‘Twas The #ACK Before Christmas

Nantucket, Overlooking Old North Wharf

Nantucket, Overlooking Old North Wharf

Translating to the “far away land,” Nantucket epitomizes the sense of naturalistic living through its windswept beaches, blinking lighthouses and charming sand dunes. There is no wonder why it’s a second home for New Englanders during the peak summer months. With a charm that transcends through the ages, Nantucket is the foundational inspiration for an array of artists like, Herman Melville who embodies the richness of the waters and the dominance of the whales in the seaport town of Nantucket with a simple line from Moby-Dick, “Two thirds of this terraqueous globe are the Nantucketer’s. For the sea is his; he owns it, as Emperors own empires.”

A sea vessel passing Brant Point Lighthouse on its way into the Boat Basin.
A sea vessel passing Brant Point Lighthouse on its way into the Boat Basin.

With an abundance of historical detail, Nantucket’s charm continues to be the inspirational undertone in today’s works of art. The historical details and passion for Nantucket resonates with Judi Vaillancourt, Artist and Co-owner of Vaillancourt Folk Art, as she embraces the elements in The Nantucket Collection from Vaillancourt Chalkware. The beauty of Nantucket has consistently appealed to artists throughout the history of the island and has been exquisitely captured time and time again through a variation of brush strokes, sculptures, and fine details. Undoubtedly, The Nantucket Collection is a tangible piece of the island’s history.

Introduced in 2008 at the Event Under the Tent benefit for Nantucket’s early education school, Small Friends of Nantucket, the collection was an instant success. The first batch of the collection sold out immediately, validating Judi Vaillancourt’s inevitable impression of the island.

Sailor's Valentine Santa - New for 2016
Sailor’s Valentine Santa – New for 2016

Each piece in The Nantucket Collection, is held to the highest standards of details, historical accuracy and the fine tuning of the island’s predominate seaport culture. The Brant Point Santa, the sixth piece on the Nantucket Summer Santa Series, focuses on the replication of a South-Eastern view of Nantucket. Drawn by John Warner Barber in the book, Historical Collections, History and Antiquities of EVERY Town in Massachusetts, the South-Eastern view of Nantucket captures the very essence that has made Nantucket the charming sister island to Martha’s Vineyard. Infusing the shore of the inner harbor on the robe of the Brant Point Santa with the decorative Nantucket basket and redware plate, the collection’s purpose is delicately personified in this sixth piece. While other pieces in the collection add a definitive seaport lifestyle like that seen in the Nantucket Ship with Santa – the third piece of the Summer Beach Series, portraying Santa on a sailboat while wearing appropriate flip flops.

Merging a whimsical holiday filled with Christmas spirit and décor with a nautical theme has allowed the Nantucket Summer Series to captivate an audience and create an impressionable sense of nostalgia – urging collectors to grip the unique presence of Christmas in Nantucket. For Nantucket enthusiasts, the appreciation of The Nantucket Collection and the Nantucket Summer Santa Series, holds a deep connection to the roots of New England and add an invaluable tradition.

The 2016 piece is the Sailor’s Valentine Santa… and, for fun, his companion, Nantucket Nate.

The Nantucket Chalkware Collection as of 2014.
The Nantucket Chalkware Collection as of 2014.