MV Museum fundraiser combined fine food and great art

Jim Shane was the winner of a drawing by artist Paul Karasik. — Photo by Louisa Gould

An annual event that brings together the highest concentration of established local artists is the MV Museum’s Art Party. Officially dubbed, “You can’t spell mARTtha’s vineyard without ART,” the dinner party attracts a roster of the best-known names in the Vineyard art world, along with friends and benefactors of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.

On Saturday, a dozen artists who work in a variety of media, and a number of art enthusiasts, gathered at a lovely home in Vineyard Haven’s historic William Street district to enjoy a three-course dinner, cocktails, and conversation. The walls of the entry room and dining room of the house, which is currently vacant, featured the work of the 12 artists.

Guests of honor included painters Traeger di Pietro, Anthony Benton Gude, Andrew Moore, Jeanne Staples, Kara Taylor, Kenneth Vincent, David Wallis, Wendy Weldon, and Rez Williams, as well as metal sculptor Tony Holand, fiber artist Julia Mitchell and cartoonist Paul Karasik. The artists chatted with guests during the cocktail hour and then, during the dinner, played a form of musical chairs, switching tables between each course to allow guests a chance to mingle with them all.

While diners enjoyed salad, surf and turf and chocolate ganache provided by caterers Truly Scrumptious, Paul Karasik elicited suggestions from the crowd and fashioned an impromptu cartoon based on their ideas. The guests were then invited to provide a caption. Jim Shane came up with the winner and was also the top bidder for the cartoon, which was auctioned off after dinner.

The $250 a head event, in its sixth year, is one of the museum’s annual fundraisers. This year, for the first time, all of the art work displayed was available for sale to the guests.

“The museum is not just about the past but a celebration of our community,” said Noelle Colome, the newly appointed director of development. “The museum celebrates history, art and culture. So much of the Island’s presence is the local artists.”

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