For one evening only, three artists displayed pieces inspired by movement and memory at the Tashmoo Spring Building. Steve Lohman, Sarah Nelson and Darcie Lee Hanaway created a group show with their work mixed together and hung without their names on the brick walls of the quirky building near Lake Tashmoo.

Mr. Lohman, who splits his time between New Orleans and the Vineyard, called his section of the show a retrospective. It’s the 35th year Mr. Lohman has been showing on the Island and the pieces he selected ranged from his early days of furniture making, to his well-known looping steel wire sculptures, and newer neon sculptures and wine labels. His work was paired with Ms. Nelson’s dreamy landscapes in super-saturated color and Darcie Lee Hanaway’s abstract mixed-media pieces.

Darcie Lee Hanaway has a studio in Oak Bluffs where she creates her abstract work inspired by traveling and motherhood. — Maria Thibodeau

Mr. Lohman’s work is kinetic, created from a single wire twisted, twirled and turned into a figure, often human and in mid-action. The sculptures are as much about the space left behind as they are about the outlines. A smaller piece can be done in as little as 15 to 20 minutes and he often works from models. When touched, a duo of musicians bounce and sway as if dancing to the music of their looping guitars, which only they can hear. A mermaid with a spiral of hearts for a tail swims upward and a painter with empty space for a canvas brandishes his brush.

Just as important to the structure of the steel work is the shadow.

In his more recent work, Mr. Lohman left behind metal for neon.

“Neon is quite different, there’s no shadow, it is the light source, it can’t move at all or it will break,” he said. He’s drawn to the ability to literally turn on a piece.

The neon pieces correlate to the wine labels, where his traditional three-dimensional work is flattened to represent a two-dimensional space. His wine, Orpheus, was served at the showing.

Sarah Nelson grew up on the Vineyard but now lives in New Orleans. — Maria Thibodeau

Sarah Nelson grew up on the Vineyard, and in high school worked at Mr. Loman’s studio. She lives in New Orleans now, after visiting Mr. Loman and finding the city agreed with her too. Her landscapes are filled with color; magenta skies and cerulean blues float atop twisting roads and curved cliffs. She said she’s drawn to vibrant colors because the paintings are like memories.

“When you think about a certain place or time, your memory is much more saturated than reality,” she said. “Memory is more dramatic.”

Though she initially works from a photograph, at a certain point she lets go of the reality.

“I stop using the photo and let the painting be the painting,” she said.

Darcie Lee Hanaway’s mixed media abstract pieces feature people with rounded hips and swelling bellies. In her piece titled American Dream, there are three figures, a child and two parents. The space above the child, between the two adults, is dark with a rendition of an American flag on one side and a small red house on the other.

“I painted this in Key West over the winter while growing my child,” she said. “The concept of what that meant, the average American dream, and what that means to me.”

Grounded by art at Sunday's reception. — Maria Thibodeau

The darkness inherent in the painting aligns with the artist’s skepticism about consumerism and ideal family myth that she sees in the traditional American dream.

“The American dream is somewhat false, and disconnected from the world,” she said. But the connection between people is a constant theme in her pieces that echo with sisterhood, family and unity.

At the reception, people wandered in and out of the Tashmoo spring building, splitting time between art, conversation and the sunset over the small pond. Two young boys walked into the third room and peered closely at a large Steve Lohman piece mounted on the wall.

“What is he doing?” one of them inquired.

“Step back, step back,” the woman with them instructed. “What is he doing?”

“Playing the violin,” the boy said in triumph.

“Not violin.”


Moving along, the trio stopped in front of a shelf of smaller Lohman pieces and repeated the exercise while looking at a triathlon sculpture. Made of steel wire, a swimmer flowed into a cyclist who rolled into a runner.

“All out of one piece,” the boy exclaimed.