Surf and sail

Louisa Gould Gallery opens its annual ‘Martha's Vineyard Annual Maritime Exhibit,’ featuring top maritime artists.


Last September, when the Mystic Seaport Museum closed its Maritime Art Gallery after 37 years of exhibiting art of the sea, Louisa Gould stepped in to give many of the artists who had long been part of the museum’s International Invitational Show a venue to show their work. Last year, the Louisa Gould Gallery showcase, titled the “Martha’s Vineyard Annual Maritime Exhibit,” was mostly an online exhibit. This time around, all of the artwork by some of the country’s foremost maritime artists is now on display at the gallery through Nov. 8.

Of the 13 artists in the show, many are members of the prestigious American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA), whose stated mission is “to recognize, encourage, and promote marine art and maritime history.” Much of the work in the current show depicts scenes around the Vineyard. “It’s a selection of fine art celebrating our maritime and coastal history and our wooden boat heritage,” says Gould.

The exhibit includes traditional maritime images of ships under sail, seascapes, underwater scenes, and even some semi-abstract work. Louisa Gould, herself a renowned maritime photographer and sailor, has included a few of her photos in the show.

Among the traditionalists represented in the exhibit is Leonard Mizerek, who is one of only about 20 ASMA Fellows. His work is in the permanent collection of a number of respected institutions worldwide, and has been featured in numerous publications, including on the cover of American Artist Magazine. Mizerek paints onsite, and has spent a good deal of time on the Island, capturing masterfully luminous scenes from around our shores.

Mizerek is one of three artists who formerly participated in the Mystic Invitational show whom Gould has now added to her regular lineup of artists. The others are ASMA members Jim Magner and Larry Johnston.

Paul Beebe, who has long been represented by the Vineyard Haven-based gallery, helped Gould to gather together the artists for the Maritime Show. He was familiar with many of them from ASMA.

“I think it’s important to showcase all these folks in one venue, which doesn’t really occur anywhere else since the closing of the Mystic gallery,” he says. “These are some of the top maritime painters in the country, and what better place to hold this exhibit than on Martha’s Vineyard?”

Beebe is also a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association, and was recently awarded membership in NYC’s famed Salmagundi Club. For more than 30 years, he and his artist wife have been spending time on the Vineyard, where he sketches scenes to work out as paintings back home in Connecticut.

Beebe explains that the current show represents a wide range of styles, unlike the Mystic Gallery show, which focused on traditional maritime art. The selection ranges from soft, impressionist seascapes to highly detailed images of historic vessels by Charles Fran Kenney, to Aleta Rossi Stewart’s marvelous seabird and marine life paintings, to Frauke Klatt’s painterly, impressionistic images of ships under sail.

Gould’s gallery is a natural choice for a maritime show. The gallerist, who grew up in a sailing family, and competed in the America’s Cup race, explains that she was raised in a home full of maritime art, and she has continued to honor the traditional genre by always including selections among her highly diverse collection.

Gould hopes to make the maritime show an annual addition to the Vineyard gallery season, possibly incorporating artist talks and other special events. “I’m honored to showcase these internationally known painters,” she says.

Concurrently with the “Martha’s Vineyard Annual Maritime Exhibit,” the gallery is hosting an exhibit titled “New Works for Late Summer.” The show includes work by many of Gould’s most popular artists, including abstracts, landscapes, still lifes, and encaustics. That show will run through the end of the month.

Martha’s Vineyard Annual Maritime Exhibit,’ featuring work by Leonard Mizerek, Paul Beebe, Larry Johnston, Anthony Davis, Barbara Maiser, Donna Nyzio, Charles Fran Kenney, Frauke Klatt, Bill Hanson, Bob Noreika, James Magner, Aleta Steward, Louisa Gould, and Jane McGraw-Teubner, will hang until Nov. 1 at the Louisa Gould Gallery, 54 Main St., Vineyard Haven. Open daily, 10:30 am to 5:30 pm.