'Local Reflections' On Exhibit At Highfield Hall During June

- "Trawlers at Sunset" is one of the acrylic paintings by Michael Meissner in his exhibit "Local Reflections," on view at Highfield Hall in Falmouth through June 25.

Highfield Hall & Gardens presents Michael Meissner’s first-time folk art exhibition of local nautical settings through June 25. Mr. Meissner captures the diversity of Cape Cod while he adds his own sense of whimsy to each local depiction.

Mr. Meissner admits to painting the way he feels and has resisted matching the styles introduced in art class. He defines his style as “primitive,” which is a common form of folk art.

“My interest in art began after I gave up capitalism,” Mr. Meissner said dryly.

His art career began later in life, after attending Miami (Ohio) University in Cincinnati, a tour with the US Army, obtaining an MBA and a full-time career with the Ford Motor Company.

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He first attempted to paint his two dogs on a piece of plywood with an old brush and some house paint out of his garage. He then reproduced his next painting for a Christmas card for his friends. His card was a hit and his friends encouraged him to paint more. He began painting regularly—about six paintings a year—and now has more than 30 pieces in his collection.

“You do the math, that makes me really old,” he said.

Mr. Meissner continued, “I’m right at home painting next to my garbage cans in the garage. If it gets too cold my wife lets me move inside the house. I love looking at the water and since I grew up near  a river, Cape Cod has been perfect inspiration for my work.” 

The vibrant acrylic paintings included in this large exhibit feature some of the most familiar and well-loved seaside spots in Falmouth and Woods Hole, including Surf Drive, the Clam Shack, the Island Queen, Captain Kidds, Woods Hole pier and Nobska Lighthouse.

Highfield Hall gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM and Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM. A $5 donation to Highfield Hall & Gardens is encouraged; members are admitted free.

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