Galleries : From The Beginning
As this summer evolves, I look back over the 14 years the Dragonfly Gallery has been in business and take stock of all that has changed and grown in my corner of the Oak Bluffs Arts District.
In the beginning, this tucked away neighborhood was an unlikely location for art galleries. Many of my artist friends were wary of a commitment to the newly created Dragonfly Gallery. For my off-Island friends, a promise of a two-week stay on Martha's Vineyard was certainly an enticement. Still, there was the question of whether a well-meaning, retired person could create a unique and viable place for art.
The first person to join me was Jain Tarnower, a friend and a former teacher at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Her faith in my determination was a great source of strength. Although she was well known in the art circles, having been collected by museums and major private collections, she wanted to expand the exposure of her large people and animal portraits.
Photo courtesy of Dragonfly Gallery
And now, after 14 years as one of Dragonfly's exhibiting artists, Jain Tarnower will once again be holding court with her new show of paintings.
Her forte is life-sized animals, so over the years we have had life sized horses, cows, and groups of sheep featuring many Island animals such as Gus Ben David's birds, goats from local farms, a goose at Lucy Vincent and the sheep at Allen Farm.
And each year an eight-foot painting arrives at Dragonfly along with others. When the gallery is lit at night, it's great to see it from the street transformed into a barnyard.
Jain has been enriched by the beauty of Martha's Vineyard. As an Islander, I am always happy to see the Vineyard through the eyes of frequent visitors who see the subtle changes and embrace our Island's beauty and diverse culture.
Dragonfly Gallery on Dukes County Ave., Oak Bluffs, will host an opening reception of the paintings of Jain Tarnower on Saturday, July 26, 4-7 pm. The show runs Wednesday, July 23 through Sunday, August 3, 12 noon-7 pm or by appointment. For more information, call 508-693-8877.