Friends of Family Planning Art Show greets a new season

"Under The Pier" by Steve Myrick is one of many works of art at the Friends of Family Planning Art Show. — Photo by Steve Myrick

Along with the pinkletinks, daffodils, and bright-green leaves, the annual Friends of Family Planning Art Show is another signal that summer is imminent on Martha’s Vineyard.

This is the 25th year of the popular Memorial Day weekend show, held at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. Featuring work from more than 100 Island artists who donate a portion, or all, of their sales to the organization, the show has grown over the years to become an Island tradition and one of the biggest art shows on the Island.

Items from a broad range of the Island’s arts community will be on display — from photos, sketches, and paintings to quilts, sculpture, ceramics, clothing, jewelry, furniture, and bonsai.

“It is such an eclectic show,” said Friends’ board president Jennifer Knight. “We have such a wide variety of art and artists, from well established artists who make a living from their work and are quite well known, to high school students. This year, the winner of our poster contest was Jack Yuen, a student at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. It is always exciting to have new artists.” She said there were 46 submissions to the contest. “The overall quality of the poster entries has improved over the years, making the selection more and more difficult,” she added.

The show is Family Planning’s major fundraising event. It runs from 10 am to 6 pm Friday, May 23, through Sunday, May 25. The opening gala and preview is Thursday evening, May 22, from 6 to 8 pm. It features food from Herring Run Kitchens and music by Jeremy Berlin. Tickets for the gala opening on Thursday evening are $50 per person.

“My favorite part of the show is the gala,” said Ms. Knight. “It always seems like Islanders are coming out of the woodwork after a long winter. I think it is a favorite Island event for many people.”

The Friends of Family Planning of Martha’s Vineyard, Inc. was formed to support the programs of Family Planning of Martha’s Vineyard and similar groups. The Family Planning Clinic opened its doors in 1978, providing reproductive health care services to women. Now they offer a wide range of clinical, educational, and advocacy programs for both women and men, including STD screenings, morning after pills, and a vasectomy reimbursement program, according to a press release.

“The artists donate a minimum of 40 percent of the proceeds of their sales,” said family planning board member Catherine Coogan. “This show has become an Island tradition, and if you have never been, it shouldn’t be missed.”

Family Planning is also in the midst of a capital campaign to pay off the mortgage on their office. And Tisbury Turkey, an Island organization that supports nonprofits, has Family Planning as its summer campaign recipient. Proceeds from sales of merchandise online and other e-commerce sites through their website,, will benefit Family Planning.

Friends of Family Planning Art Show Opening Gala, Thursday, May 22, 6–8 pm, Ag Hall, West Tisbury, $50. Show continues May 23–May 25, 10 am–6 pm, free admission. For more information about the show or Family Planning programs, visit