At this moment, all over the Vineyard, 40 people each have a different metal puzzle piece that bears part of a painting. On Sunday, they will meet at the Field Gallery in West Tisbury to assemble the pieces and reveal the full painting by Island artist Traeger di Pietro.
The exhibit, called “Whatever the Outcome,” was the brainchild of Craig Minor, a teacher at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School. Following his interest in “lowbrow” and underground art, Mr. Minor taught charter school students the art of what he called “non-permanent graffiti” with the help of surplus supplies from a sign-making company, such as vinyl stickers and magnets.
“I wanted to introduce [the students] to this cool style of art without destroying the Vineyard,” he said.
On several occasions, Mr. Minor left extra art supplies out while his friends, many of whom are not artists, were visiting. He said that they began to tinker with the supplies and make very creative art.
“I started hosting evenings for my friends and me to get together, have a glass of wine and make art,” Mr. Minor said.
His friends’ spontaneous creativity inspired Mr. Minor to do a large-scale project that involved the community.
Mr. Minor’s idea was to have four artists donate an hour of their time to a 40-square-foot painting. When he approached Mr. di Pietro to work on the painting, Mr. di Pietro offered to paint the whole thing.
The magnetic canvas, once painted, was then cut into 40 puzzle pieces and distributed around the Island.
“We’re giving up [Traeger’s] work to the community so that they can bring it all back together,” Mr. Minor said.
The assembly of the puzzle pieces is just as important to the artistic meaning of his painting as the painting itself, Mr. di Pietro said. The exhibit is designed to bring the community together — even if not everybody shows up.
“There might be some people who don’t show up. If that happens, we’ll have a hole in the painting,” Mr. di Pietro said. “But that’s part of the art. It’s just about creating, whatever the outcome.”
Mr. Minor is planning to continue his fundraising efforts by having more artists donate time, although not all of their works will be cut into puzzle pieces. The next artist will be Island resident Walker T. Roman.