A Mother’s Eye, a Daughter as Muse
From Edward Weston’s portraits of his son Neil (who grew up to be a photographer) to Sally Mann’s sometimes controversial studies of her three children as they grew from toddlers to young adolescents, there is a long tradition of photographers focusing on their children as subjects and muses for their work. Wellfleet-based photographer Agata Storer continues the tradition in Becoming, a show of her work opening at Farm Projects (335 Main St., Wellfleet) on May 26.
The subject in Storer’s photographs is her daughter, Malina, whom she depicts in a series of unforced, quietly powerful photographs that alternately convey feelings of tension, fierce affection, and melancholy. In After Swim, Malina leans against a cinder-block wall in the sun and stares down the camera with a direct and slightly mournful gaze; in Wellfleet, she perches on the hood of an abandoned vehicle in the woods, her diminutive form both emphasized and dwarfed by the strong vertical of a tree in the foreground that bisects the composition. There’s a poetry and quiet intimacy to Storer’s work that elevates it far beyond simple family snapshots: her photographs and videos of Malina, taken with a medium-format camera that captures telling narrative details (like tree branches caught in the windshield wipers of the abandoned car and the slightly damp texture of an after-swim dress), become vehicles for universal notions of maternal protection, anxiety, and love.
Storer, who is also a regular photographer for the Independent, was born in Poland. Her work has been exhibited in Poland and Israel as well as in the U.S. Her photograph of Malina, Leaves, was featured in the December 2022 edition of Vogue magazine.
There will be an artist reception on Saturday, May 27 at 5 p.m. See farmprojectspace.org for information. —John D’Addario
A Provincetown Original at the Captain’s Daughters
Although the late William “Bill” von der Heydt (1942-2021) was a longtime fixture of the Provincetown community through his many years of work at Sal’s Place and Dunes Edge Campground and his membership in the Beachcombers Club, the New Jersey native started his life on the Outer Cape as a washashore — part of the generation of artists who came to study with Henry Hensche at the Cape School of Art in the 1960s.
Von der Heydt’s small, expressive plein air paintings of the ever-changing light and landscape of the Outer Cape were exhibited as far afield as New York City and Wichita — and as close to home as the Captain’s Daughters in Provincetown (384 Commercial St.), which mounted two exhibitions of von der Heydt’s work in the last years of his life.
The shop is currently showing a memorial exhibition of von der Heydt’s work — the first since his death — which will be on view through May 31, with a reception on Friday, May 26, 6 p.m. Proceeds from the show will be donated to the Building Fund of the Beachcombers Club in von der Heydt’s memory.
“He was very special to me,” says Dani Niedzielski, co-owner of the Captain’s Daughters. “He was somehow chaotic and peaceful at the same time. You see that in his paintings, too, these beautiful scenes of serene nature depicted with swirling impasto and a high key palette. I miss him very much.” —John D’Addario
Gin Stone’s Allegorical Beasts
Despite the connotations of its name, the Hawthorne Barn in Provincetown was never intended for livestock. It was built in 1907 by Charles Webster Hawthorne as the home of the Cape Cod School of Art, and currently comes to renewed life every spring when Twenty Summers presents its annual program of artist talks, panel discussions, and performances. This year, it will also become the temporary home for a strikingly original — and disquieting — menagerie of fantastical animal sculptures by artist Gin Stone.
Titled Commodity, the collection of life-sized sculptures — which are made of materials including commercial fishing line, recycled textiles, and found objects — seeks to “explore the environmental consequences of patriarchal-driven capitalism through human evolution,” according to a statement on the artist’s website. The Hawthorne Barn setting is the first act in a planned three-venue installation that will “create an apt metaphor for the exploitation of living beings, the environment, and ultimately, the planet.”
Stone will install the piece at the Hawthorne Barn on Tuesday, May 30 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., during which a time-lapse film of the installation will be made. There will be an artist reception and talk on Wednesday, May 31, at 5 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. See ginstoneart.com/installation and 20summers.org for information. —John D’Addario
Critchley Brings ‘Miss Tampon Liberty’ Back to Life
In 1985, Jay Critchley created an activist art project that is still resonating today.
For his “Miss Tampon Liberty” persona, Critchley collaborated with fellow Provincetown artist Pat Bruno to fabricate a gown made of thousands of plastic tampon applicators he found washed up on beaches in the northeast U.S. The costume and persona were part of the artist’s TACKI project — for Tampon Applicators Creative Klubs International — which was conceived to “bring attention to plastic pollution in the marine environment, advocate for safe, nontoxic menstrual products, and confront the fossil fuel industry that is producing these products and greenwashing climate change,” according to a statement on Critchley’s website.
Among the project’s several activities, Critchley and Bruno visited the State House in Boston to advocate for a bill banning the sale of nonbiodegradable feminine hygiene products. Miss Tampon Liberty, TACKI’s “global ambassador,” also appeared at an environmental activism event at Liberty State Park in New York and at a protest at the opening of the Boston sewage outfall pipe in Cape Cod Bay.
Nearly four decades after its first appearance, Critchley has resurrected his creation for the second annual conference of the UK Menstruation Research Network in St. Andrews, Scotland on May 26. Critchley’s keynote address, titled “Miss Tampon Liberty — The Toxicity of Capitalism,” reflects the conference theme, “Menstruation and Sustainability.” Following his talk, Critchley will don the costume he and Bruno made and lead a procession to a local beach. Because while many things have changed in 38 years, waste plastic is still washing up on seashores all over the world — and Miss Tampon Liberty’s fashion statement is as necessary as ever. —John D’Addario
Jim Broussard at Alden Gallery
This weekend, Jim Broussard will present his paintings in a pop-up exhibition at Alden Gallery (423 Commercial St., Provincetown). Broussard paints landscapes in and around Provincetown from direct observation. In this body of work at Alden he will show paintings primarily of off-season views. “I like late winter and late fall,” says Broussard. “It’s very quiet and serene.”
In his painting Late Fall at Euphoria, Broussard focused his attention on a strip of the Atlantic Ocean viewed from the environs of the dune shacks. He conveys the stark and quiet atmosphere of the place with a minimal composition and restrained palette. There’s a compelling sensitivity to both his touch and use of color. Aside from the deep blue of the water, the painting is composed of nuanced whites, ranging from the pinkish white of the sky to the pale sand in the foreground.
In another painting, Gothic Farmhouse, Broussard works with a warmer palette, capturing the afternoon light on a historic Eastham home. Broussard works on each painting in increments of time at most an hour and a half. The works capture the freshness of his experience in the landscape and the specificity of light at a particular time of day. —Abraham Storer
Where the Women Are
It’s a lot to keep track of: four nights, six headline parties, a host of social and cultural events, and thousands of visitors from all over the world — all of which add up to make Memorial Day weekend in Provincetown one of the town’s largest and longest-running annual events for women and the unofficial start of the summer season.
The festivities begin on Thursday, May 25 with a welcome event at the Harbor Lounge (359 Commercial St.) at 6 p.m. The Crown & Anchor (247 Commercial St.) hosts three nightly dance parties from Friday through Sunday nights, and Saturday includes the popular Freedom Boat Cruise that departs from MacMillan Wharf at noon. The Crown & Anchor also hosts the annual Mega Women’s Pool Party on Sunday afternoon beginning at noon.
Concerts, comedy shows, and more low-key events are part of the weekend. Highlights include performances of comedian Kristen Becker’s “Man Pants” — described as “the story of a masculine presenting human in a world obsessed with men in dresses” — at the Crown & Anchor from Friday through Sunday at 7 p.m.; a concert with singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick at the Art House (214 Commercial St.) on Saturday at 6 p.m.; and music by local favorites Sarah Burrill and Sue Goldberg in a new weekly afternoon jam session at the Governor Bradford (312 Commercial St.) on Sunday at 2 p.m.
A new app this year helps with tracking and purchasing tickets for the nighttime parties, Saturday boat cruise, and Sunday pool party, which range from $30 for the boat cruise to $150 for an all-inclusive VIP party pass, exclusive of processing fees. See lesbiannightlife.com/memdayptown for information.