Current Exhibitions

Art Activism: Paintings by Basia Jaworska
December 7th, 2020 through February 7th, 2021
Morse Hallway

My parents’ stories of fighting Fascism in Europe during WWII raised my consciousness as a young girl. They always said, “Never take your freedom, food, or water for granted.” With the danger of growing inequality and injustice over the past few years, I used my art as a tool for activism. I felt an urgency to chronicle the fast moving events crashing, like a car wreck, and piling up on the speedway. The paintings are witness to the crimes committed. As in time of war, they insure we never forget. It was equally important for me to enshrine some pivotal voices responsible in moving the needle ahead on social justice issues.

Poland, known for its poster art, has influenced my style in the exhibits’ collection of poster-like paintings. They are just a fraction of all the crises that have inspired the work. It’s an ongoing series with an endless array of issues to process.

These paintings are exhibited in conjunction with  Making Change: Stories of Vineyard Activism, 1820-2020 in the Museum’s Grain Gallery.

Jannette Vanderhoop: Treasure Boxes
January 7th, 2021 through March 4th, 2021
Adele H. Waggaman Community Gallery

“Imagine a time when the Americas were being taken, pirates were active the world over, Europe was collecting curiosities of the “other,” nature was being explored down to the most intimate details, and natural objects were displayed in natural history galleries – including but not limited to arts and artifacts of the “other.” Where somewhere on a quiet shore, my ancestor beached her canoe with no idea of what was coming over the horizon. The ships, the world, technology, advancement, patriarchal rule, death, progress, politics, the founding of America, the New World charged righteously through, touting the banner of manifest destiny! There was a mad grab on a world scale for all matter of treasures.”

This body of work was created over the course of ten years. Each box is unique and has a distinct theme. Jannette Vanderhoop has paired the boxes with her original poems to further tell a story: one of a grand adventure, personal oblivion, and global and spiritual connectivity. Overall, there is a storyline that is reminiscent of a certain time period, when the West was conquered – not just the west of the United States – but of the world.

Making Change: Stories of Vineyard Activism, 1820-2020
October 20th, 2020 through March 14th, 2021
Grain Family Gallery

Every great national movement simultaneously rises from, and gives rise to, thousands of local actions. Despite its reputation as an insular world, distant from the mainland, the Vineyard has since colonial times not just reflected, but exemplified, that pattern. 

Making Change will trace the local actions by which Vineyarders have participated as both advocates and opponents of change in national movements for social justice. Spanning the two centuries from the early antebellum era to the present day, it will focus on two intertwined causes that continue to make headlines: African American civil rights and Native American self-determination. Placing people and events from the Vineyard in the context of nationwide movements and conflicts, it will explore events ranging from the debate over slavery and the establishment of Gay Head as a town, to the Wampanoag campaign for federal recognition.

Neal Rantoul: Above and On the Ground
January 22nd, 2021 through April 25th, 2021
Hollinshead and Cox Galleries

Photographer Neal Rantoul witnessed the sudden spike in building development on the Island in the 1980s and 1990s, and sought to document the Island’s beauty during this time of rapid change. The resulting photographs, done in collaboration with the Vineyard Open Land Foundation (VOLF), were recently donated to the Museum. Since then, Rantoul has continued to capture the Island’s landscape from above. Taken from a single-engine Cessna, the recent large-scale photographs by Rantoul – paired with his original series – tell a story of change while celebrating the Island’s remaining wild and beautiful places.