When Andrew Moore opened his show, Through the Seasons, on July 30, he was just one of three artists featured in the Moore Family Gallery. His 27-year-old daughter, Hannah Moore, has just finished her Reverie exhibition, which ran from Saturday, July 2 to Wednesday, July 27, and is planning another show at the gallery in two years. Andrew Gordon Moore’s 25-year-old son will be exhibiting his ceramics in Exploring Porcelain at the gallery next summer.
This is the second year for the Moore Family Gallery. “It seemed like such a natural path,” Andrew said in a recent interview. He credits his two children with rejuvenating the gallery after running it for 20 years. “We were all drawing from the inside,” he says. The three used 30 gallons of white paint, transforming what was Andrew Moore Gallery—both physically and emotionally. “It’s all ours now,” says Andrew. He also found that his two children brought a lot from the world of technology. “Everything has become more efficient,” he says. He found it so invigorating to watch them develop individually as artists.
The family tradition goes back longer than these three. Andrew’s great-great-grandfather was a Hudson River School painter, his late mother was a drawing teacher and painter, and his father was an architect. His brother, Ali Moore, is the art director of MV magazine, and his sister, Nina Howell, is a kitchen designer for the Vineyard Home Center in Vineyard Haven. “There’s a lot of energy. It’s kind of a family calling,” says Andrew. The gallery will be open all year round, by appointment in the off-season.
“Coming to the Vineyard was a big adventure for me,” says Andrew. “For them, it’s just the opposite. Who knows what direction they will go.”
He describes himself as a very realistic artist. He does not reproduce an exact moment in his paintings, but creates a new moment in oil, egg tempera or watercolor. His painting “In the Stream” is an example of what he is talking about. In these paintings with a human element like “Hannah” he creates a mixture of the concrete world with a distillation of memories. “People are part of everything,” he says. “They’re in the world they work in.” The portrait in “Hannah” includes the trees and daffodils planted when she was a little girl. “The painting is an exploration of her world, which is contemplative,” he says.
Discussing his landscapes, Andrew says, “After painting the vineyard for over 40 years, it’s still an exploration of that place.” Many of his oil paintings, such as ‘Flurry’, take a year or more to create. “It’s a lot of learning about where we live.” After his show opens Aug. 30, he’ll go to Tenants Harbor, Maine, near Penobscot Bay. He used to visit his mother who lived there but died four years ago. He is now with Hannah and Gordon.
At 18, he was a dishwasher at the Black Dog Tavern and cleaned fish with Jack Livingston. He was painting a watercolor of a school of bluefish on the dining room table after work. His grandmother came with a friend who wanted to buy it. “That was the beginning of the end of my career as a dishwasher,” he said, and began exhibiting at the Old Sculpin Gallery in Edgartown. Andrew attended architecture school at the University of Virginia, but it was the lure of painting that attracted him. Raised in the Boston area, he moved to the Vineyard in 1985. After the Old Sculpin Gallery, he exhibited at the Field Gallery. Performances followed in the Granary. His painting combines his interest in design, something he explored in college. “There are certain designs in everything,” he says.
Hannah followed in her parents’ footsteps. He began college at Syracuse University, then transferred to the Rhode Island School of Design. “Most of my work is nature-based,” she says. He paints with oil paints, paints with watercolor and ink birds, as well as the flora around them. “The birds are the focal point,” she adds, as with After the Rain. When she exhibited at the Field Gallery in West Tisbury last year, most of her works sold out.
Her brother Gordon moved to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York. “We still want to keep his work in the gallery,” she says. Hannah notes that his work is influenced by Martha’s Vineyard and points out the fish and birds shown on the surface of his ceramic pieces. In her own work, she likes to explore the natural history of plants. “I like to learn about a lot of plants,” she says, also using field guides for research.
When her father’s show comes up, she says, “In September, we’ll put together the work that’s left and have a group show by the end of the year.”
Andrew Moore, Through the Seasons, Moore Family Gallery, Harthaven, Oak Bluffs, through August 31. For more information visit moorefamilygallery.com.