing with fellow New York Times writer Wesley Morris, in which they explore entertainment, media, and the culture of modern life in the internet age. She edits the anthology Black Futures — a collection of art, memes, essays, tweets, and recipes from Black creators. And she’s working on a book about body and dissociation for Penguin Press. Wortham’s work is generally oriented towards healing justice and liberation.
Devin N. Morris, also Brooklyn-based, explores racial and sexual identity and the social boundaries imposed on male interactions through mixed-media paintings, photographs, collage, and video. His work has appeared at MoMA PS1 in Queens, the Yale School of Art in New Haven, and galleries in his native Baltimore. He also founded and edited the collaborative 3 Dot Zine, an annual publication celebrating the future of marginalized artists. His art imagines kindness between characters in surreal environments through which he questions the social norms he experienced growing up Black in Baltimore and as a queer adult.
Registration for the conversation with a $20 suggested donation is available at 20summers.org, along more information about the event and this spring’s residents.