Featherstone Center for the Arts on Martha’s Vineyard has a new renovated space
“We have a beautiful conference room that we never had before,” says Smith. “We hold a lot of our writing workshops, staff meetings and community meetings there. We now have administrative offices and two large classroom spaces. One is the drawing studio—27 feet by 27 feet. That’s obviously dedicated to drawing, especially our life-drawing program. And then we have a second, twin classroom that’s really devoted to painting. We offer instruction in watercolor, oil and pastel painting, as well as mixed-media collage and acrylic painting.”
In addition to increased creative and administrative space, the barn is the home of Featherstone’s Francine Kelly Gallery. “It’s named after my mother who was the executive director before me and really transformed Featherstone,” Smith says with evident pride. “When she came in 2003, Featherstone was open two days a week from like 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. She made it a year-round community arts center with year-round shows, and year-round events.”
The Francine Kelly Gallery now facilitates the 15 shows, professional and community based, Featherstone curates annually. Each show runs for three weeks, and is community-themed in some facet—for instance the community youth art show, featuring their partnership with the Garden Gate Child Development Center, a local preschool, is complemented by work contributed by Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s art students.
The exterior of the barn further enables Featherstone’s ability to highlight and celebrate community through the arts. Their gardens are situated right next to a large outdoor display and deck space, which is used both for parties and as a resting area for visitors, particularly those attending their very popular weekly Flea and Fine Arts Market, which features 80 vendors during the summer season.
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