This is definitely our week to shine, as West Tisbury welcomes one and all to "Come to the Fair." Preparations have taken place under the watchful eyes of the Fair Committee and West Tisbury residents and passersby along the State and Panhandle Roads. Carnival rides are parked along the edge of the fairgrounds, booths are going up, orange fencing has appeared around the surrounding fields. Although it seems to happen effortlessly, I know that the committee members work throughout the year to make it seem that way. "Thank you" to all of them.
Ruth Kirchmeier and I stopped by Allen Whiting's last Thursday evening to see his newest paintings. We enjoyed meeting his and Lynne's nephew, Louis Franciose, Lynne's sister's son. Louis is a devoted Red Sox fan, a baseball player himself (second base), so we had a lot to talk about. Although Louis was on his way out for a swim at Lambert's Cove with his Aunt Lynne, he agreed to send me an e-mail later, so here it is.
"Louis Franciose, his siblings Josie and Dominic, and his parents Larry and Lori, recently spent time on Whiting Farm. Prior to their Island visit, they participated in a weeklong baseball tournament in Cooperstown, New York, with Louis's team, The Utah Eagles. While they were here, they helped Uncle Allen celebrate his 60th birthday. The Franciose family has now returned home to Salt Lake City."
Allen's August show is beautiful. Ruth and I pushed along to see the African Craft Exhibition and Sale at Paul Karasik and Marsha Wynsrig's house. There were brilliantly colored printed fabrics, jewelry, and wood carvings all displayed on the porch. Ruth bought a piece of fabric for $15 that she has already turned into pillows for her living room sofa. We couldn't stay too long as we both had plans for the evening. Ruth and Nelson were having dinner with friends and I had a Library Trustees meeting. We had hoped to stop at Lanny MacDowell's gallery, but ran out of time. That can be our next outing.
There are lots of events involving West Tisbury artists. Julia Mitchell's woven tapestries are on display at the Belushi-Pisano Gallery in Vineyard Haven. Also in Vineyard Haven, Kib Bramhall is having a one-man show of his oil paintings at Carol Craven's gallery. Ann Howes's watercolors are part of a four-artist show at the Old Sculpin in Edgartown. All of the artists had glittery, well-attended openings over the weekend.
Ruth and I will be hanging our show at the Chilmark Library on Saturday morning. We spent some time over the weekend in each other's studios to decide what we would hang and how. The Chilmark space is huge, a nice opportunity for artists. Ruth will display together four large woodcuts of a bouquet of lilacs on a table. It shows clearly her process of hand-coloring the blocks to produce different versions of the same print, the complexity and variations of her technique. Her other woodcuts are also still life compositions of flowers (Ruth is also an amazing gardener.) I will be showing large oils, a double portrait of my father-in-law and his friend, Nelson Bryant, and a painting of a friend, Myrna Cummings, sitting in my studio. No opening or anything fancy, just our work together.
A friend arrived from Chilmark at Dan Prowten's house in Christiantown about 3 o'clock this past Sunday afternoon. He was wearing a Hawaiian patterned shirt and carrying a big bag of chips under each arm. He was ready to party. Unfortunately, he had missed the event, a shared birthday party for Dan Prowten (August 10) and his daughter Diana Waring (August 11) that took place at Danny's house the day before. It was "a great West Tisbury party," said the host. He was happy to be surrounded by his friends, but also pleased that the lamb and pig roast was a great success, with everything done perfectly at the anticipated time. Happy birthday to you both, Danny and Diana.
Nicky Phear has been here visiting her parents, Bea and Patrick. They enjoyed each other and Island things (I saw Nicky carrying a lovely bouquet that included a dark black-red sunflower) before Nicky returned home to Missoula, Montana.
The Polly Hill Arboretum (PHA) has arranged a "Bird-Watching Walk with Allan Keith" this Saturday morning, August 19, at 8 am. Meet at the Arboretum, then carpool to a birding location of Allan's choice. There is a fee of $24 or $20 for PHA members. Call 508-693-9426 to register.
Candidate for Governor Chris Gabrieli will be at West Tisbury's Field Gallery this Saturday afternoon from 2:30 to 4:30. Please call Richard Knabel at 508-696-9134 or Robert Sawyer at 508-693-5900 for more information. The event is sponsored by the Martha's Vineyard Democrats.
At our library trustees meeting last Thursday, our new director Howard Curtis presented his monthly report in a new format, a quite impressive looking newsletter. We were all so taken with it that we thought the public might find it of interest, too. We asked Howard to print up extra copies for library patrons. So if you want to keep track of circulation statistics, programs, new materials and services available, pick up your copy of the Library Report at the circulation desk.
The library's Monday Night Movie on August 21 will be an adaptation of Norton Juster's "The Phantom Tollbooth." It begins at 7 pm at the Howes House.
Sunday evening, also at 7 pm at Howes House, Dan Waters, West Tisbury's Poet Laureate, will be reading "old and new favorites" in his wonderful "poet's voice" for the benefit of the Library Building Fund. There will be a $10 donation and refreshments will be served. Dan has requested chocolate chip cookies, which I will make, and Marilyn Hollinshead is making her special oatmeal cookies. Marilyn calls us a "cookie board" and we all have our specialties, so expect to enjoy both the event and the afters.
Abigail Higgins will speak about "Looking Ahead to the Fall Garden" at the Library this Wednesday evening, August 23, at 7 pm. This event is free. This summer's gardening lecture series has been very popular and interesting and it seems rather illicit to get to make a mess in the Reading Room. And we always go home with a new plant. It should be an informative evening.
Bea Phear wants to remind everyone about the Martha's Vineyard Donors Collaborative, which is sponsoring a new Island license plate. One hundred percent of all proceeds will benefit Island charities. You may sign up on line at www.mvdonors.org or at their booth at the Agricultural Fair.
Leslie Baker called the other day to read me a quote from Mahatma Ghandi. "Be the change you want to see in this world." What a thought.
See you at the Fair.