Red Truck by Frances McGuire
Frances McGuire
In 1974 an American Youth Hostel trip first brought me to Martha's Vineyard. It was the summer between 9th and 10th grades while a student at the H.S. of Art and Design in NYC. Love, like for most people, brought me back again and again for the next six summers.

I was lucky enough to stay at the Wesley House (now Hotel) in Oak Bluffs the following summer and even more for fortunate to land a job there the summer after graduating from H.S. At that time the Wesley House was an authentic grand hotel run by the Chase family who provided room and board to its summer "crew" of young people. They were great employers, lent us cars like an old blue Cadillac, to travel around the island and allowed us to have a wild time as long as we did our jobs. It was wonderful and I like to say because I went to a commuter college, working at the Wesley was my away from home college experience.

The views from and in the Wesley House always awed. Every day awed. Looking down from the upper large wavy paned (probably original) windows were panoramic views of the harbor, the white ferries coming into Oak Bluffs, the Tabernacle and NY Avenue leading to Vineyard Haven. In the corridors were fire buckets filled with sand and coiled ropes attached to large hooks by the windows in case of fire and one had to rappel out the window to escape. All the rooms were different and what would be now described as "cottage" style in its color palette and mix of furniture. There were glass transoms above the doors that worked and at times the chambermaids would stand on chairs to look into the rooms to see if they were occupied in order to clean them. No air-conditioning just lovely sea air often thick often delightfully sharp and and clear. This experience along with these view would come into play as I continued to develop as an artist.

Coming from Jackson Heights in NYC it was all exotic: the landscape, the hotel and the fellow crew members at the hotel. Most of the crew came from private New England colleges. I was attending Queens College of the City of NY and street smart. Here I learned about topsider shoes, Izod shirts, canvas belts with images of the Island or lobsters and chinos. By mid-summer I had purchased these items from Brickman's and looked like a New England preppie too.

That was my introduction to the Island and now have a home here along with my husband and son.

Now the art: The relationship between nature or sites and man made structures intrigue me most. These structures, including street furniture (like fences) and signage must reinforce the sense of place. The Vineyard images are modest and do not compete with nature. The seawall bounces back the sunlight and hold light and shadow in its aged structure. The pipe rail fence running along the wall atop Town and Inkwell Beaches speak Oak Bluffs -- they are part of the experience. The walls I paint were the walls before Jersey Barrier walls. The old Oak Bluffs seawalls were lower, made from poured concrete and revealed their exposure to the elements. They also have become integral to the landscape: not intrusive by part of it.

Along with modest structures I also embrace the exuberance of seaside places. The Reliable Market sign shouts at night and it shouts Oak Bluffs because it is not an A & P or Safeway sign that you can see anywhere. The Ocean Holiday Diver celebrates the celebratory experience of vacation at the Jersey Shore. From the Wesley House, now whose windows are now filled with air-conditioners, to the Jersey Shore more often than not these authentic structures are being replaced or upgraded by construction that to me no longer speaks of their time and place.

I also insert abstract features in my work to force a better a better composition. You will see blocks of colors or colors that don't really exist but heighten the composition and relationship of the objects. Also a painting for me is not an attempted replication of nature but an image unto itself.

Unlike most of the continental US, Martha's Vineyard maintains it historic and regional connection to what it is. There are few places where concrete road posts still exist. I intend to take these object and present them in my work.

Exhibition List
PIKNIK, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, MA
THE PARRISH ART MUSEUM, Southampton, NY
35th Juried Exhibition

THE TWEED GALLERY, NYC

ELAINE BENSON GALLERY, Bridgehampton, NY

HECKSCHER MUSEUM, Huntington, NY

Annual Juried Exhibition

CUNNEEN HACKETT GALLERY, Poughkeepsie, NY

THE RAQUETTE AND TENNIS CLUB, NYC

TIME MACHINE, Sag Harbor, NY

SAXON GALLERY, Southampton, NY

OFFICE OF THE MAYOR of the City of New York

Illustrations and Invitations for Mayor Edward I. Koch



ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, ART COMMISSION of the City of New York

Office of the Mayor

DIRECTOR, INTER-AGENCY AFFAIRS

City of New York Parks & Recreation

Design and Construction Division



EDUCATION

High School of Art & Design, NYC

Queens College of the City University of New York

Victor D'Amico Institute of Art, Amagansett, NY

The Art Students League of New York, NYC



Artist Statement:

In 1974 an American Youth Hostel trip first brought me to Martha's Vineyard. It was the summer between 9th and 10th grades while a student at the H.S. of Art and Design in NYC. Love, like for most people, brought me back again and again for the next six summers.



I was lucky enough to stay at the Wesley House (now Hotel) in Oak Bluffs the following summer and even more for fortunate to land a job there the summer after graduating from H.S. At that time the Wesley House was an authentic grand hotel run by the Chase family who provided room and board to its summer "crew" of young people. They were great employers, lent us cars like an old blue Cadillac, to travel around the island and allowed us to have a wild time as long as we did our jobs. It was wonderful and I like to say because I went to a commuter college, working at the Wesley was my away from home college experience.
The views from and in the Wesley House always awed. Every day awed. Looking down from the upper large wavy paned (probably original) windows were panoramic views of the harbor, the white ferries coming into Oak Bluffs, the Tabernacle and NY Avenue leading to Vineyard Haven. In the corridors were fire buckets filled with sand and coiled ropes attached to large hooks by the windows in case of fire and one had to rappel out the window to escape. All the rooms were different and what would be now described as "cottage" style in its color palette and mix of furniture. There were glass transoms above the doors that worked and at times the chambermaids would stand on chairs to look into the rooms to see if they were occupied in order to clean them. No air-conditioning just lovely sea air often thick often delightfully sharp and and clear. This experience along with these view would come into play as I continued to develop as an artist.
Red Truck
Frances McGuire
Oil on Canvas
24" x 36"     Framed: 25" x 37"
$6,500
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