“The Faces of Eastham,” at the town’s public library (190 Samoset Road) through Oct. 31, consists of approximately 50 portraits, all of them by Eastham residents of other Eastham residents. A few are self-portraits.
The show, put on by the library’s art committee, is a multigenerational affair. There are portraits by children who took part in Eastham’s summer recreation program as well as works done by adults at the senior center. Well-known Eastham artists like Paul Schulenburg, Robin Weissman, Ron Edson, and Jody Shyllberg contributed works — but so did Eastham residents who have no previous professional experience with making or showing art.
The Independent attended the show’s opening reception on October 12 and spoke with artists, art committee members, bookworms, and gallery-goers about the portraits.
Joe Navas by Robin Weissman
“I like to put different backgrounds on them, just to make it seem a little bit more to the personality and to the area,” Weissman said of his portrait of photographer Joe Navas. “The sky gives you the idea that we’re out on the Cape and it’s nice open air.”
Peek-a-Boo by Sandra L. Meyer
“This is done from a photograph I took in Ireland in 2009,” Meyer said of her self-portrait. “I was in an armoire peeking out at my husband, and I just liked the quirky look of it. I figured I’d dig out an old photograph and paint that. I hadn’t done a portrait in six years, and this one was just fun.”
Tootsie by Dale Michaels Wade
“I did a sculpture of my dog, Tootsie,” said Wade. “She is my favorite thing these days. I’m crazy about her. She’s only two. She is a recognizable face of Eastham only if you walk at Wiley Park.”
Wade used tin foil, wire, and a roll of yellow curling ribbon to construct her sculpture of the mini-Aussie labradoodle. “I wove all those pieces into the wire and then painted it all brown,” she said. “The tongue and nose are clay. The tongue looks wet because it has a clear gloss on it. The flowers in Tootsie’s hair are from my garden.”
She Blossoms by Jenny Faw
“She’s always whimsical with her flowers, which I love,” Eastham’s Wendy Hyde said of her friend Jenny Faw’s self-portrait. “It’s so bright and happy.”
Faw was standing just to the side and said that she is a freestyle watercolor artist.
“I love painting flowers, but I don’t love doing portraits,” Faw said. “So, I painted a ton of flowers on this portrait. I decided to go about it in a playful way. I think I did capture my personality. I learned about this exhibit because I teach watercolor workshops at the senior center. It seemed like such a wonderful experience.”
Day Dreaming by Ruby Perry
Ruby Perry described the Mona Lisa pout on her friend Darcy’s face in a portrait titled Day Dreaming as “smirking.” To create the pattern of circles above Darcy’s head, she used bubble wrap, an innovation not otherwise seen in the summer program students’ portraits.
Kobe: Portrait of Brayden Perry by Jackson Alexander and Jackson by Brayden Perry
Joan Lockhart, the organizer of the exhibit, clearly had a favorite pair of portraits. “These two boys — Brayden Perry and Jackson Alexander — are best friends,” she said. “And they painted each other. They held up plexiglass in front of their faces, traced the outlines, and they were so serious about their portraits. They spent two full days on them. They tried to create more dimension than you’ll see in many of the other portraits here. Some of them are quite flat.”
Hayden by Aaliyah Knowlton
“I put Hayden in outer space because I think it fits her,” Aaliya Knowlton said of her portrait of her friend.
“Hayden has red hair, and I put the bedazzles on the painting to represent stars,” said Aaliya. “She’s wearing a shirt. Hayden is really nice, and she looks pretty. She is happy.”