It is the perfect meeting of music and the visual arts. When Delores Stevens, artistic director of Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society (MVCMS), asked nature collage artist Peggy Turner Zablotny to create a print for a benefit raffle for the group’s 40th anniversary festival, Ms. Zablotny approached the task from its most meaningful, rather than ornamental, artistic aspect.
She and Ms. Stevens asked, what kind of music best represented the Chamber Music Society, and surprisingly, Ms. Stevens was able to answer: Gabriel Fauré’s Quartet no. 1 in C minor, op. 15. “It’s a great celebration piece,” Ms. Stevens told the artist.
After repeatedly listening to the music, Ms. Zablotny began looking up the meanings of the Italian musical notations for each of the four movements, and envisioning the colors: allegro molto sostenuto, brisk, sustained, prolonged — blue-green; scherzo, allegro vivo — quick, lively; plucked — orange-yellow dots; adagio, slowly — black and purple; and allegro molto, more lively — bright red, “with lots of squiggles.”
In this manner she began the process of selecting the botanical components for the four layers of the collage, using flower petals, Spanish moss, tendrils from zuchetta (a kind of zucchini), and other botanicals, then immediately pressing them under glass to preserve the colors. The six-by-eight inch composition was then photographed, enlarged to close to two-and-a half by three feet, printed and repeatedly proofed until the quality Ms. Zablotny insists upon was achieved. Ten prints were made, one of which will be raffled to benefit the Chamber Music Society.
The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society is selling $5 raffle tickets for the donated print (valued at $2,750), at every Monday and Tuesday night concert. The drawing will be at the Tuesday, August 10, at the Chilmark Community Center concert.
Ms. Stevens says, “Much as Fauré’s Quartet no.1 glides effortlessly among forms and colors, Peggy Zablotny’s magical botanical collage echoes the great Impressionistic composer’s famous work. It is an absolutely perfect fine art image to represent our 40th season of bringing the great musical art of chamber music to the Island.”
Nora Nevin contributed to this story.