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Art Meets Nature: Painters’ Work Inspired by Sandy Neck On Display in Hyannis

Filed in NEWS HEADLINES by on October 18, 2017 0 Comments • views: 495

Before dawn in the misty, salty air. Solitary footsteps in sand down the marsh trail and then up, high into the dunes.

Look there, over the horizon. A touch of color that grows, spreading across the sky, kissing the water and bringing light to the grasses dotting the dunes. The sun is rising. Listen to the waves as they collide with sand at the shoreline.

It is morning in the dunes of Sandy Neck. 


Sandy Neck Beach Park measures six miles as it extends into Cape Cod Bay and, as a barrier beach, provides protection for Barnstable Harbor and the north side of town. The park’s 4,700 acres include beautiful sandy dunes, maritime forest, marsh, horse trails, cranberry bogs, and salt-sprayed cottages dotting the tip of the spit, cottages that have been in place since the late 1800s. Beachgoers, hikers, equestrians, fishermen, and nature enthusiasts share this precious natural resource with an abundance of wildlife – coyotes, shorebirds, and even the occasional snowy owl call Sandy Neck home.

Nestled halfway down the Marsh Trail sits a small research cottage, owned by the Town of Barnstable and called the”Halfway House” because of its location. The cottage is primarily a research headquarters for students studying environment, ornithology, and marine biology, but through the “Art Meets Nature” program offered by the Town of Barnstable, artists can spend a day immersed in the tranquil beauty of the dunes.


Nine Cape Cod artists, led by painter Betsy Payne Cook, recently spent time at the cottage.

“Spending a day at Barnstable’s House at the Half Way point out at Sandy Neck Beach offers artists a special Cape Cod experience,” says Cook, a plein air painter and instructor. “Driving through the dunes to reach the back road along the marsh sparks the creative juices long before the destination is reached. The views of the marshes, the dunes, the expanse of sky offers a day of both solitude and camaraderie. Artists have traveled out in winter, spring and autumn with their palette of paints or pastels to capture the beauty to this landscape. The exhibit will feature a variety of styles that capture the personal expression of each artist; with a display of the neutrals of winter, the budding of spring greens and the brilliance of autumn in the dunes.”


The work of Karen Cheromcha, Betsy Payne Cook, Judie Garcia, Mary Lou Harwood, and Doreen Kelly reflects the time the artists spent at Sandy Neck and is on display now at Barnstable Town Hall.

The public is invited to attend a special artists’ reception on Wednesday, November 15th, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at Barnstable Town Hall. Works are on display now through November 30, 2017 in both the Hearing Room and Selectmen’s Conference Room on the second floor of Town Hall, 367 Main Street in Hyannis.

The Town of Barnstable ‘Artwork on Loan’ program is an opportunity for artists (or groups) to display work at Town Hall. Some artists have never before displayed their work in a public setting and this is a chance for them to learn how to frame and present their work and have it seen by so many who pass through Town Hall each day.

–Sarah Colvin, CAPE MEDIA NEWS








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