Supporting local artists has been one of the pillars of Nantucket Looms since its inception in 1968. A tradition pioneered by our founders, Bill Euler and Andy Oates, it has been upheld by their successor, Liz Winship, and current owners, Stephanie Hall, Rebecca Peraner, and Bess Clarke.

 

Stephanie, in particular, has spent the past 20 years bringing that tradition into her own home, creating a vast collection that now occupies every available wall. From her first days working at Nantucket Looms, Stephanie’s affinity developed from having been surrounded by beautiful works both in the shop and at home on Bear Street, owned by Bill & Andy (seasoned art collectors themselves). Inspired by her environment and her mentors, Stephanie invested in her first piece at the age of 25 – a small oil painting by Kevin Paulsen.

As Stephanie expressed her love for art to her friends and coworkers, they began to gift her pieces to celebrate special moments in her life. Liz, who also encouraged her interest, always gave her artwork. "Liz was always good at that. Instead of buying me a sweater, she would give me a piece of art, which was so meaningful". The Three Amigos by Anita Bierings, for example, was a gift from Liz when Stephanie's daughter, Morgan, was born. It is meant to represent their family.

(Top) The Three Amigos - Anita Bierings ; (Bottom) Late Night Town Study - Debroah Van der Wolk

Another gift from Liz to Stephie and her husband, Kevin, for their wedding, a Ken Layman painting (top). It hangs in her kitchen, the center of activity in her home. When designing her kitchen, Stephie decided against installing a backsplash to instead leave space to display artwork. 

Ken Layman piece (top); Painting by Robert Stark Jr. (bottom left) ; A photograph by Andy Oates (bottom right)

In Morgan's room hangs a gift for Stephie's 30th birthday, one of Becky Peraner’s woven sea-life vignettes. It has 31 starfish: one for every year with one extra for good luck. 

Once a piece that hung on the walls of Bill & Andy's Bear Street home, this Leigh Palmer painting was a 'Thank You' gift from Andy to Stephie. It is a warm reminder of her time living in Andy’s home, where she "gained an appreciation for being surrounded by beautiful things and the importance of home aesthetic."

Behind each piece of Stephanie’s art collection lies a story, adding interest for guests. For her, however, each piece is charged with a deep emotional connection. “My collection gives you a history of moments in time, like The Three Amigos. It means so much to me, but it also represents a moment in time for me and my family. Each piece represents a milestone. It’s a reflection of different points in my life."

A favorite of Stephie's - Madaket Harbor by Elizabeth Taft

 

 

Another gift from Andy, a photograph of the sunset he took from his island cottage, dubbed “The Shack".


Despite the impressive list of artists' works she owns, or the many places from which  they came, Steph strongly believes that the value of art is not based on how expensive the piece is or fame of its creator. "You don’t have to buy expensive artwork. It’s not about how much it costs, if you get a feeling from it. It's about the tone it sets for the house." In fact, some of her favorite pieces have unknown artists. This black and white abstract piece, for example, Stephie found at an antique show. It is unsigned, and its origin is unknown, yet it is one of her most cherished pieces. She loves the shapes as well as the composition, which for her is its most important feature.

 

A more recent piece she purchased by Penny Scheerer
Stephie's collection is what makes her home special and represents her aesthetic. “It makes our home feel eclectic and unique. It's unexpected and it's all meaningful to me." She often changes how she displays her work, playing with how each work interacts with the others for an outcome that is meant to inspire anyone who sees it. “I move my artwork around all the time. I love the fact that all the pieces can be reimagined all the time. I never buy a piece for a certain space. I don’t have a style; they are all different in their own way."
A mixed media piece by Richard Kemble - another favorite.
Stephanie stresses the benefits of collecting art to anyone. Her advice to the younger generation: buy a piece of artwork every year when you can. It will become so much more meaningful in the future. Even the simplest piece could represent one of the most important moments in your life.
(Right) Kevin Paulsen Painting ; (Left) Antique Island Fishing Map

 

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