Gay Head Gallery sponsors Defenders of Wildlife fundraiser

Norfleet. Raccoon&Car

Defenders of Wildlife executive Michael Senatore will speak Sunday, August 10, at a Gay Head Gallery reception featuring the work of artists Jennifer Christy, Enos Ray, Barbara Norfleet, Matthew Smith, and John Nickerson Ahearn. Mr. Senatore is Vice President for Conservation Law at the Washington-based organization.

In The Abstract Wild: Wilderness Lost?, each of the featured artists will donate a portion of sales from their work to Defenders of Wildlife. This is the second year Aquinnah’s Gay Head Gallery has sponsored a Defenders of Wildlife fundraiser.

Mr. Senatore’s areas of expertise include federal environmental and natural resources law, endangered species and wildlife law, biodiversity conservation, water and marine resources, federal lands, administrative procedure, and federal legislation. He has been a public interest environmental attorney for more than 15 years, and he will speak on environmental policy and regulation.

The title for the new show comes from nature writer Jack Turner’s book “The Abstract Wild,” in which the author suggests that our overall contact with wilderness is endangered and that ecosystem management is a sham. He also argues that control of grizzly and wolf populations is at best a travesty.

Each of the artists in the gallery’s new show presents work that relates in some way to wilderness. Chilmark’s Jennifer Christy’s large-scale, abstract acrylic paintings draw inspiration from the natural world. In her artist’s statement on her website, she writes, “I have, from the beginning, been drawn to following the contours of the shoreline, the patterns of the wind on the water surface and the silhouettes of vegetation and cliffs, ancient hills and glacial rocks.”

West Tisbury painter Enos Ray draws from his experience with jazz musicians and the landscapes of the South as they express wilderness. One of his most striking paintings in the exhibit shows the antics of fishermen cavorting on the shores of a river with a spray-painted overlay of mist.

Photographer and Island summer resident Barbara Norfleet displays her dramatic images of Vineyard swamps and wildlife, and Mr. Smith, his copperplate etchings of marine wildlife. Mr. Ahearn’s meticulous detailed landscapes will be on display, as well as Vineyard Haven painter Rose Abrahamson’s abstract painting of birds, “Loud Thing Cuckoo.” The exhibit runs through September 2.

The Abstract Wild: Wilderness Lost? reception and talk by Michael Senatore, 5 to 7 pm,  Sunday, August 10, Gay Head Gallery, Aquinnah. For more information, call 508-645-2776.