Rosalie Acinapura Takes It All In
Rosalie Acinapura describes herself as “a people person in my life and in my photography.” She has brought many strangers joy by asking permission to photograph them. “I like making people happy,” says the photographer, whose work is on view at the Wellfleet Adult Community Center (formerly the Senior Center) until Oct. 31.
The show mostly features Acinapura’s photographs of people looking at, posing with, and walking by art in museums, galleries, and public spaces all over the world: the Museum of Modern Art, the Musée d’Orsay, the Berlin Wall. In one photograph, people pass behind rosy colored streamers hanging from the ceiling. In another, a man mimics a statue. Nearby, a woman clad in lime green radiates glee next to a larger-than-life portrait of Claude Monet.
Acinapura was born and raised in New York and studied at Brooklyn College. She began coming to the Outer Cape regularly in 1981. She wore many hats before pursuing photography professionally, working in catering and later as a program coordinator at Columbia University. She took photos the whole time. And although she says she is “not so good” at promoting herself, her work has been exhibited at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and at Wellfleet’s AMZehnder Gallery.
Acinapura collects the decades’ worth of photos that make up her digital archive in various folders. One called “I Paint With My Camera” is for photos zoomed in to the point of abstraction — images that she says “could be paintings.” Swaths of interlaced pink and white turn out to be a snapshot of a bowl of yogurt after she scraped it with a spoon. The image pays homage to her 23 years as a caterer, which she refers to as her time “making food art.”
Her most quintessential folder may be the one she calls “Seen But Not Seen.” Many of its images are candid: moments in which Acinapura spotted something or someone she wanted to photograph but wasn’t spotted herself. Some of these are included in her current show. The collection also shows Acinapura’s knack for capturing scenes that others don’t see. She is transfixed by shadows, rain, reflections in ponds, and dead animals (birds in particular); during a hiatus from photographing people, Acinapura focused mainly on sand.
When asked what inspires her, Acinapura doesn’t skip a beat. “Life inspires me,” she says. “We’re above ground, and we have to take in every moment.” —Sophie Mann-Shafir
Inaugural Class Graduates From the Commons
When the Provincetown Commons began envisioning its future as a collaborative workspace for artists and small businesses, it surveyed the community to ask what would be of help to local artists. Respondents identified affordable studio space as a crucial need.
For the past three years, the Commons has hosted artists in shared studio spaces as one part of its multi-pronged effort to “preserve and grow the arts” in Provincetown. Resident artists are able to renew their leases for subsidized studio spaces, which cost $350 per month, for up to three years.
A reception and party in the community room of the Commons from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 will celebrate the work of its inaugural residents, including Richard Pepitone, Donna Pomponio, Paul Rizzo, Daniel Wagner, and Mallory White. The exhibition, which is on view until Oct. 9, highlights work made during their residencies.
Operating manager David LaFrance says that it hasn’t been easy for the artists to leave their studios. “Each and every one is dragging their feet,” he says. “They enjoyed their time. It confirmed what we are doing is right.”
Pomponio says that the experience provided much more than a studio space. “There’s nothing like the Commons,” she says. “It built community on every level.” LaFrance says that the multi-generational cohort formed mentoring relationships among artists. “Ideas stew being in the same room with people,” adds Pomponio.
In addition to serving as a space where art and community are created, the Commons is an “economic development center for the arts and small businesses,” says LaFrance. Pomponio kept her studio doors open during art openings at the space, which allowed her to make sales and connect with a broader public. In addition, the Commons hosted professional development workshops and invited gallerists to speak with artists.
As this first group makes space for new incoming artists, they are leaving enriched professionally and creatively and with new opportunities ahead. “It’s time for me to shake the rug out and expand in a different way,” says Pomponio. —Abraham Storer
Learning About Contemporary Cape Art
The Open University of Wellfleet is presenting a class devoted to contemporary artists of Cape Cod this fall. Led by artist Robert Rindler, a Wellfleet resident and arts administrator, the course features nine artists who will engage with participants through a lecture series held on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. at Wellfleet Preservation Hall.
This class, the latest in a series initiated by Rindler, is intended as an introduction “to extraordinary visual artists and their work created among us on the Outer Cape,” according to the course description. The multi-disciplinary group of artists highlighted include Rosalie Acinapura, Karen Cappotto, Rob DuToit, Bill Evaul, Lauren Ewing, Bob Henry, Susan Kurtzman, Francis Olschafskie, and Anna Poor. The course fee is $60; it runs from Oct. 19 to Nov. 16. See openuniversityofwellfleet.org for more information. —Abraham Storer
Feeling It at the Washashore Festival
The Washashore Festival is back. “We were lucky to pull it off and lay the groundwork,” says co-producer Erik Borg of last year’s inaugural queer music weekend. “This year we’re making it bigger and better. We really want this to be a tentpole event for the town.”
The three-day festival takes place at multiple venues from Friday, Oct. 8 through Sunday, Oct. 10. Borg describes it as “a sort of town-wide choose-your-own-adventure-style” experience starring a diverse mix of artists from all over the country (including Provincetown).
Internationally infamous “terrorist drag” superstar Christeene brings their inimitable performance style to the first annual “Net Gala” party (red carpet mandatory; strong looks encouraged) at the Crown & Anchor on Friday, Oct. 7. Los Angeles-based pop singer-songwriter Jordy leads Saturday’s nighttime performances, and Grammy-winning R&B and hip-hop songwriter Rae Khalil is the headliner on Sunday. More than a dozen other artists — dance pop, country, rock, electronica, drag, and permutations thereof — are also on the schedule.
“We’re trying to take people on a journey over those three nights,” says Borg. “Friday night will have a bombastic, high energy punk vibe. The music on Saturday is pop perfection, the kind that everyone can twirl and dance to and sing along with. And Sunday will be the soulful and emotional cathartic release.” More intimate cabaret-style performances and parties are scheduled at the Red Room every night, and Borg says that daily sets by artists at the Provincetown Brewing Company, of which he is a co-owner, will lean more towards the acoustic.
Washashore shares the weekend with its “sister event” Art Provincetown. For event producer Anne Attella, the two creative showcases are ideal complements. “Art and music go together,” she says. “It’s a natural fit, especially in a place like Provincetown.”
An art market in town hall on Saturday and Sunday features work for sale by two dozen artists. There will be a cash bar, and Attella says that “surprise guests” from the Washashore Festival will be performing at the market each day. Artists pay for table space and keep all proceeds from their sales; the money from table rentals and bar sales will benefit the Provincetown Business Guild.
There will be art on the dance floor, too. The Washashore “Mushroom Head” afterparty at the Crown & Anchor on Saturday night will include living visuals by Art Provincetown After Dark, with body painting inspired by a legendary collaboration by Keith Haring and Grace Jones in 1985. (Attella says that all models, both aspiring and established, are welcome to be part of the scene; Google the Jones/Haring photos for inspiration.)
The combination of art, music, performance, and parties is central to Borg’s vision of the festival going forward. “Music is a huge component of it,” he says. “But we want to grow it into something that everyone can participate in.” Borg cites the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas as a template for what he hopes Washashore can evolve into someday.
“The throughline for the festival is the amazing range of queer artistry,” says Borg. “We’re bringing in an all-queer lineup of artists, but within that there’s a wide breadth of expression and experiences. It’s a great equalizer — we want audiences and talent to enjoy it all together and be inspired by each other. It’s not just a weekend of concerts.” See washashorefestival.com and artprovincetownfestival.com for more. —John D’Addario