Hyannis Art Shanty showcases Historic Photos of Barnstable

Marie Palcic grew up summering on Cape Cod before deciding to move here full time when she and her husband retired. She’s an artist and a photographer. After exhibiting in one of the Hyannis Art Shanties, she was approached by HyArts to create a photography project for the exterior of the shanties.

The Hyannis Art Shanties consist of 7 shanties to represent the 7 villages that make up Barnstable: Hyannis, Marston Mills, Cotuit, Barnstable, Centerville, West Barnstable, and Osterville. The idea was born to create a project showcasing each villages in photos from the past and present.

Palcic scoured through historical records, libraries, old postcards, even residents personal photos to find compelling photos of bygone days. Then, she took photos of the same locations to contrast the changing or not so changed locations of Barnstable. The result is a stunning view of days gone-by that allow the passerby to contrast how life has changed on the Cape.

The work was painstaking. It took the course of a winter. “I spent hours in the library getting photographs and old postcards,” says Palcic.”I was in Spanky’s and I heard a waiter say I’m from Cotuit. I had to track him down and talk to him” And some of the work was surprising, “The number of buildings that are still standing. That surprised me. It was mostly the things that remain. That was really impressive. To see the progression over the years that was fascinating.”

This is the second year the photographs have been on display. Palcic says that visitors often comment on the photos, especially the photo of the cranberry bog workers then and now. Another favorite is the Cape Cod Baseball league with horse and carriages backed up to the field to watch the game.

Palcic enjoyed the project not just from a photography aspect, but also on a personal note. “The history is so impressive. I summered here every year, but you take the history for granted. This was fun. It was absolutely a high point of living here.”

When I told her it sounded like this project must have introduced her to so many new people and new parts of the Cape, she agreed. Palcic told me “That’s the beauty of living here on Cape Cod. One person leads you to another and you see things in different eyes. There’s always something new.”

The Hyannis Art Shanties are open for the season. Find more details on their website.

By Rebecca Romo, Lifestyle Reporter CapeCod.com

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.

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