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Featherstone Center for the Arts on Martha’s Vineyard has a new renovated space

For their 15th anniversary in 2011, the Center began taking steps to remedy their lack of available, workable space. “We finally decided that we would do a campus master plan with hope that by 2016—our 20th anniversary—we could break ground on a new building that would really showcase the island art we are missioned to highlight,” says Smith.   

The renovation was initially planned to occur in two phases, the first focusing on expanding the pottery studio and the second, a new barn to contribute gallery space. Squash Meadow Construction, a local construction company on Martha’s Vineyard, was contracted to complete the first phase. Featherstone’s expansion, however, was expedited thanks to a generous anonymous donation. The $3 million donation, $1 million of which was meant specifically for the barn, enabled Featherstone to combine the projects and build both phases together. 

Squash Meadow, with the specialization they offer in modular and energy efficient construction practices, was enlisted to complete the entire project. The renovation was designed and built utilizing modular construction, all while prioritizing efficiency and stability. Although the renovation is not formally certified, it is essentially a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building in terms of environmental sustainability, meaning that the structure is both cost and resource effective.

The pottery studio, which has space for both pottery and jewelry design, was completed in July of 2017; the 2,400-square-foot barn, with its 1,500 square feet of gallery space, was completed a month later. Together, the construction tripled the size of Featherstone’s campus. Throughout the process, Featherstone remained true to their mission. “We are active and creative 365 days out of the year,” Smith explains. “In the course of those seven months that we were building, we never closed one day. We continued to operate. It was hard to do, but rewarding.”  

The impact of both the pottery studio and Art Barn has since been transformational for Featherstone. The barn specifically, has proven truly meaningful, both professionally as well as personally.

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