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A Different Kind of Home on Show in Sag Harbor

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houseofthewhaleweb bluedorn.

“House of The Whale,” by Scott Bluedorn.

By Mara Certic

A house is a walled structure with a roof and a floor and a number of other features. A home, however, is typically defined in a more abstract manner: where the heart is, where one starts from or, according to Emily Dickinson, where thou art. This ambiguity and flexibility is mirrored in “A Different Kind of Home/ Show” on view at Dodds & Eder in Sag Harbor.

Curator Kathy Zeiger, who is also the founder and director of ArtWalk Hamptons, was inspired to put on the exhibition after seeing “House of the Whale,” an ink drawing by local artist Scott Bluedorn.

“I just thought that’s so interesting,” she said of the drawing. “There are a lot of home shows that go on in the Hamptons. I’m going to do a different kind of home show.” And so the project was born.

“I have always been inspired by nautical things,” Mr. Bluedorn said in an interview on Monday. “The initial inspiration for the entire series was photographs that I took on a trip to Nova Scotia last year, and a lot of the old fishing houses, which are similar to the ones we have,” said the artist, who grew up in East Hampton.

His intricate drawings show a hybridization of nature and architecture. “I’ve always been very involved with detail in my drawings; I’ve always used texture,” he said. “That’s why shingles are such a big part of the series.”

Ms. Zeiger was determined to make this “not just your typical kind of home show,” but still wanted a homey and cozy element, which is why she chose to include textiles artist Casey Dalene. Ms. Dalene, a native of North Carolina who has lived full-time in East Hampton for the past decade, has decorated “the front nook” of the Dodds & Eder showroom for the exhibition. “I thought she would be great as ‘home sweet home,’” Ms. Zeiger said.

“I want this space to feel really warm and inviting and that’s why I chose to use drapery frames,” said Ms. Dalene who also has decorated the area with hand-painted pillows and six acrylic paintings on paper. Ms. Dalene “loves showing the artist’s hand in the work,” she said, explaining her use of obvious paintbrush strokes.

Through working with John Cino, a sculptor and the president of the Patchogue Arts Council , Ms. Zeiger met Paul Farinacci, an artist and sculptor based on the North Shore of Nassau County.

Assisted Living(composite exterior and interior views)

Exterior and interior views of Paul Farinacci’s multi-media sculpture, “Assisted Living”

“He’s fantastic,” she said. “I was floored.”

For the past few years, Mr. Farinacci has been creating multi-media architectural pieces that are “kind of a response to how our private and public lives are getting blended together,” he said.

At first glance, Mr. Farinacci’s structures look like miniature papier-mâché buildings. “If they’re not in a room that’s totally dark [viewrs] don’t know to look inside,” the artist said of his sculptures.  But when spectators peek inside the handcrafted buildings, they catch a glimpse of the “dirty little secrets hidden within.” Mr. Farinacci at first used nightlights to illuminate interiors, but has since started wiring his own lights to brighten up the interiors.

Much of his artwork touches on controversial issues ranging from body image to big business. One structure, a small house within a cage, reveals on closer examination a slightly bewildered elderly woman inside, sitting alone with a cat.  Described by the artist as a commentary on the elderly, that piece is called “Assisted Living.”

Mr. Farinacci builds his sculptures entirely from recyclable paper and other materials related to the subject at hand. “I save everything you can think of,” he said.

“I get excited about artwork, I get excited about artists and I get excited about the process,” Ms. Zeiger said.

“Alexis Duque is a wonderful artist,” she said of the Colombian-born painter who now calls New York City home.

Mr. Duque creates highly detailed, whimsical acrylic paintings of cityscapes on canvas for his series “Metropolis,” which will be on view as part of the show. “I like the possibility of imagining and recreating my experience in the big city,” he wrote.

Ms. Zeiger noted similarities between the intricacies of the works of Mr. Duque and Mr. Bluedorn.

“How am I going to do something that breaks up the eye?” Ms. Zeiger asked herself. The curator always tries to include paintings, sculptures and photography, she said. Esperanza Leon recommended the mixed media artworks of Long Island artist Darlene Charneco, which “explore ways of seeing our human settlements, communication networks and communities as part of a larger organism’s growth stage,” the artist wrote.

Pondview Estates by Darlene Charneco angle1500

“Pondview Estates” by Darlene Charneco

“Pondview Estates” is made from resin and mixed media on wood; it is a commentary on “suburban developments encroaching,” Ms. Charneco said. “Humanity only partially aware of the land it is a part of.”

Ms. Charneco’s “dreamscapes and storage memories” got Ms. Zeiger thinking about “how we contain our own memories, and how we, as individuals, are our own personal homes,” she said.

The idea of each of us as our own home, she said, inspired her to exhibit portraits by Brooklyn-based Israeli photographer Rafael Fuchs. Mr. Fuchs moved to New York from Tel Aviv in the 1980s. He is a well-known commercial and entertainment photographer, and has done portraits of a diverse group including Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Regis Philban and David Blaine.

“Art doesn’t necessarily have to be new to be found,” Ms. Zeiger said: A portrait of Michael McKean of “Spinal Tap” fame taken in the late ’90s is included in the show at Dodds & Eder.

Rafael Fuchs is “like the mayor of Bushwick,” Ms. Zeiger said. Several years ago he did a series of portraits of artists from his neighborhood that included Mr. Bluedorn, who was living there at the time.

“There’s a connection all the time between artists,” said Ms. Zeiger. “It’s just like what happened with Pollack and deKooning, and it’s happening again. There’s a whole new generation of artists who are coming through. It’s simmering, it’s getting ready to go pop!”

 An opening reception for “A Different Kind of Home/ Show will be held at Dodds & Eder, 11 Bridge Street, Sag Harbor from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 12.

Sag Harbor’s Dodds & Eder – A New Venue for Local Artists

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2) James DeMartis_Bouquet-hires

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.

4) John Cino_Tome 3_

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.

1) Mari?a Scho?n _Higuerote_

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.”

3) Casey Dalene_bycasey_

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.

Furnishing the Great Outdoors

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Web Biz Dodds

By Emily J. Weitz

For over a hundred years, Dodds and Eder has been in the business of serving Long Islanders what they need. But what Long Islanders need has changed so much in this time that Dodds and Eder has had to develop its offerings to keep up. And keep up they have.

Where they used to provide feed and hay for the horses and livestock on the Gold Coast of Long Island, now they provide plantings and furnishings to create ambience in back yards across the East End. As the Gold Coast estates were sold throughout the 1970s, the store started transitioning its focus to landscape design.

“We stayed with the better brands,” says Dottie Simons, the manager at Dodds and Eder. “We’ve been doing this for over thirty years now.”

What they’ve been doing that’s different from what most other furniture and garden centers do is taking care of every aspect of this development. From the initial meeting, where a designer will listen to the client’s vision, straight through to the finished product, there’s no service that Dodds and Eder doesn’t provide.

They have an in-house landscape architect who, with the client’s vision in mind, will look at the property and see how changes can best be executed. They have all the gardening and landscaping resources, from the labor to the plants to the understanding of gardening. They provide the maintenance to keep new landscape healthy. They have all the furnishings, much of it in stock in the store.

If they don’t have the best product for a client’s ideal, Simons assured that “We know what else is out there. We make sure the client is getting what they’re looking for, and if we don’t have what they want, we’ll order from other places.”

Dodds and Eder even has the art, both indoor and outdoor, to decorate new spaces. The walls of the store are lined with artwork from the Chase Edwards Gallery.

“We hope to host events, and we’re open until 8 or 9 every night so people can come through and look at the artwork,” said Simons.

Dodds and Eder decided to open in Sag Harbor because the demand was already there. They’ve been happily situated in Oyster Bay since the 1970s, and their store remains there as well.

But “We’ve been doing a lot of business out here from Nassau County,” says Simons. “We found that a lot of the brands we carry are in high demand out here because they’re simply not represented by anyone else.”

Some of these brands include Three Birds Casual, a popular teak company; Ancara, which makes synthetic resin; outdoor beds by Veneman; and outdoor bean bags by Fat Boy.

But Dodds and Eder didn’t select Sag Harbor only for the established clientele. It was the village itself that the business found so appealing.

“We’ve been in business for so long in Oyster Bay,” says Simons. “It’s a small town community where you feel like everyone is working together. We’re very involved in the Chamber of Commerce there.” And Simons has already been to her first Chamber of Commerce meeting here in Sag Harbor. “It was even more involved than in Oyster Bay,” says Simons. “We had a really nice reception.”

With their village location behind the back parking lot in the old Megna Glass space, Dodds and Eder has a lot of property. In the next year they are planning on harnessing the power of that property with sculpture gardens, outdoor fire pits, and outdoor shower displays.

For now, shoppers can go in and check out the gallery art on the walls, relax in a hammock, and take in the ambience. In this way, Dodds and Eder hopes they’ll be able to envision their own perfect setting.

“We’re working to create the whole atmosphere,” says Simons. “Beginning at conception, designing, building and furnishing. This way clients don’t have to deal with ten people to get something done.”

Instead, she hopes, clients will only need Dodds and Eder.

Dodds and Eder is located at 11 Bridge Street in Sag Harbor. They’re open seven days a week. Check out www.doddsandeder.com or call 725-1175 for more information.