Gifts of a lifetime

Give one-of-a-kind works by local artists this year.


Right now you can support local artists and artisans by buying directly from the source. A number of enterprising artists and artisans have set up shop in the past few years, and will be open (at least) through the holiday shopping season. This is a great time to shop local and give a boost to an emerging Island artist.
When three members of a family are all working artists, it just makes sense to open a gallery. That’s exactly what the Moore family of Oak Bluffs did this past summer, turning a building that once housed a studio for renowned Island artist Andrew Moore into a space to exhibit his work, along with that of his daughter Hannah and son Gordon. The gallery opened to the public in August, and now, after a brief hiatus from regular hours, the space will be open through the end of the year. During the break, the family renovated the building, which houses prints of some of the elder Moore’s most popular realist paintings on nature themes.
The ground floor gallery is full of new ceramic work by Gordon Moore. Gordon moved back to the Island last year after completing the third of three arts-related degrees. His mugs, vases, and bowls feature detailed images drawn from nature, created by one of two processes — sgraffito, which literally means “to scratch” in Italian, and an intricate Asian inlay process.
Along with Gordon’s decorative and functional pieces, the first floor also features a few new drawings by Hannah Moore, who will have a full show of new work at the gallery next summer.
Althea Freeman-Miller of Althea Designs recently welcomed artist Craig D. Miner to her studio and gallery on Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, next to the MV Times building. Miner creates colorful pop art–influenced paintings and abstracts with a graphic design feel. Freeman-Miller is showing a wide range of her charming rustic linoleum block prints along with examples of her latest line of original drawings, laser-engraved in wood and hand-painted. You’ll also find a small selection of jewelry by Freeman-Miller’s mother, Leslie Freeman.
The AK Venti Gallery on Main Street in Edgartown features colorful paintings by owner Anastasia Venti, along with wrap dresses and ties created from high-quality silk, printed with designs inspired by Venti’s work. For the holidays, the artist has added some smaller, more affordable paintings to the mix, and will be offering a sale on some of her designer garments during Christmas in Edgartown this weekend.
While in Edgartown, pop by the new gallery and boutique Kin, where you can find framed prints by photographer Lisa (L.A.) Brown, along with original clothing designs by her niece Gareth Brown, whose signature headband/head wraps made from vintage men’s ties make the perfect gift for someone who loves unique, one-of-a-kind clothing. The small shop also features paintings by Marston Clough, ceramics by Frank Creney, and a variety of gift items from Brooklyn-based artisans.
For a wide range of products by local artists and artisans, stop by the cooperative Night Heron Gallery, where at least one of the 10 members is always on hand to talk about their own work and that of their fellow artisans. Among the items on offer are sweaters, jewelry, bags, paintings, collage work, and cut paper designs.
On Dec. 18 you can check out the last of the 2021 Vineyard Artisans Festivals at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. There you’ll find work by more than 30 artists, and artisans working in just about every media imaginable.
It’s always fun to get to know the artist whose work you’re buying, and a locally made item makes for a very special kind of gift for anyone on your list with a love for the Vineyard.