Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 6-8, Artists Association of Nantucket (AAN) is hosting its annual Wet Paint Weekend, with many opportunities for the island community to meet AAN artists, see them at their easels, and participate in an auction of their works.
“Wet Paint Weekend is truly a highlight of the Nantucket arts calendar, especially in the late season” said AAN interim executive director Tracey Sears. “We are excited to be able to offer the community this opportunity to enjoy an artfilled weekend, and we remain grateful to our artists for their participation.”
Wet Paint Weekend 2023 will begins at 10 am Friday, October 6 with Wet Paint Silent Auction works preview in AAN’s Big Gallery, upstairs at 12 Straight Wharf.
The weekend continues Saturday, October 7 with the Wet Paint Art Hop from 9 to 11 am, headquartered in the Big Gallery. Maps that detail where artist members will be painting en plein air downtown will be given out as visitors enjoy coffee and doughnuts. “Curious bystanders are invited to peer over the artists’ shoulders to see the view turn into a painted canvas,” AAN Artistic Director Robert Frazier.
The Wet Paint Weekend culminates on Sunday, October 9 with a live auction in the Nantucket Yacht Club, featuring fresh new works painted during the weekend. Works in the silent auction will also be available to view and bidding. Following the live auction, there will be a ticketed dinner, featuring special auction items, offered to dinner guests only. Tickets to the dinner often sell out: at press time there were still some available at nantucketarts.org/events/wet-paint.
Proceeds from the Wet Paint auction help support AAN’s artist members, arts programs, galleries, and year-round public programs.
Island artist Eric Holch has been selected as AAN’s Featured Artist for Wet Paint 2023. “Eric is a long-time, Artist Life Member at AAN,” said Frazier. “He’s celebrated as a local icon who exhibited at several locations on South Wharf over the years, as well as at AAN since the 1970s.”
“I joined the AAN in 1973, 50 years ago!” said Holch, who expressed he feels “honored and humbled” to be chosen. “Back then I was doing large, hard-edge, contemporary paintings. In 1976, I showed my first silkscreen print…Since [then] I have continued printmaking and had two shows in the AAN Little Gallery with my mother, also a AAN member, and a sculptor.”
In 1993, Eric Holch opened his own gallery on Old South Wharf. “And I’m still there, sharing space in the Brown Basket Gallery, Shanty #9. So it’s a honor to be recognized after a long career here on the island!”
He sees many benefits that the Artists Association of Nantucket offers its members and the island: “Joining AAN is, first, a confirmation that your peers see some talent or skill in your chosen medium. Then you are a part of this art community which which helps you grow as an artist. At the AAN Gallery you are able to sell your work and gain a foothold in the Nantucket art world…[which] is further confirmation that people like what you are doing, and it inspires artists to keep working, pushing them to further challenges in their medium. It’s a great organization that brings artists and patrons together, and helps artists hone their craft,” Eric explained when asked how AAN benefits artists and Nantucket.
The Artists Association also “creates body of high caliber artwork for the community to see and purchase. There are thousands of art collectors on this island and visitors who keep the engine of creating art moving forward. The arts on Nantucket is part of what makes the island so special to so many people. Music, theater, art, events—it’s all part of a thriving community. We are very lucky.”