MassDevelopment Taps Three Creatives for Artist-in-Residence in Downtown Hyannis

Rachael Devaney, Deanna Nagle, and Lily Olin will spend four weeks developing individual art projects that elicit dialogue, evoke emotion, and inspire thought

November 19, 2020 (Hyannis, MA) – This month, Rachael Devaney of Onset, Deanna Nagle of Hyannis, and Lily Olin of Brewster are embarking on a four-week journey to create individual pieces of art that will challenge the existing narratives of life on Cape Cod.

The artists’ residency program was developed by the Hyannis Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Partnership. MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative is a program for Gateway Cities designed to accelerate economic growth within focused districts. The program works with cross-sector partnerships to engage community members in actionable planning, implement local economic development initiatives, and spur further public and private investment.

Along with an artist stipend, the trio are being given access to free studio space in downtown Hyannis to complete projects that will add to the cultural vibrancy of this section of the Cape. A gallery walk is scheduled for Saturday, December 5, when the public is invited to safely view the three projects and learn about how they were created and their significance from the artists themselves.

A freelance reporter and photojournalist, Devaney grew up in Centerville. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, graduating with a double major in journalism, and social thought and political economy. Her work has appeared in the Cape Cod Times, The Barnstable Patriot, Cape Cod Life, Southern New England Weddings Magazine, and Falmouth Magazine.

She will be conducting her residency at The Studio on Center Street, a space that once served as a train maintenance building.

Devaney has already identified her project. She will be blowing up life-sized photos of local civil rights activists who protested the violent death of George Floyd in May at the hands of Minneapolis police. Each person’s photo will be accompanied with a narrative detailing their individual story.

“Everybody has a story. Everybody has something to say,” Devaney said. “The fact these people trusted me to tell their story is really special and really important. What I get out of it is that connection and passing these stories along and making sure people’s voices are heard.”

Mary-Ann Agresti, principal of The Design Initiative and owner of The Studio, said she was excited to be a part of this program. “When Rachael came here, she saw how much open area she has to work with and said, ‘I can do what I was hoping to do’ and create these full-sized portraits to display here,” Agresti said. “Where she works at home, she doesn’t have the space to do something like this. This is an opportunity for these artists to do something they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.”

Olin is a visual artist who leans towards abstract expressionism with representational elements.

She grew up on Cape Cod, graduating from Nauset Regional High School before attending Bennington College in Vermont, where she received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts and humanities. Last year, she received her Masters of Fine Arts in studio art from SUNY University at Albany. She is currently a teaching assistant in the Nauset District Public Schools system.

“I’m grateful for this time to really kind of focus on my art and my art career,” she said of her residency. “Art has been really meditative and a type of solace for me to lose myself in my work and put the news and all the negativity away and really be myself. Art has been kind of transformative, not just for my personal journey but my artistic one. Getting lost in the creative process has been a gift.”

Olin will be conducting her residency at 255 Main Street, a building that once served as the home to the Hyannis Board of Trade in the early 1900s and which was recently renovated, featuring 10 apartments as well as retail space, by CapeBuilt Development.

Nagle, who recently moved to the Cape from South Carolina, discovered her artistic talents following three separate traumatic brain injuries, starting with a car accident in 2017.

Over the past three years, she has expressed herself through the creation of one-of-a-kind fashion accessories. “My ideas come from the inside,” she said. “Usually art is where you look at the world around you, take it in, and interpret it.”

Her residency is at Studio 50 @ Pearl | Hyannis HyArts Arts Campus, a studio owned by the Town of Barnstable. “This to me means everything,” Nagle said. “It’s a way for me to tell my story. I tell it through my pieces versus my words. …I may have completely lost my purpose if I had not had art in my life. It has been therapy for me.”

Melissa Chartrand, the arts and culture coordinator for the Town of Barnstable, said “this is the type of programming the town has long envisioned for the HyArts arts campus in downtown Hyannis. This is also a tremendous opportunity for these three artists to immerse themselves in the fabric of our downtown community and discover the various layers and stories that follow, and how they will intertwine with each of the participant’s creative journey.”

The program represents a collaboration between public entities, private businesses, and the nonprofit sector to support artists and strengthen the vitality of a community through public art. Along with MassDevelopment, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod (AFCC), the Town of Barnstable, the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District (BID), CapeBuilt Development, The Design Initiative, The Studio, and The Cordial Eye Gallery and Artist Space are working together to make the residencies possible.

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.


Media Contact:

Julie Wake, Executive Director, Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, 508-360-3612,