MV Arts Association (Old Sculpin Gallery)
Edgartown, MA 02539
Formerly a sail loft, a whale oil factory, an old grain store, and a boat builder’s shed, the distinctive building now known as the Old Sculpin Gallery, home of the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association, is over 240 years old. Over the years its unique shingled tower has welcomed visitors to the waterfront along Edgartown’s harbor, and today its wide floorboards and hand hewn beams welcome art lovers into its gallery and studio spaces. Incorporated in 1954, the Martha's Vineyard Art Association opened for the benefit of the island community: "to increase facilities of art education, create interest in the arts, make an art center for the whole island, establish a permanent collection, and preserve an old landmark." Such were the lofty goals of its founding President Ruth Mead and its Vice-President Henry Beetle Hough.
The Old Sculpin Gallery is now owned, maintained, and managed by the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association, Inc., a non-profit corporation that derives its support from artist donations, gallery rentals, and tax-deductible contributions from patrons and friends of the arts. Artists are invited to become active members of the Association and to submit examples of their work to the Exhibition Jury.
It's the primary gallery where artists of the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association show their work. These are "island artists" showing "island scenes". It's also an art school for children and adults.
The Old Sculpin Gallery has its own permanent collection of paintings. It's a museum and a historic property. Shows by member artists are hung each week with openings on Sunday evenings and other activities during the summer.
In addition to selling the artwork of its membership to the public, the MVAA’s outreach includes the awarding of scholarships to talented island art students from the high school. It also offers of art classes for all ages. The permanent collection and the historic structure retain vital links to the history of the association and of the island. The Board of Directors of the not-for-profit MVAA continue the proud traditions set by its founders to encourage and maintain an atmosphere of artistic growth for its membership and the cultural enrichment for both the island community and visitors to our shores.