Art Briefs – The Provincetown Independent
Percy Fortini-Wright at the 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 exhibition at the 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 frantic brushstrokes. There are trippy distorted portraits in his “Children From Beyond” series, and more casual works of spray paint on cardboard.
Speed is one of the links that hold works together. Fortini-Wright paints with the energy of a graffiti artist and his works convey an attitude of improvisation, playful exploration and confident marking. It is a quality that is most evident in Children over 10 years old, where a face emerges from swift gestures: plunging black lines, sharp brushstrokes and dabs 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, expressive painting – with a clever optical illusion effect — representing a brick wall covered in graffiti. Between the letters are nautical and cityscapes, adding yet another element to the artist’s vast visual vocabulary. The exhibition is visible until October 2. —Abraham Storer
Capturing the rhythms of life
Helen Grimm describes her paintings as a response to the “changing nature of our lives through the familiar vocabulary of water, shells and wreckage from the Outer Cape”. A selection of these illustrated responses can be viewed at the Wellfleet Adult Community Center (715 Old Kings Highway) through September 30.
One image she returns to repeatedly in her current series of paintings is a cluster of seashells that appear to have washed up on shore, seen just beyond her feet. The circular shapes tumble towards the viewer like an offering from the sea. The shells are in a state of flux, both washed away and waiting to be taken away again.
Grimm’s paintings also seem to exist in a state of flux. His imagery is clear in some paintings, with readable objects like oyster shells; in others, shapes and forms dissolve into abstraction. In some places, she hollows the surface of the canvas with thick drops of paint; in other areas, the surface is left bare or covered with a temporary color wash. The paintings seem to pulsate as they ride through different states of becoming and dissolving.
In love waits, one of the show’s strongest works, sketched circles appear in dramatic compositional tension among fields of grey, yellow and green. There is a similar energy in night port, where oily black paint drips and washes through cascading marks of white and green paint. These are paintings that make you want to paint, to participate in this game of matter and image: they are spaces to explore the wild dynamism of the rhythm of life. WACC will host a reception for the artist on Sunday, September 18 from 4-6 p.m. —Abraham Storer
Miss Richfield comes out of her shell
“I always say my shows are like my kids: you don’t all love them the same way,” says Miss Richfield 1981 of her latest, Cancel Cultured pearlswhich will have its last performances of the season on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 September at the Pilgrim House.
“Some work, and some don’t,” she continues. “But it turned out to be one of my favorites.”
A good thing too, as it coincides with the 20th year of Miss Richfield’s annual summer residence in Provincetown – an even more remarkable occasion given her self-reported age. (“I was nine when I started doing this,” she says. “Do the math.”)
“I always come up with the title and theme for my show at the end of every summer,” she says. “And last year I wanted to do something about the political environment that we live in. Cancel culture is everywhere now.”
Aware as her subject is, however, Richfield says she herself was the subject of a fabricated outrage campaign in 2019 while making history hours at a public library where she lives in Minnesota in the offseason.
“That was before conservatives started protesting the hours of drag queen stories 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 had been doing. But that did not work. On the day of the demonstration, no one showed up!
His former antagonist is unlikely to turn up for his final three performances of the season this weekend. But viewers visiting the Pilgrim House can expect to see a show that begins with Richfield emerging from a shell (“like a pearl, do you have it?”) and includes a mix of original songs, videos and smart media. which made her a staple of 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 mischievous way to broach a really serious subject.”
Miss Richfield says there is a “moment of clarity” at the end of the show, in which her 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
Treasures of Truro Cultural Treasures
In 1992, Truro residents dreamed up an autumn weekend that would raise funds to save the Highland Lighthouse and encourage community pride. The non-profit they started, Truro Treasures, has been running the event ever since.
This weekend, from Friday September 16 to Sunday September 18, Truro Treasures offers activities ranging from a tour of Truro’s historic cemeteries to “Rock the Block”, a county-style party with face painting, live music, a corn tournament holes and more family entertainment.
A cultural highlight of the weekend is the premiere of the short film The History of the Cobb Archive Friday, September 16, 4-5:30 p.m. The film tells the story of the 1912 building that was the first home of the Truro Public Library and now houses a collection of historic maps, paintings, books, photographs, family memories and other documents.
Serious treasure hunters can take part in the Truro Treasure Hunt starting at 9am on Saturday. For runners, there is the Sunday Pamet 5k Fun Run. For car enthusiasts, there is the vintage and classic car show, also on Sundays. And since everyone loves a food court, they planned one on Saturday and Sunday.
Many events are free. To learn more and to register for specific activities, visit trurotreasures.org. —Dorothee Samaha
Yankee Lambda Car Club Weekend
Automotive culture has not always been welcoming to gay people. Not so long ago, automakers, dealerships, garages, and even shade tree mechanics belonged to an almost exclusively male and aggressively straight world.
Things have changed. Most major automakers now score 90 or higher on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index, which ranks companies based on their LGBTQ-friendly labor policies (or hostile). Dealerships across the country advertise to a wide range of consumers and actively recruit LGBTQ employees. And even NASCAR — yes, NASCAR — has programs that recognize and celebrate its queer fans.
This weekend, a group of gay enthusiasts will gather in Provincetown for the Yankee Lambda Car Club’s annual invitational car show. The 2022 event – dubbed “Wicked Piston” – is partly a time for YLCC members to come together for dinners, a cocktail or two and an awards ceremony to recognize the best cars at this year’s show .
But the rest of us can enjoy what is undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend: the vintage car display at the Pilgrim Monument on Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., followed by the annual club towards Commercial Rue de l’Auberge in Provincetown.
For more information on the Provincetown Invitational and this year’s events, visit YankeeLCC.com. And since the YLCC Group is just one of Lambda Car Club’s 31 chapters, queer car fans who live outside of Cape Town can also check out LambdaCarClub.com. —Richard Read