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Sharing the wealth of art on Nantucket

Posted by guest  June 2, 2010 10:53 AM

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You gotta have art, according to the couple who runs the Century House on Nantucket. Gerry Connick and JeanEllen Heron started an artist-in-residence program at Century House in the 1980s that has resulted in hundreds of works of art gracing the walls of the oldest continuously operating inn on the island.

They’re stepping it up in June with “Art on the Piazza,” on Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m., giving anyone interested the chance to mingle with members of the art program who are staying at the inn. Their work will be displayed at Century House’s flower-shrouded veranda and patio and they will be on hand to discuss it.

The event kicks off with long-time program participants Kevin Shea, Catherine Elliot and Christopher Wheat June 3. Shea has been featured on CNN and his work includes paintings of Fenway Park and the Red Sox, Nantucket and Tuscany. Elliott’s work is in the impressionistic style, and “becoming part of the environment” is important to the work of Wheat, he said, as he divides his time between Nantucket and the Finger Lakes in New York.

On June 10, artist Gary Korlin will be featured, and during the Nantucket Film Festival June 17-20, master painters Leonard Mizerek and William Duffy, both members of the American Society of Marine Artists and the Guild of Boston Artists, will show and talk about their work.

Completing the month-long program June 24 will be master painters Marla Korr, John Caggiano and Joan Chakonas.

Connick and Heron like to joke that when they arrived in 1984 the walls were so full of holes they arrived at the idea of having painters stay for free, in exchange for creating Nantucket-inspired paintings to hang over them. The holes have gone, they say, but their love of art never will, as evidenced by this new addition to the Nantucket art scene.

Posted by Paul E. Kandarian, Globe correspondent

Photo of Kevin Shea by Paul E. Kandarian for The Boston Globe

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