Hyannis’ Artist Shanties by the Sea
Discover Unique Local Artists on Cape Cod
The Hyannis HyArts Artist Shanties are anything but stuffy and hoity-toity. For a unique departure from the traditional gallery experience, stroll along beautiful Hyannis Harbor and meet over 90 local artists selling a wide variety of crafts. Located in two spots—Bismore Park (180 Ocean St) and the Harbor Overlook (51 Ocean St, at the corner of South St & Ocean St)—these colorful seaside studios create a picturesque setting for viewing art.
“It’s a wonderful program,” says Melissa Chartrand, the Arts & Culture Coordinator for the Town of Barnstable. “It’s all about Cape Cod artists and artisans.”
This abundance of artists and artisans means the Shanties are full of unique and handcrafted goods, so there’s something for everyone. Decorate your home with beautiful oil paintings and photographs of Cape Cod. Get a delicate suncatcher for the window or a new tote bag for your next beach trip. Find jewelry made from blown glass, metal, sea glass, and more. Mariner knotwork and wood carvings are a perfect gift for a family member back home. Get a ceramic flower vase for mom’s birthday or a handmade blanket for a newborn. Browsing is free, but with all the goods on display, don’t be surprised if you walk out with something you didn’t know you wanted.
What originally began with eleven artists now has 90 rotating artists; 12 each week distributed across two locations. “It’s a little competitive these days,” says Chartrand. "What happens is everybody loves the experience so much, and we only have so many spaces.”
Established in 2005, the Shanties nurture and celebrate the creativity of Cape Cod’s most talented artists, both established and new. It’s an “incubator program” designed to give artists a chance to work and sell their pieces in an affordable gallery space. This lets them find new clientele, make friends with fellow artists, and make a living doing what they love.
The Artist Shanties bring the entire Hyannis community together to allow visitors to see the town at its most vibrant. Bring the family for a gorgeous day out while admiring the works of such talented artists. After, take some time to enjoy Hyannis’ other amenities; walk along Main Street and step into the local shops.
For dinner, there are over 40 restaurants along Main Street and several overlooking Hyannis Inner Harbor. Settle down at a picnic table at either shanty location and enjoy live music and performing artists while you eat.
Each year the Shanties are set up in May and run weekly through Columbus Day, but they’ve proven so popular that they’ve added extra dates. Chartrand says, “One of the things that’s exciting and new this year is an extended Fall season.” Keep an eye out for special weekends in October and November; on Black Friday and Shop Local Saturday, the Shanties will even be decorated to look like gingerbread houses.
Tip: Enjoy complimentary six-hour parking in Town Hall, Red Cross, and North Street lots. Those fill up quickly, though, so there’s also metered lots at Ocean Street and Bismore Park.
By Digital Content Coordinator, ALLISON BENNETT
Photo Credit: Arts Barnstable
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