It’s no secret that the arts scene on Martha’s Vineyard is thriving. From fine art galleries to various local artisan shops and markets, Martha’s Vineyard is home to hundreds of artists creating all sorts of interesting and eclectic work. An art lover on Martha’s Vineyard doesn’t have to go far to find world class art, unique finds and friendly artists willing to share the story of their craft.
Here’s our picks for making the most of our artistic community.
Visit the Vineyard Artisans Festival
Since 1995 the Vineyard Artisans Festival has worked to bring together fine art and fine crafts while promoting Island artists and artisans. Representing over 120 artists, the Artisans Festival provides the perfect one stop shopping experience to explore the creative and inspiring work of the talented people that call Martha’s Vineyard home. From jewelry, to pottery, paintings to metalsmithing, mixed media and photography, the Artisans Festival has it all. The Artisans Festival returns to the Grange Hall in West Tisbury on Memorial Day weekend, and takes places regularly on Sundays and Thursdays throughout the summer.
Experience Featherstone Center for The Arts
“Featherstone” as the locals call it, is a community arts center that keeps the pulse of the Island’s art scene beating all year long. Situated on six acres of stunning meadows in Oak Bluffs, Featherstone offers ongoing education and enrichment programs for art lovers of all ages. Catch a show or reception at one of the campus’ main galleries or expand your skill set with a class or workshop in pottery, photography, drawing, ceramics, music and more. In season catch a live outdoor concert during their Musical Monday series, or their Thursday night Jazz events. Featherstone’s "Flea and Fine Arts Market" also features Vineyard artists displaying their jewelry, art, clothing and crafts on Tuesdays throughout the summer.
Browse dozens of local art galleries
You could spend a full week trying to visit all of Martha’s Vineyard’s diverse and exquisite art collections, and it would be a good use of your time. In the summer months many play host to artist receptions, talks and ongoing exhibits and programs. For the most bang for your buck head to the Oak Bluffs Arts District, a short and colorful stretch of businesses and homes along Dukes County avenue including the renowned fine art photography of Alison Shaw, the Periwinkle Gallery featuring the work of longtime Island painter Judith Drew Schubert, and the Martha’s Vineyard Center for the Visual Arts, an artist that presents work by 12 local artists who have received grants from the organization. Equally as art friendly is downtown Vineyard Haven’s Main Street, packed with galleries including the Louisa Gould Gallery, the Simon Gallery and the Night Heron Gallery, an artist owned and operated cooperative gallery. Up-Island West Tisbury is home to the famous Granary Gallery at the red barn, which has been a favorite destination on Martha’s Vineyard since 1954. Celebrated as the oldest and largest gallery on the Island, find the famed art of painters, photographers, sculptors, craftsman, and jewelers. Nearby is the Granary’s sister space, the Field Gallery, which offers a whimsical, photo worthy outdoor sculpture garden.
Return for Fall for the Arts
Each fall, Martha’s Vineyard, along with Cape Cod and Nantucket, dedicates the entire month of October to a celebration of the arts. Fall for the Arts strives to initiate and sustain conversations among artists, patrons, and the public. The initiative encourages visitors to enjoy the as-yet under-appreciated autumn “shoulder season,” when temperatures cool slightly, and the largest crowds disperse, making for a more tranquil Vineyard experience. Galleries and studios stay open for the festival, and signature events unique to the Island take place every weekend.
Want more? Check out our Arts & Culture page.
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