11 Oct 2011

Nantucket Art

Nantucket Art

All across Nantucket, there is an array of charming architecture and breathtaking landscapes.  For seasoned artistic types and beginners alike, it’s a haven to ignite creative juices.  On any given day you can spot enthusiastic painters, easels poised “just so”, near interesting island scenery.  Their paint pallettes prayed with a rainbow of collors, they have an assortment of brushes at the ready and the canvas before them commands their full attention.  They draw a crowed, these creative types.  There is something quite surreal about watching the real-time scene you are living in spring to life before you under the guided hand of the artists brush.

It isn’t just the painters who transform the islands charm and beauty into an art form. There are a number of local photographers, sketch artists, sculptors and graphic designers who use their creative gifts to capture the islands essence. Perhaps most heartening are the stories told by the “newbies” to the art world…those starry eyed novice’s who just weeks before donned a camera or paintbrush for the very first time and set out to unearth their inner artist. A few clicks of the camera or swish of the brush later and a new passion is ignited.

Nantucket provides the backdrop to unleash endless amounts of untapped creativity. It also provides countless venues to display the Nantucket art. A number of galleries, homes and public places showcase local artwork. The Artists Association of Nantucket offers a wide variety of art classes and workshops for all ages. It hosts year round events and gallery exhibitions presenting the work of its emerging and accomplished members. This past weekend my husband Dan and I attended the “Wet Paint” auction and dinner. A few dozen local painters set up their easels at strategic locations and studios capturing Nantucket inspired images on canvas. During the three day event, residents and visitors had the opportunity to visit the artists and watch the scenes unfold. On Sunday afternoon the new creations, fresh off the easels and still donning wet paint, were auctioned off to a throng of several hundred eager art enthusiasts. It was thrilling to watch the crowd boisterously vie for the local works.

One of my favorite places to discover local artwork is in the homes of the artists themselves. Just last week I was escorting 2 sets of parents and a newly engaged young couple on a guided tour of Sconset rental homes. In one of the homes, I heard the sweet “bride-to-be” mention to her mom that she recognized the paintings on the wall as the work of the lady of the house – a woman she had grown up knowing and respecting as a local Sconset neighbor. I’ve been in dozens of island homes proudly displaying their owner’s creative works. I find it heartwarming to consider what a legacy these pieces will leave for generations to come.

If you have a passion for art – whether it’s creating your own or appreciating the work of others – Nantucket is the place for you. Stop by a few of the galleries or the Artists Association of Nantucket to admire local works. Grab your camera or your sketch pad and come let the island inspire you.

Express yourself.

Shellie Dunlap

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