Cape Cod Museum of Art to Unveil Summer Exhibition on Friday


DENNIS – The Cape Cod Museum of Art is set to unveil its premier summer exhibition on Friday.

The exhibition – Moby Dick: Inspired Visions – will pay homage to both the whaling culture of the Cape and the 200th anniversary of the birth of author Herman Melville. 

The artist, Peter Michael Martin, currently maintains a gallery in New Bedford, but has deep roots on the Cape. He spent 25 years in the Dennis Yarmouth School System. 

The exhibition features twenty-four pieces inspired by the great novel, including works never before exhibited, like a life-size kinetic wall sculpture of a Jonah being consumed by a whale.

Together, the exhibition can be viewed as one large-scale installation. Martin uses a recurring visual vocabulary, with highly contrasting, black-on-white, cut paper or cut Tyvek silhouettes. Other works are made from sailcloth, and one is a grouping of period sailor’s shirts, hanging ghostlike from the rafters.

Martin, renowned for his larger-than-life pieces, transforms the museum’s grand Hope/McClennen Gallery from floor to ceiling.

Inspired during a chance meeting with a Melville lecturer seven years ago, Martin later learned that one of his ancestor’s was buried at sea after being crushed by a heavy slab of whale blubber while working as a crewman on a whaling ship out of New Bedford at the age of 25.

Martin lives across Buzzards Bay in Mattapoisett, but he has deep roots on the Cape. He spent twenty-five years as a Special Education Teacher in the Dennis-Yarmouth School System. He officially retired from teaching in 2009, at that point teaching at Old Roster Regional High School in Mattapoisett, to pursue a full-time career as an artist.

By TIM DUNN, News Center 

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