Tag Archive | "Parrish Art Museum"

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.”

 

Parrish Hosts Yoga Series

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The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, in partnership with the Ananda Wellness and Yoga Center in Southampton, will be hosting Yoga on the Terrace every Sunday at 11 a.m. through August.

Yoga on the Terrace is an hour-long restorative yoga session open to participants of all levels. Attendees will reach a quiet mental state as well as learn to breathe more efficiently, extend their range of motion and strengthen the body. The yoga sessions will also help enhance the experience of viewing works in the museum and the instructors will encourage participants to reflect on the creative process.

“Yoga is not merely an exercise for the physical body,” Mary Angela Buffo, owner of Ananda Yoga, said in a press release. “It is a philosophical practice that has the ability to relieve stress and create a quieter mind, allowing each of us to tap into our creative genius.”

Attendees can bring their own yoga mats or purchase them in the museum shop. Post-yoga breakfast items will be available for purchase in the Museum’s Golden Pear Café and participants are encouraged to view the works of art afterward.

The program is included with $10 museum admission and is free for members, children and students. Attendees can reserve a spot, but it is not required. A one-time free session is available online at www.parrishart.org or at the museum on Sundays.

For more information, call the Parrish at (631) 283-2118 or visit its website.

Say Cheese at the Parrish

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In honor of National Camera Day, the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill will host a new event “Say Cheese” on Sunday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Participants will learn about how photography has shaped American culture and be able to engage in creative activities, see photographic work from the permanent collections, and see a theater-sized camera obscura in the Liechtenstein Theatre. It is open to photographers of all skill levels.

Visitors will be able to participate in “Artlympics” challenges, such as creating the best moment with a museum employee or best camouflage attempt in front of an artwork. The museum also encourages participant to share these feats through camera phones and the popular photography-sharing app, Instagram. There will also be “Op Spots” around the museum, perfect for creating optical illusions and trick photography, and a photo booth, provided by Super Booths, Inc. Local photographers will also share their insights and experiences through demonstrations and mini-lessons.

“The phenomenon of cell phone and personal photography prompted us to design a program that embraces this everyday impulse and acknowledges that the medium has been evolving and expanding the way we understand history and culture for nearly 200 years,” said Andrea Grover, curator of Special Projects, in a release.

The program is included with the museum’s admission, which is $10 for adults and free for members, children and students.

The Parrish, which is the oldest cultural institution on the East End of Long Island, is committed to the educational outreach and serves as a dynamic cultural resource for the community with a rich creative background.

For more information, call (631) 283-2118 or visit www.parrishart.org.

Parrish Hosts Lunchtime Talk Series

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Jennifer Bartlett’s Amagansett Diptych #1 will be one of the works discussed in the first session of the lunchtime lecture series. Image courtesy of the Parrish Art Museum.

By Genevieve Kotz

The lunchtime lecture series at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill will return with the program “Brain Food: Conversations on Art” led by curator Alicia Longwell on Thursday, June 26.

The lunchtime lecture series will provide museum visitors with an hour-long illustrated lecture on current exhibitions, publications and artists in the collections, and will be held in the museum’s Lichtenstein Theater.

The talks will begin at noon. Attendees are welcome to eat their lunch as Dr. Longwell delivers her slide show presentation. For those who don’t bring a lunch, a special combo of a wrap, salad and beverage will be available at the museum’s Golden Pear café for $10.

The first topic will be on the museum’s current exhibition, “Jennifer Bartlett – History of the Universe: Works 1970-2011.” There will also be a lecture on William Glackens on August 7 and a lecture on the artist William Merritt Chase on August 21.

“These intimate, convivial gatherings add to the variety of educational experiences we offer at the Parrish and allow our visitors direct access to an astute curatorial voice,” Andrea Grover, curator of special programs, said in a release.

The Parrish Art Museum, now located on Montauk Highway in Water Mill, is the oldest cultural institution on the East End of Long Island. The Parrish is dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation and dissemination of art from the 19th century to present as well as be a cultural resource for the community.

Ms. Longwell has worked with the Parrish Art Museum since 1984 and is currently its chief curator.

The program is included with the museum admission. Regular admission is $10 and members, children or student admissions are free.

For more information, call 631-283-2118. To make a reservation, visit www.parrishart.org.

 

A Tribal War Dancer, a Beekeeper, a Slew of Artists and More at PechaKucha at the Parrish Art Museum

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Michael Halsband's photograph of Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat #143 New York City, July 10, 1985. Mr. Halsband is one of 10 presenters from various fields who will present at PechaKucha Night Hamptons at the Parrish Art Museum Friday, June 13. Image courtesy of Michael Halsband.

Michael Halsband’s photograph of Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat #143 New York City, July 10, 1985. Mr. Halsband is one of 10 presenters from various fields who will present at PechaKucha Night Hamptons at the Parrish Art Museum Friday, June 13. Image courtesy of Michael Halsband.

By Tessa Raebeck

When Michael Halsband announced, “I’m into photography,” to his parents at age 10, they promised to buy him a camera if he was still into it in a year. A few years later, he had gained admission to the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, photographed the likes of Andy Warhol, David Byrne and Klaus Nomi (the latter for his senior thesis)—and earned that camera. A year after graduating, he was photographing Keith Richards for the cover of Rolling Stone.

Mr. Halsband will be one of 10 presenters at the eighth edition of PechaKucha Night Hamptons at the Parrish Art Museum this Friday, June 13. The program, now in its third year, introduces the community to some of its most intriguing members through rapid-fire presentations about living creatively on the East End. Each speaker shows 20 slides for 20 seconds, sharing a life of creativity in six minutes and 40 seconds.

Organized at the Parrish by Curator of Special Projects Andrea Grover, who recently won a major award given for innovation, PechaKucha presentations began in Tokyo—PechaKucha means “chit-chat” in Japanese—in 2003 and are now given all over the world in over 700 cities.

Friday’s presenters include May Castleberry, who edits and produces hand-bound books for the Library Council of the Museum of Modern Art; artist Mirella Cheeseman, creator of the food and culture blog Santosha; painter Sabra Moon Elliot; Mr. Halsband; artist and educator John Messinger of East Hampton; Greenport oyster farmer Michael Osinski; Shinnecock Indian Nation member James Keith Phillips, who is a writer, celebrated Eastern war dancer and licensed clinical social worker; mixed-media artist and award-winning photographer Bastienne Schmidt; Ezra Thompson, a featured artist at the 2013 “Artists Choose Artists” exhibition at the Parrish; and beekeeper Mary Woltz, founder and owner of Bees’ Needs.

After his Keith Richards cover shoot, Mr. Halsband was asked by Mick Jagger to join the group as the tour photographer for the Rolling Stones’ 1981-82 “Tattoo You” North American tour. Several years later, he created his most iconic photograph, a portrait of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat wearing boxing gloves. He spent the next decades making album covers, photographing fashion and portraits, and working on international ad campaigns.

As of Monday, Mr. Halsband had not pinned down his strategy in fitting a portfolio onto 20 slides that spans more than three decades and the stories that would naturally come from going on tour with the Rolling Stones, directing a Li’l Bow Wow television commercial or creating a series of pin-up photograph and portraits of strippers and sex industry workers.

Raised in New York City but having grown to love the East End, Mr. Halsband is also a filmmaker and surfer. He founded Surf Movie Night in East Hampton and juries the Atlantic Vibrations film program at the Parrish, which premiered last summer. On Friday, however, he will focus on the hobby he found when he was 10: photography.

“I’ve taken on such a big monster by just even trying to encapsulate my life into six minutes and 40 seconds, so I feel like I would be cheating people if I started showing any film,” he said, adding he would give “background stories of the images and how I came to take them, the adventures I had.”

The portfolios and areas of expertise of the presenters are as varied as the roster itself. Mixed media artist Bastienne Schmidt works with photography, drawing and painting in her Bridgehampton studio.

Ms. Schmidt’s presentation will focus on “the sense of personal space that we create,” she said Monday, adding she will speak of her latest book and accompanying exhibition, “Topography of Quiet,” opening June 28 at Ille Arts in Amagansett.

“I grew up in Greece, Italy, Germany and the United States, so for me it’s always a very important concept to really be in a place and to be inspired by it. And to take something with me from that place, but also to create topology to compare things and structures, because every place is so different,” she said.

The rapid-fire format of the PechaKucha presentations, Ms. Schmidt added, “really makes you revisit how you want to present something, because it’s not necessarily about, ‘Oh, I want to show my 15 most beautiful paintings. It’s more like, you take the audience onto a journey.”

“It’s a great way to introduce somebody from the community, to know what they’re really about and it makes you curious to know more,” she added.

There is much to learn about each of the 10 presenters Friday. Beekeeper Mary Woltz calls “the girls,” her bees, the hardest working members of the food chain.

“Powwow season is in full swing,” tribal dancer James Keith Phillips said in an email Monday. A member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, which has one of the 10 great powwows held in the United States, according to USA Today, Mr. Phillips is also a writer and social worker.

Artist John Messinger grew up in East Hampton and was the Watermill Center’s 20th annual International Artist in Residence. His recent works include “Facebook Makes Us Lonely” and “Learning to Meditate.”

To answer the first question he ever heard, his father’s panicked, “Is he breathing?” when he was born in a Volvo in Midtown Manhattan traffic, Mr. Messinger went on a trip exploring the country, resulting in “Learning to Meditate.”

“Throughout the course of my trip, I learned, and have been relearning each day since, that meditation, like art, will never provide me with the whole picture,” Mr. Messinger said on his website. “Notions of truth, like our views of self, are too big, too mercurial, too slippery to hold. Instead, our thoughts, like images, must be accepted as fragments, that when considered and held together in light, can sometimes offer us an alternate perspective.”

Perhaps those fragments will be in 20-second intervals Friday.

PechaKucha Night Hamptons, Vol. 8 at the Parrish Art Museum is Friday, June 13, at 6 p.m. For more information, visit parrishart.org or call (631) 283-2118.

Landscape Pleasures Offers an Insider’s Look at Southampton’s Ever-Changing Gardens

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The garden of Margaret and R. Peter Sullivan is one of the homes featured on the Parrish Art Museum's Landscape Pleasures garden tour this Sunday, June 8. Photo by Doug Young.

The garden of Margaret and R. Peter Sullivan is one of the homes featured on the Parrish Art Museum’s Landscape Pleasures garden tour this Sunday, June 8. Photo by Doug Young.

By Tessa Raebeck

Like a piece of artwork or a writer’s manuscript, a garden is never truly finished. As with all art, gardens can always evolve, changing with the seasons and naturally growing out of plans and designs, developing over time in a never-ending evolution.

Gardening is the art of the Earth, providing the willing and creative with another means of finding beauty in the mundane.

“All I know is, I don’t paint with a trowel or garden with a brush,” the late Robert Dash said in a video by P. Allen Smith Classics filmed in 2011, two years before his death, when asked about the connection between gardening and painting.

“They inform one another in ways that are very mysterious. It’s how the trowel is wielded or how the brush is wielded that informs the canvas or the Earth and there are no rules. And the only way you know how to do something in either of those arts is by doing it,” he added.

Mr. Dash, an artist, writer and gardener who died in September at age 82, “believed very much in gardens taking their time and developing over a period of time,” said Jack deLashmet, co-chair of Landscape Pleasures, which will honor Mr. Dash this year.

Hosted by the Parrish Art Museum, Landscape Pleasures includes three lectures by gardening and landscape design experts on Saturday, June 7, followed by a day of tours of some of Southampton’s most historic and remarkable gardens on Sunday, June 8.

The 2-acre Sagaponack garden of Mr. Dash, the Madoo Conservancy, which is open to the public, is included among the private estates on Sunday’s tour.

Established in 1967, the internationally known organic garden is a testament to Mr. Dash’s belief in the ever-evolving landscape. The grounds offer a tour across history, featuring Tudor, High Renaissance, early Greek, English, French and Asian influences.

Mr. Dash’s horticultural wisdom—and his commitment to the garden as a canvas that is ever changing and organic—will be celebrated and expanded on this weekend.

“We’ve always had excellent speakers,” said Mr. deLashmet of the annual garden tours, who believes this year’s Landscape Pleasures is the best yet. “The theme is the never finished garden, that gardens really evolve—and everybody will have a slight take on that,”

On Saturday, southern landscape design architect Paul Faulkner “Chip” Callaway, “an absolutely entertaining speaker,” according to Mr. deLashmet, will present, reflecting on his experience creating nearly 1,000 gardens, concentrating on period restoration work and designing historically relevant gardens.

Following Mr. Callaway, Martin Filler, the architecture critic for The New York Review of Books, and renowned for his more than 1,000 articles, essays and books on modern architecture,  will celebrate the contributions of Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, the Listerine fortune heiress who was a patron of the arts with a dedicated interest in gardening, landscape design and the history of gardens.

A friend and confidante of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Ms. Mellon redesigned the White House Rose Garden. She died in March at the age of 103.

One of the world’s premiere garden designers, Arne Maynard, is the final speaker Saturday. Known for his large country gardens in Great Britain, the United States and across Europe, Mr. Maynard has the special “ability to identify and draw out the essence of a place, something that gives his gardens a particular quality of harmony,” according to the Parrish website.

Continuing the celebration of the changing nature of gardens, the self-guided tour Sunday features properties with rich histories behind them.

The garden of Perri Peltz and Eric Ruttenberg, an 1892 property originally called “Claverack,” is rarely open to the public.

Although it has evolved, the owners are always mindful of their home’s deep history; the original outhouses, bucolic buildings housing poultry, dairy and the stables, were, in a move that is sadly rare on the East End, married together and allowed to remain.

Designer Tory Burch will open up her home, a 1929 red brick Georgian House and 10-acre garden known as Westerly that is one of Southampton’s grandest estates.

“A great story about both restoring and finding old plants,” according to Mr. deLashmet,  Bernard and Joan Carl, the owners an 8-acre estate called “Little Orchard,” restored original plantings while also bringing in new gardens.

“We did not want to be beholden to the past just for the past’s sake,” Ms. Carl told the Parrish.

The garden of Margaret and R. Peter Sullivan is an American style garden flanked by a new Palladian villa. The landscape offers a modern interpretation on standard ideas of gardening, with fruits and vegetables, an herb garden, and a vase decorated with poetry made by Mr. Dash.

As the late Mr. Dash once said, “Gardening is very much like setting a table—and if you can set a good dinner table, you can be a good gardener.”

A two-day event, Landscape Pleasures begins Saturday, June 7, at 8:30 a.m. at the Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For a full calendar and more information, call (631) 283-2118 or visit parrishart.org.

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.

Sounds of Summer Series Kicks off at the Parrish Art Museum with the HooDoo Loungers

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The HooDoo Loungers. Photo courtesy Joe Lauro.

The HooDoo Loungers will perform at the Parrish Art Museum Friday, May 23. Photo courtesy Joe Lauro.

By Stephen J. Kotz

The Parrish Art Museum’s second annual Sounds of Summer series will get off to a decidedly, if unseasonably, Mardi Gras theme when the HooDoo Loungers take to the stage on the museum’s covered terrace on Friday, May 23.

“It’s all New Orleans-inspired stuff. It’s all in that vein,” said bassist Joe Lauro, the co-founder of the nine-piece ensemble and a self-described aficionado of American roots music. “We started off doing covers, but now we do about half originals. It’s a stompin’ band.”

The concert, which takes place at 6 p.m., is the first in a series of five that have been scheduled over the next three months. Also appearing in the series will be the Next Level Band, which performs steel drum and reggae, on June 6; Mambo Loco, which performs Latin-inspired jazz, on July 4; Edith and Bennett, who perform old-time folk music, on August 1; and the Ebony Hillbillies, a bluegrass band whose performance will include a barbecue for attendees, on September 5.

The concerts are free with museum admission, which is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and free for children under 18 or students with an identification card.

“On Friday nights we are open late and we have this beautiful, west facing terrace …that can be used for live music, films, that sort of thing,” said Andrea Grover, the Parrish’s curator for special projects. “This program is really geared toward reveling. It’s the kind of music that is intended to get people up and dancing. Or, if you like, you can go out on the lawn with your kids and let them run around and jump up and down.”

Mr. Lauro is well known among Sag Harborites for the occasional music film series he hosts at Bay Street Theatre, using footage owned by his company, Historic Films, as well with his past, and still occasional, performances with the Lone Sharks, Gene Casey’s rhythm and blues-based band.

Besides Mr. Lauro, the Loungers’ lineup includes a pair of vocalists, Dawnette Darden and Marvin Joshua (who recently joined the band), David Dietch, on keyboards and accordion, Michael Schiano on guitar, Dave Giacone on drums and a three-member horn section made of Brian Sears on tenor and baritone sax, Ed Leone on trombone and Gary Henderson on trumpet that, Mr. Lauro said, handle the majority of the solos.

“Every band out there—all they have is guitars,” he said. “We said, ‘Let’s do something different!’”

Mr. Lauro said that Mr. Dietch handles the group’s arrangements and tries to keep fresh the classics the group plays as well as provide an authentic New Orleans feel to its original songs. “We write to the theme,” he said.

A documentary filmmaker who branched into the world of film archiving, amassing an incredible collection of vintage music footage, from Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker, through Elvis Presley, the Beatles and later rock groups, Mr. Lauro said he was bitten by the music bug at an early age.

“The Beatles,” he responded when asked his inspiration for taking up the bass. “But I had two lives as a kid. I also had this secret life of loving vaudeville singers like Al Jolson and Eddie Kantor. So I was listening to that and completely loving the Beatles and all the stuff that was coming up.”

Thanks to groups like the Beatles that covered ’50s R&B and rockabilly, Mr. Lauro said he learned about the likes of Carl Perkins, Fats Domino and Little Richard by working his way backward. “Eventually you learned that Paul McCartney could scream, but not like Little Richard.”

After moving east more than 30 years ago, Mr. Lauro hooked up with an old high school bandmate, Mr. Schiano, in the Moondogs. Later, he joined Mr. Casey’s Lone Sharks for several years.

He and Mr. Dietch formed the HooDoo Loungers about four years ago. “When I left the Lone Sharks, I wanted to do a New Orleans project. But I thought we’d be more of a show band, and do a whole retrospective show for corporate parties and that sort of thing. Pretty soon we started doing original stuff, but we still do lots and lots of old New Orleans stuff.”

Mr. Lauro said he hoped that some of the infectious joy that imbues the spirit of life in New Orleans comes through in the band’s playing.

“Partying isn’t something they do on Saturday night. They live that the whole year,” he said. “They celebrate joy through music. That kind of works for me.”

For more information about Sounds of Summer and other Parrish events, call 631-283-21118 or visit parrishart.org.

 

Jazz en Plein Air Series at the Parrish

The Parrish Art Museum will also once again hold its Jazz en Plein Air series, on the first Friday of each month from May through August.

The series starts on Friday, May 30, at 6 p.m. with an appearance by jazz drummer Eliot Zigmund, who has played behind the likes of Chet Baker and Bill Evans. The series continues with Nilson Matta on June 27, Iris Ornig on July 25, and an act to be announced for August 29.

Seating is limited and reserved for guests ordering food and beverages from the museum café. However, guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the music from the terrace and lawn.

Parrish Art Museum Curator Andrea Grover Wins Prestigious Exhibition Award

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The Waterpod Project at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5. By artist Mary Mattingly, 2009, slated to participate in Radical Seafaring at the Parrish Art Museum. Photo by Mike Nagle.

The Waterpod Project at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5. By artist Mary Mattingly, 2009, slated to participate in Radical Seafaring at the Parrish Art Museum. Photo by Mike Nagle.

By Tessa Raebeck

In recognition of her innovation and experimentation, Andrea Grover, artist, writer and Curator of Special Projects at the Parrish Art Museum, was awarded a 2014 Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award to realize the upcoming exhibition, Radical Seafaring.

Andrea Grover, Curator of Special Projects for the Parrish Art Museum. Photo by Mike Pintauro.

Andrea Grover, Curator of Special Projects for the Parrish Art Museum. Photo by Mike Pintauro.

Scheduled to be on view at the Parrish from April through July 2016, Radical Seafaring was one of only three exhibitions to receive the prestigious biennial award, granted by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. The award provides the museum with a $150,000 grant, as well as a living artist stipend for artists whose existing work will be included in the exhibition.

Established in 1998 to honor the artistic vision of Ms. Tremaine, an art collector, the Exhibition Award is intended “to give life to thematic exhibitions of contemporary art that are fresh and experimental in nature,” according to the Tremaine Foundation’s website.

Featuring about 25 artists, with works ranging from artist-made vessels to designs for alternative sea communities, Radical Seafaring will survey the practice of artist-initiated projects on the water “from its roots in conceptual and performance art of the 1960s and 70s, to an abundance of recent phenomenological research and site-specific works that involve relocating the studio, the laboratory, or the performance space to the water,” according to a press release.

A large part of the exhibition involves public programs, such as on- and off-site commissions, boat trips and artist-led excursions around East End waterways.

“The Museum Board of Trustees and I are extremely proud of Andrea for her highly original concept for the exhibition,” said Parrish Director Terrie Sultan. “Radical Seafaring is a perfect example of how the Parrish Art Museum’s programming responds to the natural setting and artistic life of Long Island’s East End in its commitment to illuminating the creative process.”

Since joining the Parrish’s curatorial team in 2011, Ms. Grover has been the recipient of various grants and fellowships. In addition to curating a variety of exploratory projects and programs, she initiates new models for temporary and off-site exhibitions through the museum’s Platform and Parrish Road Show series.