Halloween got a jumpstart on Sunday as Islanders gathered in costume at Dreamland for the second annual Artist’s Ball. The emphasis was not so much on witches, ghosts, and vampires as on creative get-ups, as evidenced by the prize winners. Artist Danielle Mulcahy’s fantastical feathered costume earned her the prize for best mask. Keren Tonnesen, who made up her face to match her intricately patterned vintage dress took home the best makeup prize, while Laurie Riley, decked out as a gypsy fortune-telling machine — complete with booth — won the grand prize for best costume.
The main event of the evening was an audience participation art installation from the group Whatever the Outcome. Guests took turns placing pieces onto a huge magnetized board to slowly reveal a wonderful painting by Ms. Mulcahy of Vineyard legend Nancy Luce, the “Chicken Lady.” For the past three years, Whatever the Outcome has hosted similar events at venues around the Island.
For the second year in a row, Artist’s Ball organizer Holly Alaimo imported the band The Natural Wonders from Cambridge. Fronted by couple Gail Nickse and Fred Griffeth, the five member band kept the crowd dancing all night with a mix of classic rock and R&B hits. The Natural Wonders are a staple of the Boston club scene.
Ms. Alaimo said that this year’s party served partly as a farewell for choreographer Marla Blakey, a well-known Islander who is moving to Santa Fe.
The Artist’s Ball is one of the main events of the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce’s Fall for the Arts initiative — a month-long celebration aimed at promoting tourism and art on the Island. “It could not have been done without the Martha’s Vineyard Center for the Visual Arts,” said Ms. Alaimo, referring to the organization that helps fund many local arts-based projects.