Monday, March 18, 2019

Tangier Island, VA

      Tangier Island, VA., located in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, will most likely be gone in the next twenty years.  Climate change and sea erosion have doomed this truly unique place, displacing a people and wiping out a culture that has been there for over four centuries.  The entire island is less than 740 acres, with barely 83 habitable.  It is only 4 feet above sea level at its highest point, and that is changing rapidly.  The only way to get on or off the island is by boat or plane.  There are approximately 450 residents, most of whom can trace their lineage back to the 1700's.  Primarily watermen, crab and oysters, are their bread and butter.
   
"Tangier Island #1", Oil on Panel, 11"x 14"
"Tangier Island #2", Oil on Panel, 9"x 12"

 We visited the island this past September and it made a lasting impression on me. The roads are very narrow and most people get around on golf carts, bicycles, motorcycles, boats, or foot.  There are very few cars or trucks.  The town has one main street that runs past quaint old houses, a couple of restaurants, a gift shop, a museum, a grocery store, and an ice cream parlor.  There are a few cemeteries, a church, a marina, and one K-12 school. When we were there a good portion of the yards were flooded.  The island is so low that it is mostly marshland with bridges connecting the higher land masses.  We went for one day and I only brought my camera, but I hope to produce a series of paintings from my photographs and my memories.  These are the first two of my series.  Stay tuned for more!

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