Loïs Mailou Jones (11/3/1905 – 6/9/1998), the Harlem Renaissance artist and one of the first black women to receive international fame for her work, was also a longtime Vineyarder. In Linsey Lee’s book Vineyard Voices, Mrs. Jones said, “My career was really formed on this island when I was about seventeen. We used to swim at the Highland Beach, which is over there near where we lived.”

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has just announced the exciting news that it will feature a new exhibit, Loïs Mailou Jones: A Vineyard Love Affair, from June 12 to August 23. What makes this so special is that it will feature pieces of Loïs Mailou Jones’s art owned by private Vineyard collectors who are sharing it with the public for the first time. The museum’s assistant curator, Oak Bluffs’ Anna Carringer, says the museum is hosting the exhibit “Because the Vineyard was so very important to her.”

In addition to the quality and quantity of art people are willing to lend, according to chief curator Bonnie Stacy, the Loïs Mailou Jones Pierre-Noel Trust is contributing pieces that help illustrate the important benchmarks and chapters in the artist’s life. Anna says the exhibit will include her early fabric designs and work created in Haiti and Europe. Several Vineyard-centric pieces will be shown, many unseen along with some anticipated surprises, not the least of which will be the as-yet-unannounced Vineyard owners themselves. Bonnie and Anna say that when word of the exhibit got out, the offers and the generosity was remarkable. I’d be remiss not to recount, and you may recall, that last fall Ocean Park’s Gwendolyn Adams Norton was instrumental in assisting Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in acquiring some of the late artist’s work from the Loïs Mailou Jones Pierre-Noel Trust. If you don’t know, Gwen, an up and coming photographer, is part of the Alison Shaw Gallery’s Advanced Mentorship Show and you can see her work at the Alison Shaw Gallery in the Arts District through May 22. Congratulations to Martha’s Vineyard Museum for the art coup of the season.

Saturday at 10 a.m. the Oak Bluffs library presents another kids' program. This time decorate a muffin with Mom and make Mother’s Day crafts. At 10:30 a.m. the library is offering brew classes and instruction with Offshore Ale celebrating Craft Beer Week. Assistant brewer Jay will give a demonstration on how to home brew right in the library. If you’re date saving, next Friday is the library’s annual adults-only luau from 5 to 8 p.m. with ukulele music, fun, games, food and it’s free — donations, however, will be gratefully accepted.

Kara Merry happily reports the MVRHS Minnesingers present their annual spring concert this Saturday, May 9, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 10, at 3 p.m. in the high school’s Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 or $7 for students and seniors.

Housing on the Island is widely acknowledged as desperate. In a creative effort to assist, the Island Housing Trust has coordinated a huge dine to donate at 11 Island restaurants on Sunday, May 17. If you can plan dinner out that Sunday in Oak Bluffs, Coop de Ville, Jimmy Sea’s, the Loft at Dreamland, MV Chowder, Offshore Ale and Sharky’s Cantina are donating 10 per cent of all food sales after 5 p.m., which will be contributed towards creating more housing options. For information, contact Sophie Abrams at 774-447-4410 or sabrams@ihtmv.org, especially if you have a restaurant and would like to participate.

It’s time to de-junk the stuff no longer working or needed that plugs in or needs batteries. Martha’s Vineyard Community Services hosts its Spring Electronics Disposal Day next week on May 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. so get ready. For a lot less money than taking it to the dump, your money benefits Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

AJ Channel and Jim Tetreault, the seasonal entrepreneurs who leased the Strand theatre, cleaned it up and replaced the T and the R last season, have moved their Captain’s Club clothing to the site best known as Larry Bilzerian’s former Take It Easy Baby. Everyone is looking forward to the Strand theatre re-opening on June 19. The plan has gone well and another $200,000 is needed — you can contribute online at mvtheaterfoundation.org — and please do so today. Ben & Bill’s is open along with Island Outfitters and the new jewelry store, Driftwood. Vineyard Colors has opened a new art gallery at Edgartown National Bank’s new location at the end of Circuit avenue with a bright new window display.

Kathy (Lola) and Paul Domitrovich are back at Lola’s, opening for the famous Mother’s Day buffet brunch this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The official opening day for the 22nd season is next Thursday, May 14, at 5 p.m. See you at Lola’s! Happy Mother’s Day.

Keep your foot on a rock.

Send your Oak Bluffs news to: sfinley@mvgazette.com.