It is, says partner Greg Watson, “a business partnership made in heaven.” The team behind Vineyard Haven’s newest fine art gallery, Pep Art, is composed of Mr. Watson, painter and handyman, his wife, Carrie Mae Smith, award-winning artist, cabinet maker and private chef (both graduates of Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts), and Elizabeth Cecil, photographer and photo editor of Edible Vineyard.
As artists they are a formidable group, each expressing themselves in a distinctive, but very cohesive style. The current show in the bright, airy space features the art of the gallery’s owners, along with Clifford Smith’s dramatic “Ocean Fields.”
Mr. Watson’s intimate impressionistic still lifes painted in oil on linen, Ms. Smith’s unique impressions of culinary subjects, her renderings of Vineyard houses, and her whimsical plaster-cast loaves of bread, Ms. Cecil’s stunning large-scale photos of Katama scenes, all share meticulous execution, sophistication, and an evocative, almost ethereal quality.
Eric Anderson, the owner of the Beach Street Extension building had always envisioned a gallery in the space and offered it to the partners. Mr. Watson says, “We’re all totally excited and thrilled about the way everything came together. It’s taken on a life of its own and drawn us all in.”
Ms. Cecil, who teaches classes through the Artist in Residence program at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, explains, “We are energetic and excited at the challenge of furthering our own personal work while seeking out new artists, young talent, and a contemporary breadth to bring to our art community.”
Mentioning the risk of starting a business at this time, Mr. Watson says, “Making art is a leap of faith — period. We thought if we’re doing it, we might as well be our own advocates.”
Pep Art, 7 Beach Street Ext. at Five Corners, Vineyard Haven. Fridays, 2–6 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 9 am–5 pm. 508-693-2236.