Graphic of Jo Hay, Mark Adams, and Julia Cumes

Jo Hay, Mark Adams, and Julia Cumes to Discuss the Creative Process at Cultural Center

April 17, 2024 (Cape Cod, MA) – What drives artists to create? How do creatives overcome setbacks in their lives? How can art make a difference in addressing societal issues?

These are just a few of the questions that painter Jo Hay of Provincetown, visual artist, cartographer, naturalist, and printmaker Mark Adams of Truro, and photographer Julia Cumes of Brewster, will tackle on Wednesday, April 24, 5-7 pm, during a panel discussion at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth.

All three have been recognized for their work by the Arts Foundation as its Artist of the Year. Hay was selected in 2022, Adams in 2023, and Cumes this year.

The Arts Foundation will be bringing the trio together as part of a panel discussion to gain insight into their creative process, their artistic journeys, and what drives them. The event will be moderated by Arts Foundation Executive Director Julie Wake and visual artist and teacher Pete Hocking of Truro.

“Whether you’re an artist or an art enthusiast, this will be a captivating conversation between some of the region’s most talented creatives,” said Wake. “It will offer inspiration to anyone who is pursuing a career in the arts. And it will show everyone how the arts can make a meaningful impact locally, nationally, and globally.”

Hay was selected as the Arts Foundation’s inaugural Artist of the Year while in the midst of her Persisters portrait series. Started in 2016 in response to the political climate in the United States, Hay has created large-scale paintings of nearly two dozen trailblazing women that have included Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, poet Amanda Gorman, tennis great Billie Jean King, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

She has since added famous rock stars to her repertoire, painting such luminaries as David Bowie, Sir Elton John, George Michael, and Freddie Mercury.

“I am looking forward to an exciting and invigorating discussion with Mark Adams and Julia Cumes,” said Hay. “We each, in our own way, record our different responses to life around us. But in the making of our work, I believe we are also discussing the same thing — the human experience and what it is to be alive.”

Adams has used his art to highlight the vulnerability of the environment, our connection to nature, and our responsibility to protect the Earth’s fragile ecosystem. The Center for Coastal Studies’ first-ever Scientist/Artist-In-Residence, Adams works in ink, watercolor, acrylic, oil on wood, unstretched canvas, and sketchbook, often combining mapping, text, and painting to inspire viewers to explore and interact with his art.

In February, the Arts Foundation announced that photographer Julie Cumes was chosen to join Hay and Adams in receiving its annual award which recognizes a Cape-based artist whose work shapes thought, inspires change, and creates a deeper sense of connection in the community.

Since she was a child growing up in apartheid-era South Africa, Cumes has used her lens as a vehicle for telling stories and revealing truth. Her photos have appeared in the Boston Globe, New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, and USA Today, among others.

She has traveled the world, helping IFAW document the importance of environmental and wildlife conservation as well as the aftermath of several of the world’s natural disasters. Her most recent portrait series, “Trans(formation),” explores gender identity on Cape Cod. Her other projects have included a series featuring Cape Cod women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I’m honored to share the stage with Jo Hay and Mark Adams,” said Cumes. “I look forward to a rich exchange of ideas and experiences that highlight our unique connections to the Cape’s vibrant arts scene.”

To register for the April 24th discussion with Jo Hay, Mark Adams, and Julia Cumes, click this link