It is a worthy demonstration of good things coming in small packages — good things accompanied with what promises to be a good time for those who appreciate art. Fifteen artists are showing their new work at the seventh annual “Small Treasures” holiday show at the Louisa Gould Gallery, offering artwork priced from $21 to about $500.
“On the Island I think some people equate size with price, but a piece of art has value regardless of size,” Ms. Gould says, explaining that most of the art was made specifically for this show. “In this show we’re trying to merge small and wonderful work.”
Artist Anthony Benton Gude, whose paintings are typically priced upwards of $1,000, is participating in the show for the first time. He says, “For me, this show fits right in with what I’ve been doing with watercolor — basically creating small pieces and pricing them low so they are affordable.”
Among the paintings in the show is Mr. Gude’s “In the Wave 2″ a stunning 12-by-16-inch watercolor of a turbulent sea and sky priced at $450.
An artist and photographer specializing in sailing events, Ms. Gould says. “For myself, sometimes a smaller piece is more difficult. You don’t have room for error. With bigger canvasses I can be looser.”
Representational painter Donna Blackburn, assistant children’s librarian at the Edgartown Public Library and a graduate of the art Institute of Boston/Leslie University explains, “I like doing smaller pieces because I enjoy doing detailed work — noticing the surprises when I look around, especially in nature.” She adds, “There’s so much variety in the shadows and colors every time the sun moves across the sky.” Among her pieces is “China Berries and Mussel Shell,” an eight-by-ten oil on Masonite selling for $250.
And painter Laura Roberts, who divides her time between homes in Oak Bluffs and in Newburyport where she is also a fine-art framer, says, “People always assume small pieces are easier to do just because they are small — but they are actually more challenging because they have to have more impact: strong colors and punch. They have to grab the viewer.”
The show, co-curated by seasonal resident Liza May, includes the still life paintings of Ms. Blackburn and Maya Farber, a variety of Vineyard scenes by the highly regarded Kathryn Wronski (her eight-by-ten-inch oil painting of “Gay Head Light,” is $295), Laura Roberts, Doug Kent, and John Holladay (selling wonderful smaller acrylic paintings of Menemsha for $450). Smaller-size sailing scenes are displayed by the award-winning Frauke Klatt from Germany whose paintings combine acrylics with sand on gesso-coated canvas, and Paul Beebe’s maritime oil paintings of catboats under sail. Ms. Gould’s photographs of India and Bali, such as “Morning Catch,” a dramatic eight-by-twelve-inch photograph of a lone figure walking through the surf in a shaft of morning sunlight for $195.
Photographer Nancy Gardner will display her work along with maritime photographer Tom May, whose eight-by-twelve-inch photograph “Reflections” is being offered for $180. Painter Donna Straw will be participating for the first time as will master glassblower Tom Kelly of Vitrix Hot Glass Studio in Corning, New York, who presents a unique selection of hand-blown ornaments starting at $21. Suzanne Hill small and elegant ceramic vessels are start at $75.
Ms. Gould says, “Some people are intimidated about coming into a gallery. They see the huge $15,000 painting and assume every piece is that expensive. But this show is for people walking along the street who are looking for a gift for the holidays. And it’s for those regular collectors who might find something here in a smaller size by an artist they’ve collected that’s very affordably priced.”
“Small Treasures” opens Tuesday, November 22, and runs through January 1. Opening reception with artists Friday, November 25, 4 to 7 pm. Holiday refreshments served.