Art and Ptown. The two words are inseparable and the first is quite central to the identity of the second. As Ptown artist Edward Walsh recently described to me, “art is just an integral part of being a human here. Even if you are not a painter or an artist, you can’t walk down the street without being affected by it. In casual conversation, it’s just part of the norm.” A visit to Ptown’s many galleries is definitely worth a look. Most of them are clustered at the East End of Commercial Street but a few are sprinkled throughout town. If you want to go the museum route, Provincetown Art Association & Museum, the Fine Arts Work Center, and Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill have exhibition programming throughout the year.
Below are a few of the galleries I try to visit every season. This list is my personal opinion and by no means exhaustive or complete. To see all Ptown has to offer in terms of art galleries, check out the Provincetown Gallery Guide, which has a great website and is usually available in magazine form at most of the galleries in town.
Simie Maryles Gallery “Representing Traditional Art with a Contemporary Point of View” is this gallery’s tag line and their curated selection focuses on representational genre painting such as still life, landscape, or portraiture–all with a 21st century twist. To see their offerings, you don’t have to go far; we feature their artists in the hotel’s public spaces.
435 Commercial Street, 508-487-7878.
Alden Gallery Don’t be fooled by its small, intimate space. This gallery shows a broad range of contemporary work from the visceral, emotionally charged drawings of Raul Gonzalez III to the bright, modernist wood constructions of Ptown native Mike Wright.
423 Commercial Street, 508-487-4230.
William Scott Gallery This well-established gallery shows predominantly painting, with a dash of sculpture. It is a bit of an awkward space, but the quality of the works–quirky portraits by Daphne Confar and austere, haunting landscapes by John Dowd, as two examples–speaks for themselves.
439 Commercial Street, 508-487-4040.
Four Eleven Gallery Painter Liz Carney opened this storefront gallery in 2011 in a building that has been a Ptown studio for over 50 years. She presents a small, focused selection of artists, all painters.
411 Commercial Street, 617-905-7432.
Berta Walker Gallery As the “grand dame” of the Ptown art scene, Berta Walker has been showing and supporting artists virtually her entire life. She shows a classic cadre of past and present artists—all with strong Ptown ties—including Sal Del Deo, Varujan Boghosian, Robert Henry, Judyth Katz, (estate), Peter Watts, and Nancy Whorf (estate).
208 Bradford Street, 508-487-6411
ArtStrand Owned by well-known Ptown artists Bailey Bob Bailey, Breon Dunigan, Maryalice Johnston, Francis Olschafskie, Jim Peters, Anna Poor, and Bert Yarborough, ArtStrand has a strong commitment to showing works that represent Ptown’s past and present as an art colony. The art shown is at once vital, experimental, serious, and not so serious.
494 Commercial Street, 508-487-1153.
AMP: In a town full of the avant-garde, this is one of the only galleries in town showing conceptual, experimental, performance based works by a robust slate of artists, writers, and filmmakers.
32 Commercial Street, 646-298-9258.