The hazy, hot, humid days of summer are with us now. Occasional rains and thunderstorms, otherwise heavy gray skies. Foliage is heavy, too, dark unrelievedly green. The dogs and Nelson seem to sleep all day, worn out by having to hold themselves up against all this weightiness. They leave circles of golden fur wherever they have lain.
The sign for the Fair has appeared in front of the Ag Hall. Only three weeks away. Still plenty of time to plan your exhibits, get your art framed, pick out vases and plates with which to display bouquets and perfect vegetables, save your pennies for rides and games.
Meanwhile, summer continues at its hectic pace. There are more events than one can possibly attend or remember, and the thought of braving traffic is daunting. So I am grateful for all the things right here in town. Traffic and parking remain a challenge, but less so than trying to get anywhere down Island. I remember when I first moved here people saying, “I never go to Edgartown/Vineyard Haven/Oak Bluffs in the summer.” It struck me as odd; it wasn’t such a distance. But over 30 years living up Island I have become one of those people, too, relentlessly insular within my own domain. Or demesne, so deliciously medieval sounding.
I attended John Hough’s reading from his latest, “Little Bighorn,” at the West Tisbury Library. It was interesting to hear an author read his own prose and talk about the research and excitement that went into writing his novel. John will do it again at the Chilmark Library later in August, if you missed this one.
The Author Lecture Series continues at the Chilmark Community Center. A Tribute to Sheldon Hackney begins at 7:30 tonight, Thursday, July 31. Andre Dubus III will read from his book of four intertwined novellas, “Dirty Love,” on Sunday, August 3. Ron Suskind is the presenter next Thursday, August 7, telling the story of his autistic son in “Life, Animated.” Programs at 7:30. Tickets at ticketsmv.com.
The biggest summer event for many of us is The Friends of the West Tisbury Library’s Annual Book Sale. This year it runs from August 1 to 4. Come to the West Tisbury School gymnasium between 9 am and 3 pm to fill your bags and help support our library. Books are half-price on the 3rd and free on Monday, August 4. Donations are always welcome, of course.
If you have always wanted to make your own hula hoop, your opportunity is this Saturday, August 2, 11 am–1 pm. Michael Black will teach a workshop for kids ages 5 and up at the West Tisbury Library. There will be no drop-in craft that day.
West Tisbury documentary filmmakers Robert and Marjory Potts start off the library’s August series of films by Island filmmakers this Monday, August 4. Their “Lives in Art: Robert Henry and Selina Trieff” begins at 6:30 pm. Many of you will know Bob Henry and Selina Trieff and their family, longtime Vineyard residents and articulate describers of their art-making processes and devotion to making art within all the rest of the daily stuff we call “life.” The second documentary shown will be “Making Music: The Emerson Quartet,” a group has performed on the Island since their formation in 1976, many times as headliners of the summer Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society concerts.
There will be an artists’ reception Friday evening, August 1, 6–8 pm, at Shaw Cramer Gallery — a bittersweet evening because Nancy Cramer has announced that she will close the gallery at the end of this season. Twenty years is a long time to be running a gallery full-time. Nancy has done it beautifully and with a professionalism that is unmarred. Although we will all miss her gallery, it’s hard to begrudge her the opportunity to spend more time in her studio weaving tapestries and sewing, creating the hangings, pillows, and “art-to-wear” garments that are her passion. For now, let’s continue to celebrate the Shaw Cramer Gallery.
Ken Vincent will give a painting demonstration at North Water Gallery this Saturday, August 2, beginning at 11 am. New work will also be on display at the gallery. For fellow painters, it is always interesting to see how someone else works, what they choose to focus on, how they design their painting’s surface, mix their colors. Interesting for non-artists, too. Ken sees the Island in a unique and stylized way, so his demo should be particularly informative.
Featherstone Printmakers open an exhibition this Sunday, August 3, 4-6 pm, in the Virginia Weston Besse Gallery. Work by West Tisbury artists Leslie Baker, Ruth Kirchmeier, and Nick Thayer is included.
Everyone is raving about Kara Taylor’s new show that opened last Sunday. It’s called “Hull” and features paintings of boats, abstracted and well-designed, giving the viewer a new and personal perspective on a familiar subject.
The Granary Gallery will host an opening this Sunday, August 3, for three very different painters: Mary Sipp-Green, Scott Terry, and Kib Bramhall. I mean “very different” in style and technique from one another. They are all landscape painters. Their opening is from 5 to 7 pm.
Also on Sunday, Cindy Kallett will perform at the Grange Hall at 7:30 pm. She will be joined by Grey Larsen, Ellen Epstein, and Michael Cicone, all for the benefit of Felix Neck Fern & Feather Camp Scholarship Fund. It’s close to the heart for Cindy, a former Fern & Feather Camp counselor and Felix Neck naturalist. Tickets are available online atwww.massaudubon.org/fern-feather-fifty or at the door. Call 508-627-4850 for more information.
The West Tisbury Library Foundation’s Tuesdays at Twilight concert series continues this Tuesday, August 5, at the Grange Hall with Dana Edelman and His Slammin’ Band.
Poet Laureate Justen Ahren and Amira Thoron will read a selection of their poems at the library next Thursday, August 7, at 5:30 pm.
Leslie Prosterman’s second poetry workshop, Transition, will meet in the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center Library this Sunday, August 3, from 10 to noon.
In the summer mind-rush, I forgot to wish Isabella Larsen a Happy Birthday last week. Her birthday is July 24. So is Stephanie DaRosa’s and so is my husband Mike’s. Belatedly, I hope you all celebrated and had a great day.