Edgartown and Oak Bluffs: Summer’s final art strolls

At Dragonfly Gallery: Wanda Wiggins' "Dancing Sister 1." — Photo courtesy of Dragonfly Gallery

Not that visitors aren’t always welcome, but August marks the final art strolls in both Edgartown and the Oak Bluffs Arts District — the opportunity to combine gallery-going with meeting the artists, and enjoying refreshments, music, and the air of festivity that often spills onto the streets.

In Edgartown, it all takes place among four galleries just steps away from each other on North Water Street: Willoughby, North Water, Eisenhauer, and Christina galleries. It takes place tonight, Thursday evening, Aug. 11, between 6 and 8 pm.

A sampling of what will be featured is An Evening with the Learys at Willougby Gallery, an extraordinary show of the work of mother Elizabeth W. Leary, and daughter Elizabeth L. Strazzulla, both independantly successful artists, well-respected for their work.

Elizabeth Leary, known for her architectural landscapes and still life paintings, has had over 30 one-person shows. Primarily employing a palette of earth colors with nuances of shadow, her paintings display depth and texture. Elizabeth’s use of glazing techniques and layering of washes allows her to preserve the smooth crisp surface of her works yet suffuse them with warmth, light and dimension.

Daughter Elizabeth L. Strazzulla, also an accomplished musician, champion horsewoman, and sculptor, received her artistic training with Robert Scott Jackson, Charles H. Cecil Studios, and the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.

The Arts District on Dukes County Road and Uncas Avenue in Oak Bluffs is home to a neighborly collection of very diverse galleries featuring collectibles, jewelry, paintings and sculpture, and mixed media work: PIKNIK Art & Apparel, Alison Shaw Gallery, Periwinkle Studio, Stefanie Wolf Designs, Lucinda’s Enamels, and Shephard Fine ArtSpace on Uncas Avenue.

On Saturday, Aug. 13, the Arts District Stroll will once again celebrate the talents of both local artists and those nationally acclaimed. Along with her own work, Lucinda Sheldon is featuring the popular Sylvie Bags by fabric artist Sylvie Farrington. Ms. Farrington will be showing her decorative pillows and vintage handbags embellished with crystal beading.

At Dragonfly Gallery, guests will be able to chat with Boston painter Robert Baart and New Orleans fabric collage artist Wanda Wiggins. The evening will be punctuated by the a cappella music of Vineyard Sound.

This year is the fifth annual Urban Show at the eclectic PIKNIK Art & Apparel.

“What started as a self-indulgent grouping of ‘art I like to see,’ has turned into a much-anticipated summer event,” says PIKNIK owner Michael Hunter. “I was initially somewhat shocked and very pleased at the super reception of the first Urban Show some years ago…I mean who would have thought here on the Vineyard, folks would get so into cityscapes and other urban-inspired art pieces?”

But Mr. Hunter is known for consistently being able present the unusual and generate excitement, and this Saturday night will be no exception.