Tag Archive | "Parrish Art Museum"

Architecture Explained in 5 Minutes at Parrish

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Gibson Farm by James Merrell Architects/Raimund Koch photo

By Stephen J. Kotz

Imagine going through a speed dating session with a dozen architects. That’s a little what it will be like when the Parrish Art Museum presents “Five Minutes Max,” the third installment in its Architectural Sessions series, at noon on Saturday.

The event will be moderated by Maziar Behrooz AIA, an architect with offices in East Hampton and New York.

And as the name implies, each of the 12 architects taking part will be given just five minutes to succinctly discuss a topic or theme that is specific to projects they have designed on the East End.

Mr. Behrooz said he told each of the participants, “Let’s not make this a sales pitch. This is not about what each of us does to solicit work. It’s not about that. It’s about ideas. Let’s focus on ideas that have to do with building and design on the East End.”

He added that participants will not be able to tarry because as they speak, a series of 15 slides, appearing for no more than 20 seconds each, will be shown on a large screen behind the speaker.

“It forces them to give all their ideas in five minutes,” Mr. Behrooz said. “We ask them, in addition to that, to concentrate on issues that have to do with local and regional architecture here, so each one will take some aspect of building that is inspiring or challenging to them about the region”—whether it be designing  modern green houses or traditional homes.

“At least one person will talk about the issue of the environment out here,” said Mr. Behrooz. “One may speak about the history of the area, and another might talk about preservation.”

The Architectural Sessions take place about four times a year, and Mr. Behrooz said they present an opportunity to allow architects who are members of the American Institute of Architects to have a conversation about their work, rather than simply present it in an exhibit

The Parrish has based the format of “Five Minutes Max” on its popular “PechaKucha Night Hamptons” series, which were originally called “Lightning Rounds” and feature rapid-fire presentations from artists in a variety of disciplines. ( PechaKucha is a Japanese term that means “chit chat,” Mr. Behrooz said.)

Saturday’s panel will feature Hideaki Ariizumi and Glynis Berry AIA, the founders of Studio A/B Architecture; John Berg of Berg Design Architects; Bill Chaleff, a partner in Chaleff & Rogers Architects; Jonathan Foster, the owner of nyArchitect; Maxine Nachtigal Liao, the owner of firm by the same name, Nick Martin, the founder of Martin Architects; Michael McCrum, the principal of McCrum Architects, James Merrell, the head of James Merrell Architects; John Rose, the owner of John David Rose Architects PC; Steve Schappacher, the co-founder of Schappacher White Architecture DPC, Ric Stott, the principal of Flynn + Stott Architects; and Fred H. Throo, the principal of Fred Throo Architects and Architecture One, PC.

Mr. Behrooz, who was born in Iran and moved to the United State as a student with his family in the 1970s, studied architecture as an undergraduate at Tulane University, where he remains on the board of advisors to its architecture school, did his graduate work at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies and the Cornell School of Architecture.

Most of his firm’s work is residential, and it ranges from the luxury market to affordable housing. Mr. Behrooz said he was an early proponent of using shipping containers in construction. A project in Amagansett that employed containers as the framework of an artist studio is well known.

“I did the cheapest house in the Hamptons,” he said, referring to his “instahouses,” prefabricated structures that rely on a combination of shipping containers. “I wanted to build a $99,000 house, like the 99-cent iTune song,” he said. “That’s how we started it, and we worked backward from that price.”

Tickets to Saturday’s program are $10 and include admission to the museum at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. Admission is free to members of the Parrish, children and students. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the museum at (631) 283-2118.


Parrish Art Museum to Install Roy Lichtenstein Sculpture on Montauk Highway

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Rendering: Roy Lichtenstein, "Tokyo Brushstroke I & II." Courtesy Parrish Art Museum.

Rendering: Roy Lichtenstein, “Tokyo Brushstroke I & II.” Courtesy Parrish Art Museum.

By Tessa Raebeck

Beginning Friday, April 18, drivers on Montauk Highway will have some culture added to their commute, as Roy Lichtenstein’s towering sculpture, “Tokyo Brushstroke I & II,” will grace the entrance of the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill.

Completed in 1994, the sculpture is part of a series constructed by Mr. Lichtenstein at the end of the 20th century, just before his death in 1997. Similar works are on view in cities across the world, including Madrid, Paris and Singapore. A long-term loan by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, courtesy of Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman and the Fuhrman Family Foundation, it will be the museum’s first long-term outdoor installation at its new building.

“It’s a symbol of something it isn’t and that is part of the irony I’m interested in,” the late Mr. Lichtenstein said of the work, a colorful sculpture of painted and fabricated aluminum that is taller than the museum itself.

A leading figure of the new art movement of the 1960’s, Mr. Lichtenstein is widely credited as bringing pop art to prominence. Inspired by comic book panels and advertising techniques, his work sets social parody against bright cartoon backdrops. In 1964, he became the first American exhibited at the Tate Gallery in London.

After becoming year-round residents of Southampton in 1970, Mr. Lichtenstein and his wife Dorothy quickly developed a relationship with the Parrish Art Museum. In 1982, the Parrish presented an exhibition of 48 of Mr. Lichtenstein’s paintings, including relatively unknown early works, created from 1951 through the early 1980’s. Ms. Lichtenstein remains a trustee of the museum and many of the Parrish’s programs in its new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building are presented in the Lichtenstein Theatre.

“This awe-inspiring work promises to become a cultural landmark, and a beacon that draws visitors to the Parrish,” Terrie Sultan, Parrish Art Museum Director, said of the sculpture in a press release.

“Tokyo Brushstroke I & II” will be installed on the front lawn of the Parrish Art Museum, 278 Montauk Highway in Water Mill, on Friday, April 18.

Salon Series Returns to the Parrish Art Museum

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Pianist Assaff Weisman will perform at the Parrish Art Museum Friday.

Pianist Assaff Weisman will perform at the Parrish Art Museum Friday.

By Tessa Raebeck

Back by popular demand, Salon Series, a series of concerts by award winning and internationally acclaimed young Classical pianists, will return to the Parrish Art Museum Friday.

At the first show in the four-concert program, on consecutive Fridays this month, Assaff Weisman, who had his solo debut at age 12, will perform.  A graduate of the Juilliard School, Mr. Weisman was reviewed by the Palm Beach Post as having a “purity of approach” and a style that “is clean and free of posturing, the kind of pianism that allows the listener to admire the architecture of the works under consideration while also appreciating the poetry of the flourishes.”

On Friday at 6 p.m., Mr. Weisman will perform classics such as Beethoven’s “Sonata in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2,” as well as pieces from modern composers, like the French Olivier Messiaen.

The upcoming concerts in the series are Russian pianist Daria Rabotkina on April 11, winner of the 2008 Pro Musicis International Award, Tanya Gabrielian on April 18, and Taiwanese pianist Ching-Yun Ju on April 25.

Tickets for all concerts, which begin at 6 p.m., are $20 for the general public and $10 for Parrish members. For more information, visit parrishart.org or call 283-2118 ext. 142.

Local Winemakers to Share that Delicious Creativity

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Event photo courtesy of Parrish Art Museum.

Event photo courtesy of Parrish Art Museum.

By Tessa Raebeck

Coming off one of the best vintage years Long Island wine has ever seen, three of the region’s leading winemakers will share what inspires them – and allow others to taste that inspiration.

On Friday, the Parrish Art Museum presents “How Do You Bottle Creativity?” a winetasting and interactive conversation with Barbara Shinn, owner/viticulturist at Shinn Estate Vineyards in Mattituck, Kareem Massoud, winemaker at Paumanok Vineyards in Jamesport, and Christopher Tracy, winemaker/partner at Channing Daughters in Bridgehampton.

Long Island’s moderate maritime climate, long growing season, concentration of small growers and proximity to the giant wine market of New York City have enabled the farmers in pursuit of their primary goal: making delicious wine. Long overlooked by connoisseurs and locals alike, Long Island wine is proving itself in tasting tests and on restaurant menus; three of the last four years have seen exceptional vintages across the island.

“It was really a beautiful year and we’re seeing that right now in the barrel,” said Ms. Shinn of the 2013 vintage, which many local winemakers heralded as the best they’ve seen.

“I think the adjective ‘epic’ really applies here,” agreed Mr. Massoud. “It was a truly epic vintage here, it was amazing. I already bottled six wines from 2013 and they’re all delicious. They’re all some of the best we’ve made.”

“Both the science and the hedonistic sides line up in a region like ours to allow for great diversity of varieties and styles of wine, which is somewhat unusual in North America,” explained Mr. Tracy.

Mr. Tracy came to Channing Daughters from a family “that drank wine and food and traveled and exposed me to those things,” and eventually purchased a California vineyard. Having attended school for performing arts and philosophy, he changed direction after exploring the Long Island wine region in the mid-‘90s, returning to wine via “life’s crazy circuitous route.”

A background in art and philosophy may not seem relevant to winemaking, but Mr. Tracy’s love for creativity and appreciation of beauty have enhanced his craft.

“The two things are deliciousness and reflection of our place,” he said of his priorities. “It’s important that we make things that are delicious that people want to drink and enjoy and excite them and their senses. And that it reflects the climate, terra, the place, the culture where we’re growing our grapes and making wine.”

“If we can provide that something that’s actually delicious and actually tells the story of the little piece of land where we exist and where we grow grapes and make wine, that’s pretty awesome,” he added.

The island’s first second generation winemaker, Mr. Massoud learned the trade from his parents, Ursula and Charles, who founded Paumanok Vineyards in 1983 and still own and operate it today. Named after the Native American name for Long Island, Paumanok Vineyards is “very much a family affair,” Mr. Massoud said, with his brothers Nabeel and Salim also working at the vineyard.

“My orientation as a winemaker, in terms of what inspires me, is not unlike what a chef probably experiences in a restaurant – and that is to just produce the most delicious wine that I can, it’s pretty much that simple,” he said. “It’s always about making the best wine and what does that mean? It means the most delicious.”

His inspiration also stems from the excitement of being a winemaker on Long Island these days, when recognition is rising for the region’s wines.

“Honestly, the quality of the wines in many cases has been there for quite some time already, but more and more people, I think, are beginning to sort of catch on to the reality that world-class wines are being made right in their backyard,” he said.

“We fancy ourselves artists as winemakers,” he added. “We basically have, on Long Island, a very broad palette of colors to choose from…It’s a lot of fun to be able to do all these different varieties and different styles and pair them with the local produce that the East End is so rich with.”

Having earned a master’s degree in fine art, Ms. Shinn also views her craft as an extension of her art, farming using holistic practices and keeping the farm “in tune with the subtleness of nature.”

“When David [Page] and I moved to New York City,” she said of her partner and co-owner at Shinn Estate Vineyards, “I was beginning to question making art and hanging it on a wall. When we brought this land and were deciding to plant a vineyard, I was so inspired by these 20 acres of land that had not been planted in vines yet. And the moment the first vine went into the ground, I was so inspired and this huge creative rush has just stayed with me ever since.”

“Quite frankly,” she added, “my art is now off the wall…it’s in the vineyard and it’s in every bottle of wine that we produce. It’s just incredibly inspiring to me.”

Hosted by the Parrish Business Circle and co-presented with Edible East End and Long Island Wine Council, “How Do You Bottle Creativity?” is Friday, March 21 at 6 p.m. at the Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. $20 for members and $25 for non-members, tickets include a one-year subscription to the Edible title of your choice. Space is limited. To make reservations, call 283-2118 or visit parrishart.org.

How Do You Bottle Creativity? Local Winemakers at the Parrish Art Museum

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By Tessa Raebeck

Three of the East End’s premiere winemakers will be at the Parrish Art Museum Friday, March 21 at “How Do You Bottle Creativity?” an interactive talk and tasting presented with Edible East End and the Long Island Wine Council and hosted by the Parrish Business Circle.

Long Island is one of the world’s most up-and-coming wine regions. Guest speakers Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards, Barbara Shinn of Shinn Estate Vineyards and Christopher Tracy of Channing Daughters will explain what inspires their art – and then let the audience taste that inspiration.

“How Do You Bottle Creativity?” is Friday, March 21 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 for non-members, $20 for members and include museum admission. Reservations are recommended and can be made here. For more information, call 283-2118.

Southampton Students Show at Creative Partners Exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum

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By Tessa Raebeck

Featuring this year’s work from its longstanding collaboration with the Southampton and Tuckahoe Schools, the Parrish Art Museum will present the Creative Partners Exhibition, on view from Saturday, March 8 through April 14.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is “This Is Us,” a photo-documentary created by the Parrish Art Club, the Southampton High School’s after-school group, taught by Southampton art teacher Gail Altomare with help from Cara Conklin Wingfield, education director at the Parrish. Being shown in the gallery through video projection and also via an interactive website, the film is a digital portrait image-and-text exploration of the community at Southampton High School, including students, teachers and staff. Inspired by the Humans of New York project in New York City, the photo-documentary provides a candid view of the everyday lives of Southampton students through the unique, individual portraits they shaped of the people in their world.

The Creative Partners exhibition will also feature work by the schools’ pre-kindergarten, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students, including relief sculptures reflective of an art history curriculum focused on ancient Egypt and paintings inspired by the master landscapes of the museum’s permanent collection.

For more information, call 283-2118 x121 or visit parrishart.org.

Eclectic Music in a Cafe Setting at “The Lounge” at the Parrish Art Museum

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Singer/songwriter Sophia Bastian (photo by Helena Kubicka de Braganza).

Singer/songwriter Sophia Bastian (photo by Helena Kubicka de Braganza).

By Tessa Raebeck

From folk music to Brazilian-infused Jazz, the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill will resonate with tunes this winter during The Lounge, its new eclectic music series presenting an unconventional line up of accomplished singers and musicians in an intimate café setting.

Rather than a traditional auditorium style concert, the Lounge invites the audience to be part of the performance and hear the music up close and personal. The audience is encourages to enjoy drinks at café tables, set up alongside the musicians.

“The cozy atmosphere allows audiences to experience music in a cordial, living room-like setting.” says Andrea Grover, Curator of Special Projects at the Parrish who organized the event with Museum Events Associate Amy Kirwin.

The series kicked off January 31 to a sold out performance by Edith and Bennett, a husband/wife folk and roots music duo.

On Valentine’s Day, the soulful singer/songwriter Sophia Bastian will perform at the Lounge. A New York native, Bastian recently opened for the Grammy-award winning band The Roots. Guitarist Ben Cassorla accompanies Bastian’s strong, sultry voice. Truly contemporary, her original music blends classic soul, jazz, blues and hip-hop.

The third and last act of the series will be the frequent Parrish performer, Richie Siegler All-Star Quartet, on March 14. The organizer of last summer’s highly popular Jazz en Plein Air series at the Parrish, Richie Siegler is the founding director of Escola de Samba BOOM and plays “jazz shot through with Brazilian beats” with his quartet.

The Lounge performances are at 6 p.m. in the Lichtenstein Theater at the Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. Tickets include museum admission and are free for members and students and $10 for the general public. Space is limited. For more information, call 631.283.2118 or visit parrishart.org.

Annual Exhibitions Showcase the East End’s Young Artists and Their Teachers

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The opening of last year's Student Art Show at the Parrish Art Museum.

The opening of last year’s Student Art Show at the Parrish Art Museum. (Photo provided by the Parrish Art Museum).

By Tessa Raebeck

A giant beehive you can crawl into, a field guide to Sag Harbor’s ponds and the surrealism of Salvador Dali captured on a plastic plate are just some of the projects to look forward to at this winter’s student art festivals.

If you attended public school on the East End, chances are you were featured in the student shows at East Hampton’s Guild Hall or the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill. A new batch of young artists are now getting their turn; the Student Art Festival at Guild Hall opened January 18 and the Parrish will exhibit local students starting February 1.

“The annual Student Exhibition is an important tradition for the Parrish,” said Cara Conklin-Wingfield, the museum’s education director. “It’s a way we honor the work of regional art educators and connect with children and families in the community.”

The tradition started over 60 years ago, although the exact date is unknown. Conklin-Wingfield knows it’s been a long time, as her 70-something year old aunt remembers being in the show as a kid.

In addition to fostering local talent, the student shows aim to support and showcase art educators and highlight the work they’re doing in classrooms across the East End.

At the Parrish, teachers for pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade students submit group projects, as a single work or individual works assembled into a mural.

The third and fourth grades from Sag Harbor Elementary School (SHES) will be featured at the Parrish.

Led by art teacher Meg Mandell, “Sag Harbor Ponds – A Child’s Field Guide” incorporates the work of the 3D, 3GK, 3K and 3SC third grade classes. The large mural includes an information key and “other fun facts about our local ponds,” Mandell said, assembled onto a 3D two by four foot replica of the guide, which is now available in the school library.

A 3rd grader hard at work on "Sag Harbor Ponds - A Child's Field Guide" in Meg Mandell's art classroom at Sag Harbor Elementary School.

A 3rd grader hard at work on “Sag Harbor Ponds – A Child’s Field Guide” in Meg Mandell’s art classroom at Sag Harbor Elementary School. (Meg Mandell photo).

“The SHES art department,” Mandell said, “understands the importance of using art as a learning tool for other subject areas…We often collaborate with teachers to help our students understand the curriculum better and make the learning fun.”

Mandell worked with science teacher Kryn Olson and librarian Claire Viola in developing the project and visited the local ponds to collect reference materials.

The fourth grade, led by art teacher Laurie DeVito, has created a large 3D sculpture for the Parrish, made of plates inspired by various art disciplines.

DeVito taught each class about a different style of art, used a game to decide the individual subject matter (animal, vegetable, mineral, etc.), and led the group in creating mixed media pieces on plastic plates, which resemble stained glass windows when held up to the light. The plates will be displayed on pretend cardboard brake fronts supplied by Twin Forks Moving.

After learning about Van Gogh, the 4LS class made impressionistic plates. 4C read a book about Salvador Dali and created plates with surrealistic subjects like flying pigs and other “really imaginative subject matter,” DeVito said. 4S did realism plates and after looking at work by Picasso, 4R made cubist designs.

“I think it makes it more special for them,” DeVito said of the Parrish show. “It makes it more grown up and I think it applies a good kind of pressure.”

Having done a micro biotic organism last year, this year the Hayground School evolved to insects and is assembling a giant beehive on site.

“It’s a beehive that you can go in,” Conklin-Wingfield said, adding Hayground’s projects are always “really ambitious.”

One of Laurie DeVito's 4th grade classes at Sag Harbor Elementary School with their Surrealist Plate Cupboard.

One of Laurie DeVito’s 4th grade classes at Sag Harbor Elementary School with their Surrealist Plate Cupboard.

In its 22nd year, the Student Art Festival at Guild Hall is separated into two parts, high school students and those in Kindergarten through the eighth grade. Sag Harbor is only participating in the high school show.

Highlights include farmland paintings from Wainscott students, Japanese Manga drawings from Shelter Island, Cityscape Line Designs from Bridgehampton and a Monet water lilies triptych made by the Liz Paris’ Kindergarten class at Amagansett.

“That’s really exciting to see,” said Michelle Klein, the Lewis B. Cullman Associate for Museum Education at Guild Hall. “And again, because it’s Kindergarteners, it’s really amazing.”

When you first enter the show, a large 68 by 72 inch nature print made by Montauk students using leaves, sticks, bark and other natural materials is on display.

“It’s our opportunity to really give back to the community and for us to be able to exhibit our local young talent, the possible artists of the future,” said Klein.

“It’s really great,” she added, “to provide an outlet and a space for this exhibition. It’s exactly what we’re here for and why we do it.”

The 2014 Student Exhibition at the Parrish Art Museum will be on display from February 1 to March 2. For more information, call 631-283-2118 ext. 130. The Student Art Festival at Guild Hall is being shown January 18 to February 23 for younger students and March 8 to April 20 for high school students. For more information, visit guildhall.org.

Helping the Museum Grow

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web Two Forks Crowd 1

By Emily J. Weitz

The mission of the Parrish Art Museum is to bring art and people together, and as the space expands, so too will the mission’s reach. There are obvious ways that the museum serves as a forum for these connections, from gala events to workshops for children. But one way that the Parrish has really embedded itself in the fabric of the local community is through the Business Council. Established in 1998 by former director Trudy Kramer and trustee Donald Sullivan, the Business Council brings local business owners and managers together under the name of the Parrish.

“Trudy Kramer made it a priority to reconnect with the local and regional business community,” says Sullivan, who in addition to being a trustee of the Parrish and Chairman of the Business Council, owns the Southampton Publick House. “It helps the Parrish get its mission out to the business managers and owners, who are normally very busy people and are continually asked to support a myriad of associations and charities.”

Creating the Business Council has allowed the Parrish to be an integral part of the local business community.

“It’s a way to create an identity for the Parrish as a member of the community that reaches all audiences including students, student parents, 2nd homeowners and summer visitors,” he said.

In addition to the benefits the Parrish gleans from the support of the community, the businesses have a lot to gain from joining.

“The Business Council is designed to give members the opportunity to increase their visibility by linking their name with the Parrish,” says Melissa Gatz, membership manager at the Parrish. “Business Council members receive recognition for their support on the museum’s web site, through a listing in the Midsummer Gala Journal, and in ads.”

The support they lend is used for educational programming at the Parrish.

“Plus,” adds Gatz, “Business Council members receive free or discounted tickets to our three networking events per year. And the events are fun!”

One of these events is coming up. Two Forks and a Cork, the Business Council’s annual wine tasting and networking event, is a chance for business leaders to get together.

“This event is important to the Parrish,” says Gatz, “because it gives local business professionals the opportunity to reconnect. I’m always surprised to see who attends our events… Don Sullivan always emphasized the importance of these events, and he thinks the reason they are so successful is they are short and sweet, and that appeals to the busy professional trying to do it all.”

This year, the event will showcase seven wineries from the North and South forks. Channing Daughters, Croteaux Vineyards, Duck Walk South, Jampesport Vineyards, Peconic Bay Winery, and Wolffer Estate will all participate. The Riverhead Project will provide hors d’oeuvres and Mali B Sweets will provide desserts.

“A few of the wineries will actually be debuting some of their 2011 creations,” says Gatz.

In the meantime, the construction of the museum’s new home in Water Mill is proceeding “apace,” says Mark Segal, marketing director at The Parrish.

“Wiring, plumbing, insulation, framing… much of the roof has been finished, including a large section of the south roof visible from Route 27,” he said. “The parking lot is being laid out, the floors have been sealed, and landscaping is underway. All glass has been installed except for the café’s window wall. We are anticipating a mid-October opening, though we do not have a specific date as of yet.”

Other noteworthy aspects of the design of the new building include “the presentation of art in naturally skylit galleries, which replicate the conditions of the artist studios that inspired the design,” says Segal. There will also be “on-site amenities, including a café,” says Segal, “and the opportunity to enjoy the landscape from both within and outside the building.”

As the Parrish Art Museum grows into the new space on Route 27, their visibility will inevitably increase.

“The most obvious change,” says Segal, “[is that] due to the tripling of our exhibition space to 12,000 square feet, [we will be able to] present the first-ever installation of our permanent collection at the same time as temporary exhibitions.”

xIn addition, programming will grow as they make use of “a state-of-the-art multipurpose space for films, lectures, performance, and other public programs. Galleries will be designed to enable the presentation of the full range of contemporary art, including time based and high tech media. The building will allow for an expansion of all our programs,” says Segal.

Students Offer Their Take on Portraiture

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By Emily J. Weitz

For the past six weeks, the Parrish Art Museum has showcased “American Portraits: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum.” With portrait paintings spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, the museum delves deep into the riches of its own collection.

But on the tail end of this exhibit, another body of work will be revealed. Inspired by American Portraits, school age children across the East End have created their own portraits, and these wildly colorful and energetic pieces will be on display in Students View American Portraits, with an opening reception this Saturday, December 3 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Laurie DeVito, art teacher at Sag Harbor Elementary School, adores this opportunity to work with the Parrish.

“We have such a rich artistic community here in Sag Harbor,” she says. “And it’s a great opportunity to tap into some of our resources.”

DeVito believes that when the students go to the Parrish and other cultural institutions on the East End, they are inspired in their own work to then go back to the classroom and create; the creative juices flow.

It’s one thing to go to a museum and look at the work on the walls. But with an effort like Students View American Portraits, “The experience is interactive,” says DeVito.

After visiting the museum, Sag Harbor Elementary students went back to the art room to make their own portraits. Each grade tackled a different assignment. Kindergarteners utilized shells and seaweed and other treasures that Meg Mandell, the other art teacher, had gathered on the beach.

Mandell gestures to the dozens of giant clam shells on one table in the art room.

“I’ve been going to the beach to collect things since the summer, knowing we would use them for our projects,” she says.

The students decorated the clam shells to make little faces, complete with seaweed hair, stone noses, moustaches, and googly eyes. Older kids worked on more traditional portrait paintings, or sculptures, or collaborative pieces. All the projects fall under the umbrella of portraiture, and the students were able to explore different interpretations of that idea.

In the art room at Sag Harbor Elementary, students’ work is bursting from the walls, filling the tables, and standing in the middle of the room. Their work is displayed throughout the school.

“And at the end of the year, we also have an opportunity for the kids to show their work in the school, when we invite parents to see what they’ve been doing,” says DeVito.

But this is different. The Parrish is a real museum, where work of some of the greatest artists in history has been showed.

For the students, “This is a real sense of pride,” says DeVito. “When they see their work displayed in the museum, it gives them a lot of confidence.”

Mandell chimes in that “It’s an affirmation of what they’re doing.”

Students’ work will be carefully shipped over to the Parrish in time for opening day, at which time students, families, and friends will be invited to a free reception to view the work on display for the first time.

“The kids always run right over to see their work, first, of course,” says DeVito.

In addition, there will be food, drinks and entertainment, including a juggler, face painting, and other kid-friendly activities. This event is open to the public, and it’s a chance to see the work that Sag Harbor students are doing as well as kids from other districts.

“We definitely get ideas from other schools,” says Mandell.

“And they get ideas from us,” adds DeVito. “I think it’s a great time to see the amazing work our students are producing. We’re a very artistic community and that is evident in the work.”

This exhibition was open to all Pre-K through 8th grade students in Riverhead, Southampton, East Hampton, and Southold townsips. In another upcoming exhibition, high school students from Brookhaven, Riverhead, East Hampton and Southampton will have work on display, and there will be a competition for high school seniors.

The student art show is “one of my favorite exhibits that the Parrish does,” says DeVito. She adds slyly that she’s “not at all biased. But seriously. It is so incredibly colorful and creative. It’s a lot of fun.”