The HYArts district nurtures and celebrates the creativity and talent of established and emerging Cape Cod artists.
Walkway to the Sea
HyArts Walkway to the Sea and Public Art
Stroll along the HyArts DISTRICT Walkway to the Sea and enjoy various public art pieces in the downtown and waterfront areas of Hyannis.
A few hundred yards off Main Street is the grandeur of the ocean, the source of so much of Cape Cod's past and present prosperity. The Walkway to the Sea links our historic waterfront to the downtown Hyannis area. The wave-patterned brick path winds from Main Street at the Village Green all the way down to Bismore Park, Ocean Street and Hyannis Harbor.
Along the way are colorful art installations of lobster buoys. Visitors will stroll past a seasonal stage in Aselton Park, where free musical and theatrical performances are held in the evenings during the summer. Enjoy the view, soft grass and space to sit and reflect for awhile. Past Aselton, the walkway ends in Bismore Park, and the HyArts Shanties. Juried artists and artisans rent the sheds as both work space and selling arenas from May-Columbus Day weekend in October.
Walkway to the Sea History
Envisioned by renowned Architect Ben Thompson, the Walkway to the Sea was first rendered in 1962. Thompson, who received the Gold medal of the American Institute of Architects, the industry’s highest honor, was the first to recognize the significance of linking downtown Hyannis to its historic waterfront.
With a long history as the region’s center for commerce, Thompson and many before him recognized Hyannis as the capital of the Cape. Frequently revived over the years by community members, businessmen and town leaders, the Walkway to the Sea began its latest incarnation in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Private and public dollars, countless public hearings, and multitudes of consortia worked together to identify dollars to purchase blighted properties on the corner of South and Ocean Streets, to design and construct what is now known as Aselton Park, the historic Town Green and the long-awaited Walkway to the Sea. State funds were identified and then nearly lost to assist in the effort.
John Klimm, currently our Town Manager but the then State Representative, fought to restore state funds necessary to enhance and preserve the Cape’s natural beauty and in 1994 Cape Cod Bank and Trust Company pledged some $30,000 to partner with the Town of Barnstable to raze blighted buildings in what is now a beautiful park overlooking Hyannis Harbor. In the late 1990s state funds through the Executive Office of Housing and Urban Development were identified as the final pieces of the puzzle in the development of the Walkway to the Sea Project.
Countless groups, individuals and organizations participated in the development of this project over the many years following Ben Thompson’s original vision and include (but is not limited to): the Hyannis Chamber of Commerce, the Hyannis BID, the Hyannis Civic Association, the HADEDC Board, the Hyannis Vision Group, the Hyannis Main Street Waterfront Historic Commission, Barnstable Town Council, and individuals Dexter Leen and Shirlee Shaughnessy.
Walkway to the Sea highlights
Buoyed Coasts: Public Art Installation, Aselton Park, Ocean Street, Hyannis Visitors to Hyannis Harbor can enjoy the Town's seasonal public art installation, Buoyed Coasts, which consists of 50 lobster buoys mounted on 12’-19’ poles in ornamental grass beds. The buoys frame the harbor and create a display of color, light and kinetic motion drawing activity and attention to Aselton Park. They also serve as an advocacy piece to create awareness around the critical state of coastal waters quality in the area. The project heightens the awareness of the 81,000 daily visitors that pass through Hyannis Harbor to the nitrogen run-off problem threatening the Cape’s marine ecology. The color of the buoys represent the levels of water quality in the Northeast.
Art Around Town
725 Main Street, Hyannis: Walking Garden and Hummingbird sculpture
The property located at 725 Main Street, Hyannis, a former gas station, was acquired with funds from the Land Bank in 2001. The grounds were transformed into a beautiful, picturesque walking garden. The various perennials planted on site were chosen because they have a positive environmental impact: they thrive off pollutants in the ground. Brownfield sites and others in the area will benefit from the “725” garden as it acts as a nursery. These plants can easily be transplanted to other locations throughout the town and assist in pollution control. Visitors are encouraged to walk the garden and enjoy the beauty. The Growth Management Department, welcomed sculptor Donald Gerola to 725 Main Street, Hyannis for the unveiling of a special art installation on loan to the Town of Barnstable in October 2008. While Mr. Gerola seldom names his pieces, this piece is titled “The Hummingbird”. Cape Cod is familiar with rare hummingbird sightings as was discovered in Dennis this summer. Hyannis now has its own rare “Hummingbird”. Donald Gerola is a sculptor who moved from Pennsylvania to Rhode Island in 2006 when an invitation came to set up a collaborative in Pawtucket’s former textile mills. Mr. Gerola grew up fascinated with applied science, and studied Physics at The University of Dayton, Ohio. He mentored under his stepfather, William Borland, Chief of Materials for the stricken World Trade Centers, from whom he got his penchant for steel. All his sculptures are made from it. [see photo options for this section below]
Art around Town
Contemporary statues, David Lewis:
Iyannough, Hyannis Town Green
JFK statue, Old Town Hall building, Main St Hyannis
Brass bust of Enoch Cobb, Barnstable High School (main lobby near front door)
Native American statue, Barnstable High School (main lobby near front door)
Vernan Coleman murals:
School department, School Administration building, Hyannis, on landing between first and second floors
Restored murals in the Pope John Paul High School library and cafeteria.
Mural in the Tax Collectors office, Main Town Hall.
Mural in Centerville Public Library, not restored.
Ship mural, front hall, Main Town building
Barnstable Town Hall: Brass relief in Town Hall, second floor hearing room
Cobb Memorial garden at Barnstable High School. There is a water feature with a rolling stone. The surrounding walls have been painted with murals.