Gift of Art: An Island Art Show at the Carnegie

Works from Island artists make the perfect holiday gift.


If you haven’t yet made a visit to the Carnegie in Edgartown, now is the time. During the annual Christmas in Edgartown celebration, the historic former library, newly renovated and entirely reconfigured and maintained by the M.V. Preservation Trust, will host the second annual Gifts of Art: An Island Art Show. 

The exhibit/sale will feature work by 10 prominent Vineyard artists, many of whom will be familiar, and a few who are new to the Island art scene. Artists include Marston Clough, Deborah T. Colter, Margot Datz, Anna Lowell Finnerty, Julianna Sophia, Colin Ruel, Jeanne Staples, Kate Taylor, Elizabeth Whelan, and Wendy Weldon. The works represented are smaller in size, making any selection the perfect gift or stocking stuffer. 

The exhibit will hang on the lower level. The space that was formerly the basement of the old library is now being utilized as an exhibit space featuring a large interactive map of the Island and other installations. The building was designed to include a skylight on the first floor and a wraparound balcony looking down onto the lower level. This layout allows for lots of natural light on both floors and a wonderful contemporary museum look to the small space. Both floors feature exhibits chronicling the early history of the Vineyard as well as displays that focus on community aspects of the Island. “The way I think of this exhibition is as a concise history of the Island,” says Melissa Kershaw, Director of Visitor Services and Programs for the M.V. Preservation Trust.
The ten artists included in the Gift of Art Show are a nice representation of the Martha’s Vineyard art community. Many of the participants, like Taylor, Clough, Lowell Finnerty, Rule, Sophia, and Staples will be showing Island landscapes. Each of these artists has a personal, individualistic style. Colter will be exhibiting mixed media collage work. Weldon will offer samples of her signature barn paintings. Whelan’s contribution will be studio still life images done in her high realism style. Examples of Datz’ charming paintings in antique frames, as well as a few prints, will also be included.
The show will bring together a historic structure spotlighting the long and varied history of the Island with representatives of the Island’s ongoing tradition of fostering and supporting talented artists.
Last year, the opening attracted a large crowd and many of the artists sold out by the end of the show. Kershaw was pleased to have introduced the Carnegie to people previously unfamiliar with the spectacular space and, at the same time, offer a venue for local artists to exhibit their work in the winter. “We thought it would be a good opportunity for artists who are represented by seasonal galleries, or not currently represented on the Island, to get some exposure in the Christmas season,” Kershaw said. The Preservation Trust will receive a small percentage of the art sales to benefit their ongoing preservation work. 

Gifts of Art: An Island Art Show will hang throughout the Christmas in Edgartown celebration:  December 12-15 from 10 am to 5 pm with an opening reception on Thursday, Dec 12, from 6 to 8 pm. Hours for the remainder of December are as follows: Dec. 19-23, 10 am- 5 pm; Dec. 23, 10 am – 12 pm; Dec. 26-30, 10 am- 5 pm; Dec. 31, 10 am- 12 pm.