Galleries : Scene And Be Seen
Anyone observing this past Sunday's opening at The Granary Gallery at the Red Barn might have imagined that fine art had suddenly found its place among the frenzy of popular culture.
From the gallery's crowded courtyard to its bustling rooms inside, people exclaimed over the art that filled walls, tables, and display cases. Most specifically, conversations centered on the work of photo-realist Steve Mills, mixed-media artist Diana van Nes, traditional painter Anda Jasamine Styler, and jeweler Ross Coppelman - the four artists being showcased from August 3 through August 16.
In variety and quality, the art - lavish and bountifully exhibited - provided an overload of visual stimulation glimpsed as it was over and around the people who clotted the aisles.
But the subject was art. Like cultural groupies, festive and chatty, people surrounded the artists to discuss their work, acknowledge familiar faces, and comment on particular pieces.
Boston-born Steve Mills, who spent his early childhood as a year-round Islander and now lives and works in Jacksonville, Florida, began showing his photo-realist paintings at the Granary 20 years ago. His canvasses, still lifes, seascapes - and in particular, an astonishing depiction of a brown paper wrapped canvas with the illusion of a torn piece that reveals the scene painted underneath - dazzle viewers with their meticulously detailed and uncanny renderings.
Diana van Nes of Chappaqua, New York, who began her career as an artist in earnest after her children were grown, emerged with a mastery of mixed media, constructions and representational canvasses. In her mixed media series of flags, as striking as they are unique, large American flags are created from different collections of stamps, logos, and materials. The effect is compelling and provocative.
Add to the variety the gold, silver, and semi-precious stone artistry of Yarmouth Port jeweler Ross Coppelman. His handcrafted designs, influenced by the jewelry of antiquity, are interpreted in clean, dramatic contemporary lines. The cases of his work were surrounded by an appreciative throng.
Photo by Ralph Stewart
Anda Jasamine Styler is the most traditional of the four, her soft impressionist acrylic canvasses depicting sentimental scenes of cottages, landscapes, and the best of all possible worlds.
Together with the Granary's roster of talent, Sunday's show was a rollicking demonstration that aesthetic expression is anything but passive.
The Granary at Red Barn at 636 Old County Rd. West Tisbury, shows the work of Steve Mills, Diana van Nes, Anda J.Styler, and Ross Coppelman through August 16. 508 693-0455.