Remembering a Trailblazer in Art and Life

I never met Rez Williams, the revered Vineyard artist who died in February. Nevertheless, he was a kind of hero for me, an artist rooted in a place and community.

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Rez Williams, Island Artist and Conservationist, Dies at 81

Rez Williams, an acclaimed Island artist known for his large-scale paintings of boats and his devotion to Island conservation, died in Boston on Sunday, Feb. 4. He was 81.

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Painter Rez Williams Explores Another Island, And a New Style
Heather Hamacek

Island artist Rez Williams, known for his paintings of the boats of New Bedford, has turned to exploring the woods and shorelines of Monhegan, Me.

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Rez Williams Honored With Creative Living Award
Sara Brown

With Rez Williams’s paintings hanging on the walls of the Grange Hall Monday, artist Ruth Kirchmeier recalled one of his art exhibits at the former Nye Gallery. His signature boat paintings were placed on dark walls and lit from above, she said. “One felt surrounded by looming giants of every color and description, with skies that were more vivid than and unlike any sky a mere mortal might experience. Fighting with the sky for attention was the equally mesmerizing water. It was glorious.”

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Rez Williams Named Creative Living Honoree

Rez Williams, the renowned Vineyard artist and conservationist, will receive this year’s Creative Living Award, the Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha’s Vineyard announced this week.

“He has painted landscapes and portraits, but is best known for his paintings of hulking fishing trawlers using a vibrant palette and sure, determined brushstrokes,” the fund said in a press release about the award.

Mr. Williams will be honored in a ceremony on Oct. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. The public is invited to attend.

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