Shaw Cramer Gallery Closed in 2015

For a number of years this was the Shaw Cramer Gallery's website. The Shaw Cramer Gallery in Vineyard Haven closed in 2015. It was considered one of the top galleries on the Vineyard with well curated collections. It also was a huge favorite for art lovers.
The content is from the site's 2004 - 2013 archived pages.

Consider this page as a tribute to Shaw Cramer and her gallery. Enjoy the nostalgic trip back.

Shaw Cramer Gallery
Art Gallery in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

Celebrating nineteen years, the Shaw Cramer Gallery on Martha's Vineyard represents many of the island's finest innovative contemporary artists and nationally acclaimed artists working in classic contemporary fine crafts and paintings. 

S P E C I A L    E X H I B I T S 2013

Jul 02, 2013 through Aug 30, 2013

Antoinette Noble
mixed media paintings

David B Geiger
hand cast glass

Elizabeth Taft
oil on linen painting

Heather Sommers
handbuilt clay

Hermine Hull

Laurene Krasny Brown
paper + gouache

Leslie Baker
landscape oil paintings

Rob Hauck
abstract painting

Ruth Kirchmeier
Friday July 5  6-8
Friday August 2  6-8

july 2       
david b. geiger 
handcast glass

july 9       
hermine hull 
leslie baker 
working in series

july 16      
ruth kirchmeier
heather sommers
elizabeth taft 
art groups

july 23      
leslie baker 
antoinette noble
nancy shaw cramer 
artist + gallery

july 30      
elizabeth taft 
plein aire painting

august 6    
laurie krasny brown 
artist in residence

august 13 
rob hauck 
abstract painting   


Shaw Cramer builds distinctive identity

By Brooks Robards -July 17, 2013 |

With her Main Street, Vineyard Haven gallery Shaw Cramer now in business for 19 years, proprietor Nancy Cramer has built a reputation for sophisticated, high-caliber art.

A fiber artist herself whose one-of-a-kind silk pillows are sold in the gallery, Ms. Cramer is not afraid to ignore convention and go her own way. Instead of regular openings that spotlight individuals, she prefers once-a-month receptions that celebrate all of the gallery’s artists. These events not only offer the public a chance to meet and talk with the creators behind the work; they also give the busy artists an opportunity to get together. The next artists’ reception will be Friday, August 2.

“I feel strongly that it really doesn’t make a difference,” Ms. Cramer says of openings. “Sales are the same.” Instead of relying on openings to entice the public, she frequently changes the art on display in the gallery’s street-level window and moves around works in cases on the stairway to the gallery rooms themselves, where re-arrangements also take place regularly. In a sense, the changing displays re-invent the gallery collection on a regular basis

Ms. Cramer also developed a not-to-miss series of talks by Shaw Cramer artists on subjects bound to interest the serious collector and art lover alike. Coming up on Tuesday, July 23, Leslie Baker, Antoinette Noble, and Ms. Cramer will discuss artists working with galleries. On Tuesday, July 30, there is a presentation by painter Elizabeth Taft on landscapes.

A recent talk by West Tisbury artists Leslie Baker and Hermine Hull, who have painted together for years, focused on working in series. Ms. Baker spread out on the floor for the audience a group of monotypes of trees meant to be viewed together. “It focuses you on subtle changes and variations,” she said of the group, adding, “I’ve taken a leap into abstraction.”

Yet Ms. Baker considers herself primarily a representational painter. In contrast, Ms. Hull sees herself as an abstract painter, and she talked about series as a form of obsession. The paintings of the woods surrounding her West Tisbury home and studio that she presented for consideration remain predominantly representational, sometimes pushing the limits of that designation. “I feel like I could paint my woods forever,” she said, referencing French painter Pierre Bonnard, who painted scenes of his bathroom for most of his life.

Ms. Hull shows her work at Shaw Cramer for the first time this year. Also new to the gallery are West Tisbury artist Rob Hauck, who will talk about abstract art on Tuesday, August 13, and David B. Geiger, a Chilmark-based sculptor who works in hand-cast glass. Mr. Geiger, who gave an artist’s talk earlier in the month, comes to his art from a scientific point of view with an interest the biology of plant life. Los Angeles-based jewelry-maker Eric Silva completes the list of artists new to Shaw Cramer this year.

Considering Ms. Cramer’s own background in the field, fiber artists understandably make a strong showing with tapestries by Julia Mitchell and one-of-a-kind, hand-dyed wearable art — scarves and silk jackets, for instance — by Amy Nguyen and Betsy Giberson. Denise Labade has on display her nationally award-winning quilt, “Up or Down,” hand-painted and appliquéd. While they are framed like two-dimensional pieces, Peigi Cole-Jollife’s delicate constructions of fiber and collected materials suspended on bamboo pegs belong in this category.

Along with photography, painting and watercolor, texture and dimension are well represented in general at the gallery, with hand-built clay work by Heather Sommers, porcelain by Eric Jensen, sculpture by Claire McArdle, hand-woven baskets by Karl Lonning, and furniture by Bill Nash. Ruth Kirchmeier has masterful new woodcuts. Regrettably, the list of artists on display is too long to mention them all. Suffice it to say, art lovers should make regular visits to Shaw Cramer Gallery.

Shaw Cramer Gallery, Vineyard Haven. Open daily 10 am to 6 pm. Visit or call 508-696-7323 for more information.


Contemporary Fine Crafts and Paintings at the Shaw Cramer Gallery

The Shaw Cramer Gallery on Martha's Vineyard features the classic contemporary fine crafts and paintings of island and nationally acclaimed artists. Whether clay, fiber art, metal, wood, paintings or mixed media, the individually selected work has a high quality of design, technique and material creating a style of elegance and timelessness. 

Located on Main Street, Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard just two blocks from the ferry, the spacious gallery has special exhibits throughout July and August. Come visit this beautiful gallery and enjoy the sophisticated selection of artwork.

Open daily May through September with seasonal hours year round. 

Open daily May through September with seasonal hours year round. 
The artist receptions with jazz piano by Abbie Dreyer are on 
the first opening Friday nights 6-8. 

S P E C I A L    E X H I B I T S      2 0 0 3 


June 27 Dawn Greeley Paintings - Oils & Watercolor
  Bryan Trueman
Abstract Landscape Earthenware
Dawn Greeley Bryan Trueman
July 11 Philip Dusenbury Paper Mâché Sculpture
Jessie Morgan
Paintings - Acrylic on Canvas
Philip Dusenbury Jessie Morgan

July 25 Wendy Weldon Paintings - New Work
New Work by Wendy Weldon 
August 8 Fiber Invitational 2003  
  Jill Nordfors Clark
Eva Gallant
Chad Alice Hagen
Kathleen Holmes
Kari Lónning
Barbara Lee Smith
Kathy Spoering
Linelle Dickinson
Needlelace Baskets
Knitted Wire Sculpture
Inlaid Felt
Crochet Sculpture
Double Walled Basketry
Fused Fiber Imagery
Shifu Paper Cloth
Jill Norfords Clark Eva Gallant Kathleen Holmes Chad ALice Hagen

Open daily May through September with seasonal hours year round. 
The artist receptions with jazz piano by Abbie Dreyer are on 
the first opening Friday nights 6-8. 


S P E C I A L    E X H I B I T S      2 0 0 4 

Rose Abrahamson paintings - acrylic on canvas
  Deborah T. Colter paintings - acrylic on paper with collage
  Eva Gallant handmade paper assemblages
  Dawn Greeley paintings - watercolors
  Adele Schonbrun handmade paper with mixed media

Artist reception Friday, May 28 6-8pm

Paper and paint unite the work of five island artists.
Eva Gallant constructs handmade pigmented paper forming sculptural figures and words. Rose Abrahamson affixes crumpled paper onto canvas to build textures under acrylic paint. Dawn Greeley paints vibrant watercolors on heavy rag paper. Adele Schonbrun's handmade paper is used as a textural base for suggestions of water, rock and landscapes. Deborah T. Colter collages cut out paper for graphic designs underlayers before applying acrylic paint. Five artists, five techniques, five styles

Thomas Clarkson and Connie Deklewa clay vessels
  John Holladay paintings - watercolors

Artist reception Friday, June 25 6-8pm

Introducing the watercolors of John Holladay, a new island artist. The watercolors, in a rich array of hues or in black and white, present a new point of view of Martha’s Vineyard. This collection includes Menemsha waterfront images and boatyard scenes along the shore.
Thomas Clarkson and Connie Deklewa work together making sculptural yet functional vessels. They have developed a signature style of symmetrical forms enhanced through alterations with hardwood ash glazes.

Christian Brown contemporary furniture
  Johnston Fischer porcelain vases & constructions
  Amy Maas paintings - acrylic on canvas

Artist reception Friday,July 9 6-8 pm

Sophisticated and minimal yet warm and playful describes the work of Brown, Maas and Johnston Fischer. Christian Brown presents his new series of architecturally designed furniture using bold forms and new interpretations. Amy Maas’ spirited paintings are fueled by music and rhythms. Layers of texture and flowing forms are punctuated by lyrical lines. Ian Johnston and Stephanie Fischer also bring an architectural background to collaborate on porcelain and stoneware hand built vessels and sculptures with their specialty glazes. The work begins with classic forms and are then subtlely altered for an elegant sense of the unexpected.


Ann Jenkins jewelry - non traditional materials
  Elizabeth Lockhart Taft paintings - oil on linen & canvas
  Caleb Siemon hand blown glass

Artist reception Friday, July 23 6-8 pm

Elongated vistas, delicate forms of nature and gently colored flowing glass. The work of Taft, Jenkins and Siemon blend and enhance one another in a classic contemporary show. Plein air painter Elizabeth Lockhart Taft captures the essence of Martha’s Vineyard in long narrow horizontal views using oil paints on linen. Working in non-traditional materials, Ann Jenkins assembles small objects of nature under glass in sterling silver brooches and bracelets. Caleb Siemon practices the Italian style of glass blowing, creating bowl and vase forms with delicate colors in classic styles. See other artists' silver jewelry online including these gorgeous sterling silver rings at Sterling Forever. This collection was exclusively designed for them and carries some of the most popular sterling silver ring designs - some include gems, gold, and cubic zirconia insets.


Leslie Baker paintings - watercolors & oils
Jennifer McCurdy carved porcelain vessels

Artist reception Friday, August 6 6-8 pm

The soft landscapes in watercolor are complimented by the deeply saturated oil on canvas paintings by Leslie Baker. With a refined sense of color, Baker uses the technique of control and release, allowing the paint to create the magic.
Jennifer McCurdy’s wheel thrown porcelain bisque vessels are altered, carved and incised to achieve a sense of softness and movement. Using a similar technique, her large glazed floor jars are a counterpoint to the delicate white vessels.



Wendy Weldon
Acrylic painting on canvas

Rose Abrahamson 
Paintings, Acrylic on Canvas

John Holladay 
Vineyard Watercolors

Dawn Greeley
Paintings, Watercolors + Oils 
Christian Brown 
New Furniture

Eva Gallant
Handmade paper assemblages 

Ann Jenkins 
Jewelry Assemblages 
Johnston Fischer 
Ceramic Objects 

Adele Schonbrun 
Handmade Paper, Mixed Media 
Deborah T. Colter 
Paintings, Acrylic on Paper 

Connie Deklewa 
Clay Vessels 
Leslie Baker 
Landscape Watercolors + Oils 

Thomas Clarkson 
Clay Vessels 
Amy Maas 
Paintings, Acrylic on Canvas

Thea Izzi

Thea Izzi
Tom Odell
Cast Bronze

Tom Odell

Philip Dusenbury
Paper Mâché Sculpture

Philip Dusenbury
Bryan Trueman
Abstract Landscape Earthenware

Bryan Trueman

Eric Jensen
Elizabeth Lockhart Taft 
Oil on Panel 

Jessie Morgan
Acrylic on Canvas

Jessie Morgan 
Antoinette Noble
Encaustics on panel and paper

Antoinette Noble


S P E C I A L    E X H I B I T S      2 0 0 5 


June 24 - July 7
  John Holladay Vineyard Watercolors
Acrylic on Canvas
  Nicholas Kekic Handblown Glass Vessels
July 8 - July 21
  Wendy Weldon Paintings
July 22 - August 4

  Christian Brown Furniture
  Philip Dusenbury Paper Mache Sculpture
  Eva Gallant Paper + Metal
  Laurie Goddard Acrylic on Panel
  Dawn Greeley Watercolors
  Eric Jensen Clay Constructions
  Jane Birdsall Lander Mixed Media on Panel
  Amy Maas Acrylic on Canvas
  Jennifer McCurdy Porcelain Vessels
  Antoinette Noble Encaustic on Panel
  Leslie Reuther Ink on Paper
  Eduardo Rubio-Arzate Jewelry
  Adele Schonbrun Handbuilt Porcelain
August 5 - 19
  Leslie Baker Landscape Watercolors + Oils
  Curtis Hoard Porcelain Vessels



S P E C I A L    E X H I B I T S      2 0 0 7 


JUNE 29 - JULY 12

LESLIE BAKER "Edges + Order"
oil on canvas
main gallery
ANTOINETTE NOBLE "Impressions in Wax"
encaustic on panel 
upper gallery
artist reception main gallery Friday June 29, 6-8 pm 
with jazz piano by Abbie Dreyer


JULY 13 - JULY 26

WENDY WELDON "Shadows + Light"
acrylic on canvas
main gallery 
upper gallery 

artist reception main gallery Friday July 13, 6-8 pm
with jazz piano by Abbie Dreyer


Laurene Krasny Brown paper assemblages
Nancy Shaw Cramer tapestry
Phil Lichtenhan nests

artist reception main gallery Friday July 27, 6-8 pm
with jazz piano by Abbie Dreyer



Life after Shaw Cramer

By Gwyn McAllister -June 3, 2015 |

The former gallery owner and her artists catch us up on their work.

After 20 years, Nancy Shaw Cramer closed her Vineyard Haven gallery in November. — Photo by Michael Cummo

When Nancy Shaw Cramer closed her gallery on Main Street, Vineyard Haven, last November, after 20 years of representing artists from the Island and beyond, she wasn’t about to just close her doors and leave her stable of artists adrift to land where they would.

“Nancy is such a good person,” says fiber artist Julia Mitchell, who was with the Shaw Cramer almost from the very beginning. “When she decided that she wanted to retire, she was concerned about her artists. She didn’t want to just walk away.”

Retire is a relative term. Although she has quit the gallery business, Ms. Shaw Cramer has returned to focusing on her own work as a fiber artist and designer. At one time Ms. Shaw Cramer was one of the top 10 tapestry artists in the country. She showed her work all over, including at the American Craft Museum in New York City.

“Personally I’d been thinking of closing the gallery for two to three years,” she said. “I really wanted to get back to my own work. I’d gotten myself to a really interesting level. Tapestry rugs are very physical. You can only do it to a certain point in your life. About two years ago I started to let go.”

Along with her tapestry art pieces, Ms. Shaw Cramer is now designing and producing coats, jackets, and tunics: “I became absolutely compelled to sew every day. I was having such a good time. It was almost meditative for me.” She will be selling her designs at local artists’ showcases this summer.

Many of the other artists that called Shaw Cramer Gallery home also moved on, either to other galleries or to selling on their own.

“It’s forced everyone to review what they’re making, what they like to work on, and how to market themselves,” says Ms. Shaw Cramer.

At first the gallery owner tried to help her artists set up a collaborative in the same Main Street space that she had operated for two decades. However, it was more ambitious and time-consuming of a proposition than the individual artists were ready to tackle. “I think that people needed a little more time to consider it,” says painter Leslie Baker, who worked at the gallery as well as showing her work there. “It’s a huge leap to go from being represented to going into a cooperative.”

Three of the Shaw Cramer artists — Ms. Baker, abstract artist Rob Hauck, and fiber artist Julia Mitchell — have moved over to the A Gallery in Oak Bluffs.

“I knew Tanya. I knew the gallery. I knew of the stable of artists. It’s a natural,” says Ms. Mitchell. “It’s about the quality of the work and the fact that Tanya understands about not crowding the work. It’s hard to find a gallery to trust to do the right thing by you.”

Mr. Hauck originally showed his work at the A Gallery during its first year of existence, when it was located on State Road in Vineyard Haven. When the fate of the gallery was uncertain, Mr. Hauck moved over to Shaw Cramer. Now he is back at A Gallery, and feels comfortable with the move. He sees the change as an opportunity to experiment with different styles and media. “When I came to the Vineyard, I was doing a lot of watercolor. Right now I work primarily in acrylics on paper and canvas, and mixed media. Recently I’ve also been doing monoprints,” said Mr. Hauck.

Ms. Baker also sees the transition to A Gallery as an opportunity to open up new vistas. “Since my work has been transitioning toward abstraction, I thought it would look great there,” she says. “It’s a beautiful space, and she has an eclectic range of artists.”

Although she likes the idea of showing in a larger space, Ms. Baker really appreciated the aesthetics of the Shaw Cramer Gallery: “It was a good fit for me. I like the way she [Ms. Shaw Cramer] curated the space. How she would create vignettes — some beautiful pottery or sculpture next to a painting. Nancy showed so many beautiful fine-arts crafts in interesting ways.” Ms. Baker is also represented by the Copley Society in Boston.

Other former Shaw Cramer artists have decided to go solo.

Marie-Louise Rouff saw the change as the impetus to establish her own studio gallery. “At 85, I’m not a spring chicken, but I still have energy and I still want to work,” she says. “I’m in one gallery in Los Angeles, but I’ve dropped everything else.”

“Showing in my own studio just seemed like the straightforward, simple thing to do. My production is certainly not going up. Before I had to work with many galleries — at least five or six. That’s a complicated life. I don’t want to do it anymore. If I can, I want to have a more contemplative life,” said Ms. Rouff.

Photographer Gary Mirando has long worked on his own, doing art reproduction and giclee print work as well as commercial and fine-art photography. He does magazine work and sells through his website “Basically, I’m not going to go to another gallery,” he says, “I do a lot of commission work.”

Ceramicist Jennifer McCurdy has always primarily sold her work through prestigious crafts shows all over the country, and through her website, “My market is national and international. A very small percentage is local,” says Ms. McCurdy. Still, she will miss the gallery for more personal reasons. “I’m not that financially impacted, but every time I was in Vineyard Haven I would stop by to say ‘hi.’ Nancy and I have been friends for almost 20 years. The reason I’m not more sad is that I know she’s happy. To me that’s the main thing,” said Ms. McCurdy.

Liz Taft will also be relying on other outlets that she has established over the years. She will be very busy this summer. “I’m represented by Gay Head Gallery, where I have been in conjunction with Shaw Cramer for the past few years,” she said. “I participate in the Artisans Festival on Labor Day and Thanksgiving. I am part of a Plein Air group called Aire, and we will be renting the Workshop in September to show our work. I’m also participating in the Vineyard Conservation Society’s 50th anniversary art show, which will be at the Granary Gallery this July. I show on Nantucket at Nantucket Looms, and my work is also available through my website,”

Photographer Karen DiMaura also has a presence outside of the Island that she will be continuing. “We live in Key Largo in the winter,” she says. “I’ve been a member of the art league down there for about five years.” Although she has no plans right now, Ms. DiMaura would like to eventually show at another local gallery.

Many of the former Shaw Cramer artists are part of an art group founded by the former gallery owner years ago. They appreciate the fact that they will be able to maintain close ties with their fellow artists. “Now we are all good friends,” says Ms. Rouff. “We all respect each other and listen to what each of us has to say.”

“Nancy has become a very good friend. I’m really grateful to her. On the one hand I am disappointed for myself, but for Nancy it was time. She didn’t just do the gallery with her left hand. It was a big chunk of her life she dedicated to it. People still say, ‘That was a wonderful gallery.’ Her reputation is just ringing around the island,” said Ms. Rouff.

As much as she will miss the gallery, Ms. Shaw Cramer is enjoying her newfound freedom: “This is the first May I’ve enjoyed on Martha’s Vineyard in 20 years.”