At the All-Island Art Show, twelve-year-old Maggie Moffet stood in front of Yellow Chairs, a photograph by Judy Williamson. She had a shiny red star poised on her fingertip. Maggie had made her way through the entire show and Ms. Williamson’s photograph was her favorite.

Who says dogs don't love creative expression. — Maria Thibodeau

“I really like the picture, I like the lighting of it,” she explained. She affixed the sticker to the label.

The All-Island Art Show is radically egalitarian in its design. On the day of the show anyone can enter and anyone can judge. The show began over 50 years ago as an opportunity for amateur artists to show their work. This year, 62 artists paid the nominal $5 fee per piece of art to hang their work. And for 10 cents per star, viewers could participate in the judging.

A panel of judges also assessed the work and awarded prizes by medium. Award prizes ranged from $25 to $125.

Tabernacle walls were covered in art; the only requirement was an Island address. — Maria Thibodeau

The experts agreed with Maggie this year. “I love the glow of the light in that one,” photography judge Alison Shaw said to her fellow judge Peter Dreyer as they viewed the piece. Ultimately they gave Yellow Chairs a Vineyard Treasures appellation.

Best in Show went to Warren Gaines for his pastel Menemsha Reflections.

The judging process, according to Ms. Shaw, involved the two looking independently at the works on view, drawing their own conclusions, and then negotiating between sometimes conflicting opinions.

“Horse trading,” Mr. Dreyer offered. Both judges said they rely mainly on gut instinct in determining the top slots, but also emphasized the importance of craft.

Painting, works on paper and sculpture were also on display. Many of the works reflected the distinctly Vineyard focus of the event. The primary rule of the show is that entrants must have an on-Island mailing address. Bill O’Callaghan displayed whimsical sculptures of gingerbread cottages. Paintings featured familiar scenes including Illumination Night, Menemsha and bridge jumpers in Edgartown.

Christine Alesch. — Maria Thibodeau

Watercolorist Gertrude “Gee Gee” Barden entered one painting this year, of East Chop lighthouse. A seasonal campground resident, she started painting in 2000 and has participated in the show for the past six years, ever since she felt confident enough to show.

“It’s a really fun show,” she said. “I arrange my vacation here, about two, two and a half weeks usually, to include this date, the first Monday in August.”

Ms. Barden sat at a booth surrounded by prints of her watercolors for sale. For $30, artists can show a portfolio, displaying as many works as they like just beyond the perimeter of the Tabernacle.

Luke Nivala, 15, sat behind his portfolio of dozens of sleek and functional ceramic pieces. New to the scene this year, he also entered a vase and a hand-forged knife in the competition. Accompanied by two of his friends, he hoped to make a few sales.

“A lot of Island artists got their start here in the show,” said Bob Schaefer, chairman of the All Island Art Show committee. “Basically, we’re a show that hopefully will help artists along their way towards recognition.”


All-Island Art Show Winners

Best in Show: Warren Gaines

Oil painting: Arthur Hetherington

Acrylic painting: Erin Cummings

Watercolor: Marietta Cleasby

Pastel: Warren Gaines

Photography, landscape: Debra Gaines

Photography, other: Patti Roberts

Drawing and graphics: Dan Cooney

Collage: Kathy Poehler

Mixed media: Darcie Lee Hanaway

Sculpture: Neil Rice