BY: LISA LEIGH CONNORS
Creative Arts Center celebrates 50th all year long
Fifty years ago, the Creative Arts Center started with a group of like-minded artists interested in promoting the arts. Today, the center has grown into a vibrant, visual arts resource for all ages that offers classes, festivals and demonstrations from local and nationally known artists.
While little has changed on the outside of the shingled building with its bold, bright red door, the inside buzzes with activity—ranging from dozens of jewelry, pottery and fine art classes to photo exhibitions, member and faculty exhibitions and workshops all year long. “I think we are still the best-kept secret in town,” says Angela Zoni Mault, executive director since 2013. “A lot of people only know us because they drive by us. When they come in, they are amazed to see what we have going on.”
The center’s facilities include two exhibition galleries, a pottery studio—the largest pottery space on the Cape—a jewelry studio, painting studios, an art library and a children’s art room. To accommodate 150 classes and more than 1,200 students per year, the center is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday.
Although the center attracts art lovers of all ages, Mault says she frequently sees older students who are now getting back into their art studies. “Maybe in your younger years, you showed a natural ability in art and you were recognized as the artistic one and then life got in the way—you got married, you bought a house, raised kids, and now you have time to take an art class in a friendly, supportive environment,” she says.
To all aspiring artists, Mault offers words of encouragement: “You can be a complete novice, a complete beginner. Start with a blank piece of paper or canvas, do your work, put a frame on it and put it in our student show. You have gone from a total beginner to something on a gallery wall in a student show.”
The Creative Arts Center’s events this year include a 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration at Chatham Bars Inn on June 19 (their major fundraiser); the 48th annual Festival of the Arts in Chase Park, Aug. 16-18; and Chatham Sparkles, a plein air event on Oct. 12. A special members 50th anniversary celebration is being planned for the fall. Visit their website for more information.