Great things come in small packages


Every year for the past 18 years, Louisa Gould has offered customers the opportunity to buy affordable art just in time for the holidays. This year is no exception. The Small Works Show, as the name implies, features work by established artists in a smaller scale than what they’re known for, with smaller price tags as well. 

“It’s an opportunity for new collectors to experience the gallery,” says Gould. “It’s a way for people to have access to artists at a different price point.” 

And not only does the public benefit from the annual sale, the artists too are afforded a chance to work on a smaller scale. 

“This provides an opportunity for artists like Rick Fleury and Deborah Colter to work on smaller pieces,” says Gould. “They can do something different — push the boundaries without disrupting sales to their regular clients.” 

Colter, a mixed-media artist who has been represented by the Louisa Gould Gallery for years, is known for her abstract paintings, made up of a myriad of bounded planes that tend to feature bright, monochromatic palettes. Her work combines painting and collage elements. For the Small Works Show, Colter has reduced the scale of her mixed-media pieces without sacrificing any of the complexity of the images. 

Colter, whose price point is generally in the $4,000 to $8,000 range, is offering her small square mixed media pieces for $250. 

Another nationally recognized artist who has managed to downsize her offerings specifically for the show is oil painter Linda Besse, whose remarkable work in realism has won her many awards and honors, including most recently membership in the prestigious American Society of Marine Artists. The current show features small ocean-themed paintings, including a meticulously rendered scene of a fisherman in waders harvesting shellfish. 

Gould notes that to capture so much detail in these small images, Besse used a tiny paintbrush and a magnifying glass.

Other tiny landscape images include those by Paul Beebe, a member of both the American Society of Marine Artists and the Salmagundi Art Club in New York City; and Rick Fleury, whose serene, minimalist landscapes have won him acclaim throughout New England and beyond. 

Peter Batchelder’s studies of barns and trees, focusing on form and color in imagined palettes, add a wonderful contemporary element to the show, along with a couple of colorful abstract paintings by Gould herself. 

Popular artist Wooley Dutton is again providing a series of charming little bird paintings, while Sean Roach’s rope knot paintings and Teek Eaton-Koch’s views of Steamship ferry crossings provide a nice nautical touch to the show. 

The selection of work also includes cards from Peggy Turner-Zablotny, jewelry by Sissy Yates, miniatures from John Holladay, and small bronze sculptures by Brian Arthur. Gould will also be offering work by glass artist Jeffrey Pan, whose beautiful blown glass ornaments and vases have proven very popular in years past. 

“Holiday Small Works Show” will hang at the Louisa Gould Gallery, 54 Main St., Vineyard Haven, through the end of the year. Open House, Saturday, Dec. 3, noon to 4 pm, with refreshments and holiday goodies. Gift wrapping and shipping available; appointments available for Louisa Gould Photography. The gallery is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm.