As you walk along Commercial Street in Provincetown, you’ll come across quaint shops, restaurants, bakeries, and an alley filled with modern art! The Bob Gasoi Memorial Art Alley has become a landmark in downtown Provincetown and is a must-visit for anyone strolling along Commercial Street.
What is the Bob Gasoi Memorial Art Alley?
The Bob Gasoi Memorial Art Alley is an alleyway that takes up the corner of a store called Shop Therapy that was covered with murals in 1988. The murals depict images of:
- Greek mythology
- The Bible
- Alice in Wonderland
- 60’s psychedelia
- Eastern erotica
The images were rather controversial when they were first painted, as some of them are quite provocative. However, the town has come to embrace the alley as a landmark for tourists to view at their leisure.
Where is the Bob Gasoi Memorial Art Alley?
The Bob Gasoi Memorial Art Alley is located at 290 Commercial Street in Provincetown. The murals can be found on the facade of the building and in the adjoining alley.
Why Did Bob Gasoi Paint Murals in the Alley?
In the 80s, Provincetown selectman suggested that shops put up plywood when closed for the winter season. The owner of Shop Therapy, Ronny Hazel, took exception to the suggestion.
Shop Therapy was known as “anti-establishment” and wanted something that would represent their brand and stand out. Therefore, Ronny hired Bob Gasoi to create murals that were outspoken and wild on the outside of the shop.
It’s rumored that Ronny would tell stories of his travels to Bob that would inspire the murals that are still there today. Bob was even known to include the faces of store employees at the time as part of the murals.
How Much Does It Cost to Visit the Bob Gasoi Memorial Art Alley?
The Art Alley is free to visit. However, we do recommend going into Shop Therapy and looking around to get the store to get the full experience.
Who Was Bob Gasoi?
Bob was born in Brooklyn, New York, on May 22nd, 1931. He earned a degree in the Advancement of Science and Art from Cooper Union and worked as a set designer for the GI entertainment division during the Korean War.
He was actively involved in the anti-War movement in the 60s as part of the Veterans Against the War, which may have inspired some of his controversial art. He also had a particular endearment to the city of Rome, which is said to have inspired the Renaissance-style murals.
Bob moved to Provincetown in 1983. When he was hired to paint the murals, he was an artist living off scraps. Gasoi died in 1997 of natural causes, but his legacy and contribution to Provincetown live on through his murals.
Are There Other Places to See Art in Provincetown?
Provincetown is a vibrant community with plenty of places in which to see a wide array of art. One of our other favorite spots to appreciate the work of local artists is the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. Other popular spots include:
- Rice-Polak Gallery
- Bowersock Gallery
- Lyam-Eyer Gallery
- Charles-Balivik Gallery and Sculpture Garden
- Adam Peck Gallery
Most of the art galleries in Provincetown can be found on Commercial Street. Feel free to stop in while walking among the shops.
What Else is There to Do in Provincetown?
Besides art, there is plenty of other things to do and see in Provincetown. From Macmillan Pier and the Pilgrim Monument to exploring the neighboring dune shacks and National Seashore, there’s enough to keep you entertained for days. Check out some of our favorite sights in Provincetown to explore!