At Coastal Design, you’ll get the best in home interior design and garden ideas, while joining us in building community, promoting sustainable practices and supporting charitable organizations.
Established in 2018, Oak Tree Media LLC publishes Coastal Design, a quarterly luxury shelter and lifestyle publication with informative articles by nationally known writers and photographers. Coastal Design features content for readers who are passionate about home design, gardening, travel, dining, arts, entertainment and more. With a commitment to community, each issue features inspiring stories of the people and places that make seaside living special.
Our magazine is distributed to consumers and businesses along the Southern Maine Coast, the New Hampshire Seacoast, and North Shore of Massachusetts via subscriptions, demographic mailings, and newsstand sales. A vibrant online presence, including our website and social media channels, offers our readers fresh, current content.
Publisher and Owner
Following her dream of a career in arts and education, Margie earned her degree in early education from Springfield College. After six years of teaching, she moved into the business world to help her husband start Adaptive Communications. Over time her role grew from bookkeeping tasks to serving as vice president of finance. She was named Financial Executive of the Year by New Hampshire Business Review in 2014. In 2018 she launched Oak Tree Media and is the publisher of Coastal Design. Margie and her husband Steve have three children and one grandson. Both native New Englanders, they have lived on the seacoast since 1986. “There is no better place to live.”
“In the world of design, every day is filled with new possibilities,” says Gail Ravgiala, who signed on as editor of Coastal Design after a brief hiatus from publishing. The former editor of Design New England, a shelter magazine published by the Boston Globe until late 2018, sees joining our team as an opportunity to feed her passion for bringing inspiration to readers. “The New England coast is ripe with iconic architecture, design, and landscapes,” she says. “I love celebrating the work of the many talented designers, architects, builders, and craftspeople in the region.” When not covering other people’s homes, she is making improvements to her own 1886 Boston Victorian. “I waited 16 years to renovate that house and now it truly feels like home.”
Marsha’s calling as a designer emerged early—she began her career at 16 as an intern at Frank Thompson Associates, an advertising firm in Billerica, MA. After attending college at the New England School of Art and Design in Boston, she worked at agencies and Seacoast publications as a graphic designer, art director, and creative director. From the start, she’s been key to giving Coastal Design its fresh modern look. Marsha is passionate about interior and landscape design and enjoys meeting homeowners and producing photo shoots of their condos, houses, and gardens. She lives on the coast of Maine with her husband Brian. They have two daughters and one grandson.
With a community-focused culture, Coastal Design is committed to collaborating with non-profit organizations in a meaningful way. In each issue, our staff will share a personal story with our audience, delivering insightful, firsthand experience about their chosen charity. Perhaps you will find inspiration and connection to these featured causes.
By Gail Ravgiala, Editor
It is a sunny late fall afternoon, and Gateway Arts Studio is a busy, yet intensely quiet place. Concentration makes no sound as people work at making art. Some are painting; some are drawing; others are creating images on electronic tablets. There are weavers, jewelry crafters, writers of poetry and prose. Each one is making a life, and aiming for a career, in art.
The artists may have psychiatric or intellectual disabilities, visual and/or hearing impairments, head injuries, or an autism spectrum disorder. “What Gateway does,” says the studio’s director, Rae Edelson, “is zero in on the small part of the population that can engage in art.” Here they find an environment where an extraordinary staff helps them develop their talents and become more independent members of the community. The studio, which includes a retail store on Harvard Street in Brookline, Massachusetts, is one of a consortium of 29 such art centers in the world. The artists sell their work through the store, online, and at some off-site shows and keep 50 percent of the proceeds.
The program was founded in 1973 to serve individuals living in the community after the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health deinstitutionalized state schools. Edelson was appointed director in 1978. “At the time, this was a revolutionary idea,” she says.
“We had 10 artists with disabilities, a $60,000 budget, and did $800 in sales.” Soon after, it became part of Vinfen, a nonprofit health and human services organization with an entrepreneurial spirit. “They encouraged me to expand the program,” says Edelson, which she did with great success as she adapted to a changing social services and creative arts landscape.
Today, Gateway serves 100 artists, ages 22 to 80. The staff, now 25 strong, is trained in art and human services. Artistic director Stephen DeFronzo, who joined the team in 1987, has broadened programming exponentially to include digital art and animation, ceramics, folk and fiber art. Community engagement has become integral, with Gateway artists taking field trips to galleries and museums and working artists visiting Gateway or welcoming Gateway artists to their studios. “The artists really enjoy going out into the community,” says Sarah Kershaw, community integration coordinator. “They return to Gateway excited and inspired by things they’ve seen and experiences they’ve had.”
Gateway has an operating budget of $2 million, but as with most nonprofit organizations that count on government dollars to support their programs, funding is a constant challenge and fundraising is critical.
After 46 years of growth and change, Edelson and her staff look to the future. They would like to offer more personalized services, for one. They’ve been renting the Brookline space since 1980, and the current lease expires in 2025. Their dream is to find a permanent space that can be tailored to its specific needs. It’s a tall order for a small organization to accomplish, but Gateway might just be the little engine that could.
For more information about Gateway Arts or to learn how you can get involved, visit Gatewayarts.org.
60-62 Harvard Street