West Tisbury


This rainy Sunday afternoon was perfect for spending inside, cat on my lap, dogs by my feet, writing my column in good time. Monday is supposed to be the only sunny day all week, so I want to be able to get right outside to enjoy it.

The day rambled along. The Red Sox lost. Louise Bessire came for tea and a visit in the late afternoon. I had been eager to see her since she returned home from Maine and the dinners and events surrounding the opening of Winslow Homer’s studio at Prout’s Neck and concurrent exhibition of Homer paintings at the Portland Museum of Art, curated by Louise’s son, Museum Director Mark Bessire.

Recent issues of the Boston Globe and New York Times have had articles about both Homer venues. I hadn’t seen the article in Preservation, The Magazine for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, that Louise brought over with her. Dealing mostly with the several-year period of the project and construction details, it was a most informative and interesting article. The second floor of Homer’s studio is surrounded by a very decorative walk-around porch called the piazza, which affords the high-up vantage points from which he so often painted. When carpenters went to restore the piazza, they realized that there was no real structure holding the thing up; it was literally hanging off the walls. We laughed at the similarity to Mike’s restoration/rebuilding of the Bessire house here, where the second floor had no supporting structure either.

It’s always interesting to see an artist’s workspace, allowing us a glimpse into the visual and creative world that stimulates the process of making art. Maine is a very pretty part of the country, and close enough to visit easily. Studio tours and the museum exhibition of 35 Homer paintings continue through December.

Selena Roman told me that her son, Walker, a 2012 honors graduate of MassArt and Design, has left the quiet calm of Albert’s Pond to move to Boston. Walker begins his new job this week as a gallery assistant at the Institute of Contemporary Art. What a great job for an artist.

I want to commend and thank West Tisbury officers Matt Gebo, Garrison Vieira, and Rusty Ventura for their help following a break-in at a friend’s house over the weekend. They were professional, efficient, and wonderfully reassuring. And they caught the guy within a day.

Thanks, also, to the Fire Department/Rescue Squad called out for a truck stuck midway off the bridge in North Tisbury. The bridge was repaired and returned to service after a couple of days.

I’m always surprised when summer friends ask what we do here all winter. I was thinking about that as I was going through my inbox full of announcements for events, classes, concerts, movies, lectures, gallery and museum exhibitions, dancing, and sports, plus a variety of volunteer opportunities.

Saturday, October 6, come to the library between 11 am and 3 pm to build a fairy house in the back garden. There will be some materials on hand, but everyone is invited to bring whatever special bits and pieces you may have collected. Pieces of bark, lichens and moss, feathers, seashells, fur, whatever natural materials you think might make a cozy home for someone three to six inches tall. Call ahead if it’s raining; there is no rain date scheduled. 508-693-3366.

Between 10 am and 2 pm, also on Saturday, is the 2012 Walk for the Animals, sponsored by the Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard. Registration forms are at the shelter and all veterinary clinics. You can get sponsors/pledges for your walk. All are welcome, with or without dogs. Walkers should meet at the Oak Bluffs School entrance to Tradewinds. Call Duncan Ross with any questions. 508 693-0541.

For literary types, Laura Wainwright will be reading from her book, “Home Bird: Four Seasons on Martha’s Vineyard,” at 2 pm on Saturday afternoon at the Polly Hill Arboretum. The program is free, there will be refreshments, and Laura will be happy to sign your book. Come early to tour the grounds and check out the Arboretum’s end-of-the-season sale of items in the Visitor’s Center and the plant area outside.

Don’t forget that Columbus Day is celebrated on Monday, October 8. Schools, town hall, and the library will all be closed.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is inviting island plein air painters to paint at the following locations on weekends throughout October: Gay Head Lighthouse, MV Museum Edgartown campus, MV Museum Vineyard Haven campus, and Edgartown Lighthouse. There will be a gallery show at the museum in January 2013. Call or email Chris, 508-627-4441, ext. 110, or cbahara@mvmuseum.org.

The Harbor View Hotel’s Brown Bag Lunch Speakers Series begins this Tuesday, 11:30 am to 1 pm, and continues every Tuesday through October. The speakers will focus on promoting the business side of the arts. All artists and art-related professionals are invited.

Windemere is looking for volunteers to visit residents. Men will be especially welcome, as there are few male volunteers for the male residents. If you like to read to someone, play bingo, or just be a friend, please call Betsy Burmeister at Windemere, 508-862-1933.

Gleaners are needed through November to pick, process, and deliver food to public schools, seniors, and those who need it most. Ask about it at the West Tisbury Church or Morning Glory Farm.

This is just a sampling of “what we do” in our year-round lives. Add in churches, schools, town board appointments, friends, laundry, dinner, and work, it doesn’t leave much time for missing our summer friends who think there’s nothing for us to do once they are gone.