West Tisbury: Artisans and galleries

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— Kyra Steck

Here we are at the start of the Memorial Day weekend, the start of the summer season on the Island. I wish I felt excited about it, but I never do. It already feels too hot. It hasn’t rained in weeks. I’m picking up trash every time I go out of my driveway. Yellow pollen is coating everything outside; I’m hoping that wearing a mask will prevent the allergy symptoms.  Mosquitoes, ticks, tent caterpillars. It’s only a matter of days until red lily beetles, Japanese beetles, slugs, aphids, and earwigs arrive. It’s too noisy and there’s already too much to do.

I sound like a cranky old woman. Maybe it’s time to face facts.

That said, Mike and I had our first visitors today. Sandy and Jim Turner stopped by and we were able to sit, maskless, in our yard, having a conversation. It all felt so normal. Mike was mowing the lawn when they arrived and Jim immediately was smitten with the Power King tractor. He heard the whole story of how Mike bought, rebuilt, and restored it down to the perfect match of orange paint.

Meanwhile, Sandy and I talked about art, our gardens, friends near and far. Of course, Abby was quite a hit. After the initial excitement when she almost sent me flying off the porch stairs, she mostly settled down for the rest of the visit. The yard, with its newly mowed lawn, looked beautiful, and was much admired.

I just heard that Maureen Healy died last week. She was so much a part of the life of our town that I feel shocked that she could ever succumb to mere mortality. She reigned as executive secretary for years, keeping town hall and anyone who came by in perfect check. I thought she knew everything, as she had the answer to any question she was asked, and she was a great help and supporter during the years I was on the library board. I feared West Tisbury town business would fall completely to ruin when she retired, although I will confess to the same fear when Janice Manter retired. Still, town hall has never felt the same. Besides her competence at her job, Maureen was interesting, knowledgeable, and curious about all sorts of unrelated subjects, and her sense of humor was legendary. I missed seeing her as often once she left town hall, but it was always a treat when I did. My condolences to Kent and their family.

Galleries and art and craft shows are opening, part of the annual summer list of things to do. In West Tisbury, the Artisans Fair will be at the Grange Hall on Saturday and Sunday. MIcah Thanhauser is opening his Merry Farm Pottery with a special show this Thursday, 4 to 7 pm, combining pottery with chocolates from Salt Rock Chocolates. The Field Gallery and the Granary Gallery are both open daily.

“Collaboration” is the name of Wendy Weldon and Rob Hauck’s show at Center of Knowhere at 73 Circuit Ave. in Oak Bluffs. There will be an opening this Saturday, 4 to 7 pm. Knowhere Art Gallery on Dukes County Avenue in Oak Bluffs will open this Saturday between 11 am and 5 pm with a group exhibition. They will be hosting a series of virtual artists’ talks beginning on June 3 at 7 pm. Galaxy Gallery, also on Dukes County Avenue, will open with an exhibition by all the gallery artists who will be showing there this summer.

It finally rained between the time I started writing this column on Sunday and the time I finished it on Monday. It came down steadily for about an hour. When I walked Abby this morning, the grass was still damp. Everything was so fresh and green and perfectly water-sated. The world looked golden, in a good way. My spirits lifted.

If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, hermine.hull@gmail.com.