Cape Cod National Seashore is a magical place. This area is home to one of the Northeast’s oldest and most recognized artist colonies, and today, remains one of the prime destinations for artists and tourists alike.
On the very tip of Cape Cod lies Provincetown, which has been a draw for famous artists of the past such as Franz Kline, Marsden Hartley, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock as well as many writers including Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams and Kurt Vonnegut. The combination of geographic isolation and a community of fellow free spirits is one of the features that keep this place popular and vibrant.
Cape Cod National Seashore is the collective term for the section of protected land on the ocean side of the peninsula. On August 7, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed a bill designating approximately 44,000 acres as America’s first oceanfront national park, forever putting it out of the reach of commercial developers. The park turns 50 years old this August, and many celebrations are planned to mark this monumental event. Some residents who have lived on the Cape their whole lives and remember the struggle to pass the legislation are especially proud of this milestone.
As evidenced by artworks depicting the Cape, the natural beauty and unique lighting of the landscape are irresistible to paint and photograph, and it is not unusual to visit the beach and see local painters with their easels set up attempting to capture seashore scenes. In addition, many visitors like to make the rounds through the galleries in town to enjoy the wide variety of works in all subjects and styles.
Whether for a summer holiday a short drive from the city, or an inexhaustible inspiration for creativity, the Cape Cod National Seashore is one of few remaining unspoiled places in America, remaining relatively unchanged for half a century, and hopefully for centuries to come.
Brian Sylvester is a guest blogger on WallSpin, and an artist on Zatista.