‘Artists for Ukraine’

Island artists gather for a cause at Galaxy Gallery.

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The Galaxy Gallery on Dukes County Avenue in Oak Bluffs will host a special sale this weekend. Works by dozens of local artists will be available — all for a minimum donation of $200. The event, “Artists for Ukraine” is a fundraiser for a Boston-based nonprofit organization called Sunflower of Peace, whose mission, according to its website, is “to provide medical and humanitarian aid that will be used by the paramedics and doctors in the areas that are affected by the violence in Ukraine.”

The two-day sale will provide a great opportunity to pick up work by a local artist at a great price and, at the same time, support a very timely and important cause. 

“Our mission is to help local artists and give them a place to show their work,” says Holly Alaimo, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Center for the Visual Arts (MVCVS), the organization that supports and operates the Galaxy Gallery. “As a nonprofit, we are also very attuned to the work of other nonprofits, and we try to help out where we can.” Last fall the gallery hosted a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, featuring work donated by local artists. 

“I’ve been very pleased to find that artists on the Island have proven themselves very supportive and generous when it comes to helping various causes,” says Alaimo. “I think that sort of generosity is indicative of who we are as a community.”

The fundraising event will kick off the season for the Galaxy Gallery. This year the MVCVA will host two-week themed shows at the gallery, beginning at the end of June with an exhibit featuring work by local photographers. Artists receive a generous 80 percent from sales of their work. The participants help man the gallery, giving the public the opportunity to meet those whose work is on display. Many of the participating artists for this weekend’s Artists for Ukraine event will be on hand, along with representatives from Sunflower for Peace. 

Previously Alaimo hosted a similar fundraiser at the former Dragonfly Gallery, where she offered donated work by local artists for a $100 donation to support Obama’s first presidential campaign. The concept was continued as a fundraiser for the Featherstone Center for the Arts in 2009. Both events were huge successes with, as Alaimo notes, a line of people waiting to get into the Obama fundraiser before the doors even opened. 

As well as the fundraising aspect of the sale, Alaimo says, “This sort of event enables people to get a great piece of artwork that they might not be able to afford otherwise, and also serves as a way to showcase local artists.”

Sounds like a win-win-win. 

Here is a partial list of artists whose work will be on sale at the fundraiser: Allen Whiting, Kara Taylor, Ruth Kirchmeier, Heather Goff, Kate Taylor, Wendy Weldon, Nancy Cramer, Julia Mitchell, Hermine Hull, Fae Kontje-Gibbs, Harry Seymour, L.A. Brown, Traeger di Pietro, Liz Taft, Bill O’Callahan, Michael Stimola, and Lucinda Sheldon.

“Artists for Ukraine,” a benefit for Sunflower of Peace (sunflowerofpeace.com). All work will be for sale for a minimum donation of $200. May 21 and 22 from 12 to 4 pm at the Galaxy Gallery, 99 Dukes County Ave., Oak Bluffs; galaxygallery.org.