By M.Sebastian Araujo
Art and Artist are part of the landscape here on Old Cape Cod. Amid the dunes and summer breezes there is an amazing place that Art has been nurturing Artists for quite some time now – “Castle Hill”. Recently I had a chance to chat with Cherie Mittenthal , who is an Artist and the Executive Director, here is what I found out…
What is the Truro Center for the Arts?
Castle Hill has been around for 45 years this year. It was started by a group of committed Artists and has always been strong group of artist on the board as well as the organization has been run by artists (including me!) It started out in 1971 with about 12 classes, mostly in sculpture, clay, painting and weaving. And in 2001 Castle Hill purchased another building in the center of Truro that allowed Castle Hill to become year round. I was hired in 2002 to make that happen, to become year round, and connect Castle Hill more to the community. So, in 2002, Castle Hill has grown to become a thriving year round organization running workshops in all areas with Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Photography, Ceramics, Jewelry and writing workshops. In 2012, Castle Hill purchased a building that was in the center of Castle Hill and it enabled us to start a culinary program, as well as an Artist in Residency in Ceramics for emerging potters. This past month (January 2016) Castle Hill purchased the beautiful Edgewood Farm, which is a 7+ acre farm with 3 historic buildings and 2 newer buildings on the land. This project has been in the works for the past two and a half years. This will allow Castle Hill to grow and expand the Artist in Residency Program as well as other programs at Castle Hill, offer housing to artists who come take classes at Castle Hill. Grow the culinary program and create a community kitchen. We also plan on the reconfiguring a wood-shop into a state of the art net-zero “green” Printmaking Facility at that location. A very exciting next phase for this organization.
How do you feel that ART has changed in these technology driven times?
Technology has definitely played an important role in the arts, through Photography, (digital vs. analog or film), though Castle Hill has one of the only working dark rooms left on the Cape. Technology has offered a way to see peoples works through blogs and websites, through access to the internet, through facebook or twitter or google. More accessible to all. It is an exciting time during our generation! Though always seeing a work of art in the flesh.
What do you see in the future for Castle Hill?
I think the purchase of Edgewood Farm will keep us very busy for a while! To be methodical in our growing, to not grow to big, to fast, to become more sustainable. To branch out more in terms of other art forms, ie. Music, Dance. To build a sculpture barn and a maker’s space, where people can come and use the facilities to work on their own work without instruction. So many options!!
We also co-produces the 10th International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown in early June with Founder/director Joanne Mattera. This year we already have over 200 people signed up from 38 states and 9 countries including, Canada, Belgium, Iraq, Ireland, Mexico, Australia, Qatar & Israel ! This is a professional Conference of artists who come from all over the world to attend an annual interdisciplinary event bringing a community of artists together with gallerists, curators, critics and collectors engaged with wax, mixed media and printmaking. We hold it at the Provincetown Inn June 3, 4, 5 and most importantly, Castle Hill continues to bring in top notch artists to this community to teach workshops, this Spring, Summer and Fall we are offering 179 workshops. This is definitely our biggest strength. This year alone we have Judy Pfaff, Joan Snyder, Janet Echelman, Jeremy Randall, Michael Kline, Charles and Linda Riggs, Traci Harmon Hay, Deborah Dancy, Gerald Simcoe, Sharon Butler, Donny Beal, writers, Mark Doty, John Ives, Jabari Asim, David Unger and much much more!
Why is Cape Cod a Haven for Artists and Other Creative People?
Because of the light, the beauty all around, the access to the ocean and the bay, to the quiet of the off season and it gives people time to create. It’s a perfect blending of bringing it all together, for all creative types.
For More Information Click Here : www,castlehill.org
With Spirit of Art Alive and Well all over Cape Cod and especially at “Castle Hill” it does make one smile amid this very tumultuous time to know that some of the good things in life do continue because they matter to us all…Bravo to Cherie Mittenthal and the rest of the team at the Truro Center for the Arts for helping to change the world!