Broad selection in the current Pathways exhibit


The Pathways Art Space in Chilmark is currently brimming with art — pieces from eight Island artists working in a variety of media, along with photographs of the last curated dance piece that Pathways founder Marianne Goldberg staged before her passing in 2015.

The exhibit, which will hang for the rest of the season at Pathways, serves as a wonderful reminder of the inclusivity and encouragement of fledgling artists that Goldberg inspired when she oversaw the arts organization.

The artists — seven painters, one sculptor, and one mixed-media artist — represent a range of ages and career stages, and each, in his or her own way, speaks with a unique voice through the visual medium.

Normally the shows at the Pathways Art Space (located at the Chilmark Tavern) will include work by one or two featured artists. This time around, Tanya Augoustinos, who curates the visual arts for Pathways, chose to expand the selection. “I wanted to go with something brighter this time,” she says.

Six abstract paintings by Harriet Bernstein certainly fit the bill. For each piece, she focuses on vibrant colors — golds and blues for a painting called “Dancing Near the Edge,” saturated hues for another titled appropriately “Red, Blue … Pink,” and swirls of pink-purple creating a large, swirling surface in a triptych titled “Blue Wave” that brings to mind a topographical map of a shoreline when viewed as a set. “I don’t want to have any identifiable object,” says the artist. “I want to provide more of a visceral experience.”

Another abstract artist playing with color in a very different way, Carol Brown Goldberg, uses acrylic and ink to create images with bold primary colors, adding intersecting, well-defined swirls to finely detailed black-and-white backdrops.

One artist who is new to the Vineyard art scene, Chandler Biggs, is represented by a single piece — an oil painting in the surrealist vein. Close inspection of her piece, titled “RAM Bling,” reveals a distorted figure riding up a hill atop a ram whose head she has ripped off and is proudly displaying.

With the painting, Biggs comments on the climate crisis, among other things. “The picture captures the metaphor ‘Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,’” she explains. “The figure is trying to get up this hill, but has cut off the head of his ride. It’s the rambling thing that we’re doing over and over again. The rider displays so much pride in the moment that it almost feels like a victory.”

Biggs was part of the underground art scene in Los Angeles before moving to the Vineyard three years ago. She is a young artist to keep an eye on.

Ceramicist Heather Sommers provides a three-dimensional element to the show. Examples of her work on display include pieces in a variety of styles, including a small freestanding sculpture of a group of people crowded onto a couch and — in a very different vein — a series of very contemporary, podlike wall-mounted pieces whose brown, grainy finish gives the sculptures the look of wooden carvings.

Other work in the show includes watercolors by popular Island artist Marjorie Mason, mixed-media abstracts by Deborah Colter, acrylic pop art–influenced paintings by Craig Miner, and a wonderful wood, glass, epoxy, and oil piece by Avery Miner.

The photos of Marianne Goldberg’s dance pieces capture what was a beautiful and unique site-specific dance piece, titled “OceA,” that honored another of the Pathway’s founder’s passions — ocean stewardship. Ten dancers from across the country participated in an event choreographed by Goldberg which, according to the Pathways website, “was inspired by ocean terrain, utilizing improvisational structures in perception, space, time, and presence.”

All in all, the show is an eclectic grouping of work that is worth a trip to Chilmark to check out some seasoned artists as well as a couple of relative newcomers.