Carl Lopes Selected as Pops by the Sea Commemorative Artist

Lopes will discuss his artistic process on latest episode of Arts Foundation of Cape Cod’s Creative Exchange podcast which will be released on February 15th

February 11, 2020 (Hyannis, MA) – At a time when joy, light, and hope are needed more than ever, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod (AFCC) has tapped local creative Carl Lopes of Marstons Mills to deliver those as this year’s Citizens Bank Pops by the Sea commemorative artist. 

“We have wanted to work with Carl for years, and we feel like this is the perfect year for his art because it is joyful, bright, vibrant, and threaded with positive energy,” said AFCC Executive Director Julie Wake. “We also love that he was a longtime arts educator. As a teacher, Carl was a beacon of light and inspiration for so many children in our school system. His work in the classroom is a reminder of the vital role that the arts have in education.” 

On Monday, February 15th, Carl will appear on the AFCC’s Creative Exchange podcast where he will discuss his art and his work as an arts educator. The podcast may be heard on Apple, Spotify, or on the AFCC’s website.  

Originally from the New Bedford/Fairhaven area, Lopes came to Cape Cod in 1977 when he accepted a one-year post as a visual arts instructor at Barnstable High School. That job turned into a 35-year career; he spent the last 24 as the head of the school’s art and applied technology department. 

He juggled that job with his work as an artist, all while raising his two children, Jared and Andrea, with his wife, Kathy. 

“Being a teacher is magnificent in any subject, but it was even more so with art,” Carl said. “For me, it was like having two full-time jobs where I had a chance to create in my studio after I taught class for eight hours.” 

He retired in 2014, immersing himself fully in his craft. By that time, he had developed his current geometric, abstract style, which is influenced by African design and tradition. The vibrant colors, patterns, and compositions are rooted in his ethnicity as a third generation Cape Verdean-American. “A large part of my art is making a statement regarding who I am,” he said. “The importance of my design comes from my heritage.”

His latest work will reflect these base elements while embodying the Pops by the Sea concert that is held annually every August on the Hyannis Village Green. “Without giving too much away, what I’m trying to do is create a piece that is really pulling the Cape, in terms of its personality, together with the joy of music,” he said. “I’m taking elements from the Cape and turning them into patterns that represent music, but it’s being done in my own style.” 

As an AFCC board member, Carl was excited to be selected for this honor. “It’s a nice feeling to know people have confidence in you as an artist,” he said. 

He is hopeful that the finished product, which will be unveiled in April, will elicit similar feelings to his other works. “My paintings make you feel happy,” he said. “I want my pieces to have a positive vibe and a positive feel when people approach them, study them, and look at them.” 

The Pops project is the latest in Carl’s 50-year career as a painter. His work has been exhibited at the Zion Heritage Museum and the Guyer Barn Gallery, both in Hyannis; Colo Colo Gallery in New Bedford; Cotuit Center for the Arts; the Falmouth Art Center; and the Cape Cod Museum of Art. He is currently represented by Creative Hands Gallery in Osterville. 

Carl holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts and a Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. 

He currently sits on the boards of the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, the Cotuit Center for the Arts, and the Zion Union Heritage Museum, where he is a resident artist and lecturer on Cape Verdean culture.   

The unveiling will take place on Thursday, April 8 at 6 pm at the Cape Cod Museum of Art and will be streamed live over Zoom. The piece will be auctioned off at the AFCC’s auction on Thursday, June 17 at the Hyannisport Club.

About the AFCC

The AFCC’s mission is to support, promote, and celebrate the arts and culture of Cape Cod. It fulfills its mission by funding grants, fellowships, and scholarships; by advocating for more awareness on the impact the Cape’s creative economy has on our region and beyond; and by building a strong arts community network through membership.