Simple Gifts: Contemporary Art Installation at the Oldest House

Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist Zenas Hutcheson returns to Nantucket for one of the island’s first exterior art installations. Installing his polychromatic Nantucket landscape photographs outside of the Jethro Coffin House (c. 1686) as a means of activating the historic site and reimagining exhibitions during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The artist asks the question: amidst pestilence and environmental crisis, how will Nantucket’s human history and landscape lead us into tomorrow?

Hutcheson’s work will be on display for one day only. An artist talk begins at 4:45 pm, followed by a reception.

Zenas Hutcheson is a contemporary artist. His principal artistic concerns are promoting empathy, exploring humanity’s darkness, dismantling commodification, and nurturing the soul. In the last several years, his aesthetic investigations have included nuclear weapons, presidential libraries, public utilities, civic infrastructure, architecture, and urban greenspace. During his sixteen months on Nantucket, Hutcheson was animated by the challenge of finding contemporary relevance for 19th-century Romanticism in light of the present mental health crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hutcheson holds a BA in Dance from Connecticut College and an MFA in interdisciplinary studio art from the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the board of the alternative art space LAXART (Los Angeles, CA) and the Penn Weitzman School of Design Dean’s Council. Hutcheson lives and works in Venice, CA.




The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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