Tag Archive | "Southampton"

Storytelling in Southampton

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Wendy Suzuki

Wendy Suzuki performing with The Moth in May.

By Mara Certic

In a world in which technology seems to be taking over, entertainment often becomes interactive and distracting, desperately trying to grip the ADD generation with graphics and fanfare. But for over 15 years, a group of writers, scientists, criminals, musicians, thinkers and average Joes have come together under the guise of “The Moth” to provide the public with something raw: a simple story.

As the story goes, writer and poet George Dawes Green spent the summer evenings of his youth sitting on his porch, telling stories with his friends, as moths would flock through a hole in the screen door toward a nearby light. This group of friends began calling themselves The Moths and many years later, Mr. Dawes Green started “The Moth” in New York City in an attempt to recreate the low-key nights he spent in his native Georgia. Since then, it has become a nonprofit group dedicated solely to the art of storytelling. “The Moth” offers a weekly podcast and a radio show and has heard stories from speakers as diverse a bunch as The Moldy Peaches’ Kimya Dawson, Garrison Keillor, Ethan Hawke and Salmon Rushdie.

Originally based out of New York City, “The Moth” now runs over a dozen storytelling programs throughout the United States and for the very first time this week, it will come to the East End. On Friday, July 18, as a part of the Southampton Writers Conference at Stony Brook University, writer Adam Gopnik will host an evening of five storytellers from “The Moth” with very different backgrounds.

The theme for each story is the same: “fish out of water.” Friday’s five fish-out-of-water range in profession from a fashion commentator to a neuroscientist, with writers and performers punctuating the night of first-person stories.

Special Projects Coordinator for Stony Brook Southampton Kathie Russo has been involved with “The Moth” ever since it began. She was married to writer and actor Spalding Gray who told one of the very first stories for “The Moth.” She previously worked as a booking agent, where she helped get the storytellers their first gig on the West Coast. Since her husband’s death, she has told her very own Moth story, which she described as “daunting.”

“And I told a very short story,” she said. “I can’t imagine what it’s like for these people to tell an 11-minute story [without notes].”

It is that process that differentiates the oral tradition from the written word, according to Moth member and journalist Ted Conover. “You have to open up this direct channel from your brain to your mouth. It’s intense and it is cathartic,” he said in a phone interview on Monday. “It’s a cool thing for a writer to get to do.”

Mr. Conover has a wealth of tales from his many inquiries into worlds unknown. When he was still in college he traveled on freight trains around the country to learn about the last remaining hobos. Years later, Mr. Conover spent a year working as a Corrections Officer at Sing-Sing Prison to get some insight into a very unfamiliar and undocumented life.

“It’s not just any story I want to tell. I’m especially interested in stories that need to be told and aren’t easy to tell if you’re from a different world. Prison is an example of that. Prison is full of stories that don’t get told,” he said.

“I like putting myself in these difficult situations and learning about them firsthand. This is something I did long before I ever heard of ‘The Moth.’ ‘The Moth’ is really great because it gives the writer a chance to tell the story in a different way.”

“We’re trained not to tell stories this way in science,” said Wendy Suzuki who told her first story with “The Moth” earlier this year. “I’m a neuroscientist who studies the neurobiology of memory,” she said. “And the story’s about my dad, who developed dementia and how I deal with that.”

Ms. Suzuki’s story talks about the difficulty and frustration she felt, being an expert in a disease that still has no cure. “I know how it works,” she said. “But there’s nothing I can do to cure it.”

Of “The Moth,” she said, “it was a great experience. It’s very emotional, but it feels very releasing to be able to share that.”

“The Moth” “brings storytelling back to the forefront,” Ms. Russo said, “which is where it should be.”

The evening is sure to entertain technophiles and luddites alike. As Ms. Russo said: “It’s nice to just be still and listen to a story.”

“The Moth” will take place at Stony Brook Southampton’s Avram Theater, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at themoth.org.

 

Bracing for Railroad Strike

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With just a few days left before a potentially crippling strike, East End officials are calling on Long Island Rail Road unions and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reach an agreement.

LIRR unions have been working without a contract since 2010.

Representatives Steve Israel, Pete King and Tim Bishop released a joint statement on Tuesday, June 15, pleading with the parties to avoid a strike.

In 2013, President Barack Obama appointed two mediation boards to assess the situation—both of which recommended the 17-percent raises over six years that the unions are asking for. MTA has offered a 17-percent raise over seven years, but would require railroad workers to contribute at least 2 percent of their salaries to their own health care costs.

East Hampton and Southampton Town Supervisors, Larry Cantwell and Anna Throne-Holst issued a joint statement on Monday, urging the LIRR and the public to make contingency plans.

“July is the height of the summer season and a crucial time for the area’s economy.  Local businesses cannot afford the loss of thousands of patrons – which is what a LIRR strike would mean.  The Towns of Southampton and East Hampton are taking the steps necessary to suspend certain municipal parking restrictions in order to allow motor coach companies to utilize LIRR parking lots as pick-up and drop-off locations,” the statement read.

An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people travel to the East End by train during weekends in the summer season. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement the strike can begin as early as 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, July 20.

Major Delays Expected on County Road 39 Tuesday

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By Tessa Raebeck

County Road 39 was closed by Southampton Town Police on Tuesday at 4:26 a.m. due to a telephone pole and wires on the roadway. The road is closed in both directions between North Sea Road and Dale Road. Major delays should be expected. For more information, call the Southampton Town Police Department at (631) 728-5000.

East End Weekend: What to Do July 11 – 13

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Malin Abrahamsson, "Winter Lot," mixed media on canvas. Image courtesy Sara Nightingale Gallery.

Malin Abrahamsson, “Winter Lot,” mixed media on canvas. Image courtesy Sara Nightingale Gallery.

By Tessa Raebeck

From shark hunting to art grazing, a carefully-curated selection of top picks to do on the East End this weekend:

Art Market Hamptons brings booths from selected modern and contemporary galleries to Bridgehampton, returning for its fourth season from Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 13.

Scott Bluedorn of Neoteric Fine Art.

Scott Bluedorn of Neoteric Fine Art.

With 40 participating galleries, Art Market is more exclusive than other art fairs. Local galleries like Neoteric Fine Art, Sara Nightingale Gallery and Grenning Gallery will feature their artists in booths.

The fair is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, July 11, and Saturday, July 12, and from 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 13, at the Bridgehampton Historical Society, located at 2368 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton.

 

The Silas Marder Gallery in Bridgehampton shows East Hampton artist Richmond Burton in an exhibition running July 12 through August 11.

“Known for his dazzling kaleidoscopic abstractions, Richmond Burton melds geometry and naturalism to usher the pictorial language of his predecessors into a contemporary context,” the gallery said in a press release. “With swift, vibrantly hued marks, Burton creates densely gridded compositions that morph into expansive waves of pattern, their overlapping rhythms at once steady and unstable.”

The exhibition will feature Mr. Burton’s last large-scale paintings created in his East Hampton studio, as well as his more recent works. An opening reception is Saturday, July 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Silas Marder Gallery, located at 120 Snake Hollow Road in Bridgehampton.

 

The Shark’s Eye All-Release Tournament & Festival returns to Montauk Friday, July 11 through Sunday, July 13.

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A little girl watches a shark being tagged at the Shark’s Eye Festival and Tournament in 2012. Photo by Tessa Raebeck.

The weekend-long event is “Montauk’s only satellite tag, catch-and-release, high stakes, big game sport fishing competition combined with cutting-edge science, conservation and informative entertainment focused on saving sharks,” according to a press release.

The tournament, held in the Montauk Marine Basin, offers prize money of $10,000. In 2013, participating teams tagged and released 64 sharks, including 33 mako and 31 blue sharks. Four sharks were tagged with satellite tracking devices.

Although it may sound scary, the event offers fun for the whole family, as kids can see sharks up-close-and-personal and learn about conservation and marine wildlife. The festival is free to the public on Saturday, July 12, from 3 to 7 p.m. and on Sunday, July 13, from 2 to 6 p.m. A dock part Saturday night runs until 10 p.m.

The tournament and festival are supported by marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.

“There is no other fishing tournament like Shark’s Eye,” Mr. Harvey said in the press release. “This tournament combines the thrill of shark fishing, practical conservation measures, and meaningful fisheries research and community involvement into a single event. It is truly the future of shark fishing tournaments.

The Montauk Marine Basin is located at 426 West Lake Drive in Montauk. For more information, call (631) 668-5900.

 

In its annual Sag Harbor house tour, the John Jermain Memorial Library presents five homes–one in North Haven and four in Sag Harbor Village–to the public. The houses were specially picked for their unique and personalized interior decorating and for the feeling of “home” each conveyed. For more information on the house tour: read the Express’ full article here.

A Different Kind of Home on Show in Sag Harbor

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houseofthewhaleweb bluedorn.

“House of The Whale,” by Scott Bluedorn.

By Mara Certic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assisted Living(composite exterior and interior views)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pondview Estates by Darlene Charneco angle1500

“Pondview Estates” by Darlene Charneco

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Live Jazz at Plaza Café

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Plaza Café in Southampton will be hosting live jazz every Friday from 8 to 11 p.m. throughout the summer season.

The restaurant hosts different artists every week and there is no cover charge. In the past, musicians such as Mike Gari and Richie Scollo have performed.

Located on Hill Street in Southampton village, the Plaza Café is open for dinner at 5:30 p.m. and the menu offers everything from Plaza Café Lobster-Shrimp Shepherd’s Pie to Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with starters and deserts that include oysters, prosciutto wrapped shrimp and chocolate mousse cake. A prixe fixe menu is also available for $34.

For more information or to make a reservation, call (631) 283-9323 or visit http://www.plazacafe.us.

Taps Offers Two for One Deals

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Taps in Southampton will be offering deals or live music every night throughout the summer.

On Monday nights, the restaurant is having Burger Nights, when a burger and your choice of a domestic tap beer are $8. On Tuesday nights, the restaurant hosts Chicken & Ribs BBQ Night, when customers can get chicken and ribs with a pint for $18. It also has a special two-for-one Lobster Deal on Tuesday and Saturdays, when customers can receive two lobsters and a pint of beer for $29. Friday night is two-for-one Steak Night for $25.

On Friday and Sundays, the restaurant offers live music nights. On Friday, July 11, Dune Local and Morning Fatty will play at 10 p.m. On Sundays, there will be live reggae music at 7 p.m. On Saturdays, the restaurant has a DJ and recently added Thursday night acoustic performances to the roster.

For more information, visit nstaps.com or call (631) 259-2998.

East End Weekend: Highlights of July Fourth Weekend

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Casey Evans in a San Lorenzo bikini.

Casey Evans in a San Lorenzo bikini on the beach in East Hampton.

By Tessa Raebeck

Norma Jean Pilates and San Lorenzo Bikinis are hosting a party in Sag Harbor tonight, Thursday, July 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is celebrating the East Coast launch of San Lorenzo Bikinis. Guests can shop for bikinis, enjoy “bikini-friendly bites” and enter contests for “amazing” giveaways from local businesses like Happy Bowls, Flying Point and Wampum. Norma Jean Pilates is located at 52 Main Street in Sag Harbor.

To RSVP to the private party, email Abigail Gawronski at argawronski@gmail.com.

 

Mark Borghi Fine Art in Bridgehampton will showcase Bob Dylan’s work July 4 to July 18. “The Drawn Blank Series” showcases the musician’s colorful paintings and will be celebrated with an opening reception Thursday, July 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Mark Borghi Fine Art, 2426 Main Street in Bridgehampton. For more information or to RSVP, call (631) 537-7245 or visit borghi.org.

 

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“Art on the Edge” opens at Vered Contemporary in East Hampton SaturdayJuly 5, with an opening reception from 9 to 11 p.m. The expanded exhibition, an annual survey of the contemporary art of new and provocative painters, sculptors and photographers, will be on view July 5 to August 4. Nineteen modern artists will be featured.

The gallery is located at 68 Park Place in East Hampton.For more information, call (631) 324-3303 or visit veredcontemporary.com.

 

“Positivilly Marvillainous” opens at the Eric Firestone Gallery with an opening reception Saturday, July 5, from 6 to 9 p.m.

“Expanding on tradition doesn’t necessarily demand the push towards perfection or a high polish,” the gallery said in a press release. “Rather, it can entail building on established conventions in a particular artist’s unique voice. Today, contemporary artists, knowingly or unknowingly, reference George Herriman’s historically overlooked, unpretentious and universally accessible fantasy, Krazy Kat, a comic strip that ran in American newspapers from 1913 until 1944. The artists in Positivilly Marvillainous embrace tensions, arising from Herriman’s formal qualities in character portrayal, including those between line and shade, humor and drama, human and animal, collage and décollage, marvelous and villainous.”

The Eric Firestone Gallery is located at 4 Newtown Lane in East Hampton. For more information, call (631) 604-2386 or visit ericfirestonegallery.com.

Arlene Schroeder’s Inn Makes it Easier

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Arlene Schroeder in front of her house, the Edgemere Inn. Photo by Mara Certic.

By Mara Certic

Tucked away on a quiet private drive off of Noyac Road in North Sea, Arlene Schroeder and her West Highland terrier, Hazel, prepare to welcome guests to their home, The Edgemere Inn—a bed and breakfast for the physically challenged.

Ms. Schroeder had worked for the state as a service coordinator for the developmentally disabled for the majority of her professional life when, at the age of 45, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“Until you’re disabled, or in a wheelchair, you have no idea,” she said on Monday, 19 years since her diagnosis. Many hotels, she explained, are not easily navigated by wheelchair-bound patrons. Even restaurants that advertise themselves as being wheelchair-accessible frequently have one step between the entrance and the dining room, which Ms. Schroeder said, “can be like a mountain.”

A native of Hicksville, Ms. Schroeder spent childhood summers at her aunt and uncle’s beachfront house on Edgemere Drive in Southampton.  Her aunt and uncle would sail their boat to Mystic, she said, while she and her grandmother would escape to the house overlooking Little Peconic Bay. Her grandmother, not a fan of the sand or sun, would stay inside while a 10-year-old Ms. Schroeder would explore the surrounding beaches and wilderness.

Ms. Schroeder was “very close” to her aunt and uncle, who left her the house in their will some 10 years ago. After working for the state for 27 years, Ms. Schroeder retired.

“I retired because I felt I wasn’t giving my consumers, the taxpayers enough,” she said. “And I felt it wasn’t fair to the consumers I was working with.

So Ms. Schroeder moved into the house she had summered in as a girl and began to make changes to it. Doors were widened, floors leveled and ramps installed in order to make the rooms of the house wheelchair accessible.

Ms. Schroeder did some of the work for preparing for progression of multiple sclerosis. The disease, the cause of which is still unknown, attacks the nervous system, progressively disrupting the communication between the brain and body.  Two weeks ago Ms. Schroeder got a new motorized wheelchair that she now has started using around the house, “I don’t like being in a wheelchair,” she said. “But I like the ease with which I can get around now.”

The real driving force behind the remodeling, though, was to open up a bed and breakfast on the water for the physically challenged. Four years ago, Ms. Schroeder got her 501c4, status as a not-for-profit. She is now applying for her 501c3, which would change her status to a nonprofit. If accepted, that would mean that she would not have to pay any taxes if she were to turn a profit. “I haven’t made a profit yet,” she added.

But making money is by no means her goal, anyway. Ms. Schroeder strives to create a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere for those who have difficulty getting away. “I tried to make it like a bed and breakfast, not like a hospital room,” she said in one of the four bedrooms in her house (one is her own room, one is not quite ready for paying guests, she said.)

The rooms are large, airy and have the desired feel of a small bed and breakfast. Only small details distinguish them from those in any other inn. But those small details, Ms. Schroeder said, are all crucial.

Her hallways and doorways all had to be widened from 24 inches to 36 inches to enable wheelchairs to pass through. Her showers have been redone to allow them to fit wheelchairs—one bathroom has a seat in it to allow guests to move themselves from their chairs into the shower.

“I made some mistakes,” said Ms. Schroeder, pointing up at the bathroom mirrors from her wheelchair. She explained that she needed to have them tilted down, to allow her guests to see themselves while seated.

But those mistakes are not stopping her. Ms. Schroeder continues to expand and improve the Edgemere Inn. At a fundraising event at the Southampton Social Club on Saturday, June 28, the not-for-profit received donations that will go toward funding new projects.

Among these are an outdoor shower, a ramp down to the beach and an elevated garden. “What I would like to do, is to have raised gardens so that people can pick flowers, if they want to, or strawberries, or tomatoes,” she said pointing to part of her 1.2-acre property.

But the most valuable donation she received on Saturday, she said, was a woman’s offer to volunteer at the inn for 20 hours a week. “That really meant the most to me,” she said.

Her customers are not just the physically challenged in need of respite, she explained, but can be those who come to visit family who do not have wheelchair-friendly homes.

Last summer, Ms. Schroeder had a guest who had not been able to visit her sister in Sag Harbor because her son’s cerebral palsy had drastically limited the number of places they could stay.

“People can have their families come meet them here too,” she said.

Old Whalers’ Restoration Complete

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The finished trompe l’oeil at the Old Whalers’ Church. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Annette Hinkle

The Old Whalers’ Church, which dates back to 1844, is a Sag Harbor icon. Even without its massive steeple (lost in the 1938 hurricane) architect Minard Lafever’s imposing edifice still has the power to inspire awe, especially among visitors who glimpse it for the first time.

A rare example of Egyptian revival architecture, in recent years, a number of repairs and restorations have been made inside the building to insure its historic integrity and beauty as well.

Last Sunday at morning service, the Old Whalers’ Church officially unveiled what some consider to be the highlight of those recent restorations­—the recreation of the original trompe l’oeil mural which Mr. Lafever designed to grace the massive south wall of the sanctuary. A concert held at 5 p.m. that evening to celebrate the event brought in more than 200 people.

Gone is the cracked, light blue mural which for decades graced the space behind the pulpit. In its place is a professionally rendered scheme completed over the course of the last month by a staff of restoration experts from International Fine Arts Conservation Studios, based in Atlanta, Ga.

Rendered in muted tones of gray and white with subtle shading, the 35-foot-by-25-foot mural implies the presence of a curved apse and Corinthian columns supporting a cofferdam ceiling—a space that doesn’t actually exist, but rather is a “trick of the eye” (or “trompe l’oeil” in French).

With only two black and white photographs to go on—one from 1899 and one that was taken pre-1890, Geoffrey Steward and his associates from IFACS visited Sag Harbor last November to scrape through up to 14 layers of paint and discern the history of the design and color palette of at least six full murals which have graced the wall since the mid-1840s.

When they returned in late May to do the work, the artisans cleaned and primed the plaster wall, affixed a canvas support to it and laid out the trompe l’oeil design using stencils. Finally, they painted the image in its original color washes and applied shading to complete the trompe l’oeil effect.

The new scheme portrays the illusion of depth in a way the well meaning, but inexpertly rendered, earlier mural never did. For church member Nancy Cory, the finished product represents the realization of a long time dream.

“I’m delighted, it’s more beautiful than I ever could have anticipated,” said Mrs. Cory. “It’s much more three dimensional and effective in shading and perspective.”

“It’s so different than what we had,” she added. “I think that’s why the moment to make the change came. People were tired of looking at the mural and noticing the perspective was off. We have such a beautiful building to worship in, why not complete the restoration? It’s more fitting and classier. The whole sanctuary is built for the glory of God. It seemed right to do it.”

In fact, it was Mrs. Cory and her late husband, David, who spearheaded the idea of the mural restoration. Mr. Cory was an avid historian who probably knew more about the Old Whalers’ Church than anyone. In the fall of 2007, the Corys vacationed in Provincetown, Mass. where they visited a church filled with fine examples of trompe l’oeil imagery.

Inspired, they brought the idea—and the name of Mr. Steward’s restoration firm—back to the congregation in Sag Harbor for consideration. Then, the economic downturn of 2008 hit, and the church had to put the project on hold.

But in 2013, the Reverend Mark Phillips and Mrs. Cory revisited the idea of the mural restoration. When Mr. Steward said the price would be $50,000—about the same as it had been in 2008—Rev. Phillips reached out to parishioners for financial support. Within a very short time, church members had pledged the entire amount.

“We have no debt for this project due to 12 anonymous donors,” said Rev. Phillips. “We’ve been very careful not to reveal their names, but the gifts range from very small amounts up to $20,000.”

When asked on Monday what he thinks of the new mural, Rev. Phillips responded, “I think its a great addition and a far improvement over what was there. Even though it’s detailed, I don’t think it’s overdone.”

“I was so impressed by the professionalism of the team here, not only were they greatly skilled at what they did, but they always took time, even if 50 people came in during the day, to come down off the scaffolding and explain what they were doing,” he added. “I felt bad Friday when we said goodbye to them.”

Though David Cory didn’t live to see his dream realized—he died in late 2010—Mrs. Cory is certain he would have approved of the new trompe l’oeil.

“David would have loved it,” said Mrs. Cory. “He would’ve been thrilled to have this project completed.”

“I wish he could have been here,” added Rev. Phillips. “But I like to think yesterday he was smiling down and was happy.”

In addition to the completion of the much anticipated mural restoration, on May 16 the congregation celebrated another major milestone—the building’s 170th anniversary, which, as it turns out, was David Cory’s birthday.