Good things come in small frames at Louisa Gould Gallery
Martha's Vineyard Times
By Gwyn McAllister
December 11, 2013
If you've wanted to collect work by Vineyard artists but your budget doesn't quite permit much indulgence, now is the time to visit the Louisa Gould Gallery on Main Street in Vineyard Haven. The current show — Small Wonders — features paintings and photos in the affordable range by a variety of Island artists.
And if you're looking for one of a kind gifts for the Vineyarder — or Vineyardphile — among the selection of small works are a number of pieces for under $100.
The gallery has hosted the Small Wonders show at Christmas time since 2006. "It's been a popular show so far," gallery owner Louisa Gould said. "People look forward to having this opportunity to find affordable art for gift giving. It's really for gift giving. We have a lot of pieces from $95 to $300."
Among those in that price range are lovely evocative pastels of Vineyard scenes by Debby Rosenthal, wonderful little impressionist seascapes in acrylics by Frauke Klatt, Maya Farber's small still lifes, and photos by Jeanne Campbell including a striking shot of the Vineyard Haven harbor on a moonlit night and a simple black and white photo of a branch of silver dollar seed pods.
Donna Blackburn's charming little bird portraits and a lovely view of the Gay Head cliffs with spring flowers in the foreground are selling for $95. Ms. Gould's photos — serene shots of fishing boats in the Philippines and vibrant action shots from the 2013 America's Cup race in San Francisco — are on sale as limited edition prints for $225.
If you're seeking a really special gift, there are a number of other options in the $400 to $800 range including maritime paintings by Paul Beebe, lovely moody landscapes by Christie Scheele, small works by popular Island artist John Holladay, and fishing scenes by Adriano Manocchia (the latter two also offer greeting cards).
Gift items include porcelain and stoneware by Suzanne Hill whose newest line of bowls, platters, and teapots feature her unique patterned glaze; the latest blown glass ornaments from the Vitrix line; jewelry from Francesca Lewis Kennedy; and fuzzy felted critters by Island native and recent Savannah College of Art graduate Taylor Stone — ideal for decorating your tree or giving as inexpensive year-round gifts.
Many of the artists included in the Small Wonders show are regulars from the gallery's roster of artists while others are recruited just for the gift show every year. Ms. Gould makes a point of having some affordable works available at the gallery at all times. "We have a whole array of small works up front throughout the year," she said. "I always have a wide selection."
Running concurrently with Small Wonders is another show, Fall Impressions, which opened at the end of October. The selection includes painting by seven gallery artists spotlighting the beauty of the Island in the early off season. All of the artists have contributed new work including moody landscapes and seascapes by Paul Beebe, and Charles Fran Kenney's dramatic maritime scenes. Mr. Holladay's recent series perfectly captures the subtleties of color of Vineyard stone walls. Ms. Scheele's lovely oil paintings depict serene Vineyard scenes as seen through a soft focus. In contrast to these, Peter Batchelder shows an oil of the East Chop Lighthouse featuring the contrast of the deep blue sky and russet fields of autumn; and Irish artist Jim McKee contributed a busily layered oil of Menemsha.
The Louisa Gould Gallery, with its multiple rooms and sections, offers something new and different around every corner. She represents dozens of artists – both local and off-Island – working in a variety of media. It's always a gratifying experience to take a walk through the collection. And, although the two current shows will be final ones of the 2013 season, Ms. Gould stays open on a limited basis year round.
"One of the reasons we do this," she said, "is because Vineyard Haven is more of a year round town and it's our way of saying thank you for staying open and alive. I feel that it's important to the town."
Holiday Small Wonders Show and Fall Impressions both run through December 31. Louisa Gould Gallery is located at 54 Main St. in Vineyard Haven. For more information, call 508-693-7373 or visit louisagould.com.