A special, unhurried time to visit "The Old Grey Lady"
The Century House hosts an Art on the Piazza next month
By Walter & Patricia Brooks
September is the right time to visit this beautiful island an hour's sail south of Cape Cod, and the Century House, the oldest continuously operating inn on Nantucket which is famous for it's art events during the month.
This year the September 'Art on the Piazza' will take place from September 13 through October 8.
Innkeepers JeanE Ellen Heron and Gerry Connick have created a whole new identity for the 16 room Century House. JeanE as a docent at Palm Beach's Norton Art Museum along with husband Gerry who personally re-designed and redorated every room recently.
The couple have initiated a re-birth of their own distinctive 'artist in residence program.'
The Century House Professional Artists Workshop, always attracts an eclectic group of artists. They usually are varied enough in their style and approach to art that bthey have created what is known today as the Century House Charettes.
When the time was up, the scholar would hurry their work from the studio to the Ecole in a cart called a charette. Because time was of the essence, some students leaped into the cart in hopes of completing their work while en-route.
Thus the term is known today as an ingenious method of brainstorming with like artists and professionals for a purpose.
It is with this in mind as the focal point for the workshops that an artist would be invited to participate. After a review of the artists portfolio and when accepted by the innkeepers, the artist could apply as a 'point master.'
Once acknowledged the artist creates their own seminar or Charrette with fellow artists. The Point/Master Artist invites two or three artists to participate in the workshop at the Century House, for several days of intense artistic expression. Ignited by the talents of like artists, energized by each other, enthusiasm flows, creating the perfect arena in which to paint.
Some of the artists
The inn’s charming veranda and patios will host artists’ easels at work, informal discussions, displays and conviviality. Longtime artists Kevin Shea www.kevinjsheafineart.com, Catherine Elliott www.catherinemelliott.com and Christopher Wheat www.christopherwheat.com will attend. Featured on CNN, Shea’s body of work include scapes of Fenway Park and the Boston Red Sox, Nantucket and Tuscany, Italy. Inspired by Van Gogh and Claude Monet, Elliott’s impressionistic style of painting explores atmospheric conditions capturing a moment in time and place. “Becoming a part of the environment” is very important to the custom paintings of Wheat who divides his time between Nantucket and the Finger Lakes.
The series has included Gary Korlin www.garykorlin.com whose works have been compared to John Singer Sargent. Many hang in private collections in England, France, Italy, Austria, South Africa and the USA. This summer Master Painters Leonard Mizerek www.leonardmizerek.com and William Duffy www.williampduffy.com both members of the American Society of Marine Artists and the prestigious Guild of Boston Artists, were often found on the porch along with Deborah Leonard www.deborahleonardart.com.
Others who attended the event this summer and who will probably return are Master Painters Marla Korr www.cavaliergalleries.com, John Caggiano www.johncaggiano.com, and Joan Chakonas www.horseracingpaintings.com. A member of the National Artists League and Marine Artist of America, Marla’s paintings are influenced by both Classical Realsim and Impressionism , combining a range of feelings with technical excellence and craftsmanship. Caggiano’s bold and dynamic use of color and palette knife have resulted in award winning paintings which have appeared in numberous publications and TV media including ABC’s Good Morning America. Chakonas brings a whole different and exciting dimension to the art world with her passion for “honoring the greatest animal on the planet, the thoroughbred racehorse” through her work.
The photo montage below of last year's artists at Century House is by the inn's manager Otilia.