A hard rain's a-gonna fall. Perfect weather for staying in safe and warm and honing your art skills. Our Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce has a contest for our students in grades 9 through 12. It is time to choose our annual student-made art for the book cover of the Island Book. Submissions are due by Feb. 1 to the chamber, located at 24 Beach Road in Vineyard Haven. The office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Any medium is okay. This year’s theme is agriculture. Good luck to all.

Speaking of art, Kathy Poehler has finished her first work of 2024, a seaweed creation called Embraceable You. It is destined for the Featherstone exhibit space at the end of this month.

We are certainly fortunate to have so many artists living here. Barney Zeitz just completed a project in time for the holidays. A panel had broken in his stained glass window installed in an Evangelical church that was formerly a synagogue in Flieden, Germany. The panel was sent to him in the United States. He handily fixed and returned it. Barney will be able to see his work in place in April.

Another great artist, Todd McGrain, began The Lost Birds project in 2000. It chronicles many of the 150 bird types that have become extinct. The auk, passenger pigeon and heath hen are some examples. Todd has sent some of his larger than life bronze sculptures to our Martha’s Vineyard Museum. They decorate our outdoor areas there. Please go take a look. Teach your kids. The exhibit will be there till May.

Mary Afton Crandall is enjoying her year at Tabor Academy. She has been awarded a part in the musical Footloose. She was cast in the chorus but now has a part as well. I sure hope to be in the audience to see her in Footloose.

Kevin Searle is recovering nicely from recent surgery. Keep at it, Kevin!

And on Jan. 16 my best high school buddy, Marybeth Roden, takes the cake. Many happy returns.