The Brooklyn-based Bishop Gallery made its way to the Island last weekend with its pop-up exhibition “The Art in Jazz.” Gallery co-owner Stevenson Dunn Jr. welcomed visitors like old friends to his Vineyard Haven home.
Inside, the gallery echoes with open space and vibrant art against pristine white walls and hardwood floors. “The Art in Jazz” features a number of established and emerging artists, celebrating creativity, passion, and music.
Two large, vertically stacked, paint-splattered canvases to the left of the entrance capture the onlooker’s immediate attention. With both his work and his presence, world-renowned trombonist and abstract-inspired artist Dick Griffin engages your genuine interest. Mr. Griffin points to the 48-inch by 60-inch acrylic on linen, “Round Midnight in Bright Mississippi.” “This piece is so personal to me,” he said.
Each painting is similar in style, with layers of complex drops, swirls, and fine lines. Mr. Griffin unburies the abstract, highlighting the eighth notes, whole notes, treble and bass clefs hidden within the piece. He keeps the energy in the middle of the canvas and explains the symbolism; the piece is dedicated to a close friend and fellow renowned musician, Thelonious Monk. Mr. Griffin has performed with the likes of Michael Jackson, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Sam Cooke.
“To put it in terms of today, music is my major and art is my minor,” Mr. Griffin said.
Around the corner, on a table in the living room sits a smaller display of Dick Griffin’s “Love In” series. “Love in the Galaxy,” “Love in the Schoolyard,” and “Love in the Taxi” are among the titles.
“Because love is everywhere, we gotta keep love involved,” Mr. Griffin said.
The work of 28-year-old emerging artist Delilah Benitez sheds light on a similar message throughout her series, “When Black and White Unite.”
“When colors come together, they vibrate with a powerful frequency,” Ms. Benitez said, addressing both the artistic and societal influence in uniting colors. Her designs have a unique blend of math and music, extracting principles from the golden ratio and sacred geometry. “Child of the Earth” and “Contemplate” are the two works from her series on display.
“Everything is shaped by our mentality,” Ms. Benitez said. “In order to get the outside world right, we have to get our inside world right.”
Also included are works from accomplished illustrator and muralist Maria Dominguez from her best-selling series “Hot House.” Her 36-inch by 48-inch piece “Sassy Diva” commands attention against a bare wall, accomplishing something rare in art.
“To get that type of shading, color, and expression, people take that for granted,” Mr. Dunn said. “Especially in the digital age.”
Other artists on display are master painter Samuel Adoquei with his timeless piece “Rodney,” Juan Carlos Pinto’s series of recycled MetroCard mosaics, and Solomon Adufah’s “Homeland Ghana” series. Visitors will also find tribal sculptures, masks, and headdress decor exhibited throughout the pop-up gallery.
Mr. Dunn touches on cubism as a trademark of African American art, explaining it as a large motivator behind much of what is on display. “If I imagine it, I should be able to build it,” he said.
Whether visitors are experts of the arts or just appreciating passersby, it’s hard to feel out-of-place at the Bishop Gallery. “We work to make the arts accessible,” Mr. Dunn said. “That’s why we’re here.”
Located on 18 Jessie’s Way in Vineyard Haven, the show will run until August 6 with a short break, July 20 to 24, for artwork updates. The gallery will be open by appointment during the week and from 1 until 5 pm on the weekends.