The Great Brush-Off

A visitor looks for the perfect painting to bring home.


It’s fun, it’s festive, it’s full of... paint! The Great Brush-Off! is a very Cape Cod way to celebrate Cape Cod; you’ll even have a chance to take a piece of Cape Cod home with you, hang it on the wall and feel good about supporting the arts, while you’re at it.


On Saturday, July 8, the Cahoon Museum will host this unique annual event. More than 100 local artists spread out all over Cotuit, the Museum’s home town. Armed with easels, palettes, brushes and tubes of paint, they set to work doing what Cape Cod artists have been doing for a hundred years – paint. Some set up their easels in private gardens, while others head for the dunes. Still others can be seen right on the sidewalks, painting a picturesque house or the charming village green.


Meanwhile, folks begin to gather at the very same village green, armed with folding chairs. They’re drawn by the festive sounds of the live entertainment by the popular band, Four Guys in Tuxes, who play everything from swing to pop. While you’re humming to the familiar tunes, the kids are delighted by the clown’s antics. It’s a real community and family event, and it’s free of charge. You can buy a lunch of hamburgers or hot dogs cooked on the grill, meet and greet your neighbors, and stroll around the silent auction tables.


The art auctions are the real attraction for art-lovers. The silent auction begins at 10 a.m., while the live auction of works produced that very morning, starts at 2:00 pm. Wet or dry, paintings from either auction are framed and ready to hang (if it’s still wet from the morning’s work, handle with care!) People can bid on paintings by the very artists they noticed all over town in the morning. These are all Cape Cod scenes, celebrating the famous Cape Cod light. The proceeds benefit the Museum, which not only houses the whimsical works of Ralph and Martha Cahoon and other early American artists, but also showcases the work of contemporary Cape artists as well as hosting lectures, classes and other art-related events.


With more than a hundred twenty paintings to choose from, there’s something that will pique the fancy of everyone. Boats, dunes, a rose-covered cottage, a windmill – what would you like to hang on your wall, to look at and dream on during the long winter months? These scenes by well-known artists such as Jayne Shelley-Pierce and Anne Boucher can be had, some of them, for bargain prices, all while the children are romping and you’re happily munching on a burger and chips, waving to friends and listening to live music.


“It really is a wonderful community event,” says Cindy Nickerson, director of the Museum. “This will be our sixteenth year, and it seems it just gets better every year, as the word gets out, both to artists and art-lovers. We all have a great time.”


The Great Brush-Off! – a delightful way to spend a summer afternoon, and very, very Cape Cod. And it’s all for a good cause.