Cousen Rose readies for the season

Cousen Rose readies for the season

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Owner Zita Cousens in her Oak Bluffs Gallery.

The doors will open at Cousen Rose Gallery in Oak Bluffs on Saturday, June 19, for a celebration of the Summer Solstice. John Breckenridge will show his black-and-white silver gelatin prints, and from Portland, Maine, a display of artist Lori Austell’s encaustics, a form of painting that mixes beeswax with pigment.

Mr. Breckenridge, a food broker from Boston, now lives in East Chop with his wife Barbara, and will attend his June 19 opening.

He has been exhibiting at the gallery for 16 years, and still remembers walking in and asking Zita Cousens, the gallery’s owner, if she had a minute to look at a few of his pictures. Ms. Cousens, who usually makes appointments with artists to view their work, and was busy cleaning the gallery with half the lights already off, was taken off-guard.

What she remembers about their first encounter was, “the presentation and the quality of the work. He was very professional.”

Ms. Cousens calls Mr. Breckenridge “the Ansel Adams of Oak Bluffs.” After his photographs won prizes at the Agricultural Fair three years running, he decided to pursue photography as a career.

A perfectionist, Mr. Breckenridge photographed the Islander over a period of two weeks, waiting for exactly the right moment to capture the image he was looking for.

Rather than rely on digital cameras, he shoots on film and sends it off-Island to a printing specialist. His limited-edition prints are produced by hand on special paper with light-sensitive halide particles. Some are resin-coated to enhance detail and depth.

It has been a busy winter for Ms. Cousens, who spent the winter as a high school guidance counselor at Boston Latin School, the nation’s oldest public school, as well as contacting artists, arranging contracts, and organizing additional gallery events. She’s scheduled a book signing on July 10, for Sally Dagnall’s “Circle of Faith,” about the history of the Camp Meeting Association, and on August 14, an event for Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree’s book-signing for his new book, “Presumption of Guilt.”

Cousen Rose, which completed its 30th season last year, is open on weekends from Memorial Day weekend through June. That scheduling gives Ms. Cousens a chance to prepare for the onslaught of the Vineyard’s high season, when she remains open daily, holding artists’ receptions on Saturdays.

This year Cousen Rose Gallery is introducing three new artists: Mark Zeender of Oak Bluffs, whose show of abstract landscapes will open July 3; Carolyn Warren of Vineyard Haven, who paints landscapes in oil on wood, and has an opening July 10; and Derrick Jackson, a Boston Globe photographer and columnist, whose Obama campaign photos will be on display on and off throughout the summer.

Summer Solstice Show at Cousen Rose, 5 to 7 pm, Saturday, June 19, featuring the photographs of John Breckenridge and encaustic paintings of Lori Austell. Pianist Peter MacLean will perform on piano. Wine tasting. 508-693-6656.