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The Martha's Vineyard Museum Reveals Winner of Island Faces Portrait Competition

Genevieve Jacobs portrait "Mapping Michael, a portrait of Dr. Michael Jacobs" was named the winner at an event on Friday at the Museum

Last night the in Edgartown had their summer opening reception. Everyone was invited to join the opening of two new exhibits: The and the Hands-on History space.

The Island Faces Portrait Competition, done with , showcases 19 artists whose portraits were selected out of 60 entries. Assistant Curator, Anna Carringer, explains, " We were really surprised by how many we got and the fact that they were all brilliant too."

Carringer explained that the guidelines to enter the competition were intentionally vague because the museum has never done this before. But the basic guidelines were:

  • artists had to be at least 15 years old
  • the portrait had to be 3x3 or less
  • it had to be newly created work

"Part of the spirit of the competition is being able to give people the opportunity to sit down and think about the idea behind this contest which is just to look at people and look at connections between people and the connections between people and this place that we call home," Carringer said.

Out of the 19 portraits selected, three winners were chosen. In third place was Leslie Baker with her portrait of Katherine Long.

"Well I thought the whole idea of a portrait contest was very fun. So when they said you had to choose somebody who you felt represented the island of course I thought of Katherine because she's a renaissance island woman to me," Baker explained.

In second place was Traeger di Pietro with his portrait, "Andrue. The Working Man." A description of Pietro's inspiration hangs beneath his portrait. Pietro writes, "Andrue asked me why I would want to paint his portrait for the contest and also asked if I wanted him to shave. I said, 'I think you're beautiful that's why, and no I don't want you to shave.' He laughed."

In first place was Genevieve Jacobs with her portrait, "Mapping Michael, a portrait of Dr. Michael Jacobs." The description under her portrait explains that not only is she married to her subject, but "he also happens to be a much beloved Island icon who is known to many as the motorcycle riding, mountain climbing, river kayaking, ocean sailing, lovable and brilliant doctor who cared so well for so many for the past 36 years."

"There's something magical about having them all up in that show because it's never happened before, " Carringer says of the portraits. "Because so many people are excited about it we're going to be doing it every couple of years. So we hope that this becomes one of these island institutions where people recognize that there's going to be this opportunity to really capture people."

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