Chain 15

Edgartown Harbor
Medium: Photograph

I love photographing in the fog. The heavy atmosphere creates layers separating foreground and background. Only what is immediate and closest appears clearly. The further out you try to look, the more your vision becomes blurry and shrouded. Fog simplifies a picture, taking away the messy details, the chaos and the distractions. I love the relationship between the net in this image and the invisible fishing boat it belongs to. I love how the net seems to capture the dock and the yacht club and ties the whole photo together giving it a strong sense of place. The emptiness in this photo gives off a sense of humanity too I think.

Alison Shaw

Alison Shaw has been a photographer all of her life. After graduating from Smith College in 1975, Alison worked with the Vineyard Gazette as Design Director until 2000. Since then, she has put all of her energy into Alison Shaw Photography, which is now a multi-layered enterprise. Her work has evolved from documentary to abstract, always using her camera to literally paint with light.

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Ship & Harbor
By Mark Simos
Ship & Harbor
Medium: Music

I was struck by the visual echoes in the photograph- the swoop of the ropes, the rhythm of the pilings retreating in the distance- the time of day. The mist makes familiar things mysterious. The black of intimate and the grey of far away. A lyric and a narrative emerged. I wanted to express the paradoxical idea that the singer feels a conflict between the shore and the sea. Up until now he has always seen that conflict in conventional terms: the shore represents being held down, safety, love and security; the sea represents adventure and freedom. Now, thought, he’s reached a turning point. He has spent many years choosing the ocean. Now he finds that his perception has changed – the wind has shifted and he is tacking about. suddenly he sees his constant choice of lifting anchor and sailing away has become a kind of harbor of it’s own, a different kind of safety through—to be banal here—“Lack of commitment” and that perhaps choosing the harbor, the house at the edge of the village would be a different kind of a voyage—into oceans of his own heart where he fears he may drown or be lost. The shore represents the next voyage. This is a powerful kind of transformation because it is not a concession but a progression. After this insight he will never be able to set out on the old journey in the same naïve way—And ahead of him lies the decision to make the longer, braver voyage.

Mark Simos

Mark Simos is a renowned songwriter, composer and tunesmith, teacher and writer. Over four-plus decades, Mark’s songs and “tunes from imaginary countries” have stretched musical boundaries with innovative melodies and harmonies and intricately crafted lyrics, bringing a contemporary sensibility to “neo-traditionalist” forms. Over one hundred of Mark’s compositions have been recorded by artists, including Alison Krauss and Union Station, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, Laurie Lewis, and Australian rock icon Jimmy Barnes. Featured on many recordings as a fiddler and guitar accompanist, he has recorded an acclaimed song-cycle album, Crazy Faith, and four albums of original and traditional fiddle music.Mark is associate professor in the Songwriting Department at Berklee College of Music, where he has created innovative curriculum for songwriting, collaboration, guitar techniques, and tunewriting. Also an active performer and teacher at workshops, camps, festivals, and retreats, Mark has mentored hundreds of songwriters worldwide. He has just published Songwriting Strategies: A 360º Approach (Berklee Press/Hal Leonard 2014).

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Finding Home
Medium: Quilt

This quilt is a song and the story of my life. It is about sails and water and movement and wind and finding home. In Charleston SC circa ’78/’79, I found out, just as spring was emerging, that I was pregnant. I was sailing around the globe with my then husband Geoffrey. I immediately quit pot, booze, and cigarettes, all at once. Two years later, in Feb. of ’81, my marriage exploded. My baby girl, Reade, was only 16 months old. I lost my boat “Saorsa,” and my life as a sailor. It took me a while to settle, but that was the beginning of me letting go of my wanderings. I lost my life as a sailor, but I found home holding my daughter in my arms.” Emotionally, listening to the music I felt the tumbling wave/wind like nature of paisley and the interconnectedness of everything. Images of blue, water, waves and the musical staff ran through my head. Though I am an artist of many mediums, I wanted to create a translucent fabric, almost like a sail, to express this song ‘cause I wanted my piece to flow and move like the melody and I needed to sew the pieces together like I imagined the music might have been pieced together. Everything in this quilt was something else before. The black was my husband’s trousers, the yellow was found at the thrift shop, the stripes are from an old shirt, there is my grandmothers bed sheet, fabric I used to make my daughter’s overalls, and drawings my daughter, granddaughter and goddaughter & god son made. This quilt is like the pieced together parts of my life, beautiful in its wholeness and translucency, seamy side and all.

Fae Kontje-Gibbs

Martha’s Vineyard has been my home since 1973. In my twenties I commuted to the Cape Cod Conservatory of Music and Art, Mass Art, and The Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts to study printmaking. I got my bachelor’s degree in art and writing through Goddard College’s Adult Degree Program while living and traveling on a wooden sailboat.

Back on the Island, I bought a house and a Rembrandt etching press, which I put it in my kitchen. From there I began teaching art classes until I expanded into my own studio and into the community, eventually traveling to Russia to teach at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. I established the printmaking studio for Featherstone Center for the Arts, in Oak Bluffs, where I taught monotype and relief printmaking. In 1996 I was honored with the Creative Living Award by the Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard.

My work has been used by Houghton Mifflin for book covers and pamphlets. I have been illustrating Ali Berlow’s, “Cook’s Notebook”, for edible Vineyard Magazine since it launched in 2009. My first self-published book is The Little Beastie, a fable for all ages. I have shown at galleries on Martha’s Vineyard and in New Jersey, New Hampshire, Kansas and Cambridge, MA.

As mother, grandmother, yogini and acupuncturist, my art is a synthesis of all of my experiences. I find that the heart-felt sharing of others inspires me to do the same.

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Springtime Pasta
Medium: Food & Spice

I had a gut reaction to seeing this tapestry. The colors burst forth like spring time nasturtium and brought to mind a pungent springtime meadow of pasta. I thought immediately of Asparagus, nasturtium and fuzzily. The tapestry reminded me of the pure and simple times in my life. I live in New York City in the winter where I am isolated and away from my friends. The tapestry reminded me of the way it feels to look forward to spring and my friendships and to new adventures. The tapestry was about getting rid of the old and looking forward to the new, looking forward to the promise of bounty… laughter… and taking off your winter coat, enjoying a lighter side of life.

Liz Doon


 “There is a lot of thought that ties the rise in diseases and health problems with eating food out of season,” personal chef Liz Doon says. “If you eat according to what your environment dictates, you’re less likely to come across pesticides. That’s why local eating is so much better — you know what’s going into the ground.”
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Summer Perfection
Medium: Film

The pasta reminds me of my childhood but the green in it reminds me of Costa Rica and the northern mountains where I tasted arugula for the very first time as an adult. I remember how adventurous I was then, as a younger Jon, with a more adventurous culinary pallet. But the cold pasta completely represents home for me. This dish is summer, simple and supper tasty. It’s clean and pure with a little bit of a spank. If I were going to try to translate it to someone who couldn’t taste, through visuals alone, I’d use the color yellow. A yellow which fades out to a cream and inside of it I’d put an orange lightning bolt through it. It’s harmony. If I had to sum it up in one emotion I’d say this dish is “comfort.”

Jon Sideman
  • Hailing from the mean streets off exit 52 on the LIE to the very real Jungles of Central and South America, Jon Seidman has experienced a lot. Late nights with Trannies in Buenos Aires, Hanging with the FARC in the Dairen Gap, living with the Bri-Bri Indians in the Alto Talamancas to fly-fishing with the Prince of Bhutan at the Royal Fishing Grounds, experiences of the 5 senses are what drive Jon to seek out the nectar of life. Living with his fantastic wife Kay and 2 eyes wide-open boys in Venice California his worldly perspective has given birth to a career in advertising. Originally creating and producing non-scripted TV, 3 years ago Jon wanted to flip the script and focus on the :30 creative, short attention span world of influencing people  hopefully to support decent companies. His work has been used by: Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, MTV, Sundance, 5 Hour Energy, Dannon OIKOS Super Bowl, Disney, KIND to name a few. Jon recently launched his new endeavor SMALL AX, a direct to brand creative/ production agency.

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