The Night Heron Gallery opened its doors Friday evening in Vineyard Haven. The gallery came to life quickly, as patrons happily welcomed the 10 artists featured in the collective back from their winter hiatus. Visitors sipped wine, jazz played in the background, and conversation was plentiful.
The gallery space exudes vibrant colors and exquisite designs that help move visitors around the room, and the artists were willing to share their passion for their work.
Beldan K. Radcliffe has been an artist for 20 years, working in printmaking, collage, and etching. Seven years ago she began designing clothing out of recycled sweaters; she calls them “Upcycled Sweaters.”
“I’ve always been interested in fiber arts and textiles,” Ms. Radcliffe said. She said the clothing, for her, continues the collage process, only using sweater pieces.
Washington Ledesma, born in Uruguay, immigrated to the United States in 1973. Since that time he has developed a career working in clay, painting, and printmaking. This year he introduced larger pottery pieces, around 20 inches high, with a matte finish. Mr. Ledesma described the painting process for his brightly colored pottery.
“All the colors in front of me, with one brush I splash the painting all over the piece. After that, I work according with the suggestion, what the spots give me. I play with the negative to define the shapes painting on the pottery. They go very spontaneous.” He uses a technique from Jackson Pollock known as “action painting.”
Ingrid Goff-Maidoff describes herself as a “poet and teacher of love.” She uses Japanese paper for her handbound books.
“I always want to open up a book and have it say to me ‘love what you love, be who you are, love what you love.’ That’s the message,” she said. For 25 years she has been creating things that incorporate inspirational quotes. This year, she has introduced a new collection of gifts.
“Inside this packet, are five blessings and some little gifts. I just love the sense of pleasure and delight that people receive from these. The element of surprise when people open these little packets. I want my work to promote that sort of thing,” Ms.Goff-Maidoff said.
Kathleen Tackabury has been creating sterling silver jewelry with unusual stones for 35 years. New to her collection for 2017 are pieces with opals. She also has a few sculptural pieces, including a horseshoe crab which has been one of her more successful items. Based on that design, she will be introducing a jelly fish later in the season.
When the gallery opened seven years ago, there were six founding members. Today there are 10 artists; the most recent addition is Jeri Dantzig, who joined last year. Ms. Tackabury said, “We all divide everything equally; there’s no boss so everything is democratic.”
“This gallery is a collective partnership. The artists own and operate the business, we all share the responsibilities of running the gallery, including work hours and expenses,” said Ms. Radcliffe.
The Island’s artist-owned cooperative gallery shows the art and fine craft of Sylvie Farrington, L.A. Brown, Jeri Dantzig, Beldan K. Radcliffe, Washington Ledesma, Kathleen Tackabury, Diana Stewart, Lisa Strachan, Carolyn Warren, and Ingrid Goff-Maidoff. The gallery’s early spring hours are 10 am to 5 pm; it’s closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.