The Art of Conservation: 2014

What are the elements of the Vineyardwhether natural, cultural, or constructedthat you most cherish?

What beloved animal, plant or place—or treasured activity, occupation or institution—is so integral to the character of the Vineyard that it must be safeguarded?

What if that piece of the Vineyard wasn’t there anymore or was drastically changed?

See photos all the entries!

* * * links to the winners' artwork and descriptions below * * *

The response to the call for Island high school students to answer these questions though their art was impressive – the creativity and skill displayed by their work even more so. In total, prizes were awarded to 13 of the 88 entries by students from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School.

First place awards went to Lucy Thompson of the Charter School for drawing, Hadley Chapman of MVRHS for painting, Austin Chandler of MVRHS for sculpture and Kylie Hatt of MVRHS for photography. There were also Special Distinction awards in each category (see list below).

Competition judges Chris Morse, who co-owns galleries in West Tisbury and Edgartown, and artist Dan VanLandingham, an alumnus of MVRHS, both said they were impressed with the professionalism and range of the work. The judges were asked to make their decisions based on adherence to the competition theme, originality/creativity, professionalism and overall impression. “I can see this as a preview to some of these students’ futures,” said Van Landingham. Morse commented, “The artists have chosen really personal responses to some very global issues.”

Many works in the competition were accompanied by the artists’ own descriptions of their intent for the piece. Photography winner Kylie Hatt’s description of her black and white “A Rock’s Point of View,” featuring a spreading scrub oak read: “The point of this photo was to show that I want to preserve all open areas . . . I also want to preserve trees because not only do they provide us with oxygen, but I feel like they are also a symbol for the island. Try to imagine the Vineyard without trees. Pretty hard isn’t it?”

Although Hadley Chapman’s winning painting of three progressive stages in the erosion of the cliffs at Lucy Vincent Beach bore no description, its meaning was self evident. Adding to the symbolism, Chapman used actual clay from the cliffs to paint the picture.

Prizes for first place winners are gift certificates for art supplies donated by DaRosa’s and Educomp, and gift certificates for special distinction from Tisberry, Scottish Bakehouse, MV Film Center and Mocha Motts. In addition, each winner receives a free membership in VCS.

And finally, the winners!


First Place: Lucy Thompson, Charter School

Special Distinction: Bean Haller-Hiser, Charter School


First Place: Hadley Chapman, MVRHS

Special Distinctions:  Bean Haller-Hiser, Charter School and Sabrina Reppert, MVRHS


First Place: Kylie Hatt, MVRHS

Special Distinctions: Samantha Bettencourt, Emilia Capelli, Beatriz Da Costa, Adelaide Keene, Caroline Roddy (all MVRHS)          


First Place: Austin Chandler, MVRHS

Special Distinction: Henry Jephcote, Charter School