Tag Archive | "events"

There’s Romance and Passion in Water Mill

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


By Tessa Raebeck 

Red legs entwine on a stained surface, locked together in a sensual embrace. There are no faces or genitalia or obvious genders; those details are irrelevant, the figures blend together defined only by a clear purpose: love.

"Ex. 2 The Importance of Flesh" red industrial enamel paint on stained plywood by Melissa Mapes.

“Ex. 2 The Importance of Flesh” red industrial enamel paint on stained plywood by Melissa Mapes.

At the ninth annual “Love and Passion: Walk on the Wild Side” group show, opening this Saturday, February 15, in Water Mill, artist Melissa Mapes will feature her red legs paintings alongside the works of over 60 other artists in an adventurous celebration of music, art, love and the emotions that bind them together.

Originally organized by Karyn Mannix of karyn mannix contemporary and the late Vito Sisti, the show, traditionally held at Ashawagh Hall in Springs, is an open call “to get the community out,” Ms. Mannix said. This year, the show travels to Water Mill, where visitors will “walk on the wild side” between two galleries, Hampton Hang and the Sara Nightingale Gallery.

During the opening reception, host Sara Nightingale’s “Blind Date” Music Lab series will bring live music to a space between the two galleries. In the series, two musicians who have never met are brought together to perform, “though anyone who shows up with an instrument is welcome to play,” said Ms. Nightingale.

Held around Valentine’s Day each year, the show’s over arching theme has always been “Love and Passion.” Artists are  encouraged to use their own, subjective interpretations to create art that in turn elicits viewers’ own, subjective interpretations.

“Love and art have a lot in common,” explained Ms. Nightingale. “Both are elusive concepts designed by humans. We crave and need them both, yet neither is necessary for actual survival. Some art is very expressive and emotional, while other art is more intellectual, dry or subtle. Love has these disparate manifestations as well.”

“Additionally,” she added, “what one viewer experiences while looking at a work of art may differ completely [from] another viewer, who brings his own history and prejudices to his viewpoint. Fortunately, this is also true in love. For every lover scorned, there is somewhere another potential mate.”

Each year, a secondary theme further inspires the artists. This year’s “Walk on the Wild Side” is a double entendre honoring the late Lou Reed—who died last summer at his Springs home—and symbolizing the walk between the galleries, Ms. Mannix said.

“We are all in agreement on the tone being adventurous,” added Ms. Nightingale. “We want viewers to experience the thrill/trepidation they might feel on their way to a first date with someone they have been flirting with online.”

In “Grape Eater,” a nude female figure feeds herself grapes. As the viewer’s eyes move down the canvas, emotions can change with each color block: first a vibrant orange, then a royal blue and finally, a deep, rich red.

“I find art a constructive tool for most anything,” said the artist, Abby Abrams, a Springs resident who has two paintings of “fantasy nudes” in the show.

The show’s broad topic and open call format allows artists to submit works in various mediums and with diverse subject matter; the common theme serves to show the unity of the pieces—and the unifying power of love—while also representing the diversity of individual experience and interpretation. One artist in the show expresses a passion for surfing, while others use warm color palettes of red, pink and orange to show the evocative powers of love.

“Love and Passion is a beautiful theme because it resonates within us all,” said Ms. Mapes, whose paintings “Ex. 1: The Importance of Flesh” and “Ex. 2: The Importance of Flesh” are featured in the show.

An East Hampton native, Ms. Mapes began working on the series of “abstracted sensual flesh-morphing legs and buttocks forms” when her fiancé joined the military.

"Grape Eater" acrylic on canvas by Abby Abrams.

“Grape Eater” acrylic on canvas by Abby Abrams.

“We spent much time apart passionately longing for each other’s company,” she said. “It taught me how significant love and passion really is. We fought, and we still fight for our love, and we work for it all with a deep passion. It’s not easy, but it is worth every minute, as we both patiently pass the days waiting to feel that flesh-to-flesh contact once again.”

“Everybody can relate,” the artist continued. “Flesh is a primal necessity. To consume flesh, to feel flesh and to create flesh are crucial animalistic traits that are driven by a powerful energy force that feeds the will to survive for all animals.”

The figures in her paintings are cut off at the waist, allowing the intertwined legs and buttocks to “create a language of primitive symbols that express this dire necessity for flesh-to-flesh contact,” she said.

“I want the viewer to sense the emotion in the form and the line,” said Ms. Mapes. “I do not want a four-page essay neatly typed and placed next to the painting to ‘explain’ it. Art speaks for itself.”

“Love and Passion: Walk on the Wild Side” will be on view February 15 through February 22. The opening reception is Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Sara Nightingale Gallery and Hampton Hang Gallery, 688 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, call 329.2811 or contact karynmannix@optonline.net.

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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.

The Gods are Coming to Sag Harbor This Weekend

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Zima character (photo by Tom Kochie).

Zima character (photo by Tom Kochie).

By Tessa Raebeck

It was the dead of winter—snowstorms followed by extreme cold followed by icy roads—and Kate Mueth was sick of hearing people complain.

“I was getting annoyed with it,” said Mueth, founder of the Neo-Political Cowgirls, a local dance theater company that explores the female voice. Mueth, who lives in Springs, started looking for a way to help people see the cold months differently.

Determined to help the local community find the “magic” in winter, Mueth came up with the idea for ZIMA!, based on the Polish word, zima, for “winter.” ZIMA! is a fantasy scavenger hunt in which participants, guided by mythical creatures played by the troupe, solve riddles that lead them through an over-arching story to arrive at an answer.

The creatures will again gather in Sag Harbor this weekend for ZIMA’s third appearance at HarborFrost. On Saturday at noon and again at 12:30 p.m., groups can gather at the Civil War Monument, at the point of Main Street near the Corcoran building, where Madison and Main streets split. Groups will receive the overall riddle and a map, then listen to a storyteller who will set the tale for their forthcoming adventure.

Following the introduction, the guests will venture out in search of six vignettes, short scenes performed by characters that give hints to the riddle. The theme for the treasure hunt changes with each performance. This year, gods and goddesses will fill the stores and sidewalks of Sag Harbor, sharing their mythical stories in elaborate costume and full character. Athena could be hidden in a shop window or Zeus could be entertaining in an alleyway; the actors will be split about half and half between indoor and outdoor locations.

By the time the guests have gone through all six vignettes, not only have they seen performances and met a variety of characters, they also will, with some luck, have an answer to the overall riddle. The route leads guests from the tip of Main Street toward the harbor.

Zima character (photo by Tom Kochie).

Zima character (photo by Tom Kochie).

Neither too challenging nor too easy, according to Mueth, ZIMA is fun for all ages and families are encouraged to attend. Patrons usually work through the riddle in groups.

After the first ZIMA, Mueth was delighted to see how the hunt brought people together who didn’t otherwise know each other in a common quest for a solution to the riddle.

“That just thrilled me,” she said, “because I really believe in theater as a way to bring people together—the humanity.”

“And I thought,” she added, “this is a really pure way of that happening without it being $150 seat or $350 seat on Broadway. It’s people interacting—and hopefully getting a magical experience.”

That dedication to magical experiences is helping the Neo-Political Cowgirls grow from a small, local troupe to a recognized theater company. The company is entering its sixth year producing and creating new work and is looking to expand.

In “Eve,” another of the troupe’s productions, the performers move through 13 different rooms and involve the audience in the performance.

Just as she doesn’t like to hear complaints about winter, Mueth isn’t a big fan of the fourth wall—she prefers to challenge traditional notions of theater and the roles of performers versus audience members.

Having performed primarily on the East End for the past six years, the Neo-Political Cowgirls are in the process of taking “Eve” to New York City.

“We have to expand,” said Meuth. “I’m so committed to this community and where we live, but at the same time, financially we have to keep moving, we have to keep expanding because it’s costly.”

Manhattan is the first step, but Mueth has her sights on bringing the show to Berlin, Boston and around the world.

“Our audiences aren’t necessarily just in the Hamptons,” she said. “We’re grateful to our audiences in the Hamptons and we’re so happy we’ve reached a really wide group of people, a lot of different ages, and we will continue to do that. We’re not fleeing the Hamptons.”

In March, the troupe will host “a backward audition” for “Eve” in the city, for which it will invite influential theater players and producers and anyone else who may want to support the show.

Although Mueth has her core set of actors (many of whom will be in Sag Harbor Saturday) she is always looking for more talent.

“I often go to the same people,” she said, “but I’m also casting a wide net as well, because you never know what you need or what you’re looking for … I’m always looking for really good actors, really good movers.”

As part of Harbor Frost, ZIMA! will start at the Civil War Monument at the intersection of Main Street and Madison streets at noon and again at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, February 8. The walk lasts approximately 35 minutes. A donation of $5 is suggested.

Darius Yektai Brings Inspiration Found on Hilltop Fortress to Tripoli Gallery in Southampton

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


By Tessa Raebeck

Darius Yektai, Church on Hill, 2013, Oil on linen (Courtesy Tripoli Gallery).

Darius Yektai, Church on Hill, 2013, Oil on linen (Courtesy Tripoli Gallery).

On Saturday, the Tripoli Gallery of Contemporary Art will unveil “Two Weeks in Umbria,” a series of 25 paintings by Sag Harbor artist Darius Yektai. The artist’s third show in the gallery, the exhibition features small paintings created over a two-week period in Montecastello di Vibio, a medieval hilltop fortress town in Umbria in central Italy.

Accustomed to working in his East End studio, Yektai used the seclusion of the small village to allow him to focus exclusively on painting. He hiked up and down the mountain, using the green, hilly landscape to paint “en plein air” in the summer sun.

“Fields laid on top of each other like bricks and mortar,” Yektai said, “so when you look at the landscape there’s a brickwork pattern. The landscape lends itself to abstraction.”

Yektai painted five to six paintings each day during the two-week period with no intention of having them be shown. The paintings have pencil marks and rough edges, “in adherence to their initial integrity and honesty,” according to a gallery press release. The seclusion and open setting of the space, as well as his desire to paint for himself, rather than for profit, lend to a sense of freedom and inhibition in the show that is sometimes rare in contemporary art.

Although he studied in California and Paris, Yektai’s work has been exhibited exclusively in New York and on the East End. His professional relationship with Tripoli Patterson, owner and director of the Tripoli Gallery, started in 2010 with his solo exhibition, “Not Everyone Gets a Unicorn. The artist returned to the gallery in 2013 with “On Country Ground.” He is featured in the permanent collection of Guild Hall in East Hampton and in private collections around the world.

“Two Weeks in Umbria” will be on display February 8 through March 17. The opening reception is Saturday, February 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Tripoli Gallery of Contemporary Art, located at 30A Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, visit tripoligallery.com or call 631.377.3715.

Fire in the Sky: Grucci Fireworks for HarborFrost

Tags: , , , , , ,


Sailfest - Grucci

By Annette Hinkle


Fireworks are as American as apple pie and baseball, and like those other traditions most often associated with Fourth of July.

But on Saturday, as part of HarborFrost, a pyrotechnics show will be offered at the end of Long Wharf at 5:45 p.m. Fireworks in February? It’s not commonplace, but because the show will be presented by Fireworks by Grucci, the Brookhaven firm whose name is synonymous with fantastic displays — it’s likely to generate a fair amount of winter oohs and ahhs.

Grucci producer Philip Butler admits that is unusual for his firm to offer fireworks at this time of year, but he expects it to be a great experience for those willing to brave the cold.

When you think about it, there are a lot of benefits to winter fireworks —the sun sets early, so the show can begin well before dinner time. And let’s face it, after the winter we’ve had so far, a lot of us could use a bit of cheering. That, Butler says, is something Grucci can surely do. While he stresses this will be a relatively small show by Grucci standards — a City Class program running around six minutes — Butler promises it will be a good one.

“In this case I’m thinking an all white scene over the water would be very dramatic,” he says. “In the winter it’s that much more stunning.”

Though firework displays here are viewed as a fairly literal interpretation of “the bombs bursting in air” referenced in the Star Spangled Banner, their origin can actually be traced to 12th century China when they were purportedly invented to scare away evil spirits. It was another Chinese invention – gun powder — that gave the fireworks the lift they needed to break the bonds of earth.

Today, the goal is not to scare people away, but bring them together, and Butler explains that no matter the size of the show, there’s a certain protocol.

“Much like any entertainment, there’s always an opening,” explains Butler. “And then the program settles into scenes and those may be of different colors — red, white, green or gold. Then there’s a finale. ”

The color of each individual firework is a matter of chemistry and the different metal salts used determine the specific colors that are seen in the sky.

“Red, white, blue, green, yellow — those are the five primary colors and other hues are combined exactly as they are with paint,” says Butler. “To make red, you use a compound of strontium and your blues are copper compounds. The green is barium. The chemicals are of a fine baby powder constituency to make stars, which are the individual points of light.”

“Purple is the most difficult color to make, and almost always the most expensive,” explains Butler who has found that despite the endless color possibilities, white remains a crowd favorite.

“It’s so stunningly beautiful,” he says. “That’s why it’s always been popular. All white scenes draw the most ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs.’”

Though designs have changed, the practical realities of getting fireworks into the sky hasn’t, and in order to launch and break the shells, black powder (gun powder without the graphite) is used.

“Fireworks are almost ageless, having stayed exactly the same in the manufacturing and display mode,” explains Butler. “What has changed is the firing sequence.”

That, explains Butler, is done electronically now — from control panels similar to audio boards like those used for concerts.

“Because of electronic firing, the old fashioned ‘light ‘em up,’ isn’t done anymore,’ explains Butler. “It’s just like with electricity in a house, if you have 15 switches, you need 15 wires.”

“In this case, you need wires for every shell,” he says.

And how many shells will there be Saturday? Butler’s keeping mum on that one.

“You don’t want people to concentrate on the number,” he says. “It’s what your eye tells you.”

Take a Stroll, Take a Taste

Tags: , , , , , ,


Cul stroll pic

Eating and drinking your way though the village in a benefit culinary event.
By Emily J. Weitz

Drifts of ice float through the channel between North Haven and Shelter Island, where sailboats once bobbed. And that can be reason either to retreat into our respective hideaways or to celebrate. Sag Harbor has chosen the latter. That’s why this coming Saturday, February 5, is a day when you should hope you didn’t book that trip to Barbados or plan to meet up with friends in the city. Because with fireworks displays and restaurant crawls, live music and ice carvings, Sag Harbor is right where it’s at.

While this is officially the first annual HarborFrost, it’s an idea that’s been in the making for quite some time. Charlie Canavan of the Sag Harbor Hysterical Society has been helping take the bite out of winter for Sag Harbor residents for the past ten years with events like this Saturday’s culinary stroll, sponsored by the society. The purpose of the Hysterical Society is “to get people together for someone who needs a boost.”

Proceeds from these events have always gone to some member of the community who could use the help, whether it was someone battling cancer or a family that couldn’t afford to put dinner on the table. The recipient of this year’s donation is yet to be determined, but the event itself is more than enough reason to come out and connect with the community.
This year, five local restaurants are involved, and participants will get to sample some of the signature dishes of each. As they wander from place to place, they’ll be accompanied by three traveling musicians.

“The musicians will accompany us into the restaurants, we’ll get drinks, and enjoy the spread for 45 minutes or so,” says Canavan, “then we head to the next restaurant. Maybe we’ll stop in between for some songs on the sidewalk. We’ll do this four or five times.”

In addition, the stroll has been designed to take advantage of the other events of the day.

“We are going to lead the troops past ice carving and ice sculptures taking place on the pier, and another on the south side of town,” says Canavan. “We’ll time our stroll so I can bring participants to the wharf at 5:45 for the fireworks display.”

The stroll begins with registration at Phao at 2 p.m. Participants will receive chefs hats and crayons and the cash bar will be open “to get everybody warmed up,” says restaurant manager Harrison Platz. A special bacon infused bourbon cocktail will be featured.

“This is made with center cut double hickory smoked bacon with Basil Hayden’s Bourbon,” says Platz. The rest of Phao’s creative cocktails, like the Devilish Romance (Prosecco with St Germaine liquer and pomegranate juice) and the Sake Martini (Organic Crop Cucumber Vodka and Kaori Sake) will be available. House favorites like chicken satay with peanut sauce and cucumber salad, lamb lollipops in a garlic cilantro soy reduction, and curry puffs in fresh cucumber pickle relish will be served.

“We chose [these appetizers] for this event because they are representative of the style and quality our cuisine has to offer,” says Platz. “People rave about our lamb lollipops; they are fall off the bone amazing.”
Phao’s next-door neighbor, Sen, will also be donating food to the cause, so sushi rolls and crab cakes will be on hand.

At about 3:15, the group, in their giant chef’s hats, will be ushered down Main Street to Windmill Beach, where they can catch a glimpse of the Frosty Plunge (3:30). After that they’ll head over to Bay Street Theatre, where musicians from the weekly Jam Session will be in full swing. The three strolling musicians will join right in.

“The stroll itself is a tremendous way to build community spirit,” says Canavan. “Many of these people have never met, and they get to know each other as well as the fine restaurants they’ve never visited.”

After a taste of the afternoon jam, it’s back to the serious business of culinary consumption. At 4:30, LT Burger will have a spread of their gourmet style burgers.

“They’ve got a lot of cutting-edge things on the menu,” says Canavan. “Their hamburger, cheeseburger, and tuna burger are all very unique.”
After getting their fill of the down-home cooking at LT, the group will check out the fireworks display and then head up to New Paradise.

“They have the greatest chicken dinner you’ll ever eat in your life,” says Canavan. “This is off the charts.” When one of the restaurants wants to offer an entrée, they’ll cut it up into finger food portions so guests can sample the best of their menu while still pacing themselves.

At 7:30, the group is expected at Il Capuccino for real Italian cooking (have you HAD their garlic knots?). In a private dining room hors d’eouvres will be set out including stuffed mushrooms, rigatoni a la vodka, and eggplant rollotini. Then it’s down to Blue Sky by around 8:15, where the mussels meunerie should not be missed. The bar and lounge will be open late into the evening.

“It’s going to be lots of walking, singing, socializing and taking in the sites of HarborFrost,” says Canavan. “It’s an opportunity for these restaurants to show off a little bit, and we get to stroll around and take in the beauty of this little village.” The Culinary Stroll is $40, and proceeds go to a member of our community who’s in need. Sign up at Phao between 2 and 3:15 on Saturday. For more information call 725-7936.