A bit of New Orleans has popped up at 11 North Summer street in Edgartown. The music spilling out onto the sidewalk is the first hint of something different. The artwork takes it from there.
The new gallery displays the work of Chris Roberts-Antieau, a New Orleans based artist and forward thinker who has decided to set up shop on the Island for the first time with a temporary gallery.
“In New Orleans things slow down in the summertime, but on Martha’s Vineyard there are a lot of tourists, and there’s a lot of foot traffic,” she said. “It’s the perfect solution.”
Ms. Roberts-Antieau has no formal training as an artist, however, that has not slowed her down in the slightest. She attributes her artistic abilities to following her own vision.
“Going to school is wonderful in terms of learning technique, but don’t let anyone influence your vision because, as an artist, your own vision is all you have,” she said.
The work in the Antieau Gallery ranges from humorous to dark to inspiring. Ms. Roberts-Antieau’s main medium is fabric. She begins by sketching and then fuses fabric down into the paintings. Her sketchbooks are displayed throughout the gallery, and are filled with pages and pages of drawings, ideas and notes. Some have been made into fabric-paintings, some have not.
“I draw all the time, some of the drawings make the cut, some of them don’t,” she said.
One of the satirical works on display is called Household Safety Techniques, and pokes fun at the different rules people live by in order to make themselves feel safe.
“Beware! Everything can kill you,” is written at the bottom of the piece.
Another humorous work is Awkward Social Encounters, which displays some uncomfortable moments people deal with in everyday life. Ms. Roberts-Antieau uses humor in her work as a way to connect with her viewers. When speaking about the different scenarios in the artwork, her business manager, Heidi Hendrick, laughed. “I did that the other day.”
Another piece, Unlimited Potential, digs deeper.
“We’re taught when we’re little, this is what you can do and this is what you can’t do,” Ms. Roberts-Antieau said, referring to the theme of the piece. “I think that if we were taught that we could do anything, we’d probably be able to do whatever we want.”
Ms. Roberts-Antieau will travel to and from the Vineyard this summer, creating new art back home in New Orleans. The gallery will be open all summer and into the fall, through Oct. 13, in the care of Ms. Hendrick.
Visit Antieaugallery.com or stop by the gallery at 11 North Summer street, Edgartown.