Cotuit Center for the Arts

Cape Cod Museum Trail: Cotuit Center for the Arts

By Chelsea Colson | Photos by Pat O’Connell

The Cotuit Center for the Arts, part of the Cape Cod Museum Trail.
The Cotuit Center for the Arts, part of the Cape Cod Museum Trail.

An often overlooked Cotuit gem on the Cape Cod Museum Trail is the Cotuit Center for the Arts (CCA), provides a variety of entertainment spanning from an art gallery, theatre, music performances, and a variety of events. The center also offers year round classes and workshops in the visual and performing arts. The classes range from life drawing, tap dancing, stage performance and much more.

Cotuit Center art gallery on the Cape Cod Museum Trail
The art gallery has two levels and displays both two and three-dimensional works by local and international artists.

Two years after being founded in 1993, the CCA was incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization. Since then the center has presented or produced over 50 art exhibitions featuring over 500 visual artists exhibits, more than 40 concerts, and 20 full length theatrical productions. The CCA’s mission is to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the creative process by facilitating communication among artists and the public. Several community organizations have used the facilities, such as the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, the Cape Cod Foundation, and the MSPCA.

There are many reasons to visit the CCA. You might  want to browse the gallery that featuring works by local, regional, and international artists. Usually there are 3 separate shows sharing the gallery in the 2-level space. The shows include both 2 & 3-dimensional work such as pottery and sculpture. On the 2nd level there is a cozy theatre, which hosts performances of plays year round for example, the” Ideal Husband”, “Enchanted April”, and the award-winning “Underneath the Lintel”. Many reviewers on TripAdvisor boast about the performances at the CCA. A majority of the reviewers giving a 5-star rating based on the acting skills and quality of the performers. No wonder TripAdvisor has rated the center as #1 for things to do in Cotuit! There are many events hosted at their facilities throughout the year, the highlights being the Cape Cod Music Festival & Cape Cod Opera House performances, the Waterflow & Outsider Art Exhibitions, the annual Chili & Poetry Festival, and the Arts & Souls haunted Halloween Masquerade Ball.

For those looking to kindle or improve their artistic skill-set, there is a class for everyone! There is little commitment required, since all classes provide single or multiple class options. A handful of the classes are also free, with a suggested donation of $5, One class that I find intriguing is a soothing Drum Circle class where the drums are provided. The art classes available range from traditional painting classes to a metal clay studio course. One could even learn how to play the Ukulele! There are also Yoga classes at the studio.

This wonderful museum on the Cape Cod Museum Trail is an easy 25 min. drive from our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast Palmer House Inn. On the way you will drive through quaint Cape Cod villages. Cotuit is a village in the town of Barnstable and is located halfway between Falmouth and Hyannis. There are also several beaches close by such as Riley’s Beach, Ropes Beach, The Loop Beach, and Oregon Beach. If you plan on catching one of the theatre shows and are looking to get a bite to eat before or after the performance, there is an outstanding Italian restaurant close by, “Villaggio Ristorante”. The location is perfect for dinner and a show date for any special occasion, even if that occasion happens to be just another Saturday night on Cape Cod.

Other Stops on the Cape Cod Museum Trail include:


Chelsea is a Falmouth local, born and raised. She loves telling people all the great things to do and places to see in her hometown. She is also a professional artist who loves to travel. This past year she spent traveling and working along the east coast of Australia and visited New Zealand for a few weeks. “I have to say, there’s no other place in the world quite like Cape Cod.”


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guest rooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring gardens on Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.

Cape Cod Craftsmen Saltwater Woodworks

Cape Cod craftsmen Saltwater Woodworks.
Cape Cod craftsmen kitchen island
Kitchen island.

 Cape Cod Craftsmen: Saltwater Woodworks

By Chelsea Corson | Photos by Pat O’Connell

Saltwater Woodworks tabletop
One of the tables at Bear in Boots that was fashioned by Saltwater Woodworks.

Saltwater Woodworks’ mission statement is: “To provide the highest quality handcrafted products that will exceed your expectations.” Their field of expertise includes fine cabinetry, window framing, flooring, furniture and artwork inspired by reclaimed wood. They also do built-ins and heirloom repairs. The craftsmanship of their products shows creativity and attentiveness to detail. Matt Sullivan created Saltwater Woodworks in 2001 as a one-man-crew in Dennis, MA. In 2012, he was able to expand his operations by merging with C & J Hunt Construction Services so they could offer commercial services as well. The Saltwater Woodworks retail store at 360 Main Street in Falmouth has been open for about 1½ years. Roughly 80% of their sales are from their custom kitchen cabinetry selection. Diners can also see some of their wood and furniture craftsmanship at the popular restaurant Bear in Boots Gastropub that is also on Main Street. The pub’s interior was featured in Boston Globe 2015.

Cape Cod craftsmen wooden bowl
Bowl.

This is the perfect place to visit for new homeowners or for those looking to give their kitchen or other living spaces a fresh, uniquely custom look. It is also a one-stop shop, where customers can purchase custom window frames, doors, or even flooring. Everywhere one looks is another way to customize the home or place of business, with a modern rustic, coastal look. You’ll see that the wood floors are made in a variety of wood species. One can also observe a variety of wood finishes. Every window in the store is uniquely framed which gives one design options to use for a home or business. How convenient!

Choosing Saltwater Woodworks is a sustainable and green choice. Everything in their store has been re-purposed in one way or another. Re-purposed materials inspire even their art pieces, which have been created by local New England artists.

Cape Cod craftsmen wall sconce
Wall sconce.

When one walks into Saltwater Woodworks, he/she is immediately welcomed with beautiful, wooden furniture and decorative pieces. The tables, chairs, wall-hangings, cabinets and decorative pieces are staged tastefully, in the store, which makes it that much easier to visualize how to utilize the pieces in your own home. For example, they have dining tables set with candles in beautiful wooden candle holders displayed on top. One can image having an intimate, candle-lit dinner party with close friends and family, enjoying the evening with a glass of wine in hand. How can you beat that?

No matter where you look, all of Ed’s one-of-a-kind furniture has an interesting back story. He can tell the purchaser where the materials came from and how they were used in years gone by. Whether it’s reclaimed wood from an old factory out in western Massachusetts or a re-purposed vintage sewing table, all of his materials have been recycled into beautiful furniture and art work. Every piece is a conversation piece!

Cape Cod craftsmen Saltwater Woodworks storefront
Storefront of Saltwater Woodworks.

While you are in the area, make sure to stop by this charming store, it is just past the Library and is only about a ten minute walk from the Palmer House Inn. The salespeople are friendly, helpful and have a passion for what they do. Make sure to ask about the pieces you find most interesting. For more information: www.saltwaterwoodworks.net


Chelsea is a Falmouth local, born and raised. She loves telling people all the great things to do and places to see in her hometown. She is also a professional artist who loves to travel. This past year she spent traveling and working along the east coast of Australia and visited New Zealand for a few weeks. “I have to say, there’s no other place in the world quite like Cape Cod.”


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guest rooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring the workshops of our Cape Cod craftsmen, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.

Cape Portals and Passageways Exhibit

Gypsy's Staircase by Amy Ragus, part of the Portals & Passagways Exhibit at Highfield Hall through September 2014, in Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA.

The Cape Portals & Passageways Exhibit is an environmental sculpture and art exhibition on display at Highfield Hall and Gardens through September.

Cape portals and passageways exhibit - Gypsy's Staircase
Cape Portals & Passagways Exhibit at Highfield Hall.

The show features the art of twenty-five artists from this region.The installations include a variety of disciplines that include fiber art, landscape design, bronze sculpture, glass blowing, painting and photography. The exhibit is a walking tour that starts inside the mansion and continues outside through the grounds.

Linda Hoffman’s “Tree Om” was the inspiration for the show and can be viewed on the lawn. Alfie Glover’s twelve-foot tall aluminum sculpture, ” The spirits of the Garden” can be seen in the center of the sunken garden in front of Highfield Hall.

One of the most interesting sculptures is the “Fragment House”. It is a small steel framed house and its walls are made of sea glass that is woven with wire.

Celestial Passage Walking Labyrinth:” Spirit, Space and Time” comes next. The creator and installer is Dan DiNardo who is Highfield’s director of facilities. It is located behind the mansion and it is forty feet in diameter and is a meditative walking labyrinth that is based on the geometry of the classic seven-circuit labyrinth and is complete with hewn wood seats placed at the four compass points. The seats were created by tree specialist Matt Inman in collaboration with David Chapman. Inman also created a large-scale arbor of woven sticks.

“Crystal Vision Earth Portal” was created by Cynthia Rose. It is nestled on the grounds on the “Beach Tree Path” and provides a haven for renewal and reflection. The circular rock formation with accents of crystal is designed to promote contemplation and recognition of the earth’s energy that is released through this portal.

Angela Tanner created, “A wind in the Door”. It is designed to be a fairy tale door that announces the presence of things unseen. When the door is open it allows humans and other earthly creatures to pass. When it is closed fairies and spirits and other wind born creatures can move through it. The doors panels tinkle and shimmer as evidence of their presence. The garden gate leads to the “Rhodie Dell”.

Jon Moore, a photographer who created a portal to the past. He applied vintage images of the Beebe family to stones along the path of “Rhodie Dell” for his installation titled “Spirits in the Stones, Past Presence”.

Gypsy's Staircase by Amy Ragus, part of the Portals & Passagways Exhibit at Highfield Hall through September 2014, in Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA.
Gypsy’s Staircase by Amy Ragus.

Connecting Tanner’s gate and  Moor’s “Past Presence” is the beautiful stone “Gypsy’s Staircase” that was designed by Amy Ragus.

In the “Rhodie Dell”, is  the very lovely, “Water study in Silk and White Pine” by Sarah Peters and “Asylum Grove”  by John Cira.

After the “Rhodie Dell”, viewers enter the “West Garden” where they are told that they  “Only Have to Change Utterly to Enter “. There they walk under Sally Mavor’s “Hither and Yon” sculpture and on to the “Beach Tree Path”. There they see “Whose Woods These Are”, by Andrea Tompson,  “Pan’s Portico” by Ben Silva and “Invasives” by Basia Goszczynska.

This is an enchanting show and one only needs his or her imagination to enjoy it completely.

The Cape Portals and Passageways Exhibit can be found at:

Highfield Hall (5 minute walk from the Palmer House Inn)
56 Highfield Dr, Falmouth, MA 02540
tel. (508) 495-1878
www.highfieldhall.org

 


Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of the bedchambers at the Palmer House have their own charming retreat before and after the most wonderful day of adventures exploring the portals and passageways of Cape Cod, we recommend the Emily Dickinson roomthe Harriet Beecher Stowe room, or the Theodore Roosevelt room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, cozy fireplaces, and soothing jacuzzi-style tubs for a relaxing stay before and after your day.