Focus on flowers at Dragonfly
For the past 12 years, The Dragonfly Gallery in the Arts District in Oak Bluffs has hosted the Spring Flower Art Show. Though the gallery has new owners since April, this past weekend, the tradition was continued.
On Sunday afternoon, new owners Don McKillop and Susan Davy, previously of Jamaica Plain, greeted visitors to their gallery to see all the bright colors of spring in this year's show, "Island Bloom." The light mood was complemented by great weather and a lovely spread of colorful hors d'oeuvres, fresh flowers, and lemonade. The walls were graced with flowers of all shapes, sizes, and colors, in all types of media by 25 artists.
The comfortable gallery is easily maneuvered around. The space offers chairs, couches, and books to keep any gallery-goer occupied. And at this event the Andes chocolates especially made one want to stay and sit awhile.
The flower images were quite uplifting. The seemingly largest piece in this show, with its own spotlight, was "Poppy Field," an oil-on-canvas by Jance Lentz that captures the viewer for a few minutes. It takes you on a journey to that field, the perfect resting image.
Fae Kontje has three monotypes in the show in the corner, near the couches. These images are refreshingly not literal images of flowers. Ms. Kontje also uses her skillful way with words to name the prints: "A rise and drift of flowers," "Gardening Peace," and "Springing."
There were three sleek contemporary images, giclée prints on core board and laminated, by Harvey Beth. These flowers were easily distinguishable. One image named "Frangipani" was a soft introduction into the gallery full of flowers.
Near the entrance to the gallery is another oil painting by Ms. Lentz, "The artist's garden." Another light-hearted colorful depiction, it is evocative of a lively, English garden. Complementing Ms. Lentz's piece, on its left is a photograph by Joe Doebler titled "Flowers for sale," which has a perfect afternoon light reminiscent of typical Island fall and summer afternoons.
In the same area is a brilliant piece by Traeger diPietro, "Time to pop;" an awesome oil painting in his thick stroke and heavy paint style. Mr. diPietro's piece seemed different from his other series, which can be viewed at Dragonfly this summer. But this show is a special show and many of the artists were responding to a specific theme, which often strays from their normal style. For example two pieces by Washington Ledesma that you would never guess were his. "These images are not related to his sculpture in any way," Ms. Davy commented.
The proud new gallery owners are thrilled with the space and their first show. "We love entertaining, meeting people, and art, so, this felt like a good move," Mr. McKillop explained, though their plans for the summer involve a lifestyle and schedule they are not used to. "We thought this was a great place [they usually came down to Martha's Vineyard every summer], but we never thought we would end up here. And this summer will be different for us. We will be open seven days a week," he added.
Both artists - Mr. McKillop has shown his paintings at gallery in the past painters and Ms. Davy is a photographer - the couple seem ready for the task of keeping a busy summer Island gallery. With 24 artists on their roster, many whom they inherited from past owner of 14 years Holly Alaimo, the two have plenty to get them up at 4 am and work long days, according to Mr. McKillop.
Bravo to the new owners for a great first show.
"Island Bloom" through May 17. The next show at Dragonfly, "Beginnings," begins May 19, opening reception on May 23.
The gallery is open seven days a week from 11 am to 6 pm. The Dragonfly Gallery is located in the Arts District in Oak Bluffs, at 91 Dukes County Avenue. For more information, call 508-693-8877 or visit mvdragonfly.com.