A quick chat with local sculptor Billy Sherry.
N MAGAZINE: What first brought you to Nantucket?
SHERRY: My high school girlfriend’s sister, Cameron Hough, lived here. I came here three days after graduating from college in 1976. I liked the weather. My first job was with Jim Tyler painting houses.
N MAGAZINE: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
SHERRY: I studied poetry and creative writing, and played football at Georgetown University.
N MAGAZINE: Where do you draw your inspiration from when creating a piece?
SHERRY: It is less about inspiration than my faith and perseverance in the creative process: Show up, work, don’t give up, and something will happen.
N MAGAZINE: When was the golden era on Nantucket, or are we in it?
SHERRY: I don’t subscribe to the question of “golden age.” Ages are fluid. We have grown considerably since I came here in the late 70s — more people, more cultural diversity. It has gone from sleepy to vibrant, and I appreciate the richness we still have and understand the difficulties we face. It still takes a boat to get home!
N MAGAZINE: What would you like to see more of in the island art scene?
SHERRY: I would like to see more exhibitions like the Arts Council Show every fall (curated by Reggie Levine) that encourage all ages and types of creative expression.
N MAGAZINE: You work as a private chef during the summers; what is the quintessential dinner on Nantucket?
SHERRY: Littlenecks and oysters. Smoked bluefish pate. Tomato salad with basil, balsamic and olive oil. Grilled halibut with mango salsa and corn.
N MAGAZINE: If you were put in charge of creating a time capsule for the island so that people would understand Nantucket 200 years from now, what five items would you put in it?
SHERRY: Surfboard, photo of Ted Anderson, dirt from dirt roads in the moors, Land Bank charter, arrowhead.