Presenting the history of American Art as seen through the eyes of Provincetown

Elspeth Halvorsen



Viewing Elspeth Halvorsen’s box constructions is a lot like a walk in the moonlight. What we know – or think – to be true in the hard brightness of daytime reality dissolves into an amorphous space of multiple possibilities and perspectives. Describing these constructions Boston Globe art critic McQuaid wrote “a container becomes the state for an insinuating abstract narrative”.

Halvorsen’s work is often about her artistic response to global and personal events, whether Tiannamin Square, September 11th (“The Whole World is Watching”) or the celebration of gay marriage. Utilizing formal elements that sometimes hint at surrealism, she constructs still, poetic worlds from her vocabulary of icons that include the ubiquitous suspended sphere - whether a moon, circle, egg, a windowshade toggle or mirrors, that imbue her environments, and an occasional female torso or animal form. Sand, metal, string and many other objects are often employed as well. Like her own artistic tarot deck, Halvorsen recombines these – and other - symbolic elements into visual statements that sometimes read like minimalist theatre settings – always with a powerful subtlety reminiscent of haiku.

Halvorsen was instrumental in organizing the much-heralded cooperative Rising Tide Gallery, and is not only a specially talented sculptor, but is the wife and mother the unique Vevers family of artists: her husband, painter Tony Vevers and daughters, artist Tabitha Vevers and filmmaker Stephanie Vevers. Recently celebrating her 75th Birthday, Halvorsen has worked and lived in Provincetown for 50 years.