Each winter Featherstone Center for the Arts, the Vineyard’s only year-round art center, undergoes a rebirth.
While students register for art classes, the gallery is refurbished. This year a new track has been installed around the perimeter of the gallery to better display works of art. And the gallery floor has been sanded down to bare wood and sealed for a gleaming new surface.
Executive director Francine Kelly typically invites aspiring and accomplished artists to assume ownership of the gallery for a winter show: to hang their work and run the gallery. This offers an opportunity to artists who might not show their work to the Vineyard public. Over the years, Ms. Kelly said, this has proven popular with a number of artists.
This year, a trio of creative expressionists present a unique glimpse of their varied versions of artistic endeavor. Jack Greene, his niece Caterina Verde and his old friend Dick Stroud join forces for the first time.
The title of their show, triple intersection: 3 points, is a fitting commentary on their very different artistic perceptions. The opening reception will be on Sunday, Feb. 3 from 4 to 6 p.m.; the show will hang through Feb. 17.
Jack Greene is a polychrome relief artist with a studio in Vineyard Haven.
“My work has always spoken in the language of abstraction,” he says, “embracing the diversity and richness of texture, form, color, and the mystery of the mind and spirit.” His work has been shown from San Francisco to Edgartown.
Years ago, while working in New Mexico, Mr. Greene developed a low relief process based on acrylic on molding paste squeegeed through stencils onto canvas, as he describes it. Later, he upgraded to high relief, using sculptured clay and castings, first with plaster, then a lighter material called Aqua Resin. He calls his current array of painted pieces polychrome wall reliefs. Eight of these works will be entered in the show.
When he studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Mr. Greene befriended Dick Stroud, a watercolorist. Mr. Stroud has both taught and exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, and also shown his work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brandeis University and Boston’s National Center of Afro-American Artists. He is an art instructor at Massachusetts Bay Community College and works in a studio in Somerville.
Some of Mr. Stroud’s watercolors feature dramatic reposing nudes. Other pieces show wild animals in unusual settings. There is a rustic ambiguity to his work, which encourages the viewer to discover more in the painting on each visit. Mr. Stroud tackles a variety of subjects in his work, and it is intriguing to see how his art compels the viewer to see it in conjunction with the other two artists.
Caterina Verde, niece to Mr. Greene, is a conceptual artist who now lives on Long Island after years residing in Paris.
Of her art, she says, “I mostly work with project-based ideas or more conceptually based work as some would say. Recently I collaborated with two artists, Gloria Zein from Germany and Elise Martens from Norway on a project entitled, Confinement and the Art of Decoration, which was featured in New Haven.”
She adds, “I would like to show some drawings and works that I don’t often have the occasion to exhibit.”
Her work adds an intriguing third angle to the exhibit. Matthew Rose of In Paris Now writes, “thick emptiness and holes might be the most original name for an exhibition of clouds and vacant classrooms. It is a name, however, that fits. French-American artist Caterina Verde (also known as Kathryn Greene) captures emptiness while choreographing her images in a kind of cross-pollination of absences.”
He continues: “Using simple forms and strong, graphic sensibilities, Verde manages to infuse easy-on-the-eye images such as clouds, beds, and children’s playground slides and merry-go rounds, with a confrontational emotionalism.”
And that brings us back to the primary purpose of the winter gallery shows at Featherstone: to introduce new artists to the Vineyard scene, with art that is infrequently exhibited on the Island.
Ms. Verde, while very busy, is happy to be part of this show, choreographed by her uncle. Mr. Stroud is eager to have his work seen by a larger audience. And Featherstone Center for the Arts is proud to present an exhibit with a new set of artists in its freshly refurbished gallery on Barnes Road, Oak Bluffs.
The public is invited to attend the opening reception for triple intersection: 3 points on Sunday, Feb. 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Featherstone Gallery. The show will hang through Feb. 17. For information call 508-693-1850.