Tag Archive | "Bits & Banter"

Female Friendship, Literature and Obsession in “Shirley”

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By Tessa Raebeck

Author Susan Scarf Merrell will read from "Shirley" June 21 at BookHampton in Southampton.

Author Susan Scarf Merrell will read from “Shirley” June 21 at BookHampton in Southampton.

While writing “Shirley,” Susan Scarf Merrell worried for her protagonist, Rose. Rose is caught between the world in her own head and the real one outside of it in the novel, which examines themes of obsession, creativity and womanhood in the 1960s.

Shirley,” which Ms. Merrell will read from at BookHampton in Southampton Saturday, centers on the relationships that evolve when pregnant Rose and her husband Fred move in with celebrated writer Shirley Jackson and her husband, the literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman. With dark twists and multilayered characters, the historical fiction novel celebrates literature while delving into its underbelly.

“Reading both Shirley and Stanley’s letters, journal entries, essays and books, I began to hear the voice of Rose developing in my mind,” Ms. Scarf Merrell said in a press release. “The shift from researching a non-fiction work to beginning a novel was quite abrupt.”

“One sudden moment of realization (I was out in the woods walking my dog, and started taking notes using the voice recorder on my cell phone), and the project took on an entirely different form. But I think one of Shirley Jackson’s many gifts was an ability to massage real life events into fiction; in some ways, this was an inevitable turn of events for me,” she added.

“Jackson has always been one of the more intriguing and misunderstood writers of her generation, a woman writer at the cusp of feminism’s second wave who nevertheless was erroneously dismissed for writing mere ‘domestic fiction,’” Booklist said in a review of “Shirley.” “Merrell brings this complicated and compelling woman to life through the kind of taut and intimate thriller Jackson herself would have been proud to call her own.”

Susan Scarf Merrell will read from “Shirley” Saturday, June 21, at 5 p.m. at BookHampton, located at 16 Hampton Road in Southampton. For more information, call (631) 283-0270.

Writer, Poet and Activist Alexis De Veaux to Sign Latest Work “Yabo” at Canio’s in Sag Harbor

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By Tessa Raebeck

Poet, writer and activist Alexis De Veaux will be at Canio's Books in Sag Harbor at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 14.

Poet, writer and activist Alexis De Veaux will be at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 14.

Award-winning author Alexis De Veaux has two critical concerns: making the racial and sexual experiences of black female characters central and disrupting boundaries between forms.

In her latest fiction work, “Yabo,” Ms. De Veaux explores those concerns in a collection of prose and poetry. The activist author will be on hand Saturday, June 14, at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor to read excerpts, sign books and celebrate her new publication.

“O yes, there are other heres. Simultaneous to this one,” reads the prelude. “Echoes. Or did you think the story you were told, the story you grew up believing, repeating, about the past, present, and the future—and the commas you see here separating those stories—was all there is?”

As a writer for Essence Magazine in 1990, Ms. De Veaux was the first North American to interview Nelson Mandela upon his release from prison. She has traveled extensively as an artist and lecturer and has received multiple literary awards for her biographies of Billie Holiday and Audre Lorde.

Ms. De Veaux will read from “Yabo” and sign copies of her book at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 14 at Canio’s Books, 290 Main Street in Sag Harbor.

Bay Burger Jam Session

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Trombonist Ray Anderson (left, photo by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe) and trumpet player Alex Sipiagin (right, photo courtesy of alexsipiagin.com) will join the Jam Session on June 12.

By Genevieve Kotz

Trombonist Ray Anderson and trumpet player Alex Sipiagin will join the jam session with the Thursday Night Live Band as part of the Special Guest Series at Bay Burger on Thursday, June 12, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Mr. Anderson, who began playing the trombone in the fourth grade and has been doing so for over three decades, has played in many jazz groups, trios and duos, including the Slickaphonics, BassDrumBone and Alligatory Band. Mr. Anderson has composed nearly 100 tunes and is currently the director of Jazz Studies at Stony Brook University.

Mr. Sipiagin, who was born in Yaroslavl, Russia, has been playing the trumpet since the age of 12 and was first introduced to jazz when he was 15. Mr. Sipiagin has toured throughout Europe and Asia and has recorded 13 solo albums, as well as played on a number of Grammy-winning recordings.

This will be the first time that there will be two guests for the Jam Session Special Guest Series.

For more information, visit thejamsession.org.

“Some of the Best Poets on Long Island” at the Wolffer Estate

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Poet Tyler Armstrong. Photo by Michael Heller.

Poet Tyler Armstrong. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Tessa Raebeck

Following the success of his first poetry reading at Wölffer, Tyler Armstrong of East Hampton will be sharing his poetry at the vineyard again Tuesday, June 17.

“I am really pleased to be a major part of the resurgence of poetry as a prominent art form in the area, and I think this reading series can bring a lot to the movement,” Mr. Armstrong said.

Mr. Armstrong’s poetry attracted the attention of Ed Stever, the Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, who has signed on to read his own works at Tuesday’s reading, along with a variety of local readers of all ages. With what Mr. Armstrong calls “some of the best poets on Long Island,” the evening also features the work of Amy Cammel, Tom Olezczsuk, Molly Weiss, Malik Solomon and Emma Macwhinnie.

As part of its Locals Nights every Tuesday, Wölffer offers half-price glasses of wine from 6 to 8 p.m. in the main winery, 3312 Montauk Highway in Sagaponack. Food and half-price wine are available for purchase from 4 to 8 p.m. Entry is $10 per person. For more information, call (631) 537-5106 or visit wolffer.com.

Fruit and Vegetable-Inspired Paintings at the Bridgehampton Museum

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A watercolor that will be shown as part of "Claus Hoie's Greengrocer Series: Bountiful Harvest" at The Bridgehampton Museum. Photo by Gary J. Mamay.

By Tessa Raebeck

An exhibition of bold and colorful paintings by Claus Hoie will be on display at The Bridgehampton Museum from June 6 through October 15, with an opening reception Friday, June 6.

Inspired by fruits and vegetables, “Claus Hoie’s Greengrocer Series: Bountiful Harvest” includes watercolors that span the last three decades of the life of the Norwegian-born artist, who died in East Hampton in 2007. Many of the works in the exhibition will be on view for the first time, while others have been shown in museums and galleries across the world.

“Intellectual curiosity, imagination and daily walks observing natural phenomena all served as motivation for Hoie’s fruit and vegetable themes,” the Bridgehampton Historical Society said in a press release. “The exhibition calls attention to his use of humor and fantasy and to his inventive use of calligraphic qualities to emphasize traditional species’ names derived from 18th and 19th century scientific investigations. His skill at exploring various tonalities and degrees of transparency is evident throughout.”

The opening reception for Claus Hoie’s paintings is Friday, June 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Bridgehampton Museum, 2368 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. For more information, call (631) 537-1088 or visit bhmuseum.org.

“Art of Dance” Brings Artwork to Life on Stage in Southampton

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The company at Studio 3 practice. Photo courtesy Studio 3.

The company at Studio 3 practice. Photo courtesy Studio 3.

By Tessa Raebeck

In its annual spring production, Southampton dance center Studio 3 will bring famous works of art to life on stage in “The Art of Dance.”

For two nights, Saturday, June 7, and Sunday, June 8, the local dance school will bring works from artists as varied as Degas, Matisse and Banksy alive in the form of ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary and lyrical dance.

Ballet dancers rehearse at Studio 3 in Southampton. Photo courtesy Studio 3.

Ballet dancers rehearse at Studio 3 in Southampton. Photo courtesy Studio 3.

Diane and Meredith Shumway, the owner and assistant director of Studio 3, respectively, together with up-and-coming students-turned-choreographers Thomas Gallo, Liam Gifkins, and Jenna Mazanowski, have drawn inspiration from art to choreograph, costume and develop a variety of pieces.

“The best part of developing each piece was the learning process for the teachers, as well as the students,” said dance teacher and Studio 3 assistant director Meredith Shumway. “We are going above and beyond this year because students aren’t just dancing to music on a stage, they are expressing the mood, feeling, color, pattern and history of each work of art and bringing it to life.”

“The Art of Dance” is Saturday, June 7, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 8, at 2 p.m. at the theater at the Southampton High School, 141 Narrow Lane in Southampton. For more information and to purchase tickets, call (631) 537-3008, email tickets@dancestudio3.com or visit dancestudio3.com.

Sag Harbor Novelist Robert Boris Riskin Reading of “Deadly Secrets” at Canio’s Books

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Author Robert Boris Riskin.

Sag Harbor author Robert Boris Riskin.

By Tessa Raebeck

Sharing the latest adventures of crime solver Jake Wanderman, Sag Harbor resident and novelist Robert Boris Riskin will read from his new thriller, “Deadly Secrets,” on Saturday, June 7, at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor.

A detective with a knack for solving crimes and quoting Shakespeare, Jake travels to London and Paris to track down a “Hamptons murderer.”

Mr. Riskin first introduced Jake in his previous novel, “Deadly Bones,” a humorous but thrilling mystery novel. He also wrote “Scrambled Eggs,” a satirical look at the art world set on the East End.

Mr. Riskin’s reading on Saturday will begin at 5 p.m. Canio’s Books is located at 290 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call (631) 725-4926 or visit caniosbooks.com.

Bridgehampton Local Jake Patterson Making a Name for Himself in the Art World—and the Rap World, too

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A still shot of Bridgehampton native and up-and-coming performance artist Yung Jake, from his latest music video, "Look."

A still shot of Bridgehampton native and up-and-coming performance artist Yung Jake, from his latest music video, “Look.”

By Genevieve Kotz

Yung Jake, an up-and-coming artist/rapper from Bridgehampton, having recently had an exhibition of his work at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles, is quickly gaining recognition for his contributions to both the art and rap music worlds.

Yung Jake, also known as Jake Patterson from Bridgehampton High School’s class of 2008, received his BFA from CalArts in Los Angeles.

At the Steve Turner Gallery, Jake showed “Drawings,” a series of screen installations with a lone computer mouse moving on each screen.

Yung Jake also premiered his iPhone-filmed music video “Look” at the exhibition, which ran until May 31 and was featured in the Huffington Post.

In a similar theme to his visual art, Yung Jake’s music videos are internet-inspired, featuring HTML code, YouTube clips and colorful pixels.

“The young artist speaks and lives in the language of the net, telling stories as complex, multivalent, frivolous and raw as infinite material lurking in your browser,” said the Huffington Post. “Sometimes it feels like Yung Jake wasn’t born on the internet, he is the internet.”

To see more of Yung Jake’s work and videos, visit his website at yungjake.tumblr.com.

Sag Harbor’s April Gornik Will Sign Latest Book in New York City

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"Radiant Light," 2013, 78” x 90”, oil on linen by April Gornik. Photo courtesy of the artist.

“Radiant Light,” 2013, 78” x 90”, oil on linen by April Gornik. Photo courtesy of the artist.

By Tessa Raebeck

Sag Harbor’s artist-in-residence April Gornik travels to New York City Thursday, May 29, for a reading and book signing of her latest book, “April Gornik: Drawings.”

Published by FigureGround Press and distributed by ARTBOOK D.A.P. the book celebrates Ms. Gornik’s charcoal drawings done since 1984.

“Lush and wide-ranging in scope and subject, these landscapes call out the wild and the cultivated, from the desert to the forest to the sea, and show both the progress and consistency in her evocative approach to drawing,” according to synopsis of the book.

“April Gornik: Drawings” includes essays by Steve Martin and Archie Rand, as well as an interview with Lawrence Weschler and a downloadable composition for piano and cello by Bruce Wolosoff.

Ms. Gornik’s book signing is Thursday, May 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Danese/Corey Gallery, 511 West 22nd Street in New York City. A solo show by the artist is running at the gallery until Saturday, May 31.

Reggae and Steel Drum Music at the Parrish Art Museum

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The Next Level Band will perform at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill Friday, June 6 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Next Level Band will perform at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill Friday, June 6 from 6 to 8 p.m.

By Tessa Raebeck

As part of its ongoing Sounds of Summer series of live music on the outdoor terrace, the Parrish Art Museum presents the five-piece reggae and steel drum group The Next Level Band Friday, June 6, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The band is an eclectic group of American, Caribbean and European musicians, playing authentic reggae favorites and their own calypso-infused arrangements of classic songs. Tyrone Parris of Barbados is on the guitar and steel drums while his wife, La Dawn Parris, who has performed with Anita Baker and the Temptations, among others, sings.

“Our summer music program brings together performers of diverse musical persuasions and encourages all ages to dance, dine, socialize or just enjoy the fresh air,” said event organizers Andrea Grover, curator of special projects at the museum, and Amy Kirwin, visitor services and museum programs manager.

Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to the show, which costs $10 or is free with museum admission. The Sounds of Summer series continues with Mambo Loco on July 4 and Edith and Bennett on August 1. For more information, visit parrishart.org.