(Vineyard Haven) The Louisa Gould Gallery is celebrating its fourth Nautical Show. The works of ten different artists, drawn together to praise the sea, will be featured. The themed show will delve into the relationships forged by New Englanders with the maritime. “My road leads me seaward to white dipping sails.” –John Masefield (1878-1967)
Louisa Gould Gallery is delighted that Nat Benjamin, of Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway (G & B) in Vineyard Haven, has submitted several of his favorite designs for limited edition fine art prints for the first time. The prints include both a sail plan and line drawings. After more than thirty-five years of continuous involvement with wooden sailing craft, Nat is a firm believer in the integrity, heart, and soul that go into producing any enduring vessel. With a design for the 2003 65’schooner, 28’ keel center board gaff sloop, Bella class and canvas back gaff sloop, Nat has offered viewers the chance to observe the unique balance of science and art found in yacht design.
Handcrafting jewelry since his early teens, Rede Stanton will be showcasing his nautical jewelry line. Rede and Louisa have collaborated on designs for an exclusive line of boat jewelry in silver, amber, ebony and turquoise, which was a challenge Rede found enjoyable and interesting. After studying the half hulls of Mark Sutherland, currently featured at Louisa Gould Gallery, and consulting Ross Gannon at G&B Marine Railway, Rede used materials that reflect the heart of the sea and crafted a unique line that draws on both the structure of the boat as an object and his strong artistic background as a jeweler. “I find boat building to be one of the finest expressions of artistry,” Rede Stanton said.
Another wood worker/artist currently featured is Mark Sutherland. His half hulls and ship models celebrate the late 1900’s and early 20th century. Louisa Gould commissioned Mark to create a variety of half hulls reminiscent of boats local to Martha’s Vineyard: Herressoff 12’s and Vineyard 15’s, among others.
“For this show I am focusing on boats that are racing and in combination with the forces of nature,” says Frank Brunelle. A cat boat owner and sailor, Frank will be showing four new marine oil paintings on canvas. Howard Park, a fellow painter, recently sailed around the world and his love of the sea and maritime culture is evident throughout the small oil on canvas series that will be displayed. Howard and his son will co-show “Mystic Visions” painting exhibit on August 9 at the gallery.
Another first for the gallery will be the showing of Frank Rapoza’s work, an Island resident and expert craftsman. Carving since he was young, Frank is exhibiting Folk Art Swordfish Bill, a sword made from rosewood and whalebone with silver and whalebone inlay. “I’ve been on the water all my life,” says Frank, “I’m a boat builder by trade – it’s just something I’ve been doing all my life.” Frank also specializes in dolphins and whales carved out of Cuttyhunk ebony.
Traeger di Pietro has been painting from Maine to the Vineyard and between, capturing images with a unique style combining bold colors and expression. A self-taught artist, Traeger is always in search of the “moments of everyday life.” His oil and acrylic boat paintings add variety to the show.
Sailboat, original oil on panel painted by Island resident Jules Worthington, illustrates the artist’s battle to overcome cancer and sail from “stormy weather to the bright, healing light on the horizon.” From the sails to the palate of colors, the symbolism of Sailboat combined with Jules’s unique style creates an enchanting work.
Another fellow sailor and Island resident, Stephen J. Hart’s exquisite sea chests, made from teak, ash and mahogany, portray the strength that can be drawn from the ocean.
There is something simple and beautiful about boats that can’t quite be explained; they possess a stability that is both functional and pleasing to the eye.” –Louisa Gould
Louisa will show several of her new photo impressionist pieces on canvas, contrasting their serene, peaceful imagery with the more high impact, dramatic actions found within her stable of limited edition yachting images.
The Sea has been a driving inspiration for sailors, racers, painters, boat-builders and coast-dwellers alike. Though they may practice different trades, none can deny their strong connection with the sea. “…the sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” –Jacques Cousteau
The Nautical Show will be on display from Wednesday, July 12 through Tuesday, July 25 with an artist reception on Wednesday, July 12 from 5-7:30 pm. The gallery is located at 13 Beach St. Ext. off of Five corners on the harbor in Vineyard Haven. Please call (508) 693.7373 for further information.