Painter Rez Williams gets Creative Living Award

"Vanquish" by Mr. Williams, on display at A Gallery in Oak Bluffs. — Photo courtesy of A Gallery

Rez Williams, the West Tisbury artist known for his bold, colorful oil paintings of fishing boats and urban waterfront scenes, is the recipient of this year’s Creative Living Award.

The honor is awarded each year by the Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha’s Vineyard.

Many of his well known paintings feature New Bedford’s gritty working harbor, with bold strokes capturing remarkably realistic details, while at the same time featuring abstract skies and water.

“If I weren’t surprised by what I see and then by what I do with it, I would put my brushes down,” he told The Times in a 2011 interview. “Otherwise what’s the point?”

He has exhibited at many Island galleries over the years, most recently in August at A Gallery in Oak Bluffs.

Mr. Williams is a native of Long Island, N.Y., who first visited the Island in 1969 and moved to West Tisbury in 1975. He studied aesthetics and philosophy at Union College and taught life drawing and art history at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Established in 1983 through the Ruth J. Bogan and Ruth Redding Fund, the Creative Living Award recognizes members of the Vineyard community who embody Ruth Bogan’s spirit and love for the Island and who have contributed significantly to the quality of life on the Vineyard.

Mr. Williams will receive the award on Monday, October 21 at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. The public is invited to attend the ceremony, which begins at 5:30 pm.