next weekend, an array of fish-oriented art will festoon the walls of
Louisa Gould's Vineyard Haven gallery. For the third year in a row, the
exhibit Sporting Art - Art of the Derby will celebrate the annual
Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. "It's interesting
that all the artists who are participating are also sportsman," Ms.
Gould says. "It creates a sense of camaraderie." She hopes this year to
include hunting art as well.
artist Jeffrey P'an displays his glass fish at the upcoming exhibit at
Louisa Gould Gallery, Sporting Art - Art of the Derby. Photos by Ralph
A reception on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 5
to 7 will officially launch the exhibit, a portion of which is
currently on display. Author David Kinney will be there to sign copies
of his book about the Derby, "The Big One: An Island, an Obsession and
the Furious Pursuit of a Great Fish."
Janet Messineo, a
Vineyard Haven taxidermist, will display her mounted saltwater game
fish. Ms. Messineo, who studied at the Pennsylvania School of
Taxidermy, removes and mounts fish skins by hand, as opposed to making
fiberglass reproductions, a more common practice. Striped bass are her
specialty, and each fish takes a year to mount.
Taxidermist Janet Messineo specializes in mounted striped bass, which take a year to complete.
Messineo also makes earrings and pins from freeze-dried minnows that
she lacquers and paints. According to Ms. Gould, the minnow pins are
popular for wearing on lapels or Derby hats.
Steve London of Oak Bluffs will show his fish prints on rice paper. He
employs the Japanese art of Gyotaku, which he learned in Hawaii at the
Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center. Dating back to the mid-1800s, the method
is used to create a record of the fisherman's catch. Dr. London paints
fish with a non-toxic tint, which is then transferred onto the paper by
rubbing the fish against it. Afterwards, he paints in the fish's eye.
Kirkpatrick of Oak Bluffs will display cigar boxes decorated with fish
in vivid colors, as well as his whimsical acrylic paintings of fish.
Last month, Mr. Kirkpatrick made news for relaying his painting
depicting Barack Obama with a rooster to the president through an aide,
according to the Cape Cod Times.
printmaker Jane Fay Baker will put her black-and-white woodcuts of fish
on display. Known for his sporting art landscapes, Peter Corbin of
Millbrook, N.Y., will also participate in the show. Among the other
exhibitors are H. Gray Park IV, a Gould regular from Connecticut, who
will show his oil paintings of fishing scenes; and Luther Kelley Hall,
also from Connecticut, who has gained an international reputation for
his saltwater and fly fishing paintings and magazine illustrations.
Gould, also an artist and photographer, will display multimedia pieces
with a fishing theme. "I paint with a computer," she says, explaining
her process of transforming her photographs into print-paintings on
canvases. The software she uses allows her to mix her own colors and
select a variety of brush sizes.
Ms. Gould served as
official Derby photographer for the past three years. As a cost-cutting
measure, the Derby eliminated the position this year in favor of
disposable cameras. Ms. Gould continues to offer fishermen portraits of
their catches, but she will take time off this coming weekend, when she
will marry her fiancé, J. B. Lamont, a film editor from Edgartown.
wedding also caused Ms. Gould to opt out of participating in the Derby.
In 2007, she achieved a Derby Grand Slam, awarded for catching a false
albacore, bluefish, bonito and striped bass. Out of 3,000 registrants
that year, only 75 won Grand Slams, and Ms. Gould's took 14th in
weight. "That's when I got the nod from the old-timers," she says.
Gould appears in Mr. Kinney's book, "The Big One." When she found out
the New Jersey author was trying to research his account of Martha's
Vineyard's annual fishing event without registering, she warned him,
"Unless you are registered and weighing in fish, you will not get it."
He took her advice.
In explaining how she photographs
Derby fish, Ms. Gould says, "You never know what Mother Nature is going
to come up with. You always have to be ready." This year's Derby, which
began September 13, runs for 35 days until October 17.
working as official Derby photographer, Ms. Gould stayed close to the
weigh-in station in Edgartown, warning dinner companions that she might
have to leave before the main course. She remembers one albacore that
was so shiny she had a hard time capturing its markings.
try to catch the whole sense of the Island during that time," Ms. Gould
says. A dedicated fisherman, she has found she can't fish and
photograph at the same time.
Describing an "alby" blitz
that would have been perfect for fishing or photographing, she says, "I
was immobilized. I didn't know whether to cast or to shoot."
derby has its own particular weather pattern," Ms. Gould says. She
would not comment on how the fishing is this year, but she did say, "I
know they're not catching if I see them in the gallery."
Art - Art of the Derby, opening reception, 5 to 7 pm, Saturday, Sept.
26, Louisa Gould Gallery, Vineyard Haven. Book signing with David
Kinney, author of "The Big One."
Brooks Robards writes on art, film, books, and theater for The Martha's Vineyard Times.