A Gallery’s Latest Rebirth


Having come from a background working in the New York City art world, Tanya Augoustinos, owner of the Island’s A Gallery has approached the Vineyard art scene from a somewhat different perspective than her peers.

She describes her inspiration for opening e’kaya, her first gallery space, in 2003. “It was an experiment for the summer only,” says Augoustinos. “An off-the-grid project for semi-outsider artists. It ended up attracting all sorts of people, and became quite popular.”

From that early start, Augoustinos has gone on to three other locations in three different towns on the Island, and has expanded her vision to include established artists — those of local as well as worldwide renown. Still, her focus has remained on showcasing contemporary — sometimes even daring — work, and introducing new artists to the Island. “I wanted to do something that would reflect my own sensibilities, regardless of whether or not it would appeal to the Island,” says Augoustinos.

The gallerist’s gamble has paid off. Not only has A Gallery become a destination for those seeking work with a more cosmopolitan edge, but Augoustinos has been able to attract some much-sought-after artists whose work might not have been a good fit in another Island gallery. That holds true — literally — in the case of Vineyard artist Rez Williams, who is known for his strikingly unique, very large-scale paintings of fishing boats and interesting takes on landscape art.

Some internationally known artists have also found an Island home for their work at A Gallery. Among them are preeminent pastel artist Irving Petlin; photographer Marianna Cook, whose work has been shown in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the National Portrait Gallery; and the late Stella Waitzkin, sculptor and legendary New York City art scene figure, whose family has chosen to show some of her unique resin pieces with Augoustinos.

Augustinos recently relocated temporarily to a log cabin–style building at 510 State Rd.in West Tisbury ( the old Julie Robinson space), and is once again reinventing herself. She has transformed the interior of the space to give it a bit of an urban, industrial feel, and will be showcasing some new artists, along with a number of those — such as Rez Williams, Lucy Mitchell, Billy Hoeff, Alejandro Carreno, and James Langlois — whom she has represented through various iterations of A Gallery.

Summer 2018 shows will include a new photography exhibit in early July, a show featuring the work of two groundbreaking women artists, Lily Morris and Jennifer Joanou, in late July, and a group show in August, titled “Habitat,” which will showcase a variety of artists including Jack Yuen, a homegrown Vineyarder and emerging talent whose new work honors environmental issues.

Although Augoustinos has only secured her current space through the end of the year (the building will eventually be housing the Island’s first medical marijuana clinic), and she hopes to find a permanent home eventually, she has discovered that there are advantages to moving from space to space. “A pop-up gives me some latitude to try some new things and not to be committed to the long term,” she says. “I’m in another rebirth period.”

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