The Tonic Artspace Returns with “Phenomena” at the Kathryn Markel Gallery

Posted on 18 February 2014

A print by Grant Haffner. Courtesy of the artist.

A print by Grant Haffner. Courtesy of the artist.

By Tessa Raebeck

A contemporary art collective in constant movement, both in theory and action, the Tonic Artspace returns with “Phenomena” at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in Brigehampton.

Springs-raised Grant Haffner founded the Tonic Artspace as a way to showcase the East End’s emerging artists and challenge the limits of the traditional art show. Through his collective, Haffner brings unique group shows to different venues, using the experience both as inspiration for his own work and as a way to spread the talent of his friends, family and neighbors.

"Portrait of Phil Haffner" by Lori Weiss, 1974. Courtesy of Grant Haffner.

“Portrait of Phil Haffner” by Lori Weiss, 1974. Courtesy of Grant Haffner.

An “undefined, forever evolving pop-up art promoting machine that understands no boundaries,” the Tonic Artspace returns this year with “Phenomena,” which will showcase the work of six emerging East End artists. A 1974 portrait of Philip Clark Haffner by artist Lori Weiss will also be on view in memoriam of Mr. Haffner’s father, who passed away February 6.

Color print by Arrex. Courtesy of Grant Haffner.

Color print by Arrex. Courtesy of Grant Haffner.

The Tonic Artspace is an extension of Bonac Tonic, a collective of local up-and-coming artists founded in 2005 by Mr. Haffner and his twin sister Carly, who is also a painter and will exhibit her latest works in the show.

Inspired by the “phenomena” of death and severe illness in his family, the artist Arrex will show a series of screen-printed and hand cut skulls that “serve as a small reminder of our mortality and the fragility in life.”

The show also includes the work of painter and sculptor Maeve D’Arcy of Queens and Christine Lidrbauch, who uses various media and recycled objects “to communicate a melding of male and female cultures.”

The imaginative creatures and installations of Scott Gibbons, a core artist of the collective and “a creator of worlds unbeknown to conventional art circles,” will also be on display.

The “Phenomena” opening reception will be held February 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Kathryn Markel Fine Arts gallery, 2418 Main Street in Bridgehampton. For more information, visit here.

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- who has written 426 posts on The Sag Harbor Express.

Arts Editor and Education Reporter for the Sag Harbor Express. Covering the East End with a focus on arts, education and the police blotter. Twitter: @TessaRaebeck

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