Mount Sinai Inside November, 19, 2018:
Martha's Vineyard Magazine
Where the Paint Hits the Road
Some works of art are an invitation to participate; others, like Frances McGuire’s oil paintings on canvas, are an invitation to reflect. “I’m a documentarian,” said McGuire, “but, let me clarify: I’m not a realist, or a purist. Ifictionalize what I see and feel based on the intensity of my emotional connection to a site.” And for decades – with a disquieting gap lasting many years between – she’s held steadfast focus on Oak Bluffs, or as this Jackson Heights, Queens-raised artist said, “The Vineyard, specifically Oak Bluffs, is my emotional home. I created my reality here, starting in the ninth grade, when I visited on an American Youth Hostel cycling trip.”
Other visits to the Island fed her spirit during her time as a student at the prestigious High School of Art and Design in Manhattan, and then Queens College, where she was taught largely by working artists responding to the grit and chaos of a 1970s-early 1980s New York City. “In the summer of my senior year of high school, my love affair with Oak Bluffs deepened,” recalled McGuire, her eyes scanning the room as if gazing through a window in time. “Earlier that spring, I wrote a letter to [Paul] Chase, the owner of the then Wesley House (now Summercamp hotel) asking for a summer job, and he said, ‘Yes!’” She smiled, “Actual letters. Handwritten.”...