West Tisbury: Art in spite of the rain

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I’m starting off my column with a mention of rain again. Two wonderful inches this past Saturday.

Not enough to keep crowds away from the two art exhibitions I attended late that afternoon. The library was packed with admirers of Marie-Louise Rouff and her luminous abstract paintings. Many of the same people drove down State Road to A Gallery, where an opening was in progress featuring Julia Mitchell’s tapestries, Lucy Mitchell’s boxes and covered objects, and Mariana Cook’s black-and-white photographs. Two fabulous exhibitions of world-class art right in our own little town.

I hope it won’t rain this Saturday (it can rain during the week or at night) to dampen attendance at the West Tisbury Church Peach Festival, scheduled for noon to 4 pm. Dinny Montrowl and helpers are in charge of peeling and slicing fresh peaches for pies, cobblers, shortcakes, smoothies, ice cream, and more.

There is something special at the church service this Sunday, too: the annual visit by the Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga. It’s always extra-crowded when Pastor Warnock preaches, so make sure to come early for the 10 am service. His sermon is titled “Social Activism and Spiritual Growth.”

The Red Cross is planning a Community Blood Drive on August 31. It will be held at Alex’s Place in the YMCA from 1 to 6 pm. There is concern about a shortage, so if you are able to, please sign up for an appointment: 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767) or online at redcrossblood.org. I’ll try to remind you again before the 31st.

Jen Rand wants everyone to know that the town has a newly enhanced website, courtesy of a Community Compact grant from the state. The address is the same: westtisbury-ma.gov. Go to the front page to subscribe to E-Alerts, notices, and meeting announcements. If you were signed up on the old site, you will need to sign up again on the new one.

A reminder from Tara Whiting that absentee ballots for the September primary are available at town hall. The last day to register to vote or to change your party registration is next Wednesday, August 15. Tara will be in her office until 8 pm that night.

At the West Tisbury library this coming week:

Thursday, August 9, 10:30 am, a special preschool story time with guest children’s author Rebecca Loescher and illustrator Sean Roach. They will read their new book, “The Mermaids of Martha’s Vineyard.” At 5 pm, a reading by Grace Kennan Warnecke from her new book, “Daughter of the Cold War.”

Friday, August 10, 4 pm, “Clair de Lune: Music of Debussy, Fauré, and Hahn,” a recital by soprano Olivia de Geofroy and pianist Adele Dreyer.

Saturday, August 11, 10 am to noon, “Build and Launch a Rocket,” a special family craft on the library porch. At 4 pm, “A History of the 1950s and ’60s Through Popular Song.” Join New York Blues Hall of Fame inductee Marc Black for a musical tour, discussion, and slide show.

Monday, August 13, 11:30 am, welcome back instructor Kanta Lipsky at her weekly Balance Workshop. At 4:30 pm, come to a Paper Lantern Painting Workshop with Jennifer Burkin for ages 9 and up. Preregistration is required. Family and teen movies begin at 6:30 pm. Movies and popcorn are free.
Tuesday, August 14, noon to 1:30 pm, Drop-In Wellness Clinic with Island Health Care nurse Lila Fischer. At 4:30 pm, filmmaker Ben Tumin will give a multimedia presentation that examines the impact of refugee resettlement in the U.S. He argues in favor of welcoming refugees, through the lens of national security.

Wednesday, August 15, 4 pm, David Barton Smith will present the first public screening on the Vineyard of his documentary ”The Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution.” Following the film, there will be a panel discussion with David Barton Smith, Gwen Blount Adolph, Sherri Blount Gray (daughters of Alvin Blount, M.D., plaintiff in the suit that transformed hospitals in the U.S.), and Denise Schepici (president and CEO of Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.)

A reminder that Thursday, August 16, will be the final IGI lunch at the library this summer. Lunch is served from noon to 1 pm. It’s free, and all are welcome.

The 157th Agricultural Fair begins August 16 and runs through August 19. There will be all the rides, exhibits, and events we expect, and the fair ladies always manage to come up with a few surprises. I hope the weather cooperates by cooling down with less humidity and a light, cooling breeze. That would be perfect fair weather.