Cotuit Center: Where the Wild Things Are
By: Elise Hugus, January 9, 2012
DANIEL COJANU - Spoken like a true artist. Wild Things, take heed.
The definition of wild is always open to interpretation, and never more so when 57 artists are asked to submit work on the theme of "Wild Things."
While Maurice Sendak's celebrated children's book illustrations may come to mind—or The Troggs' classic hit "Wild Thing"— Cape artists offered up a range of perspectives, from Steve Swain's Food Chain, a metal school of fish swimming up the gallery wall, to Britt Kuechenmeister's Occupying Myself sketch of a woman screaming in a trailer park, a can of beer clenched in her hand.
At the Wild Things opening reception on Saturday, throngs of people flocked to the gallery for food, music, and the chance to meet the artists. While natural Cape Cod themes prevailed, Kathi Bloom's Tibetan fire mandala, Mark Chester's Bus Depot, TN photograph, David Cravenho's mummy-like earthenware head, suggested something above and beyond the literal interpretation.
January 9 - February 10
Monday - Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM
Cotuit Center for the Arts
4404 Route 28, Cotuit MA
In fact, the lack of wilderness in some pieces suggested that letting loose is a lost art; that even artistic instincts have become relegated to copying a digital photo onto canvas. Cape Cod African Dance and Drum, led by founder Tara Murphy, showed this art world paradox beautifully when she and fellow dancer Kim Amaral lept from the stage, shaking and stomping among the suits and ties in the front row—while others, holding plastic cups of wine, pretended to be very interested in the painting nearby.
Wild Things is the 6th annual winter collaboration between the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and the Cotuit Center for the Arts, which aims to expose Cape Codders— especially children—to the local arts community.
Keeping younger patrons in mind, the art work was mounted (by Centerville artist Richard Neal) right at children’s eye level. Over 2,000 students are expected to come on their own or in school groups free of charge for the duration of the show, with the opportunity to go next door for hands-on art instruction with the Cotuit Center's art educators. Thanks to a grant from the Edward Bangs Kelley and Elza Kelley Foundation, there are ten stipends of $200 each available to Cape Cod school groups to pay for bus transportation to the exhibit.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. All artwork is for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the Arts Foundation's programs.