‘A Wild Love’ for environmental art

Boston-based landscape painter Peter Roux's "Midsummer Sky Study no. 5"

Despite being one of the Island’s smaller and more remote exhibition spaces, Gay Head Gallery in Aquinnah has a remarkably diverse and high-quality collection of local and nationally known artists. In addition, it is the only gallery on-Island with a strong commitment to environmental art. On Wednesday, August 19, it will host “A Wild Love” in partnership with the Center for Biological Diversity. The center is a national organization that uses science, law, and creative media to protect the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive. Their mascot, Frostpaw the polar bear, has followed President Obama for months in an effort to raise awareness of environmental issues like the Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the U.S.

During “A Wild Love,” the center’s executive director, Kieran Suckling, will talk about how the center is working to save wildlife, wilderness, American waters, and sacred lands. He will also discuss the nation’s environmental laws and policies, as well as climate change. Artists whose work will be on display at the gallery include National Geographic photographers Jim Brandenburg of Minnesota and Joel Sartore of Nebraska; Lois Gold, a New York painter who visits relatives in Aquinnah; Tucson metal sculptor Phil Lichtenhan; photographer and Vineyard summer resident Barbara Norfleet; Rhode Island–based photographer Karen Philippi, whose large-scale images are made with traditional lenses on a digital camera; Peter Roux, a Boston-based painter of abstract landscapes; and the New Hampshire–based printmaker Matthew Smith. Each of these artists produces work that addresses environmental issues.

Ms. Gold is the featured artist for a second event at the gallery, “A Moveable Feast,” on Sunday morning, August 16, which serves as a preview for all the artists at “A Wild Love.”

“The Center for Biological Diversity has been on my radar for some time,” says gallery director Megan Sargent, who is a former Martha’s Vineyard commissioner and the founder of the Moshup Trail Project to protect globally rare coastal heathland habitat, now run by the Vineyard Conservation Society. For the past two years, Ms. Sargent’s gallery has partnered with another national environmental organization, the Washington-based Defenders of Wildlife.

In an ongoing effort to help people connect art and conservation issues here on the Island, Ms. Sargent has reached out to both national environmental organizations and local ones like the Vineyard Conservation Society and the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, to name a few.

A Moveable Feast,” with Lois Gold, Gay Head Gallery, Sunday, August 16, 11 am to 1 pm.

“A Wild Love,” with Kieran Suckling, Gay Head Gallery, Wednesday, August 19, 5 pm. For more information, see gayheadgallery.com.