Tag Archive | "Parrish Art Museum"

Jules Feiffer Revisits His Long Lost Youth in “Kill My Mother”

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Image from "Kill My Mother" by Jules  Feiffer.

Image from “Kill My Mother” by Jules Feiffer.

By Annette Hinkle

You’d think that with an Academy Award, a Pulitzer Prize, two Obies and a Guild Hall Lifetime Achievement Award under his belt (the latter occurring just last week), cartoonist/playwright/screenwriter/filmmaker Jules Feiffer wouldn’t be afraid to try anything.

But you’d be wrong.

Up until last summer, Mr. Feiffer, who just turned 86, had never tackled the noir style comic, that genre of crime literature where tough talking detectives hook up with sassy dames who aren’t quite on the level and together, they solve murders in bleak, black and white settings.

It’s a genre Mr. Feiffer has loved since he was a child.

“So much of the American writing style comes out of the prose first introduced in magazines of the ‘30s and ‘40s — Dashiell Hammett and people like that,” says Mr. Feiffer. “It’s a period in terms of the work that never left me and I think in many ways never left society.”

“It’s amazing how it sticks,” he adds. “Like ‘Breaking Bad,’ over and over it’s the references to that time and that style. I just watched ‘Better Call Saul,’ and it wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for that genre.”

Perhaps this resurgence of noir is what finally gave Mr. Feiffer, who lives in East Hampton and teaches humor writing at Stony Brook Southampton, the push he needed to write (and of course illustrate) “Kill My Mother,” his first graphic novel. The book was published last August and, as you might expect, it comes with a twist — the detective is a hopeless screw up and it’s the woman who gets him out of one jam after another.

“I thought I just don’t want to do another tough good guy who speaks rough and gets beaten up and finds the killer in the end,” explains Mr. Feiffer. “What if my private eye had the look and toughness and is incompetent — a drunk, a has been, over the hill?”

A page from "Kill My Mother" by Jules Feiffer.

A page from “Kill My Mother” by Jules Feiffer.

“So who saves his ass?” he asks. “It has to be the assistant — the Effie Perrine to Sam Spade.”

In “Kill Your Mother,” that woman is Elsie. Her husband, a cop, has been killed and she now works for the detective who was his best friend.

“Of course, she has to have a teenage daughter,” adds Mr. Feiffer, “and all teenage daughters want to kill their parents. I know, I’ve been there. I have three daughters.”

Currently, fans of noir comics in general and Jules Feiffer in particular have the opportunity to enjoy both at the Parrish Art Museum where the original artwork from “Kill My Mother” is on view — all 147 pages of it.

The exhibit, “Jules Feiffer: Kill My Mother” runs through April 26 as part of Parrish Perspectives, a new series in which the museum looks at a specific body of work by an artist in depth. As part of the exhibit, this Friday, Mr. Feiffer will be at the museum to talk about his work with museum director Terrie Sultan.

For Feiffer, seeing his illustrations on the walls of the Parrish was quite an eye opener.

“I went to the museum and they showed me the framed artwork and it staggered me,” admits Mr. Feiffer. “I couldn’t believe I did this – it looks like art. It’s astonishing.”

One thing viewers won’t see in the original artwork is the words. That’s because the speech balloons were added to the book digitally after the fact. So in order give viewers some guidance, Mr. Feiffer has added his own wall notes to explain the overarching plot of the novel.

An image from "kill My Mother" by Jules Feiffer.

An image from “kill My Mother” by Jules Feiffer.

Which leads to a natural question — for someone like Mr. Feiffer, who is adept at both writing and illustration, what came first with “Kill Your Mother,” the words or the pictures?

“I wrote it the way you’d write a screenplay or comics,” he explains. “Panel one describes the action and dialogue. A lot of comics are written by people who don’t illustrate it. That’s how I got it past the publisher and got an advance.”

There are also two ways to write a story — particularly a mystery —  front to back or back to front. Mr. Feiffer has done it both ways.

“I used to work back to front, but I found that boring after a while,” he admits. “I wanted to be surprised like a member of the audience.”

But with this book the real surprise, for Mr. Feiffer at least, came once the script was written and the illustrating began.

“The drawings refused to acknowledge the text. I was like a movie director who trashed the screenplay because it has its own ideas,” he says. “As I began to visualize it on the page, certain lines or ways of setting up dialogue seemed wrong. At least half the book is rewritten. It’s still the same story and characters do what they’re supposed to do, but the way they talk and they act is different.”

When the illustrated characters start telling Mr. Feiffer what to do, he knows he’s on to something.

“Casting in a comic book is like casting actors,” he adds. “When deciding how he or she should look, you’re scribbling faces and bodies. How do they lean and walk? You look at it and say, ‘Thank you… next.’ Then I get another performer on the page until I find someone who could do the job.”

“I deliberately don’t think – I try not to use my brain and find a character and let them dictate to me,” he says. “I’m the stenographer.”

Though it sounds counterintuitive, not thinking is a skill Mr. Feiffer seeks to impress upon his writing students at Stony Brook Southampton.

“I talk about that a lot,” he says. “Don’t use your brain. It’s the least effective aspect of your art. It should come from the gut. Follow orders and make mistakes. Nobody knows your screw ups and sometimes the screw ups lead to more interesting places.”

Ultimately, those places are where the true magic is to be found — even if it’s on a questionable street in bad neighborhood where everything is seen in shades of black and white, as is the case in “Kill Your Mother.”

“In the end everything I do is words and pictures,” offers Mr. Feiffer. “That’s what the book is – and every page and panel is about story. Is the person saying the line prominent or is he the one hearing it? Expressions, body language, background, how will it reflect on the story? There’s nothing in the book that is gratuitous and there just because it looks good.”

But in fact, it does look good — especially hanging on the walls of the Parrish Art Museum. So now that he has successfully competed his first graphic novel (and gotten an art exhibit to boot), what can we expect next from Jules Feiffer?

“I have to finish the prequel for ‘Kill Your Mother,’” explains Mr. Feiffer. “It took me more than half my lifetime to get to this form I loved as kid and I’m not giving it up. It’s a combination of things I learned to do over the years — comics, playwrighting, screenwriting — and I put them all in a blender.”

“I’m referencing from the time I was 10 to 15 – when you’re 86 and go back to being 10, it’s not bad,” says Mr. Feiffer. “I’ll be doing this the rest of life.”

On Friday, March 20, at 6 p.m., Jules Feiffer joins Parrish Art Museum Director Terrie Sultan for a spirited conversation at the museum. Afterwards, Mr. Feiffer will sign copies of “Kill My Mother.” Books are available for pre-purchase ($30) on the Parrish website and will be held at the visitors services desk for pre-purchasers on the day of the program. Also on view in Parrish Perspectives is “Robert Dash: Theme and Variations” and “Joe Zucker: Life & Times of an Orb Weaver.”


PechaKucha Returns to the Parrish

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PechaKucha Hamptons circle lg

The Parrish Art Museum will present volume 11 of its popular PechaKucha Night Hamptons on Friday, March 6 at 6 p.m. with a group of speakers delivering rapid fire presentations on what it is to live creatively on the East End. Each speaker shows 20 slides for 20 seconds each, resulting in a compelling six-minute, 40-second long presentation.

PechaKucha Night Hamptons spotlights the staggering number of creative individuals who live on the East End,” said series organizer Andrea Grover, Century Arts Foundation Curator of Special Projects at the Parrish. “Their collective energy and inventiveness has made this program one of our main attractions.”

PechaKucha Night Hamptons, Vol. 11 presenters include writer and restaurateur Bruce Buschel; artist hi and lifestyle health coach and self-proclaimed “Kraut Kween” Nadia Ernestus; photographer Francine Fleischer; close-up magician and author Allan Kronzek; digital entrepreneurs Julie and Dan Resnick; artist Christine Sciulli; poet Julie Sheehan; and master beader and Shinnecock ceremonial dancer Tohanash Tarrant.

The Parrish Art Museum joins over 700 cities globally in hosting these events. Named for the sound of “chit-chat” in Japanese, PechaKucha Nights is the international, fast-paced presentation series founded in Tokyo by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture in 2003. Tickets for PechaKucha Night Hamptons Vol. 11 are currently sold out, however tickets may become available through the Parrish website (parrishart.org) this week. In addition, an in-person wait list will begin at 5pm on March 6th in the Museum lobby. Ticket prices are $10, free for members, children, and students, and include Museum admission.


Parrish Recognizes 25 Young Artists

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The 2015 Student Exhibition, High School Artists Reception. Photo by Tom Kochie

The 2015 Student Exhibition, High School Artists Reception. Photo by Tom Kochie

On Saturday, February 28, the Parrish Art Museum will honor 25 young artists for their work that is on view in the 2015 Student Exhibition. Selected from more than 150 high school student participants by Neill Slaughter, a professor of Visual Art at Long Island University, C.W. Post campus, these up-and-coming artists will be celebrated at a ceremony at the museum, where Parrish Director Terrie Sultan and Mr. Slaughter will present Awards of Excellence to 19 Seniors, and “Ones to Watch” Awards to six underclassmen.

Mr. Slaughter, a practicing artist and professor for 36 years who has been the judge at several Student Exhibitions, based his selection of winners on a variety of criteria, not limited to ability nor talent.

“While I certainly value skill and technique, ultimately I look for an honesty and truth in the artwork,” he said. “Artists become inspired by something, which is … interpreted as well as communicated visually. The best art is transcendent, whereby the viewer is emotionally moved or taken to another place by the artist’s interpretation.”

The ceremony will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. with Parrish Education Director Cara Conklin-Wingfield announcing the names of the winners, who will come forward with their teacher to accept certificates. Refreshments will be served at the event, which is open to the public.

The Student Exhibition, a 60-year tradition at the Parrish Art Museum, opened this year on January 31 and is on view through March 1, featuring the work of more than 2,000 young artists from public, private, parochial, and home schools on the East End.

On the Southampton and East Hampton towns, East Hampton High School’s Claudia Fino will be honored for her drawing, “Three Spheres.” Southampton High School’s Kim Gonzalez will be awarded for her mixed media piece, “Concentration.” Pierson’s Theo Gray will be honored for his photography project, “Untitled.” East Hampton High School’s Brenden Snow and The Ross School’s Brenna Leaver are also honored for their untitled photography projects. In printmaking, Pierson’s Daniella Nolan has received honors for her piece, “Innocence;” The Ross School’s Evelyn Jiaoxue and Abby Wang will also be honored for “Untitled,” and “The Rape of Nanking,” respectively. In 3-D sculpture, Pierson’s Zoe Diskin will be honored for her “Self Portrait Assemblage.”

Southampton’s Abby Clemente and East Hampton’s Elvis Uchupaille have been named as underclassmen “One’s to Watch.”

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, call (631) 283-2118 or visit parrishart.org. 

PechaKucha Vol. 9 at the Parrish Art Museum

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Sag Harbor Elementary School teacher Kryn Olson visiting with students at the Jacaranda School for Orphans in Malawi, Africa. Photo courtesy Kryn Olson.

Sag Harbor Elementary School teacher Kryn Olson visiting with students at the Jacaranda School for Orphans in Malawi, Africa. Photo courtesy Kryn Olson.

By Tessa Raebeck

In the ninth installment of the popular PechaKucha program at the Parrish Art Museum, a series of rapid-fire presentations by various members of the creative community, 10 presenters will share their diverse experiences on the East End.

Each presenter will share 20 slides for 20 seconds each for a six minute and 40 second showcase into their work. This batch of artists, activists and entrepreneurs includes:

Dan Asselin, an East Hampton native, musician and environmental activist who has organized for rallies in Washington, D.C., and wrote the comedic anti-fracking song “Natural Gas,” with lyrics like “ain’t nothing natural about natural gas…. it’s about as clean as a horse’s ass, it’s about as sustainable as cancer…. it’s about as safe as driving drunk and fast while texting on a bridge without a guardrail;” multi-media artist Cliff Baldwin, from Aquebogue, who makes light installations, video productions and writes music; interior designer Dale Cohen of Dale Cohen Design Studio and author of the lifestyle and design blog, “BACHELORbydale;” Riverhead-based Peggie Ehlers, who bridges “farm to fashion” with Nuna Knits, products made from plant and animal fibers; “garden guru” Jeff Negron, who consults individuals and businesses on creating and maintaining vegetable gardens through his kitchen, garden design and management business; Sag Harbor Elementary School teacher and visual artist Kryn Olson, who recently returned from a trip to the Jacaranda School for Orphans in Malawi, a small landlocked country in southeast Africa; bird watching veteran and tour leader Frank Quevedo, who is the executive director of the South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center; Gary Reiswig, the owner of the Maidstone Arms in East Hampton and author of “Water Boy” and other works of fiction and nonfiction; director and co-curator of East Hampton Shed Hadley Vogel, who gives multi-media artists an alternative exhibition space; and part-time Sag Harbor resident Brooke Williams, whose blog thisisauthentic.com features photography and personal anecdotes on all aspects of life.

PechaKucha is on Friday, September 19, at 6 p.m. at the Parrish Art Museum at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. Tickets include museum admission and are $10. Museum members get in for free. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (631) 283-2118 or visiting parrishart.org.

Latin American Film Festival Returns to the Parrish

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Sergio Hernández (Rodolfo) and Paulina García (Gloria) in Sebastián Lelio’s “Gloria,” which will be screened at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 14.

By Mara Certic

Seven boxes, a fisherman and a middle-aged Chilean woman will be featured in films screened next weekend during the 11th annual OLA Film Festival at the Parrish Art Museum.

The Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island (OLA) is a local outreach nonprofit that promotes the Latino community’s cultural, economic, social and educational development in the towns of East Hampton and Southampton. Isabel Sepulveda, one of the founders of OLA, started the film festival back in 2003 and for the past six years, the Parrish Art Museum has hosted the Spanish-language weekend.

“Isabel Sepulveda has been with it from the beginning. She has the vision each year,” said Andrea Grover, curator of special projects at the Parrish, who added that Ms. Sepulveda is “essential” to the festival. Ms. Grover said she always enjoys the OLA film festival and “it is something that people anticipate and are enthusiastic about seeing.”

“In 2001, we founded OLA. Part of the mission was to do advocacy work. We thought we could reach more people doing cultural events,” Ms. Sepulveda said on Monday. “Through an annual film festival we can bring the two communities together.”

It is a fun change of theme for the Parrish, which usually screens films on the subject of art. “This is a little bit of a different tact for us. It’s something that we find really valuable,” Ms. Grover said in a phone interview on Saturday.

There is no theme to the festival, no connection to art, as such, except that each of these films are critically acclaimed and highly anticipated. According to Ms. Grover, Ms. Sepulveda “is trying to reach as broad as an audience as possible” with her choices for the festival. Documentaries, dramas and comedies have all made it to the big screen at the OLA film festival, even shorts, but Ms. Grover said the curator “is looking for quality.”

The OLA film festival features recently released, critically acclaimed movies from different Latin American countries, according to Ms. Grover. The festival kicks off on Friday, September 12, at 5:30 p.m. with “Pescador” (“Fisherman”).

“Pescador” was co-written and directed by Ecuadoran filmmaker Sebastián Cordero in 2011. It tells the story of 30-year-old Blanquito (played by Andrés Crespo), who lives with his mother in a small fishing village where he never really felt he belonged. One day, Blanquito discovers a box filled with bricks of cocaine and he finds a way to get out of his 30-year rut. He is determined to sell the cocaine back to the cartel for top prices and to use that money to leave the small village and change his life.

He falls for a woman named Lorna, with whom he spends the rest of the 96-minute film on a dangerous adventure. “Pescador” won awards for best director and best actor at the 2012 Guadalajara Mexican Film Festival, and Mr. Crespo won another award for best actor at the Cartagena Film Festival in Colombia.

Following the screening of “Pescador,” Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican band Mambo Loco will perform on the Mildred C. Brinn Terrace at the Parrish at 7 p.m. “It’s something we plan to develop further,” Ms. Grover said of expanding the festival’s offerings.

The next day at 3 p.m., the Parrish will show a Paraguayan film, “7 Cajas” (“7 Boxes”).  The PG-13 film directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori is the story of the lure and dangers of money.  Victor, a 17-year-old wheelbarrow operator, accepts $100 to transport seven boxes of unknown content through an eight-block journey in the busy municipal market. Drama and danger ensue in the action-thriller, which won five awards at various film festivals, including the Audience Award at the Miami Film Festival.

The last film to be screened over the weekend will be on Sunday at 3 p.m. The film is “Gloria,” the story of a rebirth for a middle-aged divorcée living in Santiago. “It’s one I’ve wanted to see because it depicts a woman in her mid-life and it’s a depiction of a real life scenario done with kindness,” Ms. Grover said. “It’s subject matter not frequently featured,” she said, adding that Ms. Sepulveda has been eager to feature the Chilean movie since its release.

The R-rated tale won a total of 17 awards at festivals all around the world, including the main competition at the Berlin International Film Festival and several best actress awards for Paulina Garcia, who plays the title role.

Ms. Sepulveda said there are many high-quality films coming out of Latin America. “I wish we could have a longer festival, like two weeks. It takes a lot to put it together, especially when everyone’s volunteering their time. It’s not easy,” she said.

Tickets for each film are $10; admission is free for museum members, students and children. The musical performance by Mambo Loco is free with museum admission. The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information call (631) 283-2118 or visit parrishart.org




Art Takes Over Apple in the Parrish Road Show

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"Spinning Beach Ball of Death," Evan Desmond Yee.

“Spinning Beach Ball of Death,” Evan Desmond Yee.

By Tessa Raebeck

The Parrish Road Show is coming to Sag Harbor this weekend, with artist Evan Desmond Yee taking over GeekHampton.

Now in its third year, the road show put on by the Parrish Art Museum brings the work of East End artists to places outside of the Water Mill museum—and off the beaten path.

“’Road Show” aims to broaden the traditional understanding of the function of an art museum by bringing art outside and into the community,” Parrish Curator of Special Projects Andrea Grover said in a press release.

For “The App Store,” Evan Desmond Yee has created a mock Apple computer retail space. The artist’s sculptural interpretations of iPhone apps and other digital icons will be on display in GeekHampton’s education room.

A video interpretation of the iPhone’s Siri will describe the artwork and the “Pinwheel of Death,” the rotating colorful circle that is synonymous with waiting for your computer to work, is replicated on stickers, magnets and other objects.

“With the tremendous popularity of the app, virtual environments have eclipsed ‘mechanical,’ utilitarian objects,” Mr. Yee said in a press release. “They blur the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds. ‘The App Store’ will motivate users to question our progress towards a ‘virtual utopia’ and to reevaluate our obsession with contemporary design as a panacea for the trials of modern life.”

“The App Store” will be on view at GeekHampton from Saturday, August 30, through Sunday, September 28. An opening reception for the public is Saturday, August 30, from 6 to 7 p.m. GeekHampton is located at 34 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Admission is free. For more information, visit parrishart.org or call (631) 283-2118.

Art and Fashion Legends to Host a Conversation at the Parrish Art Museum

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Ross Bleckner, Calvin Klein and Edward Nardoza will host a conversation at the Parrish Art Museum.

Artist Ross Bleckner, Designer Calvin Klein and Fashion Editor Edward Nardoza, who will host a conversation at the Parrish Art Museum on Sunday, August 24.

By Tessa Raebeck

Design legends—and East End residents—Ross Bleckner and Calvin Klein will share their experiences in a conversation moderated by Edward Nardoza at the Parrish Art Museum on Sunday, August 24.

The first event in the museum’s new annual series, “By Design: Innovators in Art & Fashion in Conversation,” the evening aims to inspire through dialogue.

Mr. Nardoza has been the editor-in-chief of Women’s Wear Daily since 1991, steering the paper into the digital age and expanding its international coverage, marketing, media, financial and technology beats.

Known for his large-scale paintings that deal largely with remembrance and loss, Mr. Bleckner is an American artist who was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island. He lives in a Sagaponack beach house previously owned by Truman Capote.

Internationally renowned fashion designer Calvin Klein, also of New York City, has, through his self-named brand, launched numerous perfume, watch, jewelry and clothing lines. His local beach house is in Southampton Village.

He designed his signature tight-fitting jeans in 1974, which reportedly went on to gross $200,000 in their first week of sales.

The conversation will be held in the Lichtenstein Theater, followed by a cocktail reception with the guest speakers on the Mildred C. Brinn Terrace. The event runs from 4 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $150 for Parrish members and $200 for non-members and can be purchased at parrishart.org/ByDesign.

East End Weekend: Highlights of What to Do August 15 to 17

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"Pont de Tournelle" by Stephen Wilkes is on view at the Tulla Booth Gallery in Sag Harbor.

“Pont de Tournelle” by Stephen Wilkes is on view at the Tulla Booth Gallery in Sag Harbor.

By Tessa Raebeck

Art, films, and alternative energy; there’s plenty to do on the East End this weekend:


“Water 2014″ opens at the Tulla Booth Gallery in Sag Harbor on Saturday, August 16, with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m.

The annual exhibition features contemporary and classic photography “depicting life in and around the most powerful force of nature,” said the gallery. Dan Jones, Karine Laval, Herb Friedman, John Magarites, Blair Seagram, Tulla Booth, Anne Gabriele and Jay Hoops will show their work at the gallery, which is located at 66 Main Street in Sag Harbor.


Furthering on your water weekend, visit the Parrish Art Museum for the Maritime Film Festival, a 70-minute screening of short film selections, on Friday, August 15, at 7 p.m.

The program includes a brief talk by artist Duke Riley, a live musical performance and a special sampling of Sag Harbor Rum.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, call (631) 283-2118.


Hosted by Alec Baldwin, the Hamptons International Film Festival presents “Last Days in Vietnam,” on Saturday, August 16, at 7:30 p.m.

The documentary, produced and directed by Rory Kennedy,  follows United States soldiers during the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War, when the North Vietnamese Army was closing in on Saigon as the South Vietnamese resistance crumbled.

A question and answer session will follow the screening, which will be held at Guild Hall, located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, call the box office at (631) 324-4050.


The East End Climate Action Network will host its first annual Sustainability and Renewable Energy Fair on Saturday, August 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the grounds of Miss Amelia’s Cottage in Amagansett Village.

The event features exhibitions from leading companies in the sustainability and renewable energy fields, as well as informal lectures from energy and environment experts, local food and fun games and other activities for kids. Local artists will perform at the end of the day.

Tony award-winning John Glover will read "The Tempest" at two outdoor performances for the new Bay Street Shakespeare Initiative.

Tony award-winning John Glover will read “The Tempest” at two outdoor performances for the new Bay Street Shakespeare Initiative.

There will also be opportunities to get involved in local sustainability and climate change efforts, including solar energy consultations, beach clean-ups and membership sign-ups for local environmental groups. For more information, visit Renewable Energy Long Island.


Celebrating the launch of The Bay Street Shakespeare Initiative, Bay Street Theater will present two outdoor staged readings of The Tempest starring Tony award-winner John Glover as Prospero, on August 16 and 17.

On Saturday, the first performance is a VIP benefit held on a private waterfront estate on Shelter Island. The evening, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails followed by a 7 p.m. reading, includes a reception with the cast.

Sunday’s reading, which is open to the community free of charge, also starts at 7 p.m. at a thus far undisclosed location. There will be bleacher seating, although guests are encouraged to bring chairs, picnics and blankets. The reading will take place as the sun sets, with the stars coming out as Mr. Glover reads Shakespeare’s most beloved plays.

For more information, call the Bay Street box office at (631) 725-9500.

East End Weekend: Highlights of July 18 to 20

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"Calabrone" by Ramiro. Courtesy Grenning Gallery.

“Calabrone” by Ramiro. Courtesy Grenning Gallery.

By Tessa Raebeck

Summer is in full swing and there’s plenty to choose from to do on the East End this weekend. Here are some highlights:


The Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor is hosting an opening reception for Ramiro’s Solo Show on Saturday, July 19, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Ramiro solo show this year steps forward into a more mystical and hopeful realm,” owner Laura Grenning wrote in a press release.

“Anchoring the exhibit is a suite of four substantial figurative works, with each painting representing a season of the soul.  Although well known for his expert likenesses in portraiture and grand figurative work, Ramiro’s distinguishing characteristic is, ironically, his ability to let go of the discreet reality of the eyes when necessary.  With this, he infuses his narrative compositions with mystery that allows the paintings to endure the critical test of time,” added Ms. Grenning.

The Grenning Gallery is located at 17 Washington Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call (631) 725-8469.


Water Mill’s  Parrish Art Museum is hosting its second edition of Gesture Jam, an adult figure drawing class in which artists sketch live models in a high-energy environment, Friday, July 18 at 6 p.m.

Facilitated by local artist and educator Andrea Cote, this year’s Gesture Jam will be held outdoors on the museum’s terrace and include live musicians Nicolas Letman-Burtanovic on bass and Sean Sonderegger on saxaphone. Local dancers Adam and Gail Baranello are the models.

“Imagine going home with drawings that look like you’ve been to some sort of psychedelic cabaret, and feeling that way too. Andrea Cote’s Gesture Jam classes have just that effect,” Parrish Curator of Special Projects Andrea Grover said in a press release.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, call (631) 283-2118.


Celebrities are coming to Bridgehampton for CMEE’s 6th Annual Family Fair on Saturday, July 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Children’s Museum of the East End‘s largest fundraiser, this year the fair will have a magical theme.

George Stephanopoulos, Dan Abrams, Jane Krakowski, Joy Behar, Julie Bowen, Molly Sims and Tiffani Thiessen (of Saved by the Bell fame) are some of the CMEE supporters expected to be in attendance.

Children and their families can enjoy magical arts and crafts, water slides, games and entertainment, music, food, and CMEE’s brand new nine-hole miniature golf course.

CMEE is located at 376 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike on the Bridgehampton side. For more information, call (631) 537-8250.


A painting by Georges Desarmes. Courtesy Christ Episcopal Church.

A painting by Georges Desarmes. Courtesy Christ Episcopal Church.

Christ Episcopal Church in Sag Harbor is hosting its fourth Haitian Art & Handcraft Sale all weekend, July 18 to 20, to benefit the village of Chermaître in partnership with the Vassar Haiti Project.

An opening reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and the sale will continue in the Upper Parish Hall on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Two hundred original paintings and a large assortment of unique and affordable gifts, including silk scarves, jewely and iron sculpture, will be on sale.

Many women in the village, Chermaître in northwestern Haiti, are struggling to start small businesses to support their families by selling the crafts they create and the coffee they grow. Proceeds from the church sale will go toward building a community center in the village to support those women.

For more information on the charity, call (970) 946-7614 or visit haitiproject.org. The Christ Episcopal Church is located at the corner of East Union and Hampton Street (Route 114) in Sag Harbor. For more information, call the church at (631) 725-0128.


The gallery at Sag Harbor’s Canio Books is hosting artists Ron Focarino and Jeanelle Myers, with her latest assemblage series, Plains Reverie, with an opening reception Friday, July 18 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“Myers work reflects the influence of her Nebraska roots, echoing the work of Wright Morris and Joseph Cornell,” the gallery said in a press release. “Myers incorporates a diverse array of found objects including old letters, metals, writing implements, fabric and many other materials into her compelling assemblages.”

"Golden Scarab" enamel sculpture by Ron Focarino. Courtesy Canio's Books.

“Golden Scarab” enamel sculpture by Ron Focarino. Courtesy Canio’s Books.

Artist Ron Focarino will also be exhibiting, showing his “creature creations, delightful enamel sculptures of insects, including a dragonfly, crane fly, scarab and others,” according to Canio’s.

The exhibit runs July 11 through August 5 at Canio’s Books, 290 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call (631) 725-4926.

The Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor presents the artwork of Anna De Mauro and Thomas Condon, with an opening reception Saturday, July 19 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Sculptor and painter Anna De Mauro is a figurative artist working from the live model.

“Her work process includes observation from life to record instinctual responses to the subject, passage of time and impressions of the metaphysical and the human condition,” the gallery said in a press release.

Thomas Condon lives part-time in East Hampton and focuses on the local landscape here on the East End, as well as the urban scenes of New York City.

The show runs July 17 through August 7 at the Romany Kramoris Gallery, 41 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call (631) 725-2499.

Rebooting a Race

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Tucker Marder, left, and Christian Scheider, right, wearing half of the blue footed booby costumes. Photo by Christopher Golden.

By Genevieve Kotz

The human brain is the most complex human organism, and it is also the one we take most for granted.

Christian Scheider and Tucker Marder hope that with their theatrical adaption of Kurt Vonnegut’s 1985 novel, Galápagos at the Parrish Art Museum, perhaps the audience will ponder—even if briefly—what life would be like without one.

“One of the ideas that really made us interested in it is that it’s like a great thought experiment,” Mr. Marder explained. “What would the world be like if humans did not have brains?”

“Or the brains that they do have,” Mr. Scheider interjected.

The two spent the last eight months adapting the novel, which tells the story of a post-apocalyptic group of survivors on the Galápagos Islands who become the progenitors of the new human race. It will be a one-act play with a cast of 26, including Chloe Dirksen, Nick Gregory, Bob Balaban, and a cameo from Sophie the Dog, who plays a finch. Even though the play spans over a million years, no actor will have multiple roles.

“Nature is diverse, so the play should be diverse,” Mr. Scheider explained. He will play the role of Prince Richard, a “bloated homophobic plutocrat.”

The plot centers around Mary Hepburn and James Wait, played by Ms. Dirksen and Mr. Gregory, and later focuses on Adolf and Sigfried von Kleist, played by Spencer Carlson and Madeline Wise, who run a nature cruise ship. However, Mr. Scheider was quick to explain that the play is an ensemble cast, so there really is no main character.

It also has actors playing animals such as the blue-footed booby and the marine iguana. The narrative plot will be broken up by 10 animal interludes, which will tell thinly veiled analogies about what is occurring among the humans, according to Mr. Scheider.

“The basic idea of taking humans and putting them into contexts which are not human can reveal some of the absurdity of what is human,” he explained. “And, also hopefully, some of the things that are good about humans.”

Adapting a novel into a play is a difficult task to begin with, but it is another task entirely with a writer like Kurt Vonnegut. The creative duo both agreed that taking on the book gave them a million opportunities to fail, and yet that was a large part of the appeal.

“You might read this novel and say, ‘Oh this is utterly inadaptable, you’d be an idiot to try to adapt this book,’” Mr. Scheider explained, “which, of course, is like a great chance. There was so many opportunities for spectacular failure, and failure in the best sense.”

“There’s creative and intellectual and social value in somebody in an animal suit attempting to act as an animal and fail,” Mr. Marder noted.

To help get the actors into the animal character, Mr. Marder enlisted Isla Hansen, an artist, to design and create all 16 animal costumes. The costumes range from playful caricatures to wearable puppet suits, although Ms. Hansen said she still made sure that the costumes contained accurate biological information.

“What I’ve tried to do in the costumes is somewhat accurately depict these creatures in the best way that I can imagine a human dressed as one can represent, while taking the liberty to exaggerate certain features that are discussed in the novel and play in relation to what makes this animal unique,” she said.

The play will be the first performance held at the Lichtenstein Theater in the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, an opportunity the two were very thankful for. While there is no stage, Shelby Jackson designed a three-story set of the Bahía de Darwin, the “cruise ship cradle of all mankind.”

The play will feature puppets, physical comedy, video, and ends with a lobster ballet. It will premier on Monday, July 21, at 6 p.m. and play throughout the week.

The pair, who met at Ross High School, also collaborated last year on an  adaption of Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Murderer.” This year, they were inspired by Isabella Rossellini’s “The Green Porno,” which they saw as questioning the limitations in which society places the boundaries of what is natural or not. They hope to carry a similar theme with this play.

“There’s 9 million species,” Mr. Marder said. “There’s 9 million ways to be.”