Preserving the Future

Celebrating their 75th year, The Artists Association of Nantucket has worked for decades to foster local artists and has just completed a major acquisition project of Nantucket Art Colony works. More than 100 priceless artworks were donated to AAN in celebration of this landmark anniversary.

“This project began a few years ago in anticipation of our anniversary this summer,” said curator and AAN Artistic Director Robert Frazier. “I was completely overwhelmed by the generosity of serious collectors, patrons, and the artist’s families. They understood the urgency for keeping these artworks protected.”

The newly acquired collection features seven paintings by Frank Swift Chase, the dean of Nantucket artists, who summered on-island from 1920 into the early 1950s. Two of these works are the iconic Union Street and Alongside The Wharf.

The entire acquisition project is lavishly illustrated in a just-released art history book written by Frazier, Born From A Hurricane, 75 Years of the Artists Association of Nantucket, and is available to purchase at both exhibition locations.

Preserving the Future will run through Columbus Day weekend at the Visual Arts Center, 9 am to 5 pm weekdays and at 41 Straight Wharf through Labor Day weekend, Wednesday thru Monday, 12-5 pm.

In addition to preserving these works for posterity, AAN is also hosting their annual Artist/Patron Exhibition starting this Friday, August 14. The exhibition will be on display through Saturday August 29 in the Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery at 19 Washington Street.

“The first juried AAN Artist/Patron exhibition was held in 1949, so this summer marks the 71st year we’ve featured this long-standing tradition,” said Frazier. “…our artists bring in their strongest works for this special exhibition, which we consider one of the high points of our gallery season, where we showcase the best new works by the island’s premier artists.”

“This year, due to the world-wide pandemic, we are adhering to best safety practices and have only opened the first floor of the gallery. Visitors must wear a face covering and we’re allowing only four people in at one time,” said gallery manager Peter J. Greenhalgh. AAN is also hosting an online exhibition of the same name at nantucketarts.org starting Friday, August 21 to September 11.

Artist/Patron Show is on display in the Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery, 19 Washington Street, Tues.-Sat. 10 am to 5 pm, closed from 2 to 2:30pm.