Category Archives: Art

Nantucket Arts News

“Glee” National Auditions

The executive producers of the television show “Glee” are casting for three new roles that will be added to the show’s second season. Auditions are open to professional and amateurs between 16 – 26 years old. Auditions may be submitted online. Additional details to be announced soon. Sign up for the “Glee” newsletter and to receive details about the casting call.

Peter Foulger Gallery Spring Exhibition

This year’s spring exhibition at the Peter Foulger Gallery of the Whaling Museum is entitled “Gift of the Whale: The Iñupiat Bowhead Hunt, a Sacred Tradition”.

The Iñupiat Eskimos have lived and hunted in the Arctic region of Alaska for 5,000 years. The bowhead whale is an important source of food, building materials, barter goods, art, legends, and cultural identity. The annual hunt takes place under the strict supervision of federal and state agencies. The exhibition will feature the photography of Bill Hess, who documented the bowhead hunt in his book “Gift of the Whale: The Iñupiat Bowhead Hunt, a Sacred Tradition”. With patience and openness, Hess earned the trust of the Iñupiat community, and was invited to document the hunt. This is a glimpse into a contemporary society that depends for its survival on the hunting of whales, not unlike the island of Nantucket at the height of the Golden Age of whaling.

The exhibition will also include the documentary film, “The Eskimo and the Whale”; an Eskimo kayak and Arctic carvings in ivory from the NHA collections; Iñupiat music; speakers and presenters Bill Hess, Robert Hellman, Bill Tramposch, Ben Simons, and an Iñupiat whaling captain. In April, wooden-boat builder Corey Freedman will build a traditional Umiak under a tent on the Museum’s side lawn.

The exhibition runs from Saturday, March 27 through June 13, 2010.


Nantucket Roadside Art


Matt Oates has been collecting weed whackers for awhile now, always with a plan.



Matt is known as the bird house guy. He’s built several hundred birdhouses from scrap wood, and put them up all over the island. You’ve probably passed his house and caught a glimpse of some of his earlier sculpture at 113 Hummock Pond Road.


In early January, he began his latest project, sculptures made from found objects, mostly from the landfill.


Matt began with the vacuum cleaner, and building upon that idea, a week or so later he had completed his exhibition. Why the vacuum cleaner? “Humans overwhelmed by nature are always trying to clean it up. Technology is empty and hollow, and nature will always bite us in the butt.”


Then some mosquitos.


No telling how long it will be up, so check it out if you haven’t been out that way in a while. More photos here.

Margaretta Nettles Award for Excellence

Anita Nettles Stefanski and the Nantucket Arts Council (NAC) hosted the 2009 Nantucket Arts Council Margaretta Nettles Award for Excellence reception on Thursday night, November 19th, at Cinco from 5 to 7pm.

The Margaretta Nettles Award was established in 2004 to honor the life long accomplishments and memory of weaver Margaretta Nettles, and to recognize and award artists who excel in the visual arts. Born in Sweden in 1933, Margaretta lived and worked on the island, and was married to the late island actor Jim Nettles for 34 years.

Nantucket textile artist Alison Herr was selected by the NAC and Anita as this year’s winner, who said “I have been in love with textiles and yarns all my life. When I was six years old, my grandmother taught me how to knit. I loved its soothing repetitiveness and was able to do it without thinking or looking at my work; that peculiar skill remains a common denominator in my weaving abilities. My fascination and love for intricacy and complication in a woven texture has led me to finer gauge threads and featherweight textiles. I am now designing my own structures and weaving yardage for table linens and drapery fabric. It is possible that the fabrics I am making today may be tomorrow’s antiques, and there is something very gratifying about that.”

Click on any photo to see more photos from this event or an archive of past events. For a high quality digital file you can use to make as many prints as you like, contact us. To order a copy of any photograph, click on the photo, then click on this event on the list on the left and find the ID number. Send an email with the photo number to us at

Oran Mor

Nantucket Arts & Festival News

Pirate Radio, a new rock and roll comedy film, will be shown in a special advance screening on Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at the Tribeca Grand Screening Room (2 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY). The screening will be followed by a conversation with the movie’s writer/director Richard Curtis, moderated by Vanity Fair Special Correspondent Maureen Orth and a cocktail reception to benefit the Nantucket Film Festival. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased via email at or by calling 212.708.1278.

Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, and Kenneth Branagh, Pirate Radio is the newest ensemble comedy from filmmaker Richard Curtis (screenwriter of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, and writer/director of Love Actually), spinning the irreverent yet fact-based tale of a seafaring band of rogue rock and roll deejays whose “pirate radio” captivated and inspired 1960s Britain. The film will be released nationwide on Friday, November 13th.

The fifteenth annual Nantucket Film Festival (NFF) takes place June 17th-20th, 2010. They are currently accepting submissions for next year’s lineup and for Showtime’s Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting. Submissions will be accepted through the official festival website ( and at beginning in January. The deadline for submissions is March 12th.

The new album from Jake Vohs is available at CD Baby.

The Artists Association of Nantucket’s Fall Classes & Workshops is registering for fall classes.

Children’s classes begin on Oct. 31, and include Exploring Autumn, Sculpture, Arts & Crafts, Comic Book Creations, Draw, and Print & Paint.

For adults and teens over 15, classes begin October 27 and include Beginner/Intermediate Wheelthrowing, Clay Holiday Votives, Figure Drawing, Drawing, Charcoal Drawing, Figure Drawing Open Studio, Watercolor Painting, Multi-Level Oil Painting, Oil Painting, Beginning Painting Critique, Digital Photography Workshop, Intro to Mac, Intro to Photoshop, Intermediate Photoshop, and Graphic Design Principles for Web Design.

Click, or stop by One Gardner Perry Lane for details.

The Nantucket Dreamland Foundation “ENCORE!” arts education program is in full swing. Some of the classes that have not yet begun are: Acting the Ingenue…:(The Villian, and the Comedic Character), Acting for the Little Ones: Story Telling With Many Hats, Tiny Stars: Dress-Up Workshop, Hip Hop/Jazz Dance Classes, Blast from the Past Dance Class, New Stars Hit Broadway, Beginner Tap Class, Make Your Own Fall Centerpiece, Make Your Own Winter Centerpiece, A Holiday Gift Giving Idea for Little Ones, A Holiday Gift Giving Idea for Teens, and Gingerbread House Making.

The “ENCORE!” programs will be held in Saint Paul’s Church and The Nantucket Yacht Club. The Programming guide is online at

Nantucket Wet Paint Auction

The annual Artists Association of Nantucket Wet Paint Auction took place on Sunday, October 11, 2009 at Legion Hall. Here is a preview of the photos, with more photos next week.

Nantucket Farm & Field

The Bartlett’s 3rd Annual Farm & Field Exhibition opened on Friday, September 4, 2009, put together by Jill Sandole as part of the Nantucket Arts Festival, featuring local artists’ interpretations of the farm through paintings and photography. The Hayloft was transformed into a gallery with fresh-cut field flowers, potted plants and vegetables designed to complement the artwork. Photos by Gene Mahon, assisted by Amanda Morgan. More photographs of this event on the Photo Archive.

Nantucket Arts News

The 2010 Nantucket Comedy Festival will run from July 27th to the 31st.

Former island resident artist Hannah Stone is having an online art sale with much of her work heavily discounted to make room for new ideas. Hannah’s paintings adorn the walls of Cambridge Street if you want an idea of her work. Click here to see what you can buy.

The Nantucket Oral History Project was launched by John Stanton this past spring. “We are facing the possibility of change and it is important to remember our recent past as we make decisions on our future”, John wrote me. The central idea is to produce and show a series of mini-documentaries to be followed by a discussion. Visit the website where you can watch the first two mini-docs and leave comments on where the discussion should go next.

On Sept. 30, 7pm, John will screen the next two mini-docs at the Great Hall of the Atheneum. The evening leads off with “Personal History: Louise McGarvey”, memories of the early days of island aviation. The second film is “Beyond Quixote”, a short history and look at the possibilities of wind power from the failed attempts at backyard windmills in the early 1980s to projects now underway or on the drawing board. Both films are about 10 minutes long and will be followed by a discussion.

I reported last December that production on a two part miniseries adopted from Herman Melville’s novel “Moby Dick” by Germany’s Tele Muenchen Group was scheduled to start this year, with much of the filming to take place on Nantucket. Their last mini-series was an adaptation of Jack London’s ‘The Sea Wolf,’ with Tim Roth, Sebastian Koch and Neve Campbell. The budget is expected to be about $16 million. Now it turns out that “Moby Dick” will be mostly filmed in Malta, with Canadian South Shore towns of Lunenburg and Shelburne standing in for Nantucket exteriors. The tall ship playing the whaleship Pequod is European, and didn’t want to cross the Atlantic for the ocean sequences.

Former island resident and photographer David Halliday now has a show of his work on New Orleans food and its artistic versatility at the San Antonio Museum of Art, running through February 21, 2010. David is now living in New Orleans, and his photographs are in the collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.


Weekend Warrior: InsomniACK
Alison Shriberg

It would seem reasonable to assume that someone who calls herself a “Weekend Warrior” comes to the island relentlessly, regardless of work obligations, weather, or traffic. She makes it her business to be where the action is. She analyzes the relationships between tourists, summer residents, and locals; and strives to make sense of the nuances, oddities, and magic that make up a Nantucket summer.

Last year that role came as naturally to me as fog to Nantucket. Every week I counted the minutes to get to the island and immerse myself in local events. I felt part of the community. Still, I understood I was in no way a local. I enjoyed my unique status.

This summer I have been, at best, a Wimpy Weekend Warrior. In June and July, rain dampened my drive to leave the house. A heat wave in August pushed me north to Canada for two weeks. It’s no wonder that when I came to the island the last weekend in August, I felt like an outsider and a bit of a traitor.

My shame hit hard when I bumped into Gene, that Mahon about Town, at the InsomniACK event on Friday, August 28th. As I watched him snap pictures of local artists showing their work, children making pipe-cleaner art, and revelers enjoy the free wine, I realized that InsomniACK was the ideal event for a weekend warrior to cover.

I was bACK.

InsomniACK was the brainchild of Elisabeth Hazell, a dear friend and half-Canadian. Every February since its inception in 2003, Elisabeth has attended Montreal’s Nuit Blanche (French for White Night or All-Nighter), an arts festival in which museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions stay open all night. Elisabeth even brings those Nantucket friends along who appreciate art enough to brave negative 40 degree weather.

Elisabeth dubbed Nantucket’s Nuit Blanche “InsomniACK”. It was not an “all-nighter” or, thankfully, negative 40, but it was an event that kept people out and about until midnight celebrating the beginning of the 17th Annual Nantucket Arts Festival.

InsomniACK was designed to get people to engage with the arts. Galleries stayed open after hours, luring newcomers with wine and cheese. Local artists displayed their work at the Preservation Institute: Nantucket (P.I.N.). The pieces ranged from watercolors of Nantucket landscapes to abstract contemporary art.

The back room of P.I.N. was where visitors became contributors. Children – and adults – transformed colorful pipe cleaners into art in a collaborative installation strung from the ceiling. The blackboard on the wall was covered with paper on which people could mark their territory. Kids drew stick figures and signed them. Even artist George Davis got in on the action by drawing one of his signature seagulls.

The highlight of the back room was the button making station, where people hovered over a heavy-duty button-making machine, waiting to transform magazine clippings into wearable art. These quarter-sized pins were way cooler than anything from Newbury Comics and each one was as unique as the person who made it.

The evening officially ended at midnight with a raffle for $1000. Raffle tickets were designed as “passports” that had to be stamped by four galleries. That was the easy part. Harder was that in order to win the loot, you had to show up for the midnight drawing. The incentive plan separated the fair-weather friends (yes, it did start raining at 11) from the true insomniACKs.

InsomniACK exemplified the limitless talent and determination of the Nantucket community. For event Chair Elisabeth Hazell, it was an ambitious labor of love. She spent hundreds of hours planning and executing the details. Sometimes she wondered if she could pull it off. Fortunately for us, she more than made it happen. She planted the seeds for an annual event that has the potential to grow like Rosa Rugosa and keep the whole island up all night.

Ali Shriberg resides in Boston and comes to Nantucket whenever she can, which, during the summer, is every weekend. A true ‘Weekend Warrior,’ she brings to the newsletter the perspective of an off-islander, yet is familiar with the local scene, as many of her friends are year-round residents. Ali is a corporate trainer specializing in public speaking and presentation skills, and tutors students of all ages and abilities in writing.

Earlier columns by Ali:
A Reason to Rock off the Rock
A Little Night Music on Nantucket
Grace Potter on Nantucket
Inspiration in a Greenhouse

Nantucket Arts News

As part of their 175th Anniversary celebration, The Nantucket Atheneum will place 100 cylindrical 17″x 6″ metal Anniversary Time Capsules into a large vault that will then be buried in the Atheneum garden on October 10th, to be opened on the Atheneum’s 200th anniversary in 2034. The capsules are available for purchase by families, businesses and organizations for $200 each.

We missed this when it first reached us, but thought it worth passing along. The 2009 People’s Choice Awards earlier this month at the Artists Association of Nantucket Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery went to:

Overall Winner:”Light Nap”, Edwin Rudd

“Good Morning Sunshine”, Chris Bourbeau
“Summer Vacation”, Elle Foley
“Resting Up”, Margaret Fox
“Port Tack”, Garth Grimmer
“End of Summer”, Holly Harty
“Three Plums”, Katie Trinkle Legge

Kevin Flynn, Comedian and Co-Founder of the Nantucket Comedy Festival discusses the importance of humor in this July 23 episode of The Point with Minday Todd from WCAI.

Emmy Award winning actor and director John Shea, who is also the Artistic Director for the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, talked with Mindy on July 29. Here it is.