A & E

Left: a painting of Charlayne Hunter-Gault by Glenn Tunstull. Right: An abstract by Deborah Colter.

Four artists headline the latest show at Cousen Rose Gallery in Oak Bluffs. Paul Goodnight has charcoals on exhibit, painter Mark Zeender returns to the gallery after almost 30 years with new landscapes, Glenn Tunstull displays his “dashilist” watercolors, and Deborah T. Colter presents her mixed-media abstract paintings. In addition, artists who exhibited in July share space with these headliners in the gallery’s final exhibit of the season.

"Window of the Sol" by Paul Goodnight.

“Window of the Sol” by Paul Goodnight. —

An artist who works in a variety of mediums, Mr. Goodnight is showing his black-and-white charcoal sketches as well as pastels. Concentrating on the human figure, his work conveys an intensity and complexity of composition.

Mr. Zeender’s marinescapes capture the color and nuances of water and shore in near abstract style. An Islander, he has exhibited at the Vineyard Artisans Festival as well as Cousen Rose. In his artist’s statement, he quotes poet Emily Dickinson: “Exultation is the going of an inland soul.”

Mr. Tunstull has had an active career as a fashion illustrator in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Wear Daily, and The New York Times, in addition to being an educator at the New School of Design, Marist College, Pratt Institute, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. “I have a preoccupation with water and light, which drives me to paint a particular setting,” he says in his artist’s statement. An extensive traveler, Mr. Tunstull creates watercolors that vary in subject from the Hudson Valley, Brazil, Australia, Bali, England, France, and the Caribbean. His Vineyard landscapes are executed in a style he calls “dashilism,” or brush strokes with rhythmic swirls.

Ms. Colter has lived on the Island since 1982. She works in mixed media, employing acrylic paint, prismacolor pencils, conté crayons, pencil, and pastel. Her highly geometric abstracts often use layers of cut paper and collage, and she sands, scratches, and paints to create multiple effects. In her artist’s statement, she says, “Often I think of the view from an airplane window and how the surface below is mapped out by the intervention of the human hand. The roads, the buildings and homes, congestion in contrast with open spaces and how those elements interact with natural elements and each other. There is an ordered sense of chaos, a quiet beauty, when the landscape is viewed from above.”

Emily Levett, assistant to Cousen Rose Gallery owner Zita Cousens, is celebrating her 15th year at the gallery.  A librarian at the West Tisbury School, Ms. Levett, a Vineyard Haven resident, has a master’s degree in art history.

July Meets August show, Cousen Rose Gallery, Oak Bluffs. Show runs through September 13. For more information, visit cousenrose.com.


“Looking Back,” by Shirley Mayhew, Music Street Press, 2014,

In March of 1946, Shirley Mayhew, a West Tisbury resident for the past 65 years, met her husband-to-be, Johnny Mayhew, at a mixer at Pembroke College in Providence.  “The campus, after several years of being dominated by women due to World War II, was being flooded by returning veterans,” Ms. Mayhew writes in her self-published memoir, “Looking Back.”

Shirley, a stunningly attractive young sophomore (one sees this from the photos; the author herself is self-effacing to an endearing degree), attends the mixer to please a far more extroverted friend. When Shirley meets Johnny, a Vineyard native of 10 generations, and an Air Force pilot to boot, they hang together the way two wallflowers will connect in the corner of a crowded room. They stroll into town in the dead of night. He has a girlfriend, and yet they go on meeting. Suddenly the girlfriend vanishes from the picture, and Johnny proposes in a comically laconic way: “’You wouldn’t marry me, would you?’ Without a pause to think it over, I said, ‘Sure.’” Out of this understated beginning arose a lasting marriage with three children, three granddaughters, and six-plus decades of life in what the author herself describes as “the slow lane” in West Tisbury unfolds.

Everyone should live in such a slow lane. Ms. Mayhew recounts her early days as a young bride on Martha’s Vineyard where her new husband followed his bliss by fishing for a living, later expanding to an oyster farm. Later both Johnny and Shirley earned teaching degrees and worked in the school system to support their family.

Ms. Mayhew is a good sport from the very start. She writes, “I married my husband more than 60 years ago for better or for worse — but not for fishing…. The tide and the weather determine a fisherman’s life — and the life of his wife, if she ever wants to see him. The first mistake I made was getting married in September, during the Oscar-season of the Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby.”

The author’s style is engaging as she takes us through Hurricane Carol to her many years on the banks of Look’s Pond, her worldwide travels, and back to her Island again where this wash-ashore is fully blended with her family-in-law’s ancestry. Ms. Mayhew relates how life in the slow lane on this pastoral island includes up-close-and-personal contact with birds of all stripes, a genius raccoon at the bird-feeder, and an overactive mother-and-baby mouse team whose welfare the young Shirley puts before her own.

A fun chapter, Check Stubs Tell All, takes us on a romp through what things used to cost in 1949: 45 cents for shipping a slip-cover from Bloomingdales, a 3-cent postage stamp, $75 to deliver a baby, 35 cents an hour for babysitting, $2 for a bottle of sherry, and $4.14 for a carton — a carton! — of cigarettes, and this in the day when smoking was good for you! The monthly rental for the West Tisbury parsonage across the road from the Whiting Farm was $35.

In an age when so much media attention is focused on what the younger generations are up to, it’s refreshing to hear from articulate members of the Greatest Generation. Their fighting spirit took this country through The Depression and WWII. Its members brought us the odd yet family friendly era of the 1950s — when women were “…eased back into their homes, with propaganda about how satisfying it was to wax your kitchen floors and to get your clothes squeaky clean with the new bleach products.”

From early potluck suppers and guitar musicales with up-Island friends to funny letters from students’ moms  — “Please excuse Billy’s tardiness. He was helping his father catch our pig (they didn’t succeed)” — to eventual granddaughters, one of whom, Katie Ann Mayhew, sang her way to the Boston Pops in London, the memoirist provides a sweep of Island life by demonstrating that the slow lane is filled with stunning moments of incalculable riches such as this one describing two wounded geese who’d partnered together, only one of whom regained the use of its wings: “He would flap his wings alongside her until he was airborne, and when he realized she was not with him, he would return and land on the water beside her… finally Gus took off a final time, circled, but did not return to Andrea. Because all Canada geese look alike, we never knew whether we ever saw him again.”

“Looking Back” will be stocked at the Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven and, when August traffic shows signs of easing up, at Edgartown Books as well. Stay tuned for news of readings and signings: This is a fine gift for family and friends who wonder what we do and how we keep ourselves in the winter unless  — shhh! — we’d just as soon they never knew.


“On the Track of the HMS Monmouth’s Galleon…and Sunken Treasure!” by John Stauffer Potter, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, May 2014, 292 pages.

The late John Stauffer Potter’s previous book, “My First Nine Lives: Full Value Received” (2012), established his credentials as a businessman who not only knows his business but also how to talk about it. In this followup book, “On the Track of the HMS Monmouth’s Galleon,” he tells a dramatic adventure story, full of brave men and daring deeds and of beautiful women who appreciate their efforts. It’s a true story that reads almost like a mystery novel.

And what man or woman among us would not want to participate in an adventure, as long as we finish it alive? John lived a life full of adventurous moments as well as the dull bits, but when he relates it, he makes the dull places dramatic. I have seen him enthrall a lunch table full of men with a tale. Unfortunately, John died this past January, just after delivering the final text for this book to Tisbury Printer.

The sunken treasure sought is valued at more than 1950s era $100 million. It sank in 1752 in Vigo Bay on the west coast of Spain. Two hundred years later, Potter began an operation hoping to recover the gold and silver. First he had to obtain a concession from the Spanish government. He puts us in the center of these negotiations and of nearly every transaction afterward.

Potter begins recruiting investors and experienced divers. Interestingly enough, some of the investors are also his divers. He assembles what is called by a LIFE magazine editor “the finest group of divers I’ve seen anywhere.”

The city of Tangiers — “Melting pot of the world” — he describes thus: “I knew immediately that this, like old Shanghai, Macao and Hong Kong, was one of those cities that have a special atmosphere. You sense it tingling like a living thing in the air as you walk their streets; you hear its provocative whisper in the murmur of strange foreign tongues; you feel its impact as you are drawn into their exotic temperaments.”

Potter gives his treasure-seeking company the unassuming name “Atlantic Salvage Company, Limited,” in order not to excite others to seek the same sunken ship.

Now the team had to begin unraveling every problem that occurred. After buying Aqua Lungs for the team, they rented a sand barge for their base at sea; next, they realized that sunken ships were by now covered by bottom mud so they needed a mud probe, which they built. Then Potter’s friend from Harvard arrived, bearing a metal detector. But it would only work in fresh water: the salts in ocean water defeated it.

Potter was fortunate in his friends. He had the assistance of two East Chop writers who helped him guide the reader through the twists and turns of this complex tale. But it’s his sharp memory that brings the times and tasks alive for us now.

At one point the elusive sunken ship becomes a secondary goal as the divers seek and rescue the remains of drowned fishermen so their families may see them safely buried. This makes the divers heroes to the locals. Other times the money got so low they had to salvage valuable parts of old ships to fund their efforts.

Another time the U.S. Navy becomes involved and lends a helping hand. Then, after three  years of continuing to work at puzzling problems, the divers finally… (sorry, you’ll have to read John Potter’s book to find out). There is also a DVD included in the book.

Rykerr Maynard, as Peter Pan, watches Katie Feeks, Jared Livingston, and Jaiden Edelman fly.

Between August 16 and 24, Island Theatre Workshop (ITW) presented Peter Pan at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s Performing Arts Center. Featuring its ever-youthful namesake, along with other well-known characters created by Scottish playwright Sir James Matthew Barrie, the elaborately staged musical came to life for eight evening performances and two matinées under the direction of ITW vice president Kevin Ryan.

One of the many notable aspects of the production was a stage set with scenic elements fashioned by Brad Austin and the set crew. The remarkable set pieces included a forest, a ship’s deck with rigged mast, and gigantic window.

“I requested Brad design a functional window that would magically open and close with the music cues and that would be as large as the theater would allow,” Mr. Ryan said. “His words to me in a production memo were ‘be careful what you wish for.’ He delivered a stunning 14-foot-plus towering multi-pane window with Palladian top. Brad, along with set consultant Steve Zablotny, rigged it to open and close on a silent system of hidden lines and pulleys.”

In order to achieve the illusion of supernatural flight, ITW tapped Kentucky-based ZFX, a flying effects company that specializes in stage productions. The rig and harnesses they provided are something of a trade secret and not allowed to be photographed from certain angles.

“The rig was originally installed under the instruction and direction of ZFX representative Russ Morgan,” Mr. Ryan said. “Russ trained our fly operator crew prior to his departure for his next location and show. Assembled, it spans more than 40 feet across, is suspended 25 feet above the stage, and weighs in at close to 1,000 pounds. When dismantled, it is confined to a two- by four-foot wood and steel crate.”

In true ITW spirit, close to all of the cast and crew of Peter Pan were volunteers, many of them children. “I found a huge sense of community volunteering and having a child in the production,” said Kristin Mathias, who helped with tickets and concessions. “Everyone accepted everyone with open arms. As someone helping and offering to volunteer, the sense of thanks was overwhelming. The entire ITW family was wonderful to my son. They were caring, understanding, and always happy to see him. This, as a mom, was important. He was always happy to be there and made many new friends and met so many people that he looked up to.”

Zach Mathias, Ms. Mathias’s son, a third-grader at the Oak Bluffs School who played Nibs, summed up his experience working on the play: “I loved being in Peter Pan! It was a lot of fun and it was great to see so many people back from being in the Wizard of Oz last year. I have made some great new friends even though many of them are older than me. And I can’t wait to see what Kevin decides to do next year. I love to act and be on stage. As well as play sports.”

There was a surprise during the performance on Thursday, August 21. At approximately 7 pm, Kevin Ryan “advised the crew to hold the curtain, but without further details,” said volunteer and ITW board member Connie McCreery. That’s when Dukes County deputy sheriff Nate Vieira walked out on stage and trumped Peter Pan himself by proposing to Wendy [played by Katie Feeks].

“People in the audience were crying with happiness,” ITW president Stephanie Burke said.

ITW and the cast and crew of Peter Pan dedicated the musical to the late Clark Maffitt, a longtime friend of ITW as well as a performer who died in June. “He was a wonderful man with a terrific sense of humor and a terrific storyteller. We were really sorry to lose him,” said Lee Fierro, a creative, driving force behind ITW for four decades.

Emphasizing the indispensable foundation that volunteers provide, Mr. Ryan said that families especially make critical, and often unsung, contributions to productions like Peter Pan.

“The community theater company exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism,” he said. “I am so very proud of not only the Island Theatre Workshop organization, but each and every one of the individuals involved, along with their families. It is no small feat to transport children to and from rehearsals, often in different locations, at many late hours throughout what is about a nine-week process, while juggling other kids and family summer schedules. These families are committed to daily email communication and hands-on involvement at all times. Several of the parents in this production worked backstage as well as in the front of the house. Every night it is dressing, make-up, staging, assisting with others who might be in need of help. This is what the public never gets to see, and it is every bit as important as what is happening on stage during the performances. We love our cast parents and family members and could never do a show such as Peter Pan without them.”

The Playhouse hosts two play readings, on Saturday and Monday.

The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse winds up its season of Monday Night Specials (play readings featuring professional actors) with two new works. On Monday, Sept. 1, the Playhouse presents a comedy/drama by Avram Ludwig, movie producer (Swingers) and actor. The Same Boat will tread some familiar ground for Vineyard audiences as the action takes place on a sailboat headed to the Island. A staid Connecticut couple’s life is shaken up when a bohemian young woman enters the picture. The reading is at 7:30 pm at the M.V. Playhouse on Church Street in Vineyard Haven. Admission is $25.

Another work with a similar title — but very different subject matter — will be presented on Saturday, August 30 at 4 pm, also at the Playhouse, also $25. The Same Man compares the lives and work of two of our greatest contemporary authors — George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh. The play is written by attorney/author David M. Lebedoff and based on his critically acclaimed book of the same name. Mr. Lebedoff, a former treasurer of Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, has written a number of other nonfiction books covering topics from partisan politics to the Exxon Valdez disaster.

Both plays will be followed by Q&As with the playwrights. For more information, call 508-696-6300 or visit mvplayhouse.org.

"Rouge Triptych" by Charyl Weissbach.

Louisa Gould Gallery opens its seventh annual abstract show on Friday, August 29, with the work of nine women. They are Tracy Spadafora, Susan Morosky, Cheryl Clinton, Linda Cordner, Charyl Weissbach, Kellie Weeks, Kay Hartung, Laura Roosevelt, and Roberta Gross. A reception for the artists will launch the show on Saturday, August 30, from 5 to 7 pm.

"Cells Surfacing" by Kay Hartung.

“Cells Surfacing” by Kay Hartung. —

Ms. Spadafora has on exhibit a series of three constructions, all named “Vestiges.” Already known for her encaustic (hot beeswax with color pigments) work, she constructs boxes and decorates them with mixed media in “Vestige (Part 1).” The four boxes look like small towers with floral vegetation and miniature tubes on the bottom and vertical black-and-white scripts in what looks like handwriting on the top. Color is kept to a minimum. “The layering, obscuring, deconstructing and preserving of images helps me address a complex and shifting relationship between man, his biological roots, and the shaping of our natural environment,” she says.

Ms. Morosky celebrates color in compositions that demonstrate considerable variety in composition. “Blue Shallows” is a 12- by 48-inch work that combines shades of blue with touches of green and dark red in lively swirls. The artist works almost exclusively in shades of blue for “Coast Winds I and II” to create a very different effect. Layering, adding, and removing paint from the canvas add depth and subtlety to these compositions.

"Sea Winds" by Susan Morosky.

“Sea Winds” by Susan Morosky. —

Ms. Clinton describes her photo transfers with acrylic as “a developing story…part autobiography with a dash of Grimm’s fairy tales around the edges.” This artist evokes a surprising number of moods and seasons in her work, from the winter feel of “Walking 6” to the stormy sense of “Flooded Brook Combo.”

Linda Cordner’s encaustic on board paintings express a dreaminess through muted palettes, as in the soft blues of “Still Water” and the more cerebral “Striation.” She likes to layer her paintings and preserve accidental traces of drips and blurs.

Boston-based Ms. Weissbach’s work demonstrates two very different styles. In some, her encaustics on Belgian linen, she creates a sense of graphic design through patterns of flowers and leaves or trees. In Metalscapes – Lavender, executed in encaustic, resin, and metal on panel, she hones down her composition to a minimalist evocation of color and form. The Balsam Poplar Series is based on a tree in the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University.

Ms. Weeks employs her vibrant sense of color with pigment sticks and encaustic in works such as Fragments of Illumination. Intermittent is particularly striking in its use of texture to evoke what might or might not be a crescent-shaped shoreline. She describes her work as illuminating “the human spirit and the journey it is on.”

Ms. Hartung, who works with encaustic mixed media, says, “I have been looking at electron microscope photographs and am inspired by the abstract organic shapes and intense colors of this hidden world. I imagine the energy and interactions that go on in my body and the mind to produce action and thought.” Her egg-like shapes in the abstract sculpture “3 Orbs” are rich in color. Encaustic mixed media such as “Microcell 11” share vibrant color with a delightful sense of form.

Ms. Gross, who divides her time between Philadelphia and Aquinnah, suspends mysterious, cloud-like forms in a geometric background in “Spring Orchard,” while texture unites a pale aqua background with an amorphous white shape in the foreground in “Seafoam.” Ms. Gross curated the show and experimented with burning Tyvek, a synthetic substance used by builders.

West Tisbury resident Ms. Roosevelt explores the shapes and distortions made by water in her abstract photographs.

Part of the pleasure of the Louisa Gould Gallery’s Abstract Vision show is the variety permitted by exhibiting so many different artists.

Abstract Vision: The Colors and Forms Behind the Everyday, opening reception, 5–7 pm, Saturday, August 30, Louisa Gould Gallery, Vineyard Haven. Show runs through September 18.

Curator’s Talk with Roberta Gross, 5 pm, Friday, Sept. 5.

For information, visit louisagould.com.

Lila'Angelique, left, and S. K. Thoth of Tribal Baroque perform at the Union Chapel on Sunday, August 31.

One of New York City’s most often witnessed and most talked-about performances is coming to the Vineyard this weekend. New York-based street performers S. K. Thoth and Lila’Angelique are known throughout the world for their unique brand of opera, though they tend to operate somewhat under the radar, so it’s only the lucky few who are in the right place at the right time who get to witness their colorful and emotionally charged act.

On Sunday, the two will present their very unique music and dance show Tribal Baroque at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs for one performance (or “prayformance,” as they refer to their concerts). The show is a Wendy Taucher Dance Opera Theater production.

It’s a bit challenging to describe exactly what Tribal Baroque is. To begin with, there are the costumes. Thoth has a look that’s both androgynous (he tends to wear a skirt or apron/loincloth) and a blend of ethnic elements. His shaved head and facial adornments suggest a Tibetan monk, but he also incorporates a number of other cultures in his look with extreme eye makeup, fur, silver jewelry, and other adornments. His look, like that of his partner and wife Lila’Angelique, changes from performance to performance. Lila is partial to pink and white, and in hair, makeup, and clothing and she favors feathers, flowers, and elaborately bejeweled facial art. While Thoth embodies sort of a savage virility, Lila is pure feminine with more than a touch of the Romantic era of periwigs and frills.

Despite what might be seen as an outlandish look, the husband and wife duo are very serious musicians and vocal technicians. Lila sings in a beautiful coloratura soprano voice. Thoth is an accomplished countertenor and classically trained violinist whose mother played timpani for the New York Philharmonic. Both performers play violin expertly while providing percussion through multiple rows of ankle bells.

The performances are mini operas based on a fable of Thoth’s own imagining. In his days as a solo act, Thoth created a country, language, and mythology around which he based a complex series of song and dance pieces. Lila joined him in 2009, adding another element and a great deal of depth to the story and performance.

“It’s changed everything,” Lila said of their collaboration in a recent Skype interview. Thoth had his own energy — the male. Now it’s very much yin and yang with both of us both feeding off each other. There’s a lot more energy to work with. The performance is more fleshed out.”

The music is unusual for its invented language, but the compositions are classically structured and quite beautiful and very rhythmic. The music incorporates classical sensibilities and elements from a number of ethnicities including gypsy and other folk music and chanting that resembles both the Gregorian and the muezzin call to worship. It’s a fascinating mix that somehow works really well and highlights the two disparate and equally virtuosic vocalists.  Despite the language barrier it’s easy to absorb the themes of yearning, devotion, love, and valor, the basis of any great opera — or myth, for that matter.

In 2002, before Lila and Thoth had joined forces, filmmaker Sarah Kernochan made a documentary about Thoth that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. Ms. Kernochan, who has written a number of screenplays and won two Oscars, spends her summers at her home in Edgartown.

Thoth and Ms. Kernochan have maintained a friendship ever since the making of the film. During the Skype interview, Thoth said, “We’re really good friends. We’ve kept in touch over the years and got closer in fact after the film.” Thoth explained that he has some issues around trust and added, “She’s one of my only friends.”

Ms. Kernochan discovered Thoth at his regular haunt, the vaulted Angel Tunnel in New York City’s Central Park. That is still the couple’s preferred street performance space. Tribal Baroque “prayforms” up to five times a week, although they try to do no more in order to give their much strained voices a break.

“We perform all over the world,” said Lila. “We just performed on the Royal Mile [in Edinburgh] for a couple of months. We went to Amsterdam and performed outdoors at the Rijksmuseum.” The couple arrives straight from an extended European tour when they appear here. After this show they will return to New York City.

Although they rarely perform by invitation, the members of Tribal Baroque are often approached during their informal shows and recruited to appear at venues or private parties. Joe Ashcroft and Mollie Whalen of Vineyard Haven chanced upon a performance in San Diego and arranged, through Wendy Taucher, to bring the couple to the Vineyard.

Interestingly, both Thoth and Lila’Angelique have Island connections. He visited the Island with his mother once while his mother was touring with the musical “Showboat.” He recalls having a small part in that show and even remembers his one line. Lila’s mother’s godfather was the late author William Styron, who spent summers here. She hopes to have the chance to meet Styron’s widow Rose, who she last saw when she was a child.

The Tribal Baroque show is sure to prove one of the more unusual events of the summer season. But, surprisingly, the group’s appeal seems to be universal as witnessed by the variety — from hipsters to Park Avenue matrons — among the spectators who tend to stick around enthralled by the duo’s street appearances.

Musicians and music lovers will enjoy the original compositions and virtuosity of the players. Others will appreciate the spectacle as much as the stories and the music.

Thoth and Lila will be on hand at a reception at the A Gallery in Oak Bluffs following the performance.

Tribal Baroque performance, Sunday, August 31, 6 pm, Union Chapel, Oak Bluffs. $25; $20 general in advance; $50 front row in advance. Meet the Performers reception follows at A Gallery. For more information and tickets, visit wendytaucherdanceoperatheater.com or call 646-872-7249.

"Along the Way" by Andrew Moore.

The latest exhibit at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, which opens on August 29, featuring three generations of artists from one family. Although a little tongue in cheek, Moore and Moore and Moore, as the show is called, declares that the talent just keeps coming.

Moore and Moore and Moore reveals the connections and relationships of three artists: landscape painter Nelson Augustus Moore; his great-great grandson Andrew Gordon Moore, a realist painter who lives in Oak Bluffs; and Hannah Moore, Andrew’s daughter.

"Gay Head Cliffs" by Andrew Moore.

“Gay Head Cliffs” by Andrew Moore. —

Nelson Augustus Moore (1824-1902) was born in Kensington, Conn., and studied art in New York City before opening a photography studio in Hartford with his brother Roswell in 1854. Unlike some artists, who abandoned painting for photography, Moore continued to paint idyllic landscapes of Connecticut, especially Hartford and his native Kensington, throughout his life, according to a press release. He also painted landscapes of Martha’s Vineyard on his vacations here.

Andrew Gordon Moore operates a studio and gallery in Harthaven. A realist, he works in watercolor, egg tempera, and oil. As a hunter, fisherman, sailor, and self-taught naturalist, the world outdoors is his source. Andrew’s work reveals this deep involvement in and appreciation of Island subjects studied through every season. Occasionally, he journeys to coastal Maine and other locations, adding these images to his predominantly Martha’s Vineyard-based work.

A self-portrait by Hannah Moore.

A self-portrait by Hannah Moore. —

Hannah Moore is a sophomore at Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. A 2013 graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, Hannah’s work includes drawings, paintings, sculpture, and mixed media and covers still life, portraiture, and fantasy. Hannah exhibited a selection of her work in an exhibit at Featherstone Center for the Arts in 2013, and she was awarded a gold key portfolio award from the Boston Globe Scholastic Art competition that same year.

David Nathans, executive director of the museum, is guest curating the exhibit. “Each of these artists is at a different career stage,” he said. “Nelson Augustus is gone now, so his work is done. Andrew is a mature talent, but he’s still working and still experimenting. Hannah is just beginning. This is going to be fun.” Mr. Nathans will participate in a conversation with Andrew Moore and Bonnie Stacy, the museum’s chief curator, about the exhibition and the artists’ interactions and influences on Thursday, September 18, at 5:30 pm.

“Moore and Moore and Moore” Opening Reception, 5–7 pm, Friday, August 29, M.V. Museum, Edgartown. $7; free for members and children under 6. Show runs through Oct. 25. For more information, call 508-627-4441 or visit mvmuseum.org.

Scott Blakeman brings his stand-up comedy to the Grange Hall.

New York political comedian Scott Blakeman returns to the Vineyard with his solo show, Scott Blakeman: A Standup Who Doesn’t Dumb Down, this Saturday, August 30, at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. Mr. Blakeman is an original member of New York’s longest running political comedy show, “Laughing Liberally,” and has performed his comedy around the world, according to a press release. The show starts at 8 pm, and tickets ($20) are available at eventbrite.com and at the door.


An expanded Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, hosted by the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society, opens Tuesday, Sept. 2, in what festival director Richard Paradise calls a soft opening.

After two additional days of film screenings, the Festival’s grand opening takes place on Thursday, Sept. 4, at Saltwater Restaurant, followed by A Trip to Italy, starring British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Also for the first year, the festival films will be screened entirely at the state-of-the-art Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in Vineyard Haven.

The Polish movie IDA screens on Tuesday, Sept. 2, followed on Wednesday, Sept. 3,by Land Ho from Iceland, followed by appetizers and Icelandic cocktails at The Port Hunter in Edgartown, with live music by the Mike Benjamin Band.

The documentary Austin to Boston, playing Saturday, Sept. 6, in its U.S. premiere, epitomizes what is best about the M.V. International Film Festival. This independent film is a gem not likely to be found at the local multiplex. It follows the 2012 road tour across the U.S. of a group of primarily British musicians, traveling more than 4,000 miles in five VW buses. Starting out in Austin, the group travels from Oklahoma City to Kansas City, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Nashville, New York, and Woodstock, N.Y. before ending up in Boston. Narrator-musician Gill Landry says, “What drew me into this trip was the ridiculousness of it.”

Beautifully photographed and edited, Austin to Boston, directed by James Marcus Haney, captures the youthful exuberance of a group of scruffy-looking musicians who have none of the slickness of musical headliners but all of the natural talent that the best of them offer. Playing guitar, drums, and bass, as well as other instruments, Ben Howard, the Stave, Nathaniel Rateliff, Bear’s Den, and Communion convey a sense of pure joy performing their folkie-based music. The musical odyssey is for some of them their introduction to America, reminiscent in tone of Simon & Garfunkel’s 1968 hit, America. By the end of the tour in Boston, one member of the group says, “I didn’t think I’d fall in love with America the way I have.” Along the way, the movie illustrates what it’s like to be a musician on tour. “It’s a damn good time,” says another member of the group.

More new elements of the M.V. International Film Festival include post-film coffee discussions at Nat’s Nook Café in Vineyard Haven, and a Closing Night Party at the Film Center with music and refreshments. Reel Food returns on Friday, Sept. 5 with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and spirits at Saltwater Restaurant. Following that is the Juried Competition of International Shorts with nine finalists from more than 450 entries. Bill Plympton’s signature Animation Showcase screens on Saturday, Sept. 6.

“What I like best each and every year is the reaction and feedback of the audiences, whether good or bad,” Mr. Paradise said in a telephone interview this week. “The more you can learn about other cultures, the more you understand your own culture. The tolerance for differences is very important.”

Other films playing over the six-day event include Child’s Pose from Romania, Metro Manila from the Philippines, the children’s film Belle and Sebastian from Switzerland, Ilo Ilo from Singapore, Attila Marcel from France, May in the Summer from Jordan, Kumiko the Treasure Hunter from Japan, Hunting Elephants from Israel, and A Five-Star Life from Italy.

Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, Tuesday, Sept. 2 through Sunday, Sept. 7, M.V. Film Center, Vineyard Haven, For screening times, additional information, and tickets, visit mvfilmsociety.com.