Press page > Artists find cozy home at e'kaya
Rain and wind didn’t faze e’kaya gallery owner Tanya Augoustinos last
weekend. Out came veggies, fruit, marmite, and a jug of homemade Merlot
to celebrate the landscape and abstract oil paintings of David Tierney
whose exhibit ends today, Oct. 20.
Oct, 20, 2005
Martha's Vineyard Times
Artists find cozy home at e'kaya
written by Brooks Robards
up is sign- painter-turned landscape- artist Susan Sellers Glyman,
whose “Expressions en Plein Air” show starts Saturday, Oct. 22, at the
little gallery behind the Scottish Bakehouse on State Road, Vineyard
Haven. Augoustinos, a South African native, has drawn the inspiration
for her gallery (e’kaya means “little house” in xhosa, the dialect
spoken by Nelson Mandela) from African culture. “The South Africans are
so creative with so little,” Augoustinos says, describing how the
natives make beautiful things out of bottle caps, telephone cable wire
and even potato chip bags. The edges of e’kaya’s makeshift spool tables
are decorated with bottle caps, and a piece of brightly colored South
African cotton covered with Coca-cola logos serves as the tablecloth
for hors d’oeuvres.
Community and “gifting” describe the way
e’kaya came into existence this past summer. Island bartender friends
saved bottle caps for Augoustinos, and friends in landscaping dropped
off leftover seeds and gardening supplies for the gallery garden. The
rustic wooden tree poles on either side of e’kaya’s canopied entrance
came from the state forest.
Scottish Bakehouse proprietor Denise
Dominick donated the shed, originally filled with bakery equipment
discards, which her friend Augoustinos transformed into e’kaya. Now its
doors—salvaged from a Vineyard Haven house under renovation — open onto
a tiny hallway and two cozy gallery rooms with track lights and soft,
Last Sunday, friends Todd Murtha, Todd
Estrella, and Mike Box were helping Augoustinos hang up a tarpaulin to
keep the rain at bay outside the gallery.
with e’kaya’s proprietor dates from his excursion to the eastern
Transvaal in South Africa, where he met Augoustinos and invited her to
visit his family in Tisbury. That was 13 years ago, and after regular
visits, Augoustinos settled on the Vineyard.
After nine years in
the New York art scene working at places like Sonnabend Gallery, the
former risk management underwriter landed a job at Vineyard Haven’s
Etherington Fine Art Gallery. Like so many Vineyard transplants, she
learned how to piece together a living hanging art shows and doing odd
jobs and jumped at the chance to open her own gallery.
art doesn’t have enough space on this island,” Augoustinos says. “It’s
not just about angry art and what the government doesn’t do for us, but
about educating people.” She sees art as playing an important political
— in the broad sense — role as a form of empowerment and references
groups like New York’s Guerrilla Girls and Paper Tiger TV. For
instance, she’d love to install a drip irrigation system to demonstrate
how things like that can and do work. She’d like people to teach dance
Augoustinos concentrates on emerging artists like
Tierney, who has only exhibited once before, and Sellers-Glyman, who
spent 30 of her Island years running a signage and graphic arts
business. She also wants to put up an outdoor screen and show activist
videos and films.
an effort to expand the gallery’s reach, this summer Augoustinos took
work from ongoing e’kaya exhibits and displayed it at the Chilmark
Community Center on nights the Martha’s Vineyard Independent Film
Festival was showing films. With a good synergy between e’kaya, the
Scottish Bakehouse and the Film Festival, she hopes to find people with
a genuine interest in art and activism to help by gallery sitting and
looking after the space.
For Susan Sellers-Glyman, the timing
was just right to contact Augoustinos. With extensive training in fine
arts and four or five years focusing more on plein-air painting and
less on Sellers Signs, she was ready for her first one-woman show. She
has more than 30 landscapes in the show opening Saturday.
knows me as the sign painter,” says Sellers- Glyman, who added Glyman
to her name 10 years ago when she married fish spotter turned jet pilot
Jim Glyman. Now she’s working outdoors and choosing her own subjects.
Her work depicts many well-known Vineyard scenes, like “Sailboat in
Harthaven,” “Gas Pump, North Road, Jenkinsons’,” and “Sengekontacket
at Bend-in-the- Road.” She is also showing work from her travels to Sebasco Peninsula and other parts of Maine.
work will be on exhibit through November 3. Then, weather permitting,
Augoustinos plans her next show, a group exhibit featuring work from
the artists she showed this summer. Until the weather stops her, e’kaya
will remain open, and Augoustinos is already making plans for the
gallery’s re-opening next spring.
Robards is a poet, author, and former college film instructor. She
frequently contributes stories on art, film, and poetry to The Times.
Courtesy of The Martha's Vineyard Times. Photos by Brian Jolley.