While strolling along Ocean Street in Hyannis, you’re sure to spot the colorful Hyannis Artist Shanties in Bismore Park and Harbor Overlook. Step inside, and you can pursue the works of local artists. The artists change weekly, and their works range from ceramics, mosaics, woodwork, fiber art, painting, jewelry, photography, glass, ropework, window art, and more!
During the summer months, the Hyannis Artist Shanties are open seven days a week, from at least 11 am to 8 pm, though many artists start early and stay late. Their wares are handmade, hand-designed, and handcrafted.
History of the Hyannis Artist Shanties
The town-run Hyannis artists’ shanties were created as affordable rental space for Cape Cod artists and artisans to work from ‘seaside studios. They began in 2005 with eleven artists and have now grown to include almost 100 artists that rotate throughout the season! Visit the Arts Barnstable website for listings and descriptions of the 2021 HyArts Shanty Artists. The shanties provide visibility and opportunity for artists to sell their works and a great activity for visitors and art lovers alike!
There are seven Hyannis artist shanties at Bismore Park, each named for one of the villages in the town of Barnstable: Hyannis, Osterville, Marstons Mills, Cotuit, Barnstable Village, Centerville, West Barnstable. The structures are outfitted with depictions of the villages past and present.
It’s a wonderful stroll between Hyannis artist shanties and along the harbor front. Enjoy browsing the art or support local artists by bringing a piece of the Cape arts scene home with you! The three Harbor Overlook shanties are named for Barnstable town beaches: Sandy Neck, Craigville, and Keyes Beaches.
Exploring the HyArts Cultural District
The shanties are part of the Hyannis HyArts Cultural District, which was designated by the state in 2012. The HyArts District was created to “support the creative economy while creating a vibrant backdrop for year-round residents and visitors” The Hyannis district was the first of its kind on the Cape (Other cultural districts on the Cape and Islands now include Aquinnah Circle Cultural and Historic District, Nantucket Cultural District, Orleans Village Center Cultural District, Glass Town Cultural District in Sandwich, and the Vineyard Haven Harbor Cultural District).
In addition to the artist shanties at Bismore Park and Harbor Overlook, the HyArts Cultural District includes Aselton Park, the HyArts Campus on Pear Street, and Guyer Barn. Aselton Park is an outdoor performing arts center that includes the public art installation known as “Buoyed Coasts.” The HyArts Campus on Pear Street includes two homes that have been renovated as spaces for artists to live and work, including shared studio and gallery space. This campus is also home to Guyer Barn, a year-round community art space, working artist studio, and art gallery space.
Strolling in the park exploring the Hyannis Artists Shanties are a great way to spend a summer afternoon as well as a chance support the local artists here on Cape Cod. As the artists rotate weekly, you are always sure to find new artistic inspirations, tasteful gifts or Cape Cod home decor as many times as you chose to visit. Because the shanties are so intimate, it provides the perfect venue to get to meet the artists while exploring their work.
A visit to the Hyannis Artists Shanties can be a destination in itself or maybe part of your day trip to Hyannis. Either way you will find the the shanties conveniently located to restaurants if you want to enjoy lunch on the waterfront. Or pick up a quick bite to eat at the Snack Shack adjacent to the Harbor Overlook Shanties and explore further by following the JFK Legacy Trail to the JFK Museum or travel along the bay to check out the Cape Cod Maritime Museum and the Cook Boat Shop.