Tag Archive | "Ashawagh Hall"

Plein Air Peconic Celebrates Land, Sea, Sky

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Hendrickson Farm by Kathryn Szoka.

Hendrickson Farm by Kathryn Szoka.

“Land, Sea, Sky,” Plein Air Peconic’s Ninth Annual Show, will debut with an artists reception this Saturday, October 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Ashawagh Hall, 780 Springs Fireplace Road in East Hampton. The show will be on view throughout Columbus Day weekend.

“Land, Sea, Sky” celebrates art inspired by direct observation of the East End’s cherished local farmlands, wildflower fields, salt marshes, and beaches in an exhibition and sale by the artists of Plein Air Peconic.  Many landscapes that have been conserved by Peconic Land Trust will be included.  Plein Air Peconic includes painters Casey Chalem Anderson, Susan D’Alessio, Aubrey Grainger, Anita Kusick, Keith Mantell, Michele Margit, Joanne Rosko, and photographers Tom Steele, Kathryn Szoka.  Plein Air Peconic has announced that two guest painters, Ty Stroudsburg and Gail Kern, will be exhibiting as well.

The show will partially benefit the Peconic Land Trust. To learn more about the artists of Plein Air Peconic visit PleinAirPeconic.com.


East End Weekend: Labor Day Highlights

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Danielle Leef, "Flying Point Sunrise." Courtesy Southampton Artists Association.

Danielle Leef, “Flying Point Sunrise.” Courtesy Southampton Artists Association.

By Tessa Raebeck

With the East End at full capacity this Labor Day, what better way to unwind from a crazy summer than with a little party hopping? Here’s our highlights of what to check out this weekend:


With an opening reception on Sunday, the Southampton Artists Association Labor Day Show will show paintings, photography and sculptures by local artists.

The free reception is from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Levitas Center for the Arts in the Southampton Cultural Center, located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton. The show runs through September 7.


The king of nerd humor and that stand-up comedian who doodles on television, Demetri Martin is coming to the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Sunday, August 31.

He earned an Emmy nomination as a writer on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” has been a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and starred in the Ang Lee film “Taking Woodstock.” He also created and starred in the series “Important Things with Demetri Martin” on Comedy Central and wrote “This is a Book by Demetri Martin,” a New York Times bestseller.

Jeanelle Myers, "Untitled," for "Curious" at Ashawagh Hall.

Jeanelle Myers, “Untitled,” for “Curious” at Ashawagh Hall.

Mr. Martin’s performance at the will begin at 8 p.m. The PAC is located at 76 Main Street in Westhampton Beach. Tickets are $60, $75, and $90. For tickets and more information, call (631) 288-1500 or visit WHBPAC.org.


On Saturday at Ashawagh Hall in Springs, “Curious” exhibits a selection of contemporary artists exploring the concept of “Curious and Curiosity.”

Works include painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media. Out of 50 participating artists, five are from Sag Harbor: Ted Asnis, Barbara Freedman, Jonathan Morse, Jeanelle Myers and Pamela Topham.

The group show is curated by Ellen Dooley, a painter and mixed media artist focused on social and political commentary.

An opening reception for “Curious” will be held on Saturday, August 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. The gallery is open all weekend from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ashawagh Hall, located at 780 Springs Fireplace Road at Old Stone Highway in East Hampton. For more information, call (631) 987-7005.


At the Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor, Sheryl Budnik will show her work in “Turbulence II,” open from August 28 to September 18. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, August 30, from 5 to 7 p.m.

“The term ‘Lumen Naturae–the Light Within the Darkness of Nature’ refers to the Middle Age idea (Paracelsus c. 1493-1541) that knowledge springs from the Light of Nature,” Ms. Budnik said in a press release issued by the gallery.

“This light in Nature illuminates the consciousness and allows inspiration and intuition to rise from human subconscious,” the artist continued. “This is the core of my study; this is what I want to capture with my paint. Not paintings defined as ‘seascape’ or ‘landscape,’ but paintings so powerfully about nature that an open spirit responds with human emotion and an intuitive understanding of the immensity and power of Nature itself.”

The Romany Kramoris Gallery is located at 41 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call (631) 725-2499.

Sheryl Budnik, "Light at the End of the Day" will be on view at the Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor.

Sheryl Budnik, “Light at the End of the Day” will be on view at the Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor.


“People, Places, Things” Art Show at Ashawagh Hall

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P1160001ball Jars 30x30

Scott Hewett, “Ball Jars,” 30 by 30 acrylic

Eight East End painters and photographers will come together for a good cause next weekend at “People, Places, Things” at Ashawagh Hall in Springs. The show, which features both renowned and up and coming artists, will raise awareness and funds for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research through the New England Parkinson’s Ride.

Linda and John Philip Carpello, Mary Finalborgo Manzo, Scott Hewett, Ann and Anthony Lombardo, Carisa and Eileen Dawn Skretch are the participating artists.

The diverse pieces of work, including photography and paintings, shows tattooed bodies, sketched figures, portraits, local landscapes, still life artwork and contemporary designs.

One of the artists has a family member living with Parkinson’s disease, thus, the others in the collective decided to band together in support of research.

“We realized each of us knew someone who is affected by this debilitating disease,” Eileen Skretch, an artist and the show’s organizer, said.

“People, Places, Things,” will be on view April 19 and 20, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a reception for the public on Saturday, April 19 from 5 to 8 p.m. Ashawagh Hall is on the intersection of Springs Fireplace Road and Old Stone Highway in East Hampton. For more information about the artists and exhibition, call 516.380.7032. For information on the New England Parkinson’s Ride or the Michael J. Fox Foundation, visit michaeljfox.org.

“Winter of Content” Group Show at Ashawagh Hall in Springs

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By Tessa Raebeck

Starting Saturday, February 15 through Monday, February 17, Ashawagh Hall in Springs is hosting “Winter of Content,” an art show featuring the photography and painting of four East End artists, Kirsten Benfield, Rich Mothes, Jennifer Satinsky and Jerry Schwab.

A native of New Zealand, Kirsten Benfield now resides on the East End, where she uses the environment as inspiration for her local landscapes and season still lifes.

Rich Mothes grew up in East Hampton, leaving for college only to return to Southampton College for graduate studies. After 22 years in the tennis business, Mothes is now focusing solely on his artwork, experimenting with various styles and materials.

With a background in family portraiture, Jennifer Satinsky of Satin Sky Photo is now focusing her talent on fine art boudoir, with the goal of empowering clients to love their bodies through realistic yet classic photographs.

Painting “for the eyes and the soul,” Jerry Schwabe’s work primarily features serene beach scenes from local shores. A painter, photographer and sculptor, Schwabe has displayed his award-winning work in countless group shows and solo exhibitions, but “Winter of Content” marks the first time he will unveil his photography.

“Winter of Content” will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 16 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, February 17, with an opening reception Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Ashawagh Hall, 780 Springs-Fireplace Road in Springs.

Exhibit Celebrates East End’s Wild Side

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web Lavendar Before Twilight 24 x 36 oil on canvas

By Marianna Levine

 “My tribute to the landscape is to paint it,” explains local artist Grant Haffner, who will be part of this year’s Labor Day Landscape Show, entitled A Walk on the Wild Side, opening on Friday September 4 at Ashawagh Hall in Springs. It’s a show in which a portion of the proceeds benefits The Nature Conservancy.

Haffner is one of 13 artists who were asked by the show’s organizer, photographer Tom Steele, to contribute work to a show that focuses on how nature and the landscape inspires artists. Casey Chalem Anderson, another exhibitor, who assisted Steele in this year’s planning of the exhibit, explains, “We really emphasize a mix of artists that take the local landscape as their inspiration.” She muses this doesn’t mean the show is all plein air landscapes, but encompasses abstract and three dimensional work as well.

For example, Heffner, who is exhibiting for the first time in this group show, takes his inspiration from the roads he drives as much as from the natural bays and beaches of the East End. He paints in bright colors, and although very figurative, his images have a pop art feel to them.

Haffner is a native East Ender who grew up in East Hampton, but is currently relocating to North Haven, which he states has already changed what he is painting.

“My drive each day to work inspires me the most. I’m now painting a lot of Long Beach, and I think I will try to include the harbor and bridge too.” 

However, he decided to focus on Accabonac Harbor for the paintings he is exhibiting at Ashawagh Hall, since the show’s theme is beaches, bays, and salt marshes.

Barbara Pintauro Lobosco, who’s exhibiting her paintings for the second time, enthuses, “I like to be involved with a group that preserves the land. Especially since I love to paint what is uniquely here in the Hamptons.”

Like Anderson, she explains that the work in the show isn’t necessarily plein air painting, and that her’s certainly isn’t. Although she has primarily worked with representing the sky and the sea, her primary interest is in color, and lately trees and the land have inspired her. Also like Haffner she is a long-time resident of the area, having raised a family out here as well as serving on the board of directors of the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum. All artists including Anderson say the area’s beauty is their main inspiration and all feel they have a deep relationship with the East End.

Anderson, a native New Yorker, who lived for a long time in California, returned to the east coast and Sag Harbor about 17 years ago. She noted her work was primarily figurative until she moved here and focused more and more on landscapes.

 “I really relate to the horizontal landscape, and I really rely on the natural landscape as my inspiration to paint. I feel I really got lucky living here,” Anderson explains, and then elaborates on her reason for wanting to support the Nature conservancy.

“I’m very aware of the fragility of the land that the Nature Conservancy protects,” she said. “If we don’t take care of it, it will no longer be as pristine.”

Haffner completely agrees, “It’s nice to contribute something to the Nature Conservancy because they preserve the landscape I use as my inspiration.” And goes on to add, “the landscape here is so beautiful. It has great feeling and energy. At the end of my busy day — and you know you have to work hard to live out here as an artist — I can still sit down and watch a sunset on a beach. I’ve driven across the country but nothing inspires me like here.”

Steele has been putting this show together for five years and selects all the artists who exhibit their work in the show. As well as photography and painting, the exhibit also includes three-dimensional work and tapestry, giving it an interesting eclectic mix. Anderson states, “We’ve had some very successful shows in terms of viewers and sales.”

The show will run at Ashawagh Hall through September 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with an opening reception on Saturday, September 5 from 5-8 p.m.

Brothers in Art: DeVitos show together for the first time in 25 years

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Though they live hundreds of miles apart, Vito DeVito and his brother Joe are kindred spirits. Both men are artists (left handed incidentally) who have had stellar careers in their respective fields. But their artistic styles couldn’t be more divergent. While Vito has found his calling in sporting and wildlife art — he’s created legendary images for Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International and The International Game Fish Association — Joe’s artistic successes lie in the realm of science fiction, fantasy and comic book graphic art (he designed several covers for MAD Magazine, including the last cover of the 20th century).

This weekend, Vito and Joe DeVito will join forces in “Brothers in Art: A 25 Year Retrospective” at Ashawagh Hall. This show represents the first time that the brothers have shared a venue and on view will be a diverse assortment of work covering the last quarter century of both careers.

“Vito and I have been influencing each other our whole lives, and this is first time we’ve had a show,” says Joe.

“That’s why we’re doing the show,” says Vito. “Something like this is good for brothers. Though our studios are distant, we still talk on the phone on a daily basis and collaborate on a number of levels.”

The story of the DeVito brothers began more than 50 years ago on Manhattan’s west side in the family’s brownstone in Hell’s Kitchen. Despite their mutual talent for art, Joe, who is seven years younger than Vito, maintains there was virtually no sibling rivalry between them growing up.

“I consider myself very lucky,” says Joe. “Vito was my idol. When you’re a little kid, seven years is a big difference and any question I had, he had the answer to.”

“Half of my artistic training was actually going into his room and copying his drawings when he was at school,” admits Joe. “He was doing a lot of everything. I used to make sure I was sick a lot.”

“After a while he was getting sloppy, so I knew he was in there,” says Vito. “Sometimes I’d take my good pencils and put them in boxes and hide them. I wrote on one of them, ‘Joe, if you find this I’m going to know and I’m going to get you.’”

“I still have that box,” laughs Joe.

“If I was in his shoes I’d do the same,” says Vito.

During those “sick-outs” young Joe also spent a lot of time watching the Million Dollar Movie over and over again on channel 9 particularly “King Kong.” With the Empire State Building only blocks away, the giant ape and the scene of his demise became very much a part of Joe’s psyche.

“The thing about ‘King Kong,’ it was a different world,” he adds. “Fifty years ago, there were no special effects. A movie like ‘King Kong’ blew my mind.”

In fact, in the 2004 illustrated novel “Kong: King of Skull Island” Joe and co-writer Brad Strickland explore what happened to Kong and his owner 25 years after he fell from the Empire State Building. The book has been adapted into a screenplay with the film now in pre-production.

“Vito was into the monster magazines and comic books,” says Joe. “They were the best. That formed us. Vito was the first to sit me down to watch ‘King Kong.’”

While Joe was busy studying comic books and old movies as a child, Vito was out exploring the natural world in Manhattan.

“Even in New York City, he’d bring fish home that he caught in the ponds in Central Park,” says Joe.

“My mom would jump at the sight of a squirrel,” adds Vito. “I’d put carp the size of my leg in the bathtub.”

“I always liked the figure,” says Vito, who’s first recognition as an artist came for a drawing of the Madonna and child he entered in a Catholic school art competition as a student. “The figurative side of both our careers has always been there. I started out doing portraits and life size commission busts.”

Both brothers have also crossed over into sculpting market. Joe, a big fan of Michelangelo and DaVinci, recently had the opportunity to branch out into what is known as the sacred arts with his own version of the Madonna and child.

“I always had a desire to do monumental work like that,” says Joe. “I got my chance with a two times life size Madonna and child statue for the Blue Army Shrine in Washington, N.J.”

Joe explains that Blue Army Shrines are located around the world and are extensions of the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Portugal. In order to be approved, the design for the sculpture had to be presented at the international meeting in Portugal.

“They loved it so much they wanted one there too,” says Joe. “It’s an eight foot tall seated figure — if Mary were to stand up she’d be 11 feet tall.”

“It’s quite a dichotomy,” says Vito of his brother’s work. “MAD Magazine to sacred art.”

Vito recently finished his first two bronzes, “Right in Season,” a sculpture of three stripped bass feeding underwater and another featuring three Canadian geese in the wild.

“The medium is prohibitive cost wise, time wise and sales wise,” says Vito. “When I went back into New York I picked a gallery with a bronze background and international clients. I needed a good basis to fund sculpting. It’s allowed me to do these first two bronzes. I started as figurative sculptor, but since I’ve been doing sporting art for the last 15 years, I started doing nature oriented sculpture.”

“I’d love to work on monumental pieces together,” says Vito, envisioning another partnership with his brother.

Because of the wide ranging interests of Vito and Joe, visitors to their Ashawagh Hall show can expect to see an equally diverse collection of work.

“It’s that wide spectrum that the show’s going to have,” says Vito. “We will have a lot of fun, and there’s a lot of art we can pick from.”

“It’s not your usual art show where there’s a theme,” says Joe. “This will be a range of stuff — very esoteric and we hope very engaging.”

“It’s 25 years of professional work,” says Vito. “It covers a lot of subject matter.”

“Concerning our show, we approach art as Art – with a capital A,” adds Joe. “Generally speaking, people try to subdivide it by genre — fine art, sculpture, printmaking. Even for artists, but certainly for the lay person, it’s easier to latch onto that way.”

“But Art with an A is an intimidating thing because it’s infinite,” he adds. “Just because an artist is a fine artist or a sculptor, it does not negate the other ways of expressing creativity. We go and do the things we do because we love them.”

“I’ve always done the things that have fascinated me,” he says. “You have to be true to yourself.”

And when it comes right down to it, though accolades may come and accolades may go, for these artists, there’s nothing like receiving a little pat on the back from family.

“Nothing beats having a show with your older brother,” says Joe. “You can meet all the famous people in the world but it ain’t the same as getting a nod of approval from your older brother.”

“Vito and Joe DeVito — Brothers In Art: 25 Year Retrospective” runs Friday, October 17 through Sunday, October 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at Ashawagh Hall on Springs Fireplace Road, East Hampton. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, October 18 from 5 to 8 p.m.  

Above: Vito DeVito’s painting “Trolling for Stripers”