This year marks the third summer Shirl Roccapriore, artist and Director of the Oils by the Sea Gallery in Provincetown, MA, will feature the work of young artists from PAAM’s Art Reach program. The yearly exhibition celebrates developing local talent and also serves as a fundraiser to support PAAM’s award-winning Art Reach Program.
Oils by the Sea youth exhibitions are timed to coincide with Provincetown’s week-long Family Week events and activities; the exhibition is part of a five-year vision to support developing artists and to give back to the Provincetown’s arts community. Of her reasons for the exhibition program Shirl says, “I had the good fortune of having a mentor at a very young age, who gave me opportunities that validated my love and pursuit of art. My intention is to follow the students I choose over a 5 year span; this select group will have another opportunity to come back to the gallery and show their latest work.”
As part of the selection process for the exhibition, Shirl met with students at PAAM during Art Reach sessions with Teaching Artist Vicky Tomayko. Four finalists were interviewed and displayed work they had created during PAAM’s eight-month-long Art Reach Program. Of the finalists, Shirl was moved by the quality and passion for their work that student-artists Kaleigh Mason and Samuel Starobin displayed. Both Kaleigh and Sam attend Nauset Regional High School and have been members of PAAM’s youth programs for over four years, starting in Art on the Edge (PAAM’s Saturday morning middle school program) and continuing in Art Reach in 2014. Both plan to continue in Art Reach this fall. Art Reach and Art on the Edge are grant and donor-funded after and out-of-school programs that provide transportation, instruction and materials to local youth 11 and up free-of-charge.
PAAM’s Curator of Education Lynn Stanley says, “We remain so grateful to Shirl and the Oils by the Sea Gallery for creating this wonderful program and supporting PAAM’s efforts to provide accessible creative opportunities for local youth. Shirl’s generosity and the respect she shows young artists exemplifies what’s best about our community.”