As a good number of Island businesses batten down the hatches in preparation for the winter season, efforts are underway in Oak Bluffs to enhance the aesthetics of Circuit Ave. and surrounding area by displaying Island-made artwork in store windows.
Rather than seasonally closed establishments being shuttered by old newspapers or drab fabrics, Oak Bluffs Business Association (OBA) executive director Billie Jean Sullivan told The Times the initiative allows residents and winter visitors to enjoy cheerful and engaging creations as they pass through town.
The Oak Bluffs staple the Corner Store is among those who jumped at the opportunity to show off student artwork, courtesy of the Oak Bluffs School’s art department, and teacher Jessica Johns.
Touting a healthy volume of window space, the Corner Store front is the perfect venue for an ad hoc art show, breathing life into the town during the Vineyard’s winter lull.
Artwork made by students ranging from grades two through four will be exhibited at the storefront, at least until the new year.
Typically Christmas-themed, this year’s presentation is nondenominational, Sullivan said. The displays are not just about visual appeal, they’re also about representation. About half of the Oak Bluffs School is Brazilian, Sullivan said, in addition to the town’s residents embracing a wide range of religions and cultures.
Sullivan said the OBA has received complaints in the past about the visual of numerous shops grimly darkened with makeshift window covers, hence it is ideal to find creative ways to fill the often vacuous shopfronts.
The ultimate goal, Sullivan said, would be for fuller participation among business owners in Oak Bluffs, along with local artists who’d be willing to showcase their work.