New gallery and studio space opens in West Tisbury

ArtSpace artists, from left: Blanche Somer, Ed Schulman, Margaret Emerson, Hannah Hamilton, Sophie Mueller, Sheila Fane, and Kristen Leigh Conklin. — Photo courtesy of Kristen Leign

Artspace, a new gallery and studio space, opened this week in West Tisbury. Organized by Geoff Rose, Artspace is the brainchild of painter Ed Schulman. “He came to me a number of months ago,” Mr. Rose told the M.V. Times last weekend. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a space where people could have studios and show?” Mr. Schulman asked Mr. Rose.

Mr. Rose rented a building at 503 State Road in West Tisbury at the site of the former Up-Island Paint and Tool. He next put out a call to the art community. “Slowly, surely, people got interested,” Mr. Rose said. A group of seven artists have signed on to the collaborative venture. Four have taken studio space and three others plan to display in Artspace’s gallery. The group includes both year-round artists and summer residents.

Last spring, Mr. Rose contacted Holly Alaimo, former Dragonfly Gallery owner, and Our Island Club, a local consumer’s co-op that also raises money for local charities of which Mr. Rose is a co-principal, and asked them to put out a call inviting artists to participate. “I’m simply the developer,” he said. “Ed is a good friend, and I know his passion for art.” The gallery was due to open officially on Wednesday, July 9, and it will remain open at least through October.

A variety of media are represented at the new gallery, including pastels, photography, printmaking, papermaking, and ceramics. Vineyard Haven photographer Kristen Leigh Conklin has her work on display, as does Sheila Fane, a seasonal resident from New York. Painter Ed Schulman is a member of the group, along with Sophie Mueller and Hannah Hamilton of Oak Bluffs. Chilmark summer resident Margaret Emerson and Blanche Somer from West Tisbury round out the group. All seven of the participating artists share in responsibility for staffing the gallery as well as paying the rent. “Everything is working,” Mr. Rose said.

Ms. Fane is among those who received an email alert from Ms. Alaimo about the new gallery. “I’m a West Tisbury resident,” Ms. Fane said. “I really like this part of the Island.” She has been working for 20 years with Sandy Bernat at Seastone Papers in West Tisbury. “I’m her artist in residence,” she said. Her creative work with paper has evolved into pulp painting, as well as pulling paper on a background with a partial screen. She also uses stencils and squeeze bottles to create paper art. In addition to Artspace, she exhibits at Old Sculpin Gallery in Edgartown and Featherstone Center for the Arts. As well as creating landscapes in pulp painting, Ms. Fane makes monotypes, and woodblock/linoleum prints. Now that Joan Merry’s Gossamer Gallery and Ruth Adams’s Treehouse Gallery have closed, she was happy to join the group at Artspace.

Artspace, 503 State Rd., West Tisbury. Thursday-Saturday 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday 12 noon to 4 pm; and by appointment. For more information, email Geoff Rose at