'Tis the season for shopping local at Featherstone
Photo by Gwyn McAllister
The creative output of more than 40 talented Vineyarders can be found at Featherstone Center for the Arts' annual Holiday Gift Show. The show and sale, which opened last Friday with an evening reception, features a wide range of handmade offerings — artwork and gifts — from $5 to $250. For the 10th year in a row, Featherstone provides shoppers with the perfect opportunity to buy a unique gift from the Vineyard.
The show features work by both relatively unknown artisans and established ones such as Stefanie Wolf (attractive glass tile bead jewelry), Lucinda Sheldon (enamel jewelry and a new line of kid's capes and crowns), and Elizabeth Edge (fleecewear in both elegant and practical styles). There are also ceramics by surrealist Washington Ledesma, photography by LA Brown, and artwork by Warren and Debra Gaines
Along with the expected, you'll also find some hidden gems at this show. The team of Charlotte Cole and Floy Miller contributed a selection of their fiber art handiwork including some beautiful textural knitwear and a series of colorful floral needlepoint works. They also crafted a wonderful two-room Victorian dollhouse decked out for the holidays with marvelous detail in both the interior and exterior.
Fred Hancock has an eye for unusual, attractive varieties of wood. He hand-turns one-of-a-kind wooden vessels featuring a range of colors and interesting wood grains. His highly polished pieces capture the beauty of naturally occurring patterns. Two lovely bowls made from white birch with spalting (coloration caused by fungi) are standouts.
Janice Frame crafted a line of casual clutches in fun, contemporary fabrics. These eye-catching bags — at a reasonable $27 to $40 — would make the perfect gift for any woman of style on your gift list.
Among the selection of jewelry is some unique work by two lesser-known artists. Rose Campbell creates one-of-a-kind pieces featuring vintage elements. Her delicate necklaces and earrings showcase unusual pendants and antique crystals and are artfully assembled
Erika Kuryla fashioned some sweet little collage pins combining beads and watch fronts. These little eye-catchers sell for around $20.
Along with a sampling of her seaweed art, Kathy Poehler offers little gilded shells and sea creatures to hang on a Vineyard-themed tree.
Larissa Bernat's pretty handmade paper-covered notebooks would be great for jotting down random reflections.
For those seeking a truly unique gift, there are polished branches crafted into walking sticks, shoe horns and hooks by Deirdre DeCarion, and a fun Vineyard themed photo pillow by L.A. Brown .
A couple of Featherstone affiliated artists have turned their talents to small works. Both Genevieve Jacobs and Marston Clough offer little "box" paintings that would be perfect either standing alone on a bookshelf or hanging on a wall among a grouped collection. Ms. Jacobs participated in the show for the last few years and her mini bird paintings have proved very popular. Mr. Clough's collection includes landscapes and wildlife. These little works provide a great opportunity to add an affordable piece of Island art to your collection.
Fans of ceramics will find a wide variety here. Half a dozen artists are represented and they each have very individual styles. Eva Weinstein shows a lovely selection of speckle-glazed pieces. A sweet collection of chubby little birds on a driftwood branch by Frank Creney would make a great Vineyard gift at $45.
Inexpensive choices include cards, calendars, a few books penned by local authors, a selection of ornaments, and decorated wreaths. There's truly something for everyone and the sale gives a good end-of-the-year boost to the year-round arts center. Although artists generally enjoy a 60-40 split at Featherstone, for the gift show, the profits are shared equally.
Executive director Ann Smith notes that the holiday show has raised upwards of $10,000. "It's a big deal for us."
Featherstone's Holiday Gift Show runs daily 12 noon to 4 pm through December 16. Featherstone is located off Barnes Road in Oak Bluffs. For more information, call 508-693-1850 or visit featherstoneart.org.