PROVINCETOWN – This previous weekend, 1,000 individuals have been strolling around Provincetown sporting Jerome Greene’s paintings. In his own means, he painted the town. It’s what he’s executed since he arrived 12 years in the past.
From the East Finish, where 18 items of his paintings had a gap at the Arthur Egeli Gallery to the West Finish and all via the middle of town, have been people sporting blue shirts that includes Greene’s painting of the boats, “Pat Sea” and “Joan & Tom”.
His painting of the 2 iconic Provincetown fishing boats that sank collectively in 2005 was featured on the T-shirt of the Portuguese Pageant and the 72nd “Blessing Of the Fleet,” which was this previous weekend.
“My job as an artist, what I’ve taken on, is to capture my period in Provincetown, my time in Provincetown.” – Jerome Greene
Greene stated the Portuguese population and particularly the fishing business was “the longtime heart of this community.” And, he stated that using his paintings “to celebrate that part of the town is really an honor. It’s kind of like a welcoming into town after 12 years.”
Greene seems a lot welcome in Provincetown as sidekick/frontman for The Broke Brothers band; the upkeep man at the High quality Arts Work Middle (where he has a studio); and, especially as an artist who has proven work at the Arthur Egeli Gallery for 5 years.
With an eclectic, bohemian, and well-rounded background that has all the time featured artwork, Greene, 57, has slowly wandered from his roots in New Britain, Connecticut to, ultimately Provincetown, the place he instantly, over the course of a few years, discovered his house.
“Always kind of a free spirit”
Greene’s father was “a commercial artist and an art teacher. He was a commercial design professor at Central Connecticut State University,” he stated.
The second youngest of seven youngsters, Greene stated, “I grew up around art.” He hung out as a toddler going to art festivals, and, he stated, all of his siblings are artistic.
As a toddler, Greene stated, “my parents would dump me off at my brother’s place,” where he would watch his brother, Ray, brother 14 years older, do his own paintings – sculpting, painting and such.
“I was young, 10 or 11 years old,” he recalled. “I’d go there and watch him work, mind the store.”
His brother, who died in 2007, would “give me a ream of paper and say, ‘Draw stuff, man,’ while he got stoned out back,” stated Greene.
“He was a hippie dude,” stated Greene. “Then we’d go camping at night on the Farmington River and throw potatoes and onions on the fire and eat them smothered in butter… It was the greatest little childhood anybody could ever ask for.”
Reflecting again on his childhood, he stated, “I think I was an artist then. I was a real creative kid, always making something, doing something.”
And, he recalled, “I was always kind of a free spirit and didn’t want to be bothered by the normal anything.”
When informed that it sounded like the thoughts of someone ultimately sure for the arts group of Provincetown, Greene agreed.
But like most of the artists who find themselves, literally and figuratively, in Provincetown, Greene’s path took many turns.
North Dakota, Connecticut, Falmouth, Mashpee, Hyannis, Orleans, Eastham…
During his life, Greene has not been afraid to say, “Screw it, I’m not locked into this job.”
It’s a philosophy that brought him to the Cape from Connecticut, the place he moved after leaving North Dakota when he attended school for two years but found it “so boring.” He had moved to North Dakota after highschool to work with one in every of his brothers within the concrete business.
Greene has all the time worked within the trades. In North Dakota, where he went to school within the winter “because it was too cold to do anything else,” he was a concrete finisher who worked on many tasks.
His concrete finisher claim to fame, as it have been, was “all the manholes in Bismark, North Dakota for five years were done by me and my brother,” stated Greene.
He thought-about pursuing a profession as an artwork historical past instructor, but after finding himself tired of school, he moved again to Connecticut. Again in his house state, Green serendipitously by means of a pal turned a roadie of types for the James Montgomery Band, a well-liked blues band that also excursions New England, including Cape Cod.
In the mid 1980s, while on the Cape with the band, Greene met a lady who turned his spouse for 11 years. When he met her, he stated, “I moved to the Cape two weeks later.”
He moved to Falmouth, then Mashpee and became a tradesman. Greene knew he might work anyplace.
“I was always kind of a free spirit and didn’t want to be bothered by the normal anything.” – Jerome Greene
And his love of art, from again in childhood, by no means left. All the time, he stated, he had a sketchbook with him. From Connecticut to North Dakota, again to Connecticut and onto Cape Cod, the artist inside him continued and grew.
After a divorce, Greene moved to Hyannis where he labored as a bouncer for a number of years at Harry’s Blues Bar on Depot Road. For a while, the bar had his murals on the partitions. Greene lived in Hyannis for more than half a decade earlier than shifting to Orleans in 2002.
When he moved to Orleans, he opened his own gallery, Jerome Greene Wonderful Artwork, in Dennis. It was open about five years, he stated, until the financial system tanked in 2007 and other people stopped buying artwork. He closed the gallery, moved to Eastham and slowly started, unknowingly it seems, shifting to Provincetown.
Discovering “like-minded people… who don’t really fit the norm.”
As a working artist on the Cape for several years, Greene had gotten to know other artists and, by means of a connection, acquired invited a number of occasions as a guest to The Beachcomber’s Membership. The famous but principally unknown long-running membership seems to be one thing of an artist’s bohemian model of Yales’s “Skull & Bones”.
The Beachcomber’s Membership, founded in 1916, which has a discreet, unmarked clubhouse within the East Finish of Provincetown, “is a club for artists and writers,” stated Greene.
He recalled his first go to: “I was invited to this thing. When I walked in the door, it was like I had walked into this fort I had built when I was 12 years old with my buddies,” stated Greene.
He had found his kindred spirits.
“I was surrounded by writers and artists and creators and people who don’t really fit the norm,” he stated. “I fit right in.”
Ultimately, he was requested to hitch as a member. “It’s not often that I would join anything,” stated Greene. “But when they asked if I would like to be a member, I said, ‘Are you kidding me? It’s what I’ve always imagined.”
He was dwelling in Eastham at the time when a position as caretaker of the club opened up. It was a job that fit his skillset and it was a spot that felt like house. He took the job.
Life As An Artist in Provincetown
Greene stayed in Eastham for a bit, however ultimately moved to Provincetown. Reflecting again, he stated he had all the time been intrigued by the artwork colony on the town.
He found a cheap small studio to work in and he typically stayed there at night time.
“I drifted between my studio and places I could live cheap. Twelve years ago, you could still find a place in the winter for $600 a month. Half the time, I worked it off in trade for different landlords,” stated Greene.
He now works on the Fantastic Arts Work Middle as the maintenance man. He also lives on the property and has his studio there. By working on the middle, Greene stated, “I’m surrounded by the best and the brightest of the emerging artists and writers.”
He additionally joined a band a number of years ago, by way of associates at the Beachcomber’s Membership. He’s the sidekick/frontman/jokester/ice cube tray soloist for The Broke Brothers band, which plays virtually solely on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. at the Previous Colony Faucet.
Greene’s percussion instrument within the band is an ice cube tray, “a 1947 Kelvinator tray” and a one-inch flat bristle brush paintbrush, which he makes use of to bang on the ice dice tray. “I wouldn’t know which end of a drumstick to use. I can only use a paintbrush,” he stated.
The band is an outlet to hang together with his pals for “a bunch of role playing. It’s every kid’s dream to be in a band,” he stated. However it’s his artwork that’s his true passion.
When Greene first settled in town and obtained his bearings, he stated, “I wanted to be known as a Provincetown artist… if you can make it in Provincetown as an artist, then you have made it as an artist.”
Of his art, Greene stated, “My main focus is painting from life.” His favourite is En plein air, or painting outside, and far of his work features life in town. “My job as an artist, what I’ve taken on, is to capture my period in Provincetown, my time in Provincetown.”
Greene, who collects local artwork, stated, “My collection has a few different older Provincetown pieces. Guys that were doing the same thing I’m doing, but they were doing it 100 years ago.”
“There’s a certain oneness with anybody who’s been a Provincetown artist,” he stated.
And whereas there’s that oneness, there’s also the individuality of artwork. “Part of what I do, part of what makes me an artist,” stated Greene, “is I am the raconteur. I am the the guy that has a story, and every painting has a story.”
The Artist On The Shirt
Greene just isn’t Portuguese. “Not even a smidgen,” he stated. “I never even had a Portuguese girlfriend.”
What he did have was deep admiration for the Portuguese group’s lengthy historical past on the town in addition to a great good friend on the organizing committee for the Portuguese Pageant.
For the past 30 years or so, the pageant has picked an area artist to have a design on the official T-shirt, and two years in the past Greene was approached to do that yr’s shirt.
He was asked to color the two boats that sank collectively in 2005. The boats, “Pat Sea” and “Joan & Tom” have been boats that Greene had admired and, he stated, he wished he had painted once they around.
As an alternative, he worked with “a compilation of photographs” offered by a good friend, Steve Kennedy, “who has been painting the fishing fleet and photographing the fishing fleet for decades,” stated Greene.
He donated the portray, which was auctioned off and purchased by Napi Van Dereck, owner of Napi’s restaurant, stated Greene.
But in some methods, one thousand individuals purchased it. On the Saturday of the pageant weekend, they have been all over city. It “was probably the most exposure I’ve had in my lifetime,” he stated.
“A few people asked me to sign my shirts for them,” he stated.
Full Disclosure, One Remaining Notice
Many lifetimes ago for each Jerome Greene and myself, we have been fairly good pals for a few half decade. It was when he lived on the Higher Cape and labored full time within the trades.
I had recognized he was an artist. He had proven me a few of his pencil sketches from his sketchbook, they usually have been superb.
And then we misplaced contact for about three many years, until I found that his paintings was appearing on the T-shirt for the Portuguese Pageant.
Discovering it was Jerome’s work being celebrated on the town, and that he was a full-time Provincetown artist, was one of the coolest discoveries of my life.
I can greatest describe it this manner: I take heed to lots of sports radio. I recall years in the past an older guy calling in and saying he performed minor league baseball with Mickey Mantle. After which the caller stated, “I knew Mickey Mantle before he was Mickey Mantle.”
Exactly. That is my story of Jerome Greene, Provincetown artist.
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Please see, narrated by the town garbageman, based mostly on the true story of a Cape Cod land deal, from Cape Cod Wave: YOU CAN’T SELL RIGHT FIELD, A Cape Cod Novel