Rez Williams, the renowned Vineyard artist and conservationist, will receive this year’s Creative Living Award, the Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha’s Vineyard announced this week.
“He has painted landscapes and portraits, but is best known for his paintings of hulking fishing trawlers using a vibrant palette and sure, determined brushstrokes,” the fund said in a press release about the award.
Mr. Williams will be honored in a ceremony on Oct. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. The public is invited to attend.
This marks the 31st year of the Creative Living Award, established to recognize members of the Vineyard community who embody the spirit of Ruth Bogan, who, in the words of her friend Ruth Redding, was a “gallant woman who loved beauty, who loved the Vineyard and who believed anyone can do anything.”
Born in New York city and raised on Long Island, Mr. Williams began to visit the Vineyard in 1969. He is an avid sailor and past president of the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation. He has taught at Fairleigh Dickinson University and traveled extensively. He makes his home in West Tisbury with his wife, the artist Lucy Mitchell.
Thomas Hoving, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and former editor in chief of Connoisseur magazine, chose Mr. Williams as one of a handful of “the finest artists living in America.”
The event on Oct. 21 will also include a drawing for guests to win the opportunity to award $1,000 to Island nonprofits. This drawing was made possible by the 11 members of the Permanent Endowment Board who donated $1,000 to demonstrate their commitment to fostering philanthropy on the Vineyard. The winner of the drawing will donate their prize to the Island nonprofit of their choice.
The Permanent Endowment is the Island’s community foundation. Established in 1982, its purpose is to connect people who care with causes that matter by putting charitable contributions to work for the people of Martha’s Vineyard through grants to local public and nonprofit organizations, scholarships for Island students and by building an endowment that will provide resources to address the community’s needs in perpetuity.
More information on the fund is available at endowmv.org or by calling 508-338-4665.