Percy Fortini-Wright at Rugosa Gallery
Percy Fortini-Wright cites influences ranging from John Singer Sargent to street graffiti. It’s no surprise that the Boston-based artist works in a dizzying array of styles. His current show at Rugosa Gallery (4100 Route 6, Eastham) features traditional oil paintings of urban streets and close-up images of fish. There are abstract paintings filled with frenetic brush work. There are trippy distorted portraits in his “Children From Beyond” series, and more off-handedly casual works of spray paint on cardboard.
Speed is one of the links that hold the works together. Fortini-Wright paints with the energy of a graffiti artist and his works convey an attitude of improvisation, playful exploration, and confident mark making. It’s a quality that is most evident in Children From Beyond 10, where a face emerges out of rapid gestures: swooping black lines, slashing brush strokes, and touches of spray paint.
Beyond Composition Piece 3 is another highlight showing how Fortini-Wright moves between materials, mixing charcoal drawing with spray paint and oil paint. It’s a gritty and expressive painting — with a clever trompe l’oeil effect — depicting a brick wall covered in graffiti. In between the letters are nautical and urban landscapes, adding yet another element to the artist’s expansive visual vocabulary. The exhibition is on view through Oct. 2. —Abraham Storer
Capturing the Rhythms of Life
Helen Grimm describes her paintings as a response to the “shifting nature of our lives through the familiar vocabulary of water, shells, and flotsam of the Outer Cape.” A selection of those pictorial responses is on view at the Wellfleet Adult Community Center (715 Old Kings Highway) through Sept. 30.
One image she returns to several times in her current series of paintings is a group of shells that appear to have washed ashore, viewed just beyond one’s feet. The circular shapes tumble toward the viewer like an offering from the sea. The shells are in a state of flux, both washed up and waiting to be washed away again.
Grimm’s paintings also seem to exist in state of flux. Her imagery is clear in some paintings, with legible objects like oyster shells; in others, shapes and forms dissolve into abstraction. In some places, she digs into the surface of the canvas with thick globs of paint; in other areas, the surface is left bare or covered with a tentative wash of color. The paintings seem to pulse as they straddle different states of becoming and dissolution.
In Love Lies Waiting, one of the show’s strongest works, sketched-out circles appear in dramatic compositional tension among fields of gray, yellow, and green. There’s a similar energy in Night Harbor, where oily black paint drips and washes through cascading marks of white and green paint. These are paintings that make one want to paint, to participate in this play of material and image: they are spaces to explore the wild dynamism of the rhythm of life. The WACC will host a reception for the artist on Sunday, Sept. 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. —Abraham Storer
Miss Richfield Comes Out of Her Shell
“I always say that my shows are like my children: you don’t love them all the same,” says Miss Richfield 1981 of her latest, Cancel Cultured Pearls, which will have its final performances of the season on Friday, Sept. 16 and Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Pilgrim House.
“Some work, and some don’t,” she continues. “But this turned out to be one of my favorites.”
Good thing, too, since it happens to coincide with the 20th year of Miss Richfield’s annual summer residency in Provincetown — an even more noteworthy occasion given her self-reported age. (“I was nine years old when I started doing this,” she says. “Do the math.”)
“I always come up with the title and theme of my show at the end of every summer,” she says. “And last year I wanted to do something about the political environment that we’re living in. Cancel culture is everywhere now.”
Au courant as her topic is, though, Richfield says she was the subject of a manufactured outrage campaign herself way back in 2019 when she was doing story hours at a public library where she lives in Minnesota during the off-season.
“This was before conservatives started protesting drag queen story hours all over the country,” she says. “I was really ahead of the curve on that one. This woman tried to organize a protest to cancel my show, which had never happened in all the years I’d been doing it. But it didn’t work. The day of the protest, no one showed up!”
Her erstwhile antagonist is unlikely to show up at her final three performances of the season this weekend. But audience members who do make it to the Pilgrim House can expect to see a show that begins with Richfield emerging from a shell (“like a pearl, get it?”) and includes the mix of original songs, videos, and smart stand-up that have made her a fixture on the Provincetown drag performance circuit for two decades.
“We also play a game called ‘Right or Racist?’ ” she says. “It’s a really fun and impish way of looking at a really serious topic.”
Miss Richfield says that there’s a “moment of clarity” at the end of the show, in which its humorous and serious threads come together.
“So, in the end, I think people are entertained and have something to think about,” she says. “It’s the best of both worlds.” —John D’Addario
Truro’s Trove of Cultural Treasures
In 1992, Truro residents envisioned a fall weekend that would raise money to save the Highland Lighthouse and encourage community pride. The nonprofit organization they created, Truro Treasures, has held the event ever since.
This weekend, from Friday, Sept. 16 to Sunday, Sept. 18, Truro Treasures offers activities ranging from a tour of Truro’s historic cemeteries to “Rock the Block,” a county-fair style party with face painting, live music, a corn hole tournament, and more family-friendly fun.
A cultural highlight of the weekend is the premiere of the short film The Story of the Cobb Archive on Friday, Sept. 16, 4 to 5:30 p.m. The film tells the story of the 1912 building that was the first home of Truro’s public library and now houses a collection of historical maps, charts, books, photographs, family memorabilia, and other documents.
Actual treasure hunters can participate in the Truro Treasure Hunt beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday. For runners, there’s Sunday’s Pamet 5k Fun Run. For car lovers, there’s the antique and classic car show, also on Sunday. And since everybody likes a food court, they’ve scheduled ones on Saturday and Sunday.
Many of the events are free. To learn more and to register for specific activities, see trurotreasures.org. —Dorothea Samaha
Yankee Lambda Car Club Weekend
Automobile culture hasn’t always been welcoming to queer folks. Not so very long ago, automakers, dealers, garages, and even shade-tree mechanics belonged to a world that was almost exclusively male and aggressively straight.
Things have changed. Most major automakers now score a 90 or higher on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index, which ranks companies on the basis of their LGBTQ-friendly (or unfriendly) workplace policies. Dealerships across the country advertise to a diverse array of consumers and actively recruit LGBTQ employees. And even NASCAR — yes, NASCAR — runs programs that acknowledge and celebrate its queer fans.
This weekend, a group of gay gearheads will gather in Provincetown for the Yankee Lambda Car Club’s annual invitational auto show. The 2022 event — dubbed “Wicked Piston” — is partly an opportunity for YLCC members to get together for dinners, a cocktail party or two, and an awards ceremony to recognize the best cars in this year’s show.
But the rest of us will be able to enjoy what is undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend: the vintage auto display at the Pilgrim Monument on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., followed by the club’s annual parade down Commercial Street to the Provincetown Inn.
For more information about the Provincetown Invitational and this year’s events, visit YankeeLCC.com. And since the YLCC group is just one of the Lambda Car Club’s 31 chapters, queer car fans who live off-Cape can check out LambdaCarClub.com, too. —Richard Read