If you are out and about looking for the perfect holiday gift, walk into the Night Heron Gallery — the Island’s only Vineyard Haven artist–owned and –operated cooperative. The space on Main Street is an exquisite mix of original art and alluring handcrafted items. Now through Dec. 30 (except Christmas Day), the gallery will be open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Night Heron was formed in 2011, and continues to consist of Island-based creators. Currently, there are 11 talented members who each take shifts at the gallery, so you always get a chance to speak to one or more of them.
Starting on the left as you walk into the welcoming space is Rachel A. Baumrin, who, in 2012, began pursuing her childhood dream of being a fashion and accessory designer. She creates a wide array of beautiful products that include luxurious purses, bags, shawls, eye pillows, herbal heat packs, and peaceful face and sleep masks.
Lisa Strachan opened her pottery studio in 1995. She makes elegant sea-blue porcelain vases, large and small platters, and even a lampstand and mirror, frame all inscribed with ocean-inspired designs. Complementing the display is her sculptural blue copper shorebird, which she has begun making of late.
Diana Stewart has been a classically trained metalsmith and gemologist for 45 years. She designs handsome fine art silver jewelry, which incorporates a mesmerizing rainbow of colorful gemstones. These, along with seaweed and seashells, inspire her work.
For more than 40 years, Kathy Tackabury has been using traditional metalsmithing to create stunning, one-of-a-kind designs that create harmony between the metal and her unusually splendid gemstones. She also creates small sculptures of sea creatures that she turns into jewelry. Tackabury wants her work to have symbolic meaning to the wearer, echoing her own personal connection, which she invests as she makes each piece.
Taylor Stone uses an X-Acto knife on solid-colored paper to construct her intricate, hand-cut paper illustrations. Her three-dimensional lighthouses, cacti, and magical scenes in custom-made wooden shadow box frames represent whimsical scenarios where witches and faeries meet local landscapes and greenery. Stone has been branching out recently, creating products such as prints, stationery, puzzles, and even blankets that carry her artwork.
Beldan K. Radcliffe is known for her printmaking and collage, including wonderfully colored copper plate etchings, which she also reproduces on tiles whose clear surface seems to illuminate them from within. Recently, Beldan has been creating unique, wearable art from upcycled textiles. She searches for beautiful colors and patterns, and delights in recombining these knits to make beautiful and fun coats, sweaters, and shawls.
Cynthia Pareja uses centuries-old techniques and earth-friendly handmade papers and eco-conscious leathers to make exquisite, one-of-a-kind books that reflect old-world, fine-artisan craftsmanship. The different colors and textures of her rough-hewn-edged papers appeal to the inner muse of writers, musicians, photographers, poets, artists, travelers, newlyweds, new parents, and memory keepers.
M-C Lamarre crafts elegant, nautically inspired rope baskets from ethically sourced materials. Their simple, clean lines make for striking bags and baskets in many shapes and sizes, coasters, and decorative home decor — including an amusing and popular small boat titled “Wash-a-shore.”
Washington Ledesma fills his ceramics and paintings with playful creatures and amusing beings — some recognizable and others not. His animated designs on plates, platters, mugs, and vases, and fine art, are inspired by his studies of early cultures from Mesopotamia and Africa to the Celts and the Incas, as well as his own very active imagination.
Marie Meyer-Barton’s grandmother introduced her to sewing and handwork when she was a child. Meyer-Barton constructs her special baby moccasins, purses, pouches, backpacks, wallets, key chains, and leather jewelry from buttery soft, locally sourced deerskin and other fine leather. She adorns some of her items with Native American–made wampum buttons and beads.
Carolyn Warren’s oil paintings convey the exquisite beauty of Island beaches and ocean during the summer months. While the seascapes range in size from medium to quite large — transforming these into sweeping vistas — her mini, 3- by 3-inch framed versions are a perfect fit for a nook in anyone’s house.
Every year, the gallery holds a special raffle for a Night Heron gift basket, which this year is valued at some $1,000, and filled with an item from each member. They always give the proceeds to a democratically chosen charity of their choice. This year, the money will go to the Davin A. Tackabury Memorial Scholarship for the Arts. Davin Tackabury was Tackabury’s son, a successful artist in his own right who passed away in 2019. The scholarships are awarded for outstanding creative work to selected graduating seniors to continue their education in the arts.
You will have a chance to meet all the artists at once at their Holiday Open House on Thursday, Dec. 22, and discover the lucky winner of the grand prize gift basket while enjoying refreshments and some last-minute shopping.
Night Heron Gallery, 58 Main St., Vineyard Haven. Visit nightherongallery.com.