Seemingly endless snow made downtime too ample for many Islanders during the last few months. With winter reaching beyond the vernal equinox to clobber Martha’s Vineyard at least one more time this week, that glut of downtime may continue a little longer. That, however, is irrelevant to Chris and Sheila Morse, who have kept quite busy in the off-season weather.
Like their flagship gallery, The Granary, the Morses conduct business year-round. On-Island and off, they have been acquiring fresh antiques and art to compliment the array of paintings The Granary regularly stocks. As April approaches, many Island-made additions to that painting stock are either underway or already completed.
“Spring is always a great time on the Vineyard and particularly in the galleries,” said Mr. Morse. “Most of our artists have been working since last season in anticipation of the coming months. Many will bring in ‘teaser pieces’ in advance of their feature show. It is kind of like Christmas to see what they have created and are excited to share with us at the gallery and with their returning patrons.”
Three Island painters will reveal new work at The Granary in the upcoming months.
Edgartown resident Jeanne Staples, founder of the humanitarian organization PeaceQuilts, will exhibit an Oak Bluffs landscape entitled “Nightfall at the Flying Horses.”
Heather Neill, inspired by one of the treasures of the Wadsworth Atheneum — Andrew Wyeth’s “Chambered Nautilus” — will exhibit an interior painting entitled “Chambered Linens.”
Scott Terry of West Tisbury will exhibit a moonlit snowscape, “End of Snow.”
Speaking of the preceding artists’ work, along with that of other Island artists showing at The Granary this year, gallery manager David Wallis emphasizes the individuality that shines through in their varied interpretations of Vineyard motifs.
“They each depict parts of the Island that are common to all of us but in an uncommon way. As a viewer, we immediately see the uniqueness of their talents.”
One Granary represented artist, who renders the common uncommonly, is Long Islander Barry Rockwell (no relation to the king of Saturday Evening Post covers). By inserting jars of Fluff and Jif into a portrait of a 19th century gentleman, Mr. Rockwell evokes a smile through juxtaposition in his painting “The Fluffer Nutter,” a new work currently hanging in The Granary.
“He has a unique way to express humor at no one’s expense,” said Mr. Wallis.
Adding to the painting’s whimsy is the fact that the gentleman depicted also happens to have a fluffernutter sandwich in hand. However, despite its playful contrasts, what could be disconcerting to those who examine “The Fluffer Nutter” is the criminal absence of a glass of milk.
For information about The Granary Gallery, and forthcoming shows and exhibitions, visit granarygallery.com.