Sculpture by James DeMartis
By Emily J. Weitz
As Dottie Simons and Carrie Leopold take the reins at Dodds and Eder, the expansive home furnishings stores in the back parking lot of Sag Harbor Village, they bring an appreciation of local artistic talent with them. As a result, they are diving right in with an opening this weekend for four local artists, who work in different mediums, from wood carving to painting to textiles to metal sculpture. Despite their different approaches, the artists’ work has the potential to make a statement in the home.
John Cino, a sculptor from Patchogue, works with wood in an organic, responsive way to create his hand-carved sculptures. Of the four pieces on display at Dodds and Eder, three are closely linked in a series called “Tome.”
“A tome is a heavy book,” explained Mr. Cino, “and they are all related to turning a book into a sculpture. The freestanding sculpture is meant to evoke a sense you get when you’re surrounded by books.”
Each of these pieces is about the size of a table top, between 11 inches wide and 19 inches tall. They are all carved from a single piece of mahogany.
Mr. Cino is patient in his work, and he clearly has a love affair with wood.
“The woods are beautiful in and of themselves,” he said, “and they get to be very seductive on their own.”
He recalls a time he was at the ocean with his son, and they encountered a giant piece of driftwood. When his son suggested he turn it into a work of art, Mr. Cino responded, “These are finished already.”
But that moment when you start to cut into the wood and reveal the grain, he says, that’s when you touch something beautiful.
Sagaponack resident Maria Schon is an oil painter who draws much of her inspiration from memories of her childhood in Venezuela. Her work is exclusively landscapes, but the landscapes often have a human quality to them.
“My landscapes can be very feminine, voluminous shapes,” said Ms. Schon, “that could be breasts or hips, the water or the ocean. There’s something very pregnant about the shapes and composition.”
Even though her work is representational, depicting mountains, water, and sky, she says she is always pushing it to the abstract level.
“It’s about shapes in the composition,” she said. “The ocean is a beautiful shape with texture. One of the qualities I try to capture within each piece is an atmospheric presence, a quality of light, all the pieces integrated into one composition.”
Even though her pieces may end up all over the world, she sees them as intimately related to one another.
“They are all interconnected,” Ms. Schon said. “Where one line ends in one painting, another will pick up. It’s a continuous motion of waves of shapes and that’s part of an unfolding narrative.”
East Hampton resident Casey Dalene is a textile painter, and on her fabrics you can actually see the texture of the brush strokes.
“I design the collection myself,” she said, “hand paint all the artwork, and have the fabrics printed with my patterns.”
She sees it as a crucial element of her work to show the artistic process and not let it get lost in the production.
“The goal with my textile designs is to show as much of the original artwork as possible. I want the hand of the artist to show in the prints,” she said.
The work she’ll show at Dodds and Eder was originally acrylic on paper that used a technique of dry brush strokes. This allows the viewer to see each individual bristle of the paint brush.
“This is just one of the ways I am working to bring the viewer closer to the artist behind the design,” Ms. Dalene said.
James DeMartis, an East Hampton-based metalworker and sculptor, will have three indoor pieces on display in this upcoming show, and then a fourth outdoor piece going up later in the summer.
The metal and glass pieces he’ll show are about 16 years old, and they come from a time when he was experimenting with the use of color and glass with wrought iron.
“The other piece is a bit more recent,” he said. “It’s an exploration of form and negative space.”
Mr. Demartis said he enjoys showing his older work, which he describes as more detailed than his newer, more minimal pieces. He was particularly happy to see how his metal and glass pieces played off the artwork of Ms. Schon.
“The pieces work beautifully together,” said M. Demartis. “The colors and forms play well together.”
He attributes this harmony to the collaboration between curator Kathy Zeiger and the new owners of Dodds and Eder.
“This is a promising collaboration,” he said, “for the space as well as for the community.”
He pointed out that, as a sculptor, it can be particularly challenging to find good venues to show his work.
“Dodds and Eder has plenty of floor space, and they welcome the work,” he said.
The show will be on display at Dodds and Eder at 11 Bridge Street in Sag Harbor until May 10, with an opening reception on Saturday, April 26, from 4 to 6 p.m.