When Tanya Augoustinos and Maria Westby opened A Gallery in July, they set out to bring contemporary art to the Vineyard. This goal was evident last Sunday at an opening for Cindy Kane’s show Inheritance, her first on the Island since 2008. Ms. Kane’s work is provocative, yet unobtrusive. She creates visually-pleasing assemblages that subtly carry a political undertone, a quality that separates her from more traditional Vineyard artists.

Ms. Kane works with collage and paint to create a layered visual effect. Her subjects include maps, birds, dolls and other familiar objects painted atop receipts, television listings and headlines that bring a note of cultural commentary to her work. The political nature of Ms. Kane’s work, however, is far from blatant. As Steve Lohman, longtime resident and artist on Martha’s Vineyard, explained, “It doesn’t hit you over the head, but the more you look, the more you see.”

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Cindy Kane works with collage and paint to create a layered visual effect. — Ray Ewing

In many of Ms. Kane’s paintings, maps flow in geometric shapes that escape logic. While she asserts that her fascination with maps is primarily aesthetic, her interest is also personal as well as political.

“My husband is Israeli, and I have an awareness of boundaries and what boundaries mean in different countries,” she explained. “The idea of the red or green line is not always what it seems on a map.”

The collision of the personal and political is paramount for her. “My work is coming from a personal place, using paper trails and intimate objects that are part of my family’s life. I start with the personal, and the political narrative comes.”

While Ms. Kane’s themes are clearly present, much is left to the viewer’s interpretation, too. A woodpecker perched atop headlines from the 2000 election leaves viewers to draw their own connections.

“I hope [that viewers] get what I get from my work, which is enjoyment, visual satisfaction, and a story — whatever their own story is,” she said. “I can’t give them one, but I can tell my own, and the story they take with them is something personal.”

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Cindy Kane’s exhibit at the A gallery continues through Sept. 3. — Ray Ewing

The show includes 24 pieces by Ms. Kane and the result is striking. A Gallery’s vast open space, painted cinder block-like walls and exposed wood beams create a stark yet elegant atmosphere for her work. Ms. Augoustinos’ curatorial efforts ensure that the pieces play off one another.

Mr. Lohman, who has his own sculptures displayed outdoors, stated that the gallery is “an important place for the Island. I hope it stays.” Ms. Kane concurred, saying, “this has been a dream to have a show in a beautiful space like this. It is truly a gift to the artists on the Vineyard. It has provided a center for the artists. Young people are hanging out here. They are creating an atmosphere that is broader than art on the walls.”

In addition to Ms. Kane, the A Gallery is also featuring other Island artists. Displayed across an entire wall is Dan VanLandingham’s impressive “quad-diptych” titled Stewardship, 1,2,3,4, a series of four panels that includes a pastoral landscape and small, eye-catching acrylic cutouts that create a surreal effect. And this coming Sunday, A Gallery will host an opening titled Emergence that highlights the works of Lily Morris and Billy Hoff, two longtime Vineyard residents.

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Phyllis Vecchia and Barney Zeitz study the artist’s work. — Ray Ewing

A Gallery is full of contemporary art that pushes beyond the Island’s traditional repertoire. The space houses erotic nudes, psychedelic murals and experimental landscapes. “If you go to most galleries on the Island, you have some expectation of what you’ll see,” Ms. Augoustinos said. “So [here, in contrast,] people seem quite refreshed and surprised.”