Gallery strolls in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs

Evening of the Arts in Edgartown, where the scene in the courtyard in front of Eisenhauer Gallery fills with music, art, and gallery goers. — File photo by Steve Myrick

The last two gallery strolls of the season take place this month. Tonight, Thursday, August 12, four galleries on North Water Street in Edgartown will participate in festivities, and on Saturday, August 14, in Oak Bluffs, galleries in the Arts District on Dukes County Avenue will be celebrating.

Just as festivals, fairs, and benefit events have become part of the season, a group of galleries opening their doors to after-hour festivities have become part of the Island’s summer activities. People come to meet and greet the artists, to discuss their work, and to see their most recent creative efforts. They also come to mingle and socialize with each other, enjoy the wine, refreshments, and in some instances live music that are all part of gallery strolls.

The Vineyard, with its natural vistas, picturesque harbors and pastures, and quiet solitude, has long had a reputation for its emphasis on the arts — writing, painting, and music. The gallery strolls, featuring the work of many Island artists in addition to those nationally and internationally known, give evidence to the vitality of its creative community.

The strolls offer all varieties of original creative expression, from traditional to abstract, from sculpture, to jewelry, photography, metals, and more.

Tonight in Edgartown, North Water Gallery will feature the work of two extraordinary painters: Edgartown’s own Ray Ellis, and the master watercolorist, Englishman Michael Frith. Mr. Frith, known for his contemporary portraits as well as his landscapes, has executed an impressive series of painted yachts in dramatic action and detail. His stunning, large scale watercolors express the energy and immediacy of yachting in crisp line and color.

Eisenhauer Gallery, with its Inward and Windward, show is presenting work by Michel Brosseau, Heidi Palmer and Karen Tusinski, and adds music by the Mike Benjamin Band.

Edgartown’s Evening of the Arts also includes the Willoughby Gallery, and Christina Gallery, and is being held from 6 to 8 pm.

On Saturday, August 14, from 4 to 7 pm, in Oak Bluffs Arts District on Dukes County Avenue, Piknik Art & Apparel, will open its annual Urban Show, with more than a dozen accomplished artists interpreting urban streets, buildings, and scenes in various media and styles. The show is one of the most exciting because of the gritty, raw, and compelling scenes of city life that the artists create specifically for this event.

In addition to its themed show, Details, Alison Shaw Gallery will host a book-signing for “Soups and Sides,” with photographer Alison Shaw and author Cathy Walthers.

Dragonfly Gallery presents the impressionist landscapes of Robert Baart, retired professor at the School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The gallery has also invited artist Karen English to bring interactive Spiral Art experience to the gallery.

The other Arts District galleries opening their doors for the stroll are Stefanie Wolf Designs, displaying a jewelry trunk show, Amity Custom Ink, Lucinda’s Enamels, and Periwinkle Studio, whose show, Where the Roads Are Paved with Silver, features Marshall Pratt’s photographs.

Two grand nights of art appreciation and socializing, special sights and features, just for the taking, will provide an informal, but memorable Island experience.