The Cousen Rose Gallery in Oak Bluffs is open for business as usual. The popular Circuit Ave. gallery will continue to feature a wide range of work by artists from the Island and beyond, while also introducing two new faces to visitors.
Gallery owner Zita Cousens was thrilled to welcome back old friends at the opening reception last weekend, where patrons were mindful of social distancing etiquette, and the gallery’s two entrances allowed for traffic control. “The visitors were nicely spaced out,” says Cousens. “People came at various times, came through the front, walked around both rooms and then exited into the courtyard. I think the fact that I have outdoor space makes things easier.”
Among the artists featured in that opening show is Virginia-based painter Rayhart, who creates colorful semi-abstract images full of life and movement. A very passionate artist, on his website, Rayhart writes, “Through art, I wage war within myself, for the rewards of peace. In short, I paint to allow for creation. Today, I am a vessel, for which art is created through me.” Cousens is offering both original work and framed prints by the new addition to her gallery lineup.
The second exhibit of the 2020 season will focus on the photography of Robin Gottesman, who has been with the gallery for the past six years. Gottesman captures stunning images of the Vineyard — often at sunrise and sunset, and sometimes with a figure in action. “I really enjoy shooting things that move,” she says.
She also loves mixing things up every year by showing work from her travels. Last year Gottesman took a safari throughout Africa, and she is sharing some of the images from her time in South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe with Vineyarders this summer. Among the African photos is an image of a baby elephant happily secure sitting between the legs of his mother, and a remarkable photo of a small herd of zebras at a watering hole, their combined stripes and reflection providing for a striking image.
Gottesman is also showing some new Vineyard images, including a wonderful shot of an osprey landing in its nest with a fish in its beak — the eyes of both creatures vividly clear, and a beautiful color photo of swans on a lily-pad-choked pond.
Next up, the gallery will be featuring the work of local artist Bricque Garber in a solo show. The West Tisbury resident creates abstract assemblage art using bits of paper and textural objects combined with paint. Her images are abstract or semi-abstract, with a focus on vibrant color combinations. “My work is based on feelings,” she says. “Sometimes I look at something and I’m inspired by the color theme.” A recent work, for example, recreates the palette of her living room. “We spend so much time there these days,” she says. “It’s really just an overwhelmingly calm space.” Garber also reacts to what’s going on the world at large in her work. Recently she has been influenced by a state of mind she refers to as “Trump derangement syndrome.” “I believe that all art is political art,” she says. “I’ve become more emotionally oriented in the last three years.”
As always, the Cousen Rose Gallery will be offering jewelry by numerous artists, T shirts and other garments with artist-created images, and a variety of books by local writers. Receptions will take place every Saturday throughout the summer, with live music. Stop by anytime to browse, or just visit with Zita. The congenial gallerist is always happy to see old friends and meet those new to the gallery.
Cousen Rose Gallery, 71 Upper Circuit Ave., Oak Bluffs. Open daily, 10 am to 5 pm; 10 am to 9 pm on Saturdays, with receptions in the evenings; Sundays, 11 am to 5 pm. 617-939-3012, email@example.com, cousenrose.com.