From the CEO

Charles Hawthorne, Untitled (boy in blue shirt holding fish), 1925, PAAM Collection, Gift of Robert Duffy

One year ago, we asked our members: What are PAAM’s core values?

We received the same words in response over and over: Community. Preservation of the past. A place for artists.

Hearing from you re-affirmed what we know to be true, that PAAM plays a vital role in the past, the present, and the future of the Provincetown art colony. 

When you make your year-end donation to PAAM, you help us embody those values by making PAAM’s programs more accessible, more relevant, and more connected to you–our deepest core value. PAAM’s Annual Fund is how we pay the staff, preserve the collection, keep the lights on in the galleries and the water running in the studio sinks. It is what makes our programs possible, the reason our 110-year old legacy is as strong as ever.

COMMUNITY

In 1914, PAAM’s founders endeavored to create a community asset: a collaboration between artists and business people to exhibit and collect works of art created by Provincetown artists. The importance of the Provincetown community is enshrined in PAAM’s mission, treated as equal to the art itself. We exist to serve you, to connect you with the art, not to stash it away, reserved for special access.

It’s why PAAM is open year-round, so that when you’re walking down Commercial Street on a gray February afternoon you can step into the warmth of the Museum and stand in front of a Helen Frankenthaler watercolor, an Edward Hopper drawing, an Edith Lake Wilkinson woodcut print. 

It’s why we offer free admission to the Museum on Friday summer evenings, during exhibition openings, to people 16-years old and under, to our students and teaching artists. We don’t want the cost of admission to be a barrier to visiting PAAM, so we remove that barrier as much as we can. “For someone whose family struggles financially, it feels really good to go out and do something I enjoy for free,” a visitor wrote in our guest book. We want as many people as possible to share that experience.

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PRESERVATION OF THE PAST

It was more than one-hundred years ago that The Boston Globe described Provincetown as “The Biggest Art Colony in the World,” and that identity persists to this day. We believe that’s because the identity of “artist” matters. And the place matters, too. Artists working in Provincetown today are seeing the same dappled sunlight streaming through the old-growth canopy of Beech Forest, smelling the same salt breeze off the dunes as those working here a century ago. “This place gets inside your bones,” artist Marian Roth tells us. 

As a Museum and an Art Association, PAAM seeks ways to keep that connection between generations of artists alive and thriving. Workshops in our Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Museum School like Plein Air Bootcamp with John Clayton and Mudheads of Charles Hawthorne with Aaron Thompson weave threads between generations of students and teachers; exhibitions like Salvatore Del Deo: 75 Years in Provincetown and Sky Power: Beckoning Color show us how luminaries of the past, like Henry Hensche and Hans Hofmann, inform the artists that define our present.

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A PLACE FOR ARTISTS

“Join the Art Museum” is what Barbara Cohen tells artists who are new to town. She may mean that there is a Member Exhibition right around the corner, as there nearly always is–with at least five per year, rarely a month passes without member artwork hanging on the walls in the Museum. She could mean that PAAM is where you learn the history of the art colony, both by seeing and doing.

Or maybe she simply means that for an artist, PAAM is where you begin: where you meet other artists at openings and parties, where you sit in on talks between exhibiting artists and curators, where, as a young person, you can take workshops with Provincetown artists completely free-of-charge. 

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Thank you for helping us do this valuable work. With your support, the future of PAAM is bright.

With warm wishes for a happy holiday season,

CHRISTINE MCCARTHY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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