Last Saturday night, more than 100 people were treated to a panoply of art in the Francine Kelly Gallery at Featherstone. The exhibit is titled From Caldecott to Coretta Scott and features, among others, artist illustrators who have won prestigious awards. The 1938 Randolph Caldecott Medal was established by the American Library Association to honor the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Regrettably, not one African American artist won the award for the first 30 years of the its existence. So, in 1969, a new award in the same category was established and named after Coretta Scott King.

If the illustrated art in the gallery was the appetizer, then the panel of art critics, gallery owners and cultural scholars that followed at Featherstone was the main course. Valerie Francis, Adrienne Childs, Alexandra Giniger and Lewis Long discussed their struggles and successes in exposing emerging black artist to the public and the complex maze of securing credibility for this cohort. Recognition, value formulas, publicity and the mystifying world of art was dissected. This entire show was entitled Collecting African and Diasporic Art: Mid-Career and Emerging Artists. At the end of the hour, Reggie Browne asked each of the panelist to name just two emerging artist that the public should buy. That caused a mad dash of attendees grabbing pen and paper!

Congrats to Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts trustees and board of governors members Aliya and Reginald Browne, Carolyn and Winston Lowe and Sabrina and Robert Williams for this educational and informative presentation. Cannot wait for 2022.

Leonard Lee from Boston donated 100,000 masks and other PPE to the Aquinnah Wampanoags earlier this week. Lee, a candidate for the District Four Boston City Council seat, has given out more than 300,000 masks, sanitizers since he initiated his public health project called Masking the Community. Congrats to both Lee and tribal council leader Steve Craddock.

The Boston chapter of Girlfriends, Inc. hosted their annual luncheon at Deon’s this past Monday with a national audience of 140 attendees. Highlights of this lobster luncheon included dancing, games, reunions and sisterhood at its best. Grandmothers, mothers and daughters from family trees across the country rocked with their green, yellow and white apparel. The party continued on the sprawling lawn of Boston Girlfriend Cindy Carter in Oak Bluffs. Reservations are already being called in for next year.

Union Chapel finished its successful 150th Celebration this week. Rev. Howard John Wesley preached last Sunday on the comparison between the Bethany and the Vineyard to over 400 fully vaccinated. The Martha’s Vineyard Museum exhibit, organ dedication and public forums highlighted a great season. Yours truly announced that I will be stepping down as the president of the chapel after many years of leadership. It has been a remarkable privilege to guide this venerable institution.

It is great to see Flash Wiley back on the Island and in good spirits. Ed Trayes is recovering from surgery at the local hospital and is hoping to go home soon.

Paradise on earth is living the Vineyard experience. Enjoy it as life is fleeting.