At Rest, 11x14 oil, by Jean Matson
At Rest, 11x14 oil, by Jean Matson

Art Exhibit Seeks to "Give Back"

Northside Artists and the Cultural Center of Cape Cod Collect Supplies for Troops

By Katie O'Sullivan

The Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth is host to hundreds of exhibiting artists every year, but the Northside Artists of Cape Cod are the first to invite the public to make their exhibit a drop-off site for supplies for the troops.

The ten artists, who all live on the Cape's north side and exhibit together as the Northside Artists, will show their paintings in the Cultural Center's Board Room gallery from November 30-December 11 with an opening reception slated for December 2 from 5-7 p.m.

Northsice Artists
Northside Artists of Cape Cod: (top L to R) Pat Nickerson, Jean Matson, Maria Blanck, Deb Stidsen, Daune Baker, Drew Stidsen, and Rosanne Francesconi (bottom L to R) Cathie Renza, Ginny Audino and Jeanne Bridges

Although they've only been a formal "group" for the last year, the Northside Artists have been painting together for over ten years.

"The theme that binds us together," explains Rosanne Francesconi, "is our love of art, our mutual support and encouragement of one another, and our desires to continue learning and to continue to improve in our artistic endeavors."

She says the group has taken plein air painting trips together, as well as painting excursions to a variety of locations as day trips (or extended for several days) to Provincetown, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Rockport, and Truro, just to name a few. The group also organizes field trips to museums and educational sessions, and has group photo shoots and critique sessions.

The ten artists maintain their own studios in addition to the group studio painting every week. They exhibit individually in several galleries across Cape Cod, and belong to many of the popular art organizations and associations across the Cape, in addition to the Northside Artist group.

Rosanne goes on to say, "Additionally, we are committed to giving back to the community and this is done in a variety of ways, our collection for our troops just one of the many ways."

During both the opening reception and for the length of the Cultural Center exhibition, the Northside Artists hope to collect materials sorely needed by American troops overseas.

As part of their mission to "give back to our country," the group has adopted a platoon of Marines currently serving in Afghanistan. Corporal James F. Baker, a Yarmouthport resident and son of a Northside member, Daune Baker, and Yarmouth firefighter Rupen Baker, is a member of this platoon: Mobil Assault Platoon #5, 1st BN, 25th Marines, nicknamed "New England's Own."

Poppies in Copper Vase, 9x12 oil, by Rosanne Francesconi
Poppies in Copper Vase, 9x12 oil,
by Rosanne Francesconi

During their exhibit, the artists will provide a container so that anyone who wishes to contribute may do so. They are collecting items such as baby wipes, acne face wipes, Tinactin foot powder, antibacterial ointment, Bandaids, sunblock, Gatorade powder mix, AA and AAA batteries, toothpaste, trail mix, granola bars, and power bars.

"Because we are both an arts center and a community center, we are especially pleased to be part of this opportunity for people to give something back to those who are so ably serving their country," said Cultural Center Executive Director Robert Nash, an Air Force veteran.

Circle of Stone, 9x12, oil on canvas, by Duane Baker
Circle of Stone, 9x12, oil on canvas, by Duane Baker

The Northside Artists will share an opening reception on Friday, December 2, with other artists exhibiting during the same time frame: "Cape Cod Waterworks," in the Great Hall; "One Woman's Treasure," assemblage art by Lauren Wolk, in the Blue Room; Mike Helfen, paintings and photographs, in the Vault.

For more information about the exhibits and other events at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, please visit

All images are courtesy of the Northside Artists.

Katie O'Sullivan lives on Cape Cod with her family. In addition to being the Editor of this magazine, she is a freelance writer, copy editor and published author of two romantic suspense novels.

For updates on her kids' latest adventures or the antics of her oversized Saint Bernard puppy, visit her blog.

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