Pathways Projects Institute makes space for the arts

David Stanwood plays his grand piano at Pathways in Chilmark. — File photo by Susan Safford

Looking for a community space to write, create art, or appreciate it? A new collaborative arts organization called Pathways Projects Institute has created just such a place at the Chilmark Tavern. Providing space and working with other Vineyard organizations to offer arts events all winter, Pathways remains in residence for one more week before the Tavern reopens as a restaurant and Pathways morphs into what founder Marianne Goldberg calls “a traveling studio.”

The Pathways season at the Tavern ends with a flourish this weekend with the Imagine Arts Festival, when two short videos on coastal change, one by Kathy Rose and another by Enid Haller and Diana Gilmore, are presented for audience discussion, and a number of other events take place.

Pathways joined with the Island’s Internet journal, Vineyard Voice, to fund two new videography fellowships on the topic of “Living With Coastal Change on Martha’s Vineyard” that produced the work by the three videography fellows. The six-minute films will be shown twice over the weekend: on Saturday, April 17, from 6 to 7:30 pm; and on Sunday, April 18, from 4 to 6 pm, with plenty of time for audience and artist interaction. Vineyard Voice founder and executive director Patrick Phillips developed the video fellowships with Ms. Goldberg last fall after a walk on Lucy Vincent Beach, where, as he observes, “everything there is in motion.” He sees the video projects as a way for people to investigate the way they think and feel about an issue like coastal change and envisions them as vehicles for community discussion.

Mr. Phillips, whose new organization, Vineyard Community Media, moved into the second and third floors of the gallery building at Featherstone Center for the Arts in January, sees the fellowships as encouraging a form of storytelling that, as he puts it, “syncs up mind, story and emotion.” In addition, a number of Island artists, including Bruce Major and Ruth DeWilde Major, will join artist/choreographer/dance critic Ms. Goldberg in a Pathways exhibit on the ocean and coastal change. There will be a reception for the artists on Saturday from 5 to 6 pm, and the exhibit will be open Sunday as well.

Art, music, and poetry

Pathways opened its art show last weekend with her “Inkmarks,” Ms. Goldberg’s drawings and photos on coastal erosion and the ocean. The institute also celebrated the release of pianist/composer Adam Lipsky’s new CD and held a dual-piano jam with piano-action innovator David Stanwood. Ms. Goldberg hopes to include music and piano-action from innovator David Stanwood again this coming weekend. Pathways provided the venue yesterday, April 14, for an Island Voices poetry reading and music night, featuring singer Jemima James and poets Justen Ahren, Dan Waters, Michael West, and Linda Black. It plans to be back at the Tavern again next winter after the restaurant closes for the season. Pathways will continue to collaborate on community arts events for the rest of the year, one of which is a Promising Young Poets reading on Friday, April 30.

“I’ve been working on this [Pathways] for about 25 years,” Ms. Goldberg says. “The Imagine Art Festival is not just my personal show. I’m showing my work as a kind of inspiration, with an emphasis on collaboration. This is the first time we’ve been able to overlap with other art forms.” She says Pathways will offer the show annually.

After completing an MFA in Choreography at Smith College in Northampton, Ms. Goldberg went to New York City and earned a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. After developing a background in dance history and theory, along with contemporary visual arts and performance, she became a dance critic for such publications as “Women and Performance,” “Dance Theatre Journal,” and “The Drama Review.”

Ms. Goldberg hopes to develop two sites for emerging artists, one in New York City, as well as Pathways. Their joint purpose is to enhance and act as a catalyst for the very beginnings of the artistic process.

“Wintertime on the Vineyard is a time you can concentrate on creative projects,” she says. “I want to facilitate that. I want artists to have a place to meet.” In its current formulation, Pathways at the Chilmark Tavern has included an art bar for video screenings, classes and workshops, a writing room with tables and materials for writers, and a gathering place for poetry readings and other arts events. Her idea is to change the performance space around for each event.

One recent project by Ms. Goldberg is in landscape design. She built a resting platform on the bluffs in Chilmark, which she describes as celebration of an “ocean wilderness.” Others include a series of classes in drawing from life led by Greg Watson of Featherstone Center and a workshop in doll-making for Haiti led by Sandy Bernat, founder of Seastone Papers. Others are in the works.”This is like a dream come true,” Ms. Goldberg says.

Brooks Robards is a frequent contributor to The Times.