A celebration of artists old and new was held at the Old Sculpin Gallery last Sunday. Teachers, parents and friends honored the three winners of the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association Student Scholarship given each year to graduating seniors: Zac Wannamaker, Willoe Maynard and David DaSilva. The gallery was also dedicated to Fred Messersmith, an artist who had a large and personal impact on the MVAA, and was its director for 10 years.
Art teacher Brendan Coogan admired the work of his students.
“I’ve been working with these guys for the past three years, the art is amazing,” he said.
Zac Wannamaker is a ceramic artist and Sunday marked his first time being featured in a gallery. “I’ve been doing ceramics since freshman year,” he said. “I fell in love with it quickly. I hope to become good enough to live off selling my pieces, have my own studio and see my pieces in museums.”
In the fall Zac will attend Hofstra University in Long Island, N.Y.
David DaSilva is also a ceramic artist. He has been pursuing ceramics for three years.
“I’m really just scratching the tip of the iceberg at this point,” he said. “I know there’s a lot to come.”
David will study ceramics and environmental policy at Bennington College in Vermont.
Photographer and artist Willoe Maynard was also experiencing her first show in a gallery.
“I knew the people who won this scholarship last year, and it seemed really cool to have my own show,” she said. “It feels really special to have attention on just me and the other two in the gallery.”
Willoe has been involved with photography since she was a child and also began drawing this past year. Willoe will attend Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., this coming school year.
During the dedication to Fred Messersmith, people shared stories about his influence on the gallery. Mr. Messersmith arrived on the Vineyard in 1964 and was associated with the Old Sculpin Gallery for 34 years. He was a watercolorist, teacher and director of the gallery from 1984 to 1994. He died in 2009.
His wife, Elizabeth Jane Messersmith, received the dedication for him.
Jen Bottone, the Old Sculpin Gallery manager, praised Mr. Messersmith’s vision and dedication.
“Fred would be proud to see that the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association is staying true to its mission by continuing to offer quality art education and academic scholarships . . . a tradition that spans over 30 years,” she said.