Things To Do : Around Town
Martha's Vineyard Times File Photo
It might sound boastful to say that there is something different, and more pleasurable about shopping on the Vineyard. But when you stop to think about it, it’s just a logical conclusion. Here is where you come to discover the unexpected.
The Island is after all, a place that claims a unique character – and a heightened appreciation for the handcrafted, the one-of-a-kind – from its popular Main streets to the different small town charms of its three down-Island and three up-Island towns. There are galleries and art, shops and boutiques, which display clothing, jewelry, furniture, home accessories, and décor.
Add to that the intimacy of strolling into one of the Island’s small shops, being greeting by the owner or maybe a resident sales person who will make you feel welcome, maybe even share an insight or two about things that are going on.
The shops in each of the Vineyard’s towns express something about their varied settings: The shops on the Cliffs in Aquinnah; the Menemsha general store, antique, and clothing shops; West Tisbury’s ceramic, crafts, and garden shops; Edgartown’s boutiques; the book stores, home stores, art, and clothing shops of Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs. Each town has its own style, and each conveys the experience of being on Martha’s Vineyard. Browse. Talk to strangers. Make shopping fun again.
Thrift Shops by Katryn Yerdon
Do you like to jump from yard sale to yard sale, picking up great finds for less? Have you decided to become a little thriftier this year and cut back on big expenses, yet find yourself in need of some home good necessities? Perhaps you are someone who just enjoys the eclectic look. Whatever category you fall in, everyone can enjoy a shopping outing, or better yet a treasure hunt, at some of the Island's best retail outlets: thrift stores and consignment shops. Our Island has several to choose from, and with our community's penchant for giving, you will be amazed at some of the wonders you will find.
In Edgartown, The Martha's Vineyard Boys & Girls Club Second Hand Store, on North Summer Street in Edgartown, is a consistent treat to behold. From books, clothes, and dishes to beds, couches, and household items, everyone can find a special something to go home with. The extra benefit of shopping here is that the proceeds go to the Boys & Girls Club to help them achieve their mission: providing youth programs and to help them to develop important skills like leadership and build self-esteem, all while in a safe, fun environment.
If you find you are someone who is actually looking to downsize your household instead of adding to it, the Second Hand Store also accepts tax-deductible donations of items that are still in good repair for resale in the shop. To learn more or schedule a pick-up you may reach them at 508-627-5683.
In keeping with the second hand and donation theme, another great option is the long running, since 1962, The Thrift Shop on Chicken Alley in Vineyard Haven. This well-run establishment is manned by a bevy of volunteers, there to help raise money for Martha's Vineyard Community Services (MVCS). Like the Boys & Girls Club Second Hand Store, they offer tax-deduction forms for any donated items that are able to be resold, i.e.: in good condition.
Here, a family in need or someone looking for that special something can find everything from clothing for the whole family to housewares, furniture, books, collectables, and even artwork. To browse their selection or make a much needed donation, visit them at 38 Lagoon Pond Road (just past the Post Office on the opposite side of the street) during their business hours of Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm (donations accepted only between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm) and Saturdays (no donations on this day please) from 9 am to 2 pm. You may also call them with questions at 508-693-2278. Keep in mind that all proceeds from this store go to MVCS, whose purpose is to provide/make accessible a host of programs and services for the Island in such areas as education, health, and human services.
There are two other great second hand options in Vineyard Haven as well. For women's clothing and accessories there is Martha's Closet, a consignment shop that has a plethora of seasonal options. Currently they are running a 25 percent off summer items sale and as always, they have their back room discount of 25 to 75 percent off selected items. Martha's Closet is located in the Tisbury Marketplace at 79 Beach Road (in the building just behind The Net Result) and is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm. They may also be reached at 508-696-5488.
Another consignment shop in Vineyard Haven is I'll Second That!, a well stocked furniture and home goods store located on the other side of Mix at the back of the parking lot on Union Street. Their telephone number is 508-693-6095 or 617-869-6887. They are open currently Thursdays through Mondays, from 11 am to 5 pm, though Sunday hours are 11 am to 2 pm. They will be open year round, with limited hours.
Celebrating Island arts
Although Islanders are aware of it, visitors may not realize that the creative community on Martha’s Vineyard is a year-round presence, energetic, cohesive, and very involved in Island-based causes. Vineyard artists form an increasingly conspicuous collective – participating in long running art groups, cultural round-tables, joint projects and shows – and offer an example one of the positive changes on the Island.
Gone are the days of “tourist art” – predictable paintings of lobster traps, beach chair paintings, seashell sculpture, and sentimental images of sailboats at sunset.
Island art has developed a competitive edge that has generated national and regional recognition. While many artists remain inspired by their surroundings, their interpretations are original, often unexpected, diverse, and ultimately, a worthy investment. Island art, whether sculpture, fiber, photography, painting, glass, ceramics, or jewelry, encompasses everything from abstract expressionism to classic representational work.
The evidence is on display in the close to 40 galleries in the Island’s six towns, at the fairs and art festivals, the fundraising events, and even in some of the Island’s restaurants whose walls are adorned with local artwork.
And on the Island, just because the fine arts are considered serious business, does not mean it isn’t also fun.
The Christina Gallery Traditional art fills the walls of the corner gallery, going into its 35th year. Find Impressionism & Expressionism by contemporary artists, marine paintings, sailors’ valentines, as well as antique works on paper by Renoir, Cassatt, and others. 32 North Water St., 508-627-8794; Christina.com.
Debra M. Gaines Fine Art Photography and pastels featuring Vineyard scenes and subjects by Debra and Warren Gaines. 56 Eel Pond Ln., 508-627-9989; 888-200-5373.
Edgartown Art Gallery Traditional art from artists including Sergio Raffo, William MacLean, Marilyn Caldwell, several late 19th century paintings, sporting art, and local Island scenes. 19 South Summer St., 508-627-5991.
Eisenhauer Gallery Sitting above a courtyard, this gallery carries a diverse selection of work, from marine paintings and expressionism to sculpture to jewelry. 30 North Water St., 508-627-7003; eisenhauergallery.com.
Fisher Gallery Seascapes and still life paintings by Brandon and photographs by Heidi Fisher displayed in converted home previously belonging to local shellfisherman Captain Francis Fisher. 585 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Rd., 508-627-7711; fishergallery.net.
The John Stobart Gallery Limited edition prints and originals by maritime artist John Stobart, as well as works by other artists. 31 North Summer St., 508-627-9066; thejohnstobartgallery.com.
North Water Gallery One of a trio of popular Island galleries (others are The Granary & The Field) under same ownership. A variety of art and artists, from Alfred Eisenstaedt photography to pastoral Island scenes. 27 North Water St., 508-627-6002; northwatergallery.com.
Old Sculpin Gallery Owned by Martha’s Vineyard Art Association, Old Sculpin features Island painters and scenes, a permanent collection, as well as an art school for children and adults. 508-627-4881; oldsculpingallery.org.
Alison Shaw Gallery One of the Island’s premier photographers, Ms. Shaw’s photos are iconic remembrances of Island life. The gallery also sells several books illustrated by Ms. Shaw’s photos. 88 Dukes County Ave., 508-696-SHAW (7429); alisonshaw.com.
Cousen Rose Gallery Just when you thought you were at the end of Circuit Avenue, you stumble across Cousen Rose. Going on 32 years, the gallery continues to host an eclectic array of art. 71 Circuit Ave., 508-693-6656; cousenrose.com.
Dragonfly Gallery In the center of the Arts District is this charming space features 28 artists from the Island and afar. Celebrates 17th season this year. 91 Dukes County Ave., 508-693-8877; mvdragonfly.com.
Featherstone Center for the Arts There’s always something going on at Featherstone, whether it’s an artist’s reception, a flea market, or a children’s art class. 30 Featherstone Lane off Barnes Rd., 508-693-1850; featherstoneart.org.
PIKNIK Art & Apparel The store/gallery’s slogan is “expect anything,” and it’s true. The gallery features a range of art from pastoral Island vistas to vibrant Fenway scenes, and the store is a little slice of Manhattan. 99 Dukes County Ave., 508-693-1366; piknikmv.com.
Shephard Fine ArtSpace New this year and owned by twin sisters Melissa Breese (formerly of Old Sculpin) and Melanie Kotalac, the gallery will be home to art and events. 8 Uncas Ave.
William Blakesley Studio 90-year-old Mr. Blakesley, whose work is in the collections of the Toldeo Museum of Fine Arts and the Columbus Gallery of Fine Art, sells his paintings and sketches in his studio/gallery in the Campgrounds. 4 Montgomery Sq., 508-693-9054.
Kara Taylor Fine Art Artist-owned gallery with a focus on paintings and current Self Portrait mixed media photography exhibit. 19 Main St., 508-693-7799; karataylorart.com.
Louisa Gould Gallery Another artist-owned gallery with a large display of nautical photographs by Ms. Gould, as well as dozens of other mediums by artists from the Island and abroad. 54 Main St., 508-693-7373; louisagould.com.
Night Heron Gallery Brand new gallery – a collaborative effort among 10 Island artists – offers jewelry, fiber arts, ceramics, paintings, and more. 58 Main St., 508-696-9500.
Richard Lee Gallery Mr. Lee has been painting on glass for more than 50 years, and he has quite a collection, and following. 36 Main St.
Seaworthy Gallery Fine art photographs including the popular “Seasmoke” by gallery owner Jeffrey Serusa and nautical charts line the walls of this quaint gallery near the harbor. 34 Beach Rd., 508-693-0153; seaworthygallerymv.com.
Shaw Cramer Gallery Paintings, mixed media sculpture, jewelry, clay, furniture, wearable art, hand-blown glass, and more at this central gallery. 56 Main St. (second floor), 508-696-7323; shawcramergallery.com.
Simon Gallery Photographs by famed photographer Peter Simon & beaded jewelry by his wife Ronni. Take a step back in history when perusing the photographs of Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin, Martin Luther King Jr. 54 Main St., 508-325-2242; petersimon.com.
Yellowdog Gallery Paintings and photographs dedicated to man’s best friend: Golden retrievers, as well as horses, land & seascapes, and maritime images. 60 Main St., 508-560-2119; yellowdoggallery.com.
Allen Whiting–Davis House Gallery Landscape artist Allen Whiting depicts Island scenes, from barns to fishermen in Menemsha, and has quite a following. 985 State Rd., West Tisbury, 508-693-4691; allenwhiting.com.
Carol Craven Gallery Carol Craven has a collection of American Modernist works from artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, as well as contemporary artists that show a variety of mediums: paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, photography. 497 State Rd., West Tisbury, 508-693-3557; cravengallery.com.
Chilmark Gallery See clay, bronze, and stone sculptures and ceramics from artist Heather Sussman in horse barn-turned-gallery. 76 State Rd., Chilmark, 508-645-2587; heathersussman.com.
The Field Gallery You may recognize the sculpture here from postcards. The whimsical larger-than-life statues of dancing ladies and the like by Thomas Maley are complimented by other art outside and inside. Great place for the family. 1050 State Rd., 508-693-5595; fieldgallery.com.
Gossamer Gallery Contemporary Shona stone sculpture sold fair trade from Zimbabwe and a number of Vineyard artists combine for a unique Island destination. 24 South Rd., Chilmark. 508-693-6275; gossamergallery.net.
The Granary Gallery Also known as The Red Barn, The Granary is home to a wealth of artists and all mediums, from Ray Ellis’s Island paintings to Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photographs, realism painter Steve Mills, to jewelry, lawn sculptures, and more. 636 Old County Rd., West Tisbury, 508-693-0455; granarygallery.com.
Hermine Merel Smith Fine Art Longtime neighbors and friends Hermine Hull and Ruth Kirchmeier display Ms. Hull’s oil paintings and Ms. Kirchmeier’s landscape and still-life woodcuts. 548 Edgartown-West Tisbury Rd., West Tisbury, 508-693-7719; hermine-merel-smith.photoshelter.com.
Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks Watch glass artists make delicate house wares and decorative pieces in the open studio that abuts the gallery. 583 State Rd., West Tisbury. 508-693-6026; mvglassworks.com.
Saltwater Gallery From Martha’s Vineyard Times: “Step into Ashley Medowski's gallery and you've entered the magic world of a self-proclaimed jerry-rigger extraordinaire. The building itself, the art on its walls, the found objects and artifacts from a fisherman and farmer's life have been created through her rich imagination.” 367 Lambert’s Cove Rd., West Tisbury, 508-696-8822.
Treehouse Studios You’re greeted by objects for sale on the front lawn, which welcome you into a gallery of eclectic antiques, art, books, and oddities. 472 State Rd., West Tisbury. 508-693-6645.
Turpentine Gallery A new gallery with paintings and sculptures by Mitch Gordon. 553 State Rd., West Tisbury. 508-693-5147.