At Small Treasures, affordable gifts of art

At Small Treasures, Affordable Gifts of Art

The Martha's Vineyard Gazette

November 25, 2011

Sara Brown

If in need of presents Liza May and Louisa Gould have a handful of ideas.
At her Vineyard Haven art gallery, Louisa Gould hurriedly unwrapped a framed acrylic painting of cherries in a bowl by artist Maya Farber.

“Isn’t that sweet?” she said, admiring the $200 painting. Unwrapping artwork makes her feel “like it’s Christmastime, almost,” she said, as she gets a close look at the art for the first time.

The Farber painting is one of the small pieces in Ms. Gould’s Small Treasures show, which will run at the Main street gallery through Jan. 1. The sixth annual show features small, affordable pieces that are ideal for gift giving, Ms. Gould said.

An opening reception for the show is on Friday, Nov. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. Ms. Gould’s 2,000-square-foot gallery will feature work by 17 different artists: 11 gallery artists and six gallery guests. Her own photography is part of the show, and the artists all have some connection to the Vineyard, Ms. Gould said.

On Monday, Liza May, who helped curate the show, joined Ms. Gould as the two arranged and displayed the artwork. The holiday treasures, which include watercolors, oil and acrylic paintings, photography, glass, ceramics and wood sculptures, tend to be on the smaller side, Ms. Gould said, priced between $24 and $600.

Though the art is small, she said, “it is still quality. Sometimes it’s harder to do a smaller piece than it is a larger piece.”

The gallery will offer gift wrapping at the reception, as well as appetizers made by Mrs. May, wine and cheese and cranberry punch. Some of the artists will also attend the show.

“I’m a big believer that nothing is better than the gift of art,” said Mrs. May. On Monday, she made the second sale of the show before it even opened: a sepia-toned photograph of a boat, taken by Mrs. May’s son, Tom.

The collection includes work by Ms. Gould, a Vineyard Haven resident and photographer. Several of her pieces have maritime themes, reflecting one of her other passions, sailing. A former investment trader on Wall Street, she was also a yacht racer, crewing in the 2000 America’s Cup New Zealand competition.

Though she’s worn “several different hats,” Ms. Gould said art has always been a part of her life. New photos from her recent trips to India and Indonesia are part of the show, including one of the photographer’s favorite pieces, titled Green Door, Blue City, a photograph of a bike leaning against a blue wall in Jodhpur, India.

The weekend also marks the beginning of an uptick in sales for Ms. Gould and her gallery, as business picks up between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Running a largely seasonal business is tough, Ms. Gould said, especially during a struggling economy.

But many people come to the Island for the holiday, she said, just as she did when she was growing up.

And the reception also offers a peaceful alternative during a notoriously busy shopping weekend. “Enjoy the peace and quiet of the Vineyard,” Ms. Gould said. “Come to an art opening. It really has nothing to do with Black Friday.”

A reception for the Small Treasures show will be held today, Nov. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Louisa Gould Gallery on Main street, Vineyard Haven.

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