Artist finds inspiration in found objects

Ashley Medowski
Ashley Medowski employed parts of an antique bed and an old lunch basket she once used in Africa to create a frame for "The Beehive."

Posted August 16, 2007

Ashley Medowski opened a show of new works at her Saltwater Gallery in West Tisbury last weekend. The unique gallery on Lamberts Cove Road was once the fishing shed of her great grandfather, Capt. Norman Benson. The young artist began using the old building as a gallery in 2001, held her first show there in 2002, and has been slowly restoring the structure ever since.

Ms. Medowski says she has always enjoyed picking up interesting items on the beach, especially sea glass, which has long been a major theme in her art and jewelry making. In 2004, she branched out into doing more mixed media pieces, and says that most recently she has been "building landscapes" with many of the fascinating objects she has found and collected.

Ms. Medowski, who chooses a different theme for each year's show, said that she relies on the careful craftsmanship she used as a jeweler in her mixed media work. She uses great care in constructing the pieces, and said she uses connections sturdy enough to last forever.

The artist said some of her pieces can take years to develop and that her choice of style often depends on the materials themselves, some lending themselves to more animated, others to more traditional compositions.

Saltwater Gallery, 367 Lamberts Cove Rd., West Tisbury, Tuesday through Sunday, 1-6 pm, 508-696-8822.