Art flourishes at Vineyard Gardens

It's a family affair: Chuck, Chris, and Alan Wiley. — Photo by Lisa Vanderhoop

On Friday evenings this month, not all the color at Vineyard Gardens has been owing to Mother Nature. This summer for the second year in a row, the nursery on State Road in West Tisbury is hosting weekly Gallery in the Gardens events at which local artists display their work among the flora. Since the beginning of August, the popular outdoor receptions have attracted around a dozen artists and a number of art lovers.

Among the work on display one can find paintings, photography, pottery, sculpture, and jewelry. Although a handful of the artists are well-known on the Vineyard — Enos Ray, Valentine Estabrook, Lisa Brown, Teresa Yuan — many have never shown in a gallery before. And the price range is a wide one — from $20 for mini canvases complete with easels to thousands for works in oil from established artists.

The styles as well as the media vary dramatically. Ms. Yuan’s lovely florals complement the surroundings well. Lynda Reeves McIntyre uses bright colors for her landscapes and abstracts. Ed Schulman favors muddy colors and primitive forms creating a unique stylistic look for his depiction of sailboats, cityscapes and dancers. Enos Ray’s subjects tend toward jazz and blues musicians. Linda Ferrini creates lovely hand-painted floor cloths in pastel shades.

Each artist has his or her own station that they man during the entire reception. Greenhouse walls, plant tables, and hanging structures are all used to good effect and each area is decorated with flowering plants and lots of foliage. Musicians Bob Hammond on fiddle and Tom Hodgson on guitar have entertained for the last three weeks and for the reception this Friday, they will be joined by the other members of the Bella Mira band. Inside the greenhouses are snacks and beverages. All in all it’s an enchanting scene with little surprises everywhere one looks.

Chris Wiley, owner of Vineyard Gardens, came up with the idea last year and it has increased in popularity this summer. Last August only a handful of artists were involved. This year, the number has increased to up to 13 participants. Ms. Wiley says that all of the artist have expressed their gratitude at having a place to showcase their work. “Matthew Goethals told me he’d never had a place to display his photography,” she said.

“It’s a good way to market my business,” she continued. “And at the same time support local artists. It’s a nice thing to do in August when it’s typically pretty slow. It helps us keep the nursery looking nice.” Ms. Wiley added that the fall is a great time to plant.

Vineyard Gardens hosts a number of seasonal events throughout the year including their traditional Easter party and egg hunt and a Columbus Day harvest festival

“I like to do promotions that involve the community,” Ms. Wiley said. “And reach out to new people.”

Gallery in the Gardens, Fridays through August, 5 to 8 pm, Vineyard Gardens, West Tisbury. For more information, call 508-693-8511 or visit