The painter Joan M. (Senecal) Pereira of Provincetown died at Seashore Point on Dec. 29, 2021. She was 94.
Joan was born on Jan. 19, 1927 in Buffalo, N.Y., the daughter of the late Joseph and Julia (Gast) Senecal. She grew up in Albany where at age nine she won a scholarship for art lessons based on drawings she entered in a contest.
She was also an accomplished singer, performing with the Albany Light Opera Company before coming to Provincetown to study art in 1955.
Joan immersed herself in Provincetown’s art community. Her teachers included Philip Malicoat, Henry Hensche, Edwin Dickinson, Jim Forsberg, and Bruce McKain. She was the only woman member of the Provincetown Group Gallery, founded in 1964, and she was a charter member of the Fine Arts Work Center in 1968.
She met Tony Pereira, a pilot for Provincetown-Boston Airlines, in 1955. He flew tourists in the Yellow Sightseer for over 20 years. Their marriage produced four children and ended in divorce in 1968.
Joan “encouraged us all to be creative,” said her daughter, Christine. “She taught us an appreciation for light, for color, and especially for the changing of the seasons. Each season produces its own unique Cape Cod light, unlike any other in the world.”
Joan taught art at Castle Hill Center for the Arts and Cape Cod Conservatory, and was an artist-in-residence at the Highland House Museum.
In the 1970s, she won a scholarship to study painting in the south of France. Her work was collected in Provincetown and throughout the country, and she had one-woman shows at the Cape Cod Conservatory, the Community Art Center of Boston, and the Kornbluth Gallery in New Jersey. Her final show was in Provincetown at the Kobalt Gallery in 2018 when she was 91.
She sang in the choir at St. Mary of the Harbor Episcopal Church, in local choral groups, and with Arthur Blake at the Crown & Anchor in the 1970s.
In a 2017 article in Provincetown Magazine, Joan talked about what painting meant to her: “If you really know what you are doing, it’s absolutely exciting. It’s like you’re a god; you’ve made the world over.”
Joan leaves her daughter, Christine Roderick of North Truro, and her three sons and their spouses: Richard and Hong Pereira of Dennis Port, Craig and Janet Pereira of Naples, Fla., and Jeff Pereira of Wasilla, Alaska. She also leaves her grandchildren: Heather and husband Stephen Harper of Truro, Laurie Ann and husband Matias Galloglaigh of Plymouth, N.H., Richard Pereira and partner Jodi Lynn of Fall River, Jan and husband Fran Taylor of Watertown, Elena and husband Bobby Rice of Truro, Scott Pereira, Jared and wife Monica Pereira of Naples, Fla., Laura Pereira of Fosston, Minn., Kali and husband Eddie Cantos of St. Louis, Ryan Pereira of Marietta, Ga., and Dominic Pereira of Boise, Idaho.
She is survived as well by 23 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, and four nieces. She was predeceased by her brother, Richard Senecal, and her daughter-in-law Monica Pereira.
A memorial service is planned for the spring.