Artist Derek Macara gives a little of himself
PROVINCETOWN – Derek Macara hasn’t met many people involved in both the fishing industry and the Provincetown arts community.
“It seems like it’s generally a bit separate,” Macara said in a recent interview. “But not in my family.
Macara is the artist whose painting “Victory II” appears on the booklet and t-shirt commemorating the Portuguese Provincetown Festival and this year’s Fleet Blessing. The F / V Victory II was one of many boats docked at what was once Macara Wharf, on the waterfront behind 337 Commercial St.
Macara donated the painting, which will be auctioned off as part of the festival, scheduled for June 25-27.
“The boat belonged to a cousin of mine,” Macara said. “It sank in 1984, before I was born. It was a boat that my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather owned, so it was passed down. It’s kind of a family business. I have the impression that the fishing fleet is not what it used to be, but it is good that this tradition continues.
Macara remembers the Blessing of the Fleet as a great event where friends and family got together, ate lots of good food, spent the day on the water and prayed for good luck to all the fishermen for the rest of the year.
He’s been on boats, and around art, his whole life. As a child, Macara lived next to the Charles Webster Hawthorne Barn and attended classes at the Hawthorne School of Art.
“I spent a lot of time there and learned a lot,” Macara said. “Peter Gee was an artist who owned it at the time. I also learned from Olga Gee, Peter’s wife.
Macara says the Hawthorne property was much bigger and more rustic, when he was there, with lots of cabins in the dunes. Now that land has been developed with condominiums, he said. Many other changes over the years have also happened in Provincetown, including the absence of a younger generation, Macara said.
“It was more affordable to live here,” he said. “And there were more jobs, like the fishing industry, where you could work as a fisherman and allow yourself to live here. Now it is much more difficult. I have a lot of people supporting me, which I’m grateful for, but it’s very difficult to be successful here as an artist.
Macara sells her work on her website and at Botanica, the Red Inn, the Lobster Pot restaurant and the new Treadwell Gallery. His influences include Trevor Mikula, John Dowd, Anne Packard and his uncle Peter Macara, who was deputy director of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum for several years.
He has more family in town than he can count.
“I’m related to everyone,” Macara said. “People tell me they are my cousin and I had no idea. I have lived here all my life. It will always be my home, even if I move. I think Portuguese culture is very tolerant of everyone, and that’s part of Provincetown.
WANT MORE INFORMATION?
To join Derek Macara, visit derekmacara.com
To learn more about the Portuguese Provincetown Festival, visit: https://provincetownportuguesefestival.com/