Featherstone's Gift Show
This year, 51 Vineyard artists will contribute their creative efforts to providing artistic gift options at affordable prices (from $5 to $250) for the holiday season at Featherstone Center for the Arts seventh Annual Holiday Gift Show. The show opened this past weekend and will run through December 20 from 12 noon to 4 pm daily. Each year the number of artists grows as new artists participate.
The variety of items at the show includes painted gift cards, ceramics, calendars, decorative mirrors, jackets, sachet bags, handbags, hats and mittens, jewelry, photographs, paintings and decorative soaps.
This year is Eva Weinstein's seventh year contributing pottery to the Holiday Gift Show. Ms. Weinstein lives most of the year in Aquinnah, and sells her work at Featherstone. Following pottery classes at Featherstone she purchased her own kiln, and now creates and fires her ceramics at home.
Originally from Denmark, Ms. Weinstein's work is influenced by her Scandinavian roots. "I like functional things with simple, clean lines," she says. Simplicity is evident in her art. Her work ranges from ceramic match holders to bowls, plates, ceramic strainers and teapots.
She says her participation in the Holiday Gift Show is one way to support Featherstone in its effort to provide affordable instruction in the arts.
Marie Allen provides her fine selection of jewelry made with semi-precious stones such as jade, coral, turquoise, and amber.
Minor Knight of West Tisbury participating in her second Featherstone Holiday Show. She is showing homemade agate necklaces and earrings, along with her retro pillows from vintage print barkcloth - a textured cotton primarily used in curtains and drapery. Her pieces range from $25 to $85.
Making unique clothing and gifts is important motivation to Ms. Knight. "My dream is to make something so creative that Mick Jagger would wear it," she says.
For the first time this year Featherstone includes Juleann Vanbelle's photography to its holiday event. Her photographs, both in black and white and in vivid color, are dramatic. Her photography is priced between $70 and $200.
Having lived on the Island for 30 years, Ms. Vanbelle says, "I took up photography as a way to remind myself of the loveliness and dearness of the Island."
The desire to contribute to Featherstone is also important to Ms. Vanbelle. "There is an important educational and nurturing component at Featherstone that fosters growth in adult learners," she says.
In addition to books by various Vineyard writers, the show features the art of Joyce Silberling, who started her own felting business after taking a class at Featherstone two years ago, and Nancy Blank, a long-time Featherstone teacher. Carol Barstow presents her glass ornaments and decorative soaps. Debbie Rosenthal is selling her decorative tiles and pastels.
Some of the other Vineyard art available for sale at the Featherstone Holiday Gift Show include: scarves, purses and paintings by Donna Blackburn; stained glass stars by Gabriella Camilleri; sea glass jewelry, ornaments and scarves by the Reverend Judy Campbell; fleece wear by Betsy Edge; ceramics and wine glasses by John Robert Hill; painted rocks by Cammie Naylor; tiles and pastels by Bob Rosenbaum; calendars and cards by Lisa Vanderhoop; and wooden ornaments by Greg Watson.
Featherstone Center for the Arts, a nonprofit organization, provides year-round arts programming for Islanders of all ages. Proceeds from the artwork sold during the Holiday Gift Show are divided equally between the artists and Featherstone, which uses the funds to maintain and broaden affordable art.
The Featherstone Holiday Gift Show, Sat., Nov. 21, through Fri., Dec. 20, daily from 12 noon to 4 pm, at Featherstone in Oak Bluffs. 508-693-1850.
Mary Quinn is a freelance writer living in Oak Bluffs.