Anglers and armchair fishing fans alike will have the chance to hang a piece of the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby on their wall by entering the derby awards ceremony raffle on Sunday at Nectar’s. Five artists, working in a variety of media, have donated pieces from their collections to the raffle in an effort representative of the overall camaraderie of the fishing community.
No effort was needed to encourage artists Alexander Carreno, Brian Kirkpatrick, Steve London, George Luccozi and George Scott of Scott & Nix, Inc. to donate, however. Indeed, Mr. Kirkpatrick donated his large Lucky 13 painting to derby committee member Wilson Kerr on the spot after Mr. Kerr happened to walk by Mr. Kirkpatrick’s Oak Bluffs home last month and comment on the colorful pieces of art displayed on the porch.
“It was incredibly generous,” said Mr. Kerr, adding that Mr. Kirkpatrick also donated four hand-painted cigar boxes to the raffle (Mr. Kirkpatrick regularly contributes boxes to the charity fundraiser Red Bone Fishing Tournaments each year). The boxes feature images of bass and bluefish — tarpon and other warm-water fish appear on the Red Bone boxes — modeled after photos of actual fish that are caught during the derby.
Fish are absent from Lucky 13 itself, which depicts brightly colored lures painted in Mr. Kirkpatrick’s self-taught folk art style.
Some days later Mr. Kerr mentioned the painting to fellow longtime committee member Steve London. Mr. London, who practices the Japanese art of gyotaku, a printing technique that uses the fish itself as the base, was in turn inspired to contribute one of his own pieces to the raffle. His pieces also are currently on display at the Louisa Gould Gallery in Vineyard Haven.
The serendipitous series of events continued. Mr. Carreno joined the cause after his knife-painting work was spotted at the West Tisbury Artisans’ Festival, while Mr. Luccozi, a longtime derby participant and photographer, had simply been trying to find a way to give back to the event last year. Many of the photographs available in the raffle represent actual derby happenings.
Mr. Scott, of Scott & Nix printing company, has provided notecards and framed prints of derby fish for the past two years. The prints feature work by artist Flick Ford.
“People love the derby,” said Mr. Kerr, “and [the artists] are lucky enough to combine it with what they do for a living.
“It’s a story of how fishing ties people together.”