Art Rug by Jerry Carl
Nantucket Arts

Artists Association of Nantucket and OBOI present Spirit of the East Exhibit

The Artists Association of Nantucket (AAN) and One Book One Island are pleased to announce the opening of Spirit of the East: Art influenced by Eastern Culture, Spirituality, and Wildlife. The exhibition will open with a reception on Friday, March 10, 5 to 7 pm in the Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery, 19 Washington Street. The exhibition will be on display through March 16, and the gallery is open 11 am to 5 pm (Closed Sunday March 12).

The genesis of the exhibition is derived from the book, Elephant Company, by Vicki Constantine Croke. The remarkable story of James Howard ‘Billy” Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into a gifted “elephant wallah” and charismatic war hero known as Elephant Bill.

AAN is featuring three collaborative offerings launching with the exhibition, Spirit of the East: Art influenced by Eastern Culture, Spirituality, and Wildlife. The special weeklong exhibition is open for community participation; people may submit up to two pieces of work with a focus on Eastern Spirituality, culture, and or wildlife. The works will be for sale.

The Art Talk will feature a conversation about Eastern Influences. AAN is pleased to host two people well-versed in Eastern culture: India-born and AAN artist member Garth Grimmer and well-known Asian art specialist and collector David Billings. The one-hour talk will be held on Saturday, March 11 at 10 am in the Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery.

The Origami Workshop is geared for families with children as young as six. Guest instructors Shelley Dresser and Ellis Weber-Provost will lead people through the hands-on activity. AAN will supply the necessary materials. Children must be accompanied by a parent/caregiver. Saturday, March 11 at 11 am – noon, also in the Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery. All events are free and open to the public.

“We are excited to be participating in this program and pleased that our organization can contribute to such a great island-wide event” said AAN public programs director Liz Hunt O’Brien. “There are so many intriguing aspects of the book from the way Williams was mesmerized by the intelligence, character, and even humor of the elephants, to the understanding of world affairs at that time.”

For a full schedule of OBOI events and sponsors, please visit

To learn more about the AAN, visit the website at For information about the AAN’s 2017 programs and events, please call 508-228-0722.

Articles by Date from 2012