Egeli: Three Generations of Painting
382 Commercial Street, Provincetown
Arthur Egeli is a third generation painter. His grandfather, Bjorn Egeli (1900-1984), painted official portraits of Eisenhower, Nixon, and MacArthur. His father and mother are both award winning portrait painters. Overall, there are twelve working artists in the extended family.
Arthur began his studies with his father and mother in the winter and in the summer, with Henry Hensche at the Cape School of Art. His experiences would nurture a life long love of Provincetown and inspire his first feature film, “The Art of Passion,” which won the $110,000 jury prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival. The movie is about a young painter struggling to find his own voice in his work, a struggle that Arthur now knows well. Arthur also attended Art Center in Pasadena, California and the University of Maryland, where he was awarded a creative writing scholarship.
After his studies, Arthur stayed in California, much to his parents dismay. “You should do something financially reliable, like painting portraits,” his mother told him. But Arthur stayed in Southern California, painting landscapes and portraits and becoming an award- winning member of the California Art Club, Oil Painters of America, the Portrait Society and the American Impressionist Society. He would also continue making films, selling over a dozen screenplays before Provincetown once again came into his life.
In Pasadena, he met his wife, actress Heather Hayes, who would collaborate with Arthur on three films to date, including “The Ghost Forest,” “Misconception” and the upcoming “Murder on the Cape.” During that period, one would often see Arthur painting Heather in Arroyo Seco, which is the famous park crisscrossing Pasadena. That courtship led to a snowed-in wedding in Maryland at the family’s studio compound on Fiddler’s Hill.
On a short visit to Provincetown in 2004, the year their daughter and first child was born, Heather and Arthur opened Egeli Gallery on Commercial Street. “Why stay in Provincetown for a couple weeks when you can stay forever?” the two of them would say.
Today, they are year round residents, producing films, making art, and raising their two children in Provincetown, a place they agree is “one of the most beautiful places on earth.”