The Falmouth ArtMarket features music by The Resemblance on Thursday, August 18, at Falmouth Marina Park, 180 Scranton Avenue. The ArtMarket is open every Thursday through September 1, offering fine arts and crafts from 11 to 5 PM, a Book Booth featuring local authors from 11 AM to 2 PM, and musical entertainment from 2 to 4 PM.
The Resemblance is Anna Magee and Oliver Farrell, a dynamic mother and son duo. Anna, a life-long violinist, has been playing with Oliver ever since he picked up the fiddle as a young child. Both are members of two large New England contra dance bands and various other ensembles. They share lively old-time, Celtic and contra dance tunes on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and keyboard.
Bring chairs or a blanket to sit and enjoy the show.
The featured author is Don Wilding, author of “Shipwrecks of Cape Cod: Stories of Tragedy and Triumph.” From the wreck of the Sparrow-Hawk in 1626 to the grounding of the Eldia in 1984, Cape Cod’s outer beach, often referred to as the “Graveyard of Ships,” saw the demise of more than 3,000 vessels along 40 miles of shifting shoals. The October Gale of 1841 claimed the lives of 57 sailors from Truro, a devastating toll for a small seaside community. Survivors from the 1896 wreck of the Monte Tabor in Provincetown were arrested for a suspected mutiny. Aboard the Castagna, which stranded off Wellfleet in 1914, several sailors froze to death in the masts, while the crew’s cat survived. Local author Don Wilding revisits these and other maritime disasters, along with the heroic, and sometimes tragic, rescue efforts of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and U.S. Coast Guard.
Sandra Faxon has been showing her whimsical cut-paper collages and watercolors of sea creatures and local scenes at the ArtMarket since Marty Tulloch established the market in 2007 when he was chair of the Falmouth Cultural Council. Faxon may be best-known as the owner of the Local Colors Gallery in Woods Hole for “15 wonderful years” before closing it a few years ago when she turned 80 to work out of her home.
Faxon describes her collages as “painting with scissors.” She uses a variety of vividly colored hand-painted and hand-made papers, many of which she creates herself. She enjoys experimenting with the paper, painting large sheets in numerous ways, sometimes marbled, glazed, or painted in pastels or oils, creating different effects. She cuts out abstract shapes and arranges them on matboard without drawing first. “I simply cut and arrange them as I see them in my mind’s eye,” she said. Then she glues them down, photographs them, adjusts size, color, and clarity, and prints them out.
Her works feature colorful sea birds, fish, turtles, frogs, crabs, octopuses, and squid, as well as Woods Hole scenes, sailboats, beaches, pets, abstract designs, and much more, appealing to resident and tourist alike.
Faxon was born into an art-loving family. Her father was a mathematician and played piano; her mother worked in the Boris Mirsky Gallery on Newbury Street in Boston and participated in an avant-garde movement improvisation group.
Faxon took her first art class when she was 8 and came home crying. “If you didn’t draw a yellow sun, you were doomed,” she said. She never took another art class, though she explored ways of teaching art creatively in college.
She found comfort and artistic inspiration on Cape Cod. Her family summered on Johns Pond in Mashpee, “which was still quite a wilderness in the 1930s and ‘40s,” she said. She felt close to the forest animals, sea life, and the ever-present birds. With her Wampanoag and Cape Verdean fiends, she learned to honor the land and wildlife, to respect every living creature.
Later in life, when Faxon became an artist, her focus was on recreating her early love of wildlife, local landmarks, vivid colors, people enjoying the beach, and movement.
Before she took up art though, Faxon was a dancer. She performed in various dance groups, taught Balkan folk dance workshops in the 1950s and ‘60s at Woods Hole Community Hall and elsewhere, taught creative movement at the Cape Cod Conservatory, and directed Balkanske Igre, a Balkan music and dance ensemble sponsored by the University of Chicago.
She also worked as a child and family therapist for many years, using art as a form of communication with clients. But it was not until she retired from that career that she thought of creating art herself. “Since I believed I couldn’t draw, I picked up the scissors instead, and out came a halfway-recognizable image!” she said.
Three local artists, Mary Mavor, Joan Tweedell, and George Jacobs, became her support group, and, when Jacobs died, Faxon took over his gallery, Local Colors, in Woods Hole. Faxon still uses the Local Colors name for her home studio. Her art is available there and at Under the Sun and the MBL Shop in Woods Hole, the Woodruff Gallery in Mashpee Commons, and from her website, localcolorsgallery.biz.
For more information on the Falmouth ArtMarket, including a schedule of musicians and a list of vendors, visit FalmouthArtMarket.com.