In June, the South Shore Art Center hosts its annual Arts Festival on the Cohasset Common. The weekend is a celebration of the arts allowing South Shore Art Center members who are painters, printmakers, ceramists, photographers and more, to present their work to locals. This exchange, providing artists exhibition opportunities as well as introducing local art to the community, has been South Shore Art Center’s mission since 1955, and the continued effort is one of many charges for new executive director Patrice Maye.
Maye started as South Shore Art Center’s executive director in April of this year, taking over for Sarah Hannan, who held the position since 1996. A Scituate resident, Maye comes to the position with 16 years of experience working for Artists for Humanity in Boston. She was part of the capital campaign to build the new EpiCenter in Boston. Locally, Maye is a former chair of the Scituate Cultural Council and she is a founding member and volunteer executive director of the Scituate Harbor Cultural District. “The more I became active in the community, the more I realized how much I enjoy being part of the cultural activities here. I love Artists for Humanity and I love the fact that I have been able to contribute to that organization’s growth, but it’s not in my backyard,” says Maye. “I have two sons, 14 and 9, and I really want them to be part of a community that is more cognizant of the role arts play in the economy and also how the arts can help us define who we are as people.”
“I think the remoteness of where we are is both a challenge and an opportunity,” says Maye, a poet herself. The South Shore Art Center provides members with two opportunities each year to display their work. Another challenge is attracting an audience—something Maye is paying attention to. “One of my goals is to have outreach be more intentional and more pervasive so people understand what is happening here and they know there are free arts experiences happening every day,” says Maye.
The first arts festival took place 62 years ago. Works were pinned to clotheslines and easels, decorated with finished art, leaned against trees in Cohasset Common. While the event has grown in size, the basic philosophy—to inspire, discuss, sell and celebrate art—has remained the same. This year’s festival will run Thursday, June 15 through Sunday, June 18. For more information on events, visit ssac.org.
June 15: This year’s festival kicks off with an exhibit by nationally celebrated maritime photographer, Michael Kahn.
June 16: Music by local Aldous Collins Band will fill the Bancroft and Dillon Galleries on Friday night inviting the community into the space for food, drink and dancing.
June 17 & 18: Cohasset Common will be covered in tents that are filled with art by local artists. A children’s tent will have crafts for kids, and live music will be played throughout the weekend on the stage.