West Tisbury: Checking out local art


This has certainly been a couple of weeks of weather. Last week’s storm sent microbursts through town that toppled trees, broke off limbs, and cut off power. Some homes were out for a couple of days. Roads and driveways were impassable. Chainsaws and cleanup crews are still busy, and many of us feel like we will be picking up sticks and debris forever. Boats didn’t run during the storm, leaving people stranded in both Vineyard Haven and Woods Hole.

The harsh winds have pretty much decimated the flower field at Ghost Island Farm. Nothing has daunted Rusty’s Halloween spirit, however. He was out working on this year’s display, nailing plywood over the frame that has stood at the end of the farm’s driveway. I wonder what it will be?

Phyllis Meras wrote the most beautiful tribute to Vercingetorix, her handsome orange tiger cat, who died last week. Phyllis wrote lovingly of him, of his hunting prowess, his regular habits, his faultless adherence to his schedule for meals at 5 am, 2 to 3 pm, and 6 pm, his large and handsome presence in her home and in her life. The essay appeared on the editorial page of the Vineyard Gazette.

Across on the op-ed page, Marjory Potts had an article about her love of dancing and how she indulges it. The P.A. Club has become her preferred place to dance to a live band. She also reminisced about favorite dance spots and her favorite partner, her late husband, Robert. I remember seeing Marjory and Robert dancing together at a birthday party for Ernie Mendenhall at the Chilmark Community Center. They were amazing. Glad to know you have found a place to dance to your heart’s content. Brava, Marjory.

Mike and I stopped into the library last Sunday afternoon to see the exhibition of photographs by Wayne Smith. They are exceptional. Many are black-and-white, images of familiar Island people in familiar settings, captured in a moment away from whatever is the activity of their day. Others are very abstract, becoming compositions of shape and color that obscure the subject. We both found them beautiful and interesting to see. They will be hanging in the program room through the end of October.

I finally had time to go to see Ann Leggett’s paintings at the MVTV building. Many were portraits of Trip Barnes, often depicted in relation to his workplace, Barnes Trucking. He sits in his office working, or poses in front of a truck, ot has hoisted some heavy object onto his shoulder. She painted herself in a number of the paintings. Ann’s work has always held an interesting juxtaposition of contemporary life painted in a classical way, with an underpainted sepia drawing-in of the composition, then with color added in layers of glazes. It will only be up for a few more days, so do try to go. It’s always a gift to see work from someone’s private collection, as they are only on display to the public for a short time.

Women’s Symposium XLIII will meet at the Chilmark Community Center this Saturday, Oct. 26, 9 am to noon. The topic is “Denial.”

At the library this week:

Friday, Oct. 25, 1 pm, a training and information workshop on Team Mola, the community rescue and research group studying ocean sunfish off Cape and Island shores, led by marine biologist “Krill” Carson. At 3:30 pm, a family Halloween movie, with treats provided and costumes welcome.

Saturday, Oct. 26, 10:30 am, Lego Club for all ages. At 3 pm, a concert with cellists Andrés Vera and Matthew Linaman.

Sunday, Oct. 27, 2 pm, a meeting of the Death Cafe with Heather Massey.

Monday, Oct. 28, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop. At 7 pm, Stargazing with Mark Lovewell outside the Grange Hall. Bring a blanket or beach chair.

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 10:30 am, Adult Community Dance Class with the Yard.

Thursday, Oct. 31, 3:30 to 5 pm, the best Halloween party in town, with hayrides, crafts, and treats. Come in costume, and have a blast.

The library Halloween party has always been one of my favorite events of the year. I love seeing the costumes. People come up with such fantastic ideas, and the little kids are beyond adorable.

Driving home from work this afternoon, I was struck by the late slanting sunlight hitting and illuminating the tops of ornamental grasses. This is their season to shine. Their stalks are often marked in zebra stripes or colored bright green or deep red, and their delicate plumes wave in the breeze. Purple asters are blooming now, too, and the tall white-flowered anemones outside our dining room windows catch my eye as they dance and blow when the wind catches them.

Next week will be November, a new month, almost the end of the year. As the days shorten and darken, as trees lose their leaves and their branches are crisply outlined, we move toward the solstice, the shortest of days.