2016 Pebble Gallery Shows
September 17 - 22
Opening reception September 18 from 4-6PM
Two years ago, my partner and I bought our home here
on Martha’s Vineyard that happens to overlook the beautiful harbor in Vineyard Haven. I’m drawn to the amazing, ever changing light in that harbor. I kept a kayak down in Owen Park for most of the year and became fascinated with the reflections coming off the boats. They reminded me of abstract paintings. I started taking more and more photographs of these reflective abstractions trying to capture them in different light settings. Some are from very early in the morning while others are towards sunset. As difficult as it is to sit in a moving kayak with constant currents along with a paddle in one hand and a camera in the other, which can become quite challenging, I still found it very soothing and calming for my head. There were some days that I lose all sense of time as I couldn’t get enough of these images…I guess that means I’ve found my passion!
Epstein & Littlefield Family Show
August 28 - September 7
Opening Reception Sunday, August 28 from 4:00-6:00PM
From August 28th to September 7th visitors to Featherstone’s Pebble Gallery will have the unique opportunity to view works from three generations of the multi-talented Epstein/Littlefield family.
Ruth Epstein, the matriarch of the family, has been creating art in a variety of media for more than seven decades. Since becoming a permanent resident of Martha’s Vineyard in 2009, her choice medium has been collage and it is her newest mixed-media collage pieces that she will be exhibiting in this show. Using cut-out images as well as letters, textiles and natural objects she reassembles and juxtaposes her materials to create themed collages with subjects as varied as immigration in the early 20th century, Broadway shows, kimonos/geishas, and Victorian fans. An especially powerful and poignant piece entitled “The Grandmother I Never Knew” includes letters handwritten in Yiddish by Ruth’s grandmother and sent to her daughter who had immigrated to America from Eastern Europe prior to WWII.
Sharing the gallery space will be Ruth’s sons Rick and Mitch Epstein along with her son-in-law Ivory Littlefield and her granddaughter Leah Littlefield.
Rick Epstein is a ceramic artist who is best known for creating large-scale,
3-dimensional clay landscapes. In his bas-relief sculptures there is an ever-changing relationship forged between the viewer and the art as the “clayscapes”, with their simultaneously projecting and receding elements, visually entice one to enter into the scenes. Many of the landscape pieces are divided into multiple vertical or horizontal segments. Of this design feature Epstein states “Chinese screens were my inspiration for fractionalizing a landscape into separate elements, each of value to be reconnected by the eye”. Rick resides in western Massachusetts and he is a regular exhibitor at some of the country’s finest juried craft shows including the American Craft Council Show in Baltimore, MD, Paradise City Show in Marlboro, MA, Palm Beach Fine Craft Show in FL, and the Berkshire Art Festival and the Berkshire Fine Craft Show in Great Barrington, MA.
Also participating in this family show will be Ruth Epstein’s son-in-law, Ivory Littlefield. Littlefield resides on
Martha’s Vineyard where his skill and creativity as an artist and woodworker are widely recognized. Known primarily for his artfully crafted homes and furniture, Littlefield is also a talented sculptor and carver. He will be showing several of his carved wooden bowls, richly finished with multiple layers of lacquer and/or gold.
Leah Littlefield represents the youngest generation of the family and at age 15, she too is a very creative artist as well as a talented writer. Leah will be exhibiting some of her poetry and prose which have won a number of awards including the Susan Pasley MacKenzie Creative Writing Award in 2015, the Eliza Brickner Poetry Award in 2015, four Scholastic Writing Awards in 2016, and a 2016 award from Falmouth Academy for one of her poems published in the school’s literary magazine Resonance.
August 13 - 26
Opening Reception Saturday, August 13 from 4:00 - 6:00PM
Jordan Burnham is an African American artist. He was born in Maui, Hawaii and spent his childhood in the San Francisco/Oakland area and Brooklyn, NY. He attended Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, but eventually dropped out and began what he describes as a lost decade. "I lost my way, was punished for it and wasted some valuable years." Not all was lost, however. He became fluent in Italian and Bulgarian and through his work as a tattooist, he recommitted himself to his artistic avocation.
For the past several years, he has split his time between Martha's Vineyard and Boston. He attended the Museum of Fine Arts School and has recently transferred to the Tuft's University Fine Arts Program, from which he will graduate in 2017.
Mr. Burnham says that initially he was reluctant to describe himself as an African American artist, since he believes art is a universal. However, time and contemplation have convinced him that although art is universal, perspective is individualistic. "Regardless of what I think," he explains, "I'll be viewed as a black artist. It's important that I accept that responsibility, make art that flourishes, celebrate my heritage, and still aim at the universal."
Mr. Burnham works extensively-though not exclusively-in hues of red, black and green to portray the vibrancy of African American life. Like many artists, he is reluctant to self-consciously identify themes in his work. However, he does concede that he has a deep affinity for the depiction of relationships. "I love women and find them mysterious, but like everyone, I've been wounded in relationships-in love, in family and in friends. It has made me question the permanence of relationships and I suppose that's observable in my work."
Technically, Mr. Burnham explains, that he respects representational art and that he aims for it in his portraits. Yet, he feels that it's important to blur the lines of representational art, so that the work does not become static. "I'm looking for the energy that's the initial spark of my art. Too much detail makes a work merely ornamental and takes away the real focus from the canvas' energy. I want the viewer to see the movement and wonder about the participants in the scene and not necessarily view it as a finished frame."
Ovoids and Ovules
by Jennifer Rapuano
Ovoids and Ovules is a series of pieces that all began with the same shape, a 6 inch ovoid which I added to or subtracted from to explore nature and its many forms. In these pieces and I have looked at patterns and relationships in nature. I have explored how plants grow and rocks erode. The slow growth of cave pearls and the quick colonization of molds. I looked closely at tree bark and tiny mussels clinging to a rock battered by the tide. Each is beautiful and fascinating, both mysterious and functional.
Many of these pieces capture the commensalistic relationship between two or more natural elements, host and growth. Everything that grows grows on something else. What is the relationship between these living things? Do they help or hinder each other or simply exist harmoniously?
Others are repetitions of the same element, exalting the form. Repeating the same shape over and over again with slight variations is like an an ode to that single idea. These pieces are monochrome and deceptively complex. A driving force because of their single mindedness.
Wrapping and containing the elements (such as bark and lichen) around and within the egg removes them from straight representation and makes them monuments or models of the natural world. It is a body of work that offers a narrative, together the pieces are an ark, the terraforming seeds of a new world.