P. Andre Arguimbau, founder of the Mariner Gallery in Edgartown, has been engrossed in maritime art since birth. He was a child when he first attended the International Maritime Art Show at Mystic Seaport, accompanying his father, the artist Peter Arguimbau, to the gathering.

It was there that Andre Arguimbau first met John Stobart, a giant in the field who designed and occupied a gallery of his works on North Summer street in Edgartown for many years. It is the same space into which Mr. Arguimbau recently moved to open his own maritime gallery.

“He was easily the most revered person in the room,” Mr. Arguimbau recalled in an interview at the gallery. “Over time it became clear to me why that was. He was a great artist but he was also a very good businessman, and knew how to follow the market.”

Mr. Arguimbau celebrates the opening of his gallery on Friday, June 23, bringing his artistic journey full circle.

USS Chesapeake & HMS Shannon by Patrick O'Brien. — Ray Ewing

Tastes have changed considerably since Mr. Stobart’s day, Mr. Arguimbau said, with a downturn in the maritime art market over the last decade. Indeed, the Mystic maritime art gallery where the two first met closed its doors in 2020.

But for Mr. Arguimbau, it is a trend worth bucking.

“My approach is a sort of fanatical dedication to artists that paint this way, which I define as classical realism of the sea,” he said. “I am dedicated to this niche.”

The Edgartown gallery is his second location, having opened the flagship Mariner Gallery in Newport, R.I. back in 2015. But though Mr. Arguimbau only recently set up shop on-Island, he is already well acquainted with the Vineyard’s shoreline.

“I know almost every single bit of the exterior of the Island from growing up sailing around it,” he said, recalling about 50 sailing voyages he took to the Vineyard in his youth. During those trips, however, he rarely traveled inland.

“Now, I’m learning the interior a lot better and getting to know the culture and community as well,” he said.

There will be a gallery opening party on Friday, June 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. — Ray Ewing

The artwork in the gallery includes scenes from Quitsa Pond, the Brickyard and the cliffs of Chappaquiddick, to name a few. Each of the paintings, he said, is created with the exacting level of detail valued by collectors of the style.

“You’re looking for anatomical correctness of the vessel, of the shore, of the wind direction, of the crew members operating the vessel,” he said. “And of the moon and the stars and the sky.”

The sheer volume of oil paint alone, Mr. Arguimbau said, lends value to the paintings.

But it is not just the compositions themselves that Mr. Arguimbau finds so appealing. It is also the stories behind them. Given the chance, he will readily engage in long digressions about American maritime history, from the age of sail to that of steam.

The construction of the first six U.S. Navy frigate ships — Constellation, Constitution, President, Chesapeake, United States and Congress — was key for the country, Mr. Arguimbau contends. With these sturdy craft, made from American live oak trees, the country could engage in actual defense and diplomacy for the first time.

“I think the art has a way of telling a story of this country,” he said.

Mr. Arguimbau’s interest in lumber extends beyond the maritime world; he has a milling and live-edged furniture business, Northeast Hardwood. Much of his work is created with salvaged wood, he said, and he has already been in touch with local tree companies, hoping to secure some local wood.

But for now, Mr. Arguimbau has his sights set on a busy summer season.

“I want to make sure that people see that we’re providing local scenes by artists who have spent a lot of time here,” he said. “While everyone else has been closing their doors, know that we’re sort of keeping the lights on for maritime art.”

The Mariner Gallery opening takes place Friday, June 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at 31 North Summer street in Edgartown.