Flowers and Vineyard landscapes will fill the walls of West Tisbury’s Field Gallery from Sunday, Aug. 19, through Saturday, Sept. 1. The final show of the season, it features the vibrant oil paintings of Anne Salas and the intimate, serene photographs of Michael Stimola.
The Field Gallery, recognizable by Tom Maley’s lively white statues of musicians and dancers in its outdoor sculpture garden, has rotated contemporary art exhibits of photography, sculpture, and paintings by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists since it was built in 1971.
Ms. Salas grew up in western Massachusetts, and after moving to Cape Cod, began vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard. “I have a deep love for the Island. It is so beautiful and brimming with history,” she said. The show at The Field Gallery will be her Island debut.
Ms. Salas focuses her work on gardens and flowers and describes them as “places to leap from.” She makes these leaps with her bold color usage, which she attributes to years spent in tropical Venezuela. Among her works at The Field Gallery are botanical paintings of vividly colored poppies, trees, and ranunculus flowers, set against warm backgrounds in earthy tones. The occasional incorporation of flying (splatter) paint and gold leaf adds light and life to her still lifes and landscapes.
“If the works bring as much joy to other people as they do to me, then that is perfect,” Ms. Salas said.
After two decades of spending half the year on the Island, Mr. Stimola is well acquainted with its character, which he captures and expresses through digital photography. In his artist’s statement he says, “My accumulated memories of the Island combine with a sense of its folklore and history, its rhythms and undercurrents. These photographs are the result of informed intuition fashioned by time, friendships and by my sense of Island home.” He uses the term trip-wire to explain how he responds to the landscape, as well as how he hopes viewers will respond.
Mr. Stimola became a full-time photographer after retiring from the Hostos Community College of the City University of New York 10 years ago. He spends the other six months of the year at home in New Jersey and doing travel photography of New York and European cityscapes. His work has been represented exclusively at The Field Gallery for the past four years and has also been shown at the Dragonfly Gallery, Featherstone, and other galleries around the country.
The show will contain Mr. Stimola’s latest images of Martha’s Vineyard, all of which he prints himself. Viewers will be transported to brilliant fields, forests, and marshlands, as experienced by the artist himself. Mr. Stimola is inspired by pictorialist photographers, and by making his own prints, he is able to add the blur and brushstrokes that pictorialism is known for.
Mr. Stimola hopes the showcased works will allow viewers to leave with a new perspective of the Island. “I want the viewer of my photographs…to share with me, in their own way, summer heat at Tea Lane Farm, autumn stillness in Brightwoods, biting December winds at Tashmoo Farm, post-storm aromas in Aquinnah dunes, a sailor’s feelings coming upon an abandoned North Shore skiff, picnic memories at Priester’s Pond, and more,” he said.
Anne Salas and Michael Stimola, The Field Gallery, 1050 State Road, West Tisbury. Opening reception: Sunday, Aug. 19, 5 to 7 pm. For information, call 508-693-5595 or visit fieldgallery.com.