Featherstone Center party is the annual kickoff to spring

PIKNIK owner Michael Hunter and Lianna Loughman on the catwalk last year at Featherstone. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

This Saturday, May 12, from 2 to 4 pm, Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs will host its third annual Garden Tea Party and Fashion Show, under an elegant tent on the Upper Green.

The tea party will feature tea sandwiches made by Herring Run Kitchens, and tea cake desserts prepared by Cakes by Liz. The Featherstone campus will be adorned with flowers by Jardin Mahoney and True North Flower Company. Tracker will also display “garden settings” from its Edgartown store.

Courtesy of the Field Gallery and North Water Street Gallery, Traeger diPietro offers a tea cup “love story” painting for raffle, along with gift certificates from all of the 16 participating Island stores and designers. Judy Cunniffe, chairman for the second year, will award prizes to guests for their special hats. Prizes for the best hats are from MV Florist & Gifts, Morrice Florists, and Frosty Hollow Orchids.

Susan Garrett and Susan Potter are the fashion show coordinators, with Michael Hunter serving as special fashion show consultant. Vineyard boutiques such as PIKNIK Art & Apparel, Laughing Bear, The Collection, Pandora’s Box, Red Mannequin, and Island designer Minor Knight are represented in the fashion show. There is even a unique ensemble featuring children’s dancewear, with capes and crowns to be presented by Gabriella Camilleri and Lucinda Sheldon.

DJ Di will provide the music while community celebrities walk the runway, including Denys and Marilyn Wortman, quilter Pam Flam, WCAI’s Shelley Christiansen, Anna Carringer from the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, and the Pogue family – Steve and Kathy with their triplets, Spencer, Molly, and Paige.

The Art of Flowers

The tea party and fashion show are presented in conjunction with The Art of Flowers Show, guest curated by Holly Alaimo in the Virginia Weston Besse Gallery at Featherstone. Holly is curating her 17th flower show, which began at Dragonfly Gallery and is taking place at Featherstone for the third year.

More than 50 artists will display their work. Vineyard photographers Harvey Beth and Michael Stimola will join Island painters Claire Chalfoun, John Holladay, and Ruth Major and many more, for a beautiful celebration of spring. The opening reception for the show is on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, from 4 to 6 pm, viewing daily from noon to 4 pm, through May 25. Call Featherstone, 508-693-1850.