Beginning in the summer of 1899, when the Cape Cod School of Art was founded, and continuing up to today, Provincetown has been one of the nation’s foremost artists’ colonies – a place where artists of all varieties could live, learn, and be inspired by each other and by their surroundings. Carrying on the tradition is one of Provincetown’s most honored arts institutions, The Fine Arts Work Center on Pearl Street. The FAWC has been around since 1968, making it the country’s oldest continuous artist colony.
For the entirety of the summer, The Fine Arts Work Center holds visual arts and creative writing workshops that are taught by some of the country’s most accomplished artists. And, lucky for us, the FAWC arranges for these artists and writers to give artist talks and readings to the general public. Last Monday’s lineup was irresistible: the poet Ralph Angel, the novelist Colum McCann, and the artist Peik Larsen were all scheduled to share glimpses of their most recent projects. I had been looking forward to going for weeks, yet, as I faced the hour and a half long drive from my home in Mashpee to Provincetown and then back again, my mind raced with any excuse available to cancel my much anticipated plans. Was an evening of highfalutin artsy entertainment enticing enough to justify spending over 3 hours in Cape Cod traffic? The answer, it turned out, was an emphatic yes. (more…)