Exhibit - Man on the Marsh: Ed Chesnovitch

Saturday, Jan 23, 2021 at 10:00am

Cape Cod Museum of Art
60 Hope Lane
Dennis, MA 02638

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I’m a washashore.

I first visited Cape Cod twenty-seven years ago. I was drawn to this elbow of land that stretches out to sea; it permeated my innermost self, and I knew immediately, that one day, I would call this incredible place home.

Twelve years ago I purchased a run-down cottage on the salt marsh banks of Scorton Creek, in scenic East Sandwich. I had come from the vastly different landscape of Pennsylvania to my new home with views of Scorton as my back yard. Shortly after, I was fortunate to acquire the historic “Bird Barn” also on the banks of Scorton, as my working studio, a short kayak from my cottage.

I was unfamiliar with this unique marsh terrain. It was very odd, and far different from any landscape I had ever experienced. The broad flatness with its sculpted, soggy wet banks of salty peat, the grassy vegetation, odd smells and uncanny gurgling sounds, it was wonderfully strange and all too sublime.

Scorton Creek is a twisting tidal river with many tributaries that connect a large salt marsh system with Cape Cod Bay. “Scorton,” (or “Scauton,” as it was called by the English) is an ancient Indian name, derived from “squalk,” the Indian name of an aquatic bird, and “o-tan” meaning town or village. Scorton, along with all of Cape Cod’s marshes, is one of the last natural ecosystems in the Northeast.

Beyond a visual treat, the unspoiled wetlands of Scorton marsh are a nature-lovers paradise. An abundance of wildlife calls this vast prairie of marsh their home. 

This vibrant estuary is continually renewed every day with an ebb and flow of each rising tide. The briny earthen aroma of this renewal is indicative only to a salt marsh and it peculiarly intoxicates me. The marsh can be both invigorating and peaceful, mysterious and magnificent, placid yet teaming with energy and life. This juxtaposition fascinates me. It's a special place of spectacular splendor, where I can slow down, breathe the air, meditate on the peace and quiet of nature, and create.

Shapes, interaction of color, pattern and the rhythm of lights and darks drive my marsh inspired paintings. The color mood of a scene completely compels me to explore the interrelation of shades and hues.

This sensory experience is heightened by an underlying current of energy, captured in nature at extreme and fleeting moments. The late afternoon light of a cold October day pouring across the golden marsh grass, or the quiet hush of an early morning bathed in soothing pinks....it all thrills me. I’m obsessed with color and light. Color perception changes based on nearby colors. I get goosebumps when I place one color next to another and can make it vibrate, or equally to make it push back or pull forward. All this has led me to become more of a process painter. Building up marks and layers upon layers of paint to create depth. Adding paint and taking off paint. The painting process is as important to me as the outcome. I am frequently walking the marsh for inspiration. Spending hours upon hours observing/recording; via notans, sketches, color studies and photography. Taking it all back to the studio to dissect and rearrange it all into pleasing compositions. From there it’s anyone’s guess where the painting will go!

I jokingly liken my marsh journey and experience, to the first man landing on the moon. The marsh has been my exploration in space and place. I live and work on the marsh. I am surrounded by it, it is my life. I paint what I know, and what has become familiar to me. This endlessly complex and fascinating place has my entire attention. It’s an extremely intimate and personal relationship that has awakened my soul, and I am forever grateful.

I am so honored and thrilled to have Man on the Marsh, my first solo museum exhibition, at Cape Cod Museum of Art.

This exhibit is dedicated to my Dad, who left this earth on November 13, 2020.

- Ed Chesnovitch

Exhibit Date: 
Dec 4, 2020 to Feb 7, 2021.

General Museum Admission

Adults: $10
Seniors, 62+: $8
Ages 13-18 years: $7

Students 19+: $7 (with ID)
Members; Children 12 and under: Free

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