Tag Archive | "Water Mill"

Town Boards Eye Affordable Housing Opportunities

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By Mara Certic

Last year a Georgica estate sold for $147 million, giving East Hampton the distinction of having the most expensive single-family house in the country. This year, Southampton’s Coopers Neck Lane was named the 11th-priciest street in America. But as the local real estate market continues to boom, governments in both towns are having to address another issue: the dire need for affordable housing.

The Southampton Town Board is slated to hold a preliminary hearing on a housing development planned for Water Mill on May 7. The developers, Phil Young and Joel Kaye, are asking the board to consider a Planned Development District (PDD) to change the zoning of the property, located east of the Water Mill Shoppes shopping center on Montauk Highway in order to allow 48 townhouses to be built there.

The town’s comprehensive plan requires PDDs to provide a benefit for the greater community at large. And according to the plan for the Water Mill Village Townhouses,  the benefit of the project would be the applicant’s donation of $3 million, estimated to be 25 percent of the value of the development, to the Southampton Housing Authority to be used for affordable housing—none of it onsite.

A report accompanying the application points out that residents qualifying for affordable housing would not be able to pay “the expenses required for the upkeep of this complex.”

“The major issue with any type of project is acquisition costs,” Curtis Highsmith, the executive director of the Southampton Housing Authority, said this week, explaining that often the authority must apply for tax credits and grants in order to fund projects, which lengthens the process.

“Having the resources upfront gives us purchasing power, and more control in terms of development and keeping things local,” he said, adding that three local construction companies have donated materials and sweat equity for a recent housing project on Bailey Road in Southampton.

Mr. Highsmith has been scouting potential properties for affordable housing in Water Mill, so that the hamlet could be the beneficiary of the $3 million donation.

“The major issue is the resource, which is the land, and how to keep the units affordable. Also, a lot of people are concerned that it devalues your neighborhood, which is such a barbaric and unrealistic mindset. It doesn’t do anything other than embrace a division of individuals that, frankly, we need to start taking focus on,” he added.

“I’m glad we have a town board that has the courage to stand up and say it’s necessary,” he said.

This week in East Hampton, the town board was updated on the affordable housing options available through both the town and private nonprofits. Michael DeSario, chairman of St. Michael’s Windmill Housing Associates, has recently been involved in a project to develop a 48-unit affordable housing project in Wainscott.

There are several affordable housing developments in the town, all of which are full, and the waiting lists continue to grow. It is estimated that there are at least 600 people currently waiting for affordable housing in the town.

“East Hampton is aging and it’s not to its benefit,” Mr. DeSario said on Monday afternoon, adding that one of the ideas behind the Wainscott plan would be to provide housing for young people who are having a hard time affording to live on the East End. “Even Hampton Bays is getting expensive. We’re hoping this will be an alternative,” he said.

Mr. DeSario estimated that one-bedroom apartments in the proposed Wainscott project would rent for about $850 a month. In affordable housing, rent is often calculated based on 30 percent of the tenant’s income, he explained.

Officials of the Wainscott School District, however, have complained that affordable housing could bring in too many school-age children, placing a burden on the district. A study by the town Planning Department and the applicant, however, have projected that the development would only bring in about 24 to 28 children. About one third of those children would attend the one-room Wainscott School, which teaches only children in kindergarten through third grade, with other children sent to schools in East Hampton.

Plans for the development also stipulate that a certain number of units would be reserved for seniors, the disabled and veterans, which would limit the number of children in the development.

It will take at least five years to get the complex built, Mr. DeSario added, which he said would give the district enough time to plan for the extra students.

“You have to look at East Hampton as one town and one community,” Mr. DeSario said, adding that there are several affordable housing units spread throughout the town including in Montauk, Springs. “It’s sort of like Wainscott’s turn,” he added.

Katy Casey, the director of the East Hampton Housing Authority, told the board of a conceptual plan for an energy-efficient , transgenerational housing project she is working on, although she said she had not found a site for it yet. Her proposal would have many amenities, including an onsite wastewater treatment plant, a community building and WiFi throughout. Certain percentages of the apartments would be earmarked for those with different income levels, in an effort to create a fully integrated, affordable and attainable housing development in the town.

 

Ashram: Art & Architecture’s Lasting Gesture

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Daniel Ashram's Hooded Figure.

Daniel Ashram’s The Formless Figure

By Dawn Watson

Architecture is more than the study of blueprints and building specs for Daniel Arsham. It’s a living, breathing thing to be experienced. It’s art.

Creating site-specific sculpture directly relating to the space in which it’s erected, the artist’s aim is to transform the entire area into a visceral, yet playful, interaction with the viewer.

“When we think about architecture, it’s the most lasting gesture we can make as human beings—art too, I suppose, although one could argue that architecture is the most visible and present,” says Arsham. “Therefore its disruption can be very uncanny and powerful, and this is where I’m trying to allow the work to reside, a place where people are a little bit shaken by the disruption of the familiar and the everyday.”

He is now working to install his newest piece, “The Formless Figure,” made of fiberglass, metal and plaster, at the Watermill Center. Located in the Water Mill-based artistic laboratory’s main rehearsal studio, the “draped figure, minus the figure,” according to exhibit curator Daneyal Mahmood, will be on view starting Saturday, April 4.

“The form, generated through negative space, looks like a plaster form coming through the wall,” he said during a telephone interview on Monday morning. “Imagine if, as when you were a child, you put a sheet over your head like you were pretending to be a ghost.”

The slightly larger than life-size sculpture, blends directly into the wall, creating an interaction between the work and the building, said Watermill Center special events manager Elise Herget during Monday’s interview with Mr. Mahmood. “It shows, as Daniel’s work often does, of how we walk into a space every single day without noticing our own interaction with that space. What he’s done is to mold or melt that space around you. It’s an amazing duo.”

Arsham, a growing name on the contemporary art circuit, is well known for his work in “Snarkitecture,” a collaborative and experimental artistic expression that he and co-creator Alex Mustonen dreamed up. The name pays homage to the Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Hunting of The Snark,” which describes an “impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature.”

“Snarkitecture investigates the unknown within architecture – the indefinable moments created by manipulating and reinterpreting existing materials, structures and programs to spectacular effect,” says Arsham. “Snarkitecture makes architecture perform the unexpected.”

The work is “simply hypnotic,” said Mr. Mahmood, who described himself as a big fan. One of the things he loves most, he said, is that it’s instantly accessible to everyone, from children to art critics. “Whether you have a vocabulary about contemporary art or not, Daniel resonates with everybody.”

The busy artist is in high demand as of late. He’s currently collaborating on a film project with Watermill Founder Robert Wilson, who says he appreciates the arresting quality to Arsham’s work.

“I see in Daniel’s work something very personal, a unique visual vocabulary,” he said. “Through sculpture, drawing and performance, Arsham challenges our perceptions of physical space in order to make architecture perform the improbable. The surfaces of walls appear to melt, erode and ripple. Animals contemplate the emergence of floating shapes in nature. Sculptures from antiquity are infused with rigid, geometric forms.”

The New York-based artist recently completed a project with musician and producer Pharrell Williams. For that collaboration, Arsham recreated Williams’s first keyboard, presented as a relic, in volcanic ash. He’s also recently worked with actor James Franco on a “The Future Relic” film series based on his casts everyday objects—such as eroding laptops, cell phones, and cameras—made to resemble archaeological finds made from volcanic ash and plaster.

Current and upcoming exhibitions include:” A Special Project for Leica” at the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles, “Remember the Future” at the CAC in Cincinatti, and solo exhibits at Galerie Perrotin in Manhattan in November and at SCAD in Savannah next spring. Additionally, Arsham’s work has been shown at MoMA PS1 in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, The Athens Bienniale in Greece, The New Museum In New York, Mills College Art Museum in California and Carré d’Art de Nîmes in France.

“The Formless Figure” will open with a public reception at the Watermill Center on Saturday, April 4, from 4 to 6 p.m. Arsham will give an artist’s talk at Watermill on June 6 at 4 p.m. For more information, visit watermillcenter.org

Southampton Town Names First Female Lieutenant

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By Mara Certic

Just over a month after filing a sexual discrimination suit against Southampton Town, Susan Ralph became the town’s first-ever female police lieutenant when she was promoted from sergeant by the town board during a swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, March 24.

Three new officers were also sworn in, and two officers and one other sergeant were promoted.

“Today is a happy day. We are promoting and also recognizing some of our new police officers,” said Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.

Southampton Town Police Chief Robert Pearce spoke about each of the new officers and those members of the force awaiting promotion and added that there are now two new officers in the police department. “After several years of cutbacks we are certainly moving in the right direction,” he said.

Chief Pearce commended Sgt. Ralph, whose promotion goes into effect next month, for her years of service, noting her impressive work when she was part of the street crime unit and her participation in the community outreach program.

Just last month Sgt. Ralph filed a federal suit in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, charging that her efforts to advance her career have been stymied since she joined the department in the mid-1990s. The suit claims that she had been passed over for promotions time and time again during and even prior to her 13 years working fulltime on the force.

On Wednesday, March 25, Sgt. Ralph would not comment on the suit, which stated that she had been alienated and ostracized over the years despite Supervisor Throne-Holst’s promises that she would be promoted. Her attorney, Peter Farmighetti, did not return a request for comment by this edition’s deadline.

David Banks, Jonathan Parsons and Christopher Manzello were all sworn in as new officers, and Frederick Boese and Joseph D’Arce were both promoted from officers to sergeants. Todd Spencer, who has been with the department for 15 years, was also promoted to lieutenant.

Councilwoman Bridget Fleming congratulated all of the members of the department, but particularly, she said, Sgt. Ralph, for becoming the first-ever female lieutenant in the town of Southampton.

“We’re very fortunate that one of the candidates that rose to the top this year is a woman. And that we’re appointing our very first female lieutenant in the Southampton Town Police Department today and we wish you all the best and congratulations to everybody,” Ms. Fleming said.

Following the show from Southampton’s finest, the board presented the Bridgehampton School’s boys varsity basketball team with a proclamation, congratulating and thanking it for its hard work, which culminated in a state championship last Saturday in Glen’s Falls.

Each member of the town board read aloud part of the proclamation, which discussed the achievements of this year’s Killer Bees, and those from decades past.

“And here you are one generation later,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “We congratulate you, we thank you and we’re all very, very proud of you.”

In other action, the board adjourned three public hearings on new traffic control measures proposed for the area around Cromer’s Market in Noyac.

Tom Neely, the town’s director of public transportation and traffic safety, explained that the measures include the installation of a stop sign on Cedar Lane at its intersection with Noyac Road; prohibiting left-hand turns from Bay Avenue; and prohibiting parking on a 150-foot stretch of Bay Avenue. The town agreed to adjourn the public hearing until Tuesday, April 28, in order to give the Noyac Civic Council an opportunity to discuss and weigh in on the project at its Tuesday, April 15, meeting.

The board also adjourned a public hearing about a planned development district (PDD) in Water Mill, which would create 48 affordable housing units on a site just east of the Water Mill Shoppes retail center on Montauk Highway. The applicant requested more time and the hearing was rescheduled for the board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, May 12.

 

 

 

PechaKucha Returns to the Parrish

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PechaKucha Hamptons circle lg

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

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

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

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

 

Parrish Recognizes 25 Young Artists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parrish Announces Chuck Close Photographs Exhibit

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Chuck Close (American, born 1940). Self-Portrait/Composite/Nine Parts, 1979. 9 Polaroids, 83 x 69 inches. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Gift of Barbara and Eugene Schwartz.

Chuck Close (American, born 1940). Self-Portrait/Composite/Nine Parts, 1979. 9 Polaroids, 83 x 69 inches. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Gift of Barbara and Eugene Schwartz.

The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill announced last week that it has organized Chuck Close Photographs, the first comprehensive survey of the photographic work of the renowned American artist. The exhibit will be on view May 10 through July 26 and will feature some 90 images from 1964 to the present, from early black and white manquettes to composite Polaroids to intimately scaled daguerreotypes and the most recent Polaroid nudes. The exhibition explores how Mr. Close, one of the most important figures in contemporary art, has stretched the boundaries of photographic means, methods, and approaches.

“The photographic origin of each Close painting is well known; however, Close’s exploration of the medium itself extends far beyond the use of photographs as a programmatic tool,” said Parrish Art Museum Director and exhibition co-organizer Terrie Sultan. “Whether he uses a photographic image as source material or as an end in and of itself, everything he creates begins with a photograph. Chuck Close Photographs provides an in-depth look at photography as the foundation of Close’s creative process.”

The exhibition builds on the Parrish Art Museum’s long history of working with Close, as Sultan also organized Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration, which has travelled to nearly 20 venues worldwide since 2003. Chuck Close Photographs, co-organized by Sultan and Colin Westerbeck, independent curator and photography scholar, traces Close’s use of the camera throughout his more than 45-year career and features a variety of photographic media.

Wandering Through Alan’s Maze at the Parrish

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Maze, 1981 – 1982 Acrylic and thread on canvas, cotton belting, Velcro and aluminum pipe 87 x 219 x 219 inches, Estate of the artist, courtesy Van Doren Waxter, New York.

Maze, 1981 – 1982
Acrylic and thread on canvas, cotton belting, Velcro and aluminum pipe
87 x 219 x 219 inches, Estate of the artist, courtesy Van Doren Waxter, New York.

By Annette Hinkle

As an artist, Alan Shields came of age at a time when the art world was questioning the relevance of painting. The declaration that “painting is dead” is one that has surfaced periodically throughout history, which is why in the early 1970s when the future of the medium looked murky, Mr. Shields wasn’t afraid to take painting off the wall and define it by a whole new set of parameters.

His response? To totally reimagine the way in which audiences experience painting.

Maze, 1981 – 1982 Acrylic and thread on canvas, cotton belting, Velcro and aluminum pipe 87 x 219 x 219 inches, Estate of the artist, courtesy Van Doren Waxter, New York.

Maze, 1981 – 1982
Acrylic and thread on canvas, cotton belting, Velcro and aluminum pipe
87 x 219 x 219 inches, Estate of the artist, courtesy Van Doren Waxter, New York.

Mr. Shields, a long-time resident of Shelter Island, died at his home in 2005 at the age of 61. This weekend, the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill opens “In Motion,” a touring exhibition featuring several works by Mr. Shields, many of which could best be described as sculptural paintings. The exhibit is curated by Jill Brienza, a longtime friend of Mr. Shields who also curated “Alan Shields: A Survey,” a traveling museum exhibition of the artist’s work. For this show, she has assembled a select group of Mr. Shields’ three-dimensional paintings, as well as a video of a dance piece and on-screen animation that speak to the concept of movement in his art.

Among the pieces on views is “Dance Bag,” a cone-like sculptural work comprised of colorfully painted strips of canvas suspended from a single point which attach to circular tubing, and “Ajax,” a similarly constructed piece that takes the form of a giant cylinder.

But perhaps no piece addresses the concept of movement more literally than “Maze,” Mr. Shield’s monumental 1981 work which takes painting off the walls and literally turns it into the walls themselves through a series of painted panels suspended from a grid-work of aluminum piping. In “Maze,” visitors are not only permitted, but encouraged to wander through the spaces defined by the canvas walls.

“When you walk through it’s an incredible experience,” says Ms. Brienza. “You’re seeing so many of Alan’s paintings and are surrounded on all sides — including in front and back of you. It’s a different kind of painting, a real painting – then you go back and find your way out.”

“It’s magical,” she adds.

Through her friendship with Mr. Shields, Ms. Brienza came to understand his desire to see his work travel. Despite its seemingly complex form, “Maze,” she notes, is designed to do just that.

“Alan studied engineering and you can tell. He left instructions, a very simple drawing of how to put it together,” explains Ms. Brienza. “There are no stretcher bars. It was a decision he made to put in a duffle bag. It’s rolled canvas, metal poles that connect and Velcro.”

Because the maze is interactive, it stands to reason that other artists have found ways to incorporate movement into the piece itself. Among the imagery on view at The Parrish is “Into the Maze,” a 2012 video of an original dance choreographed by Stephen Petronio using eight dancers from his company. In the piece, dancers explore “Maze” while wearing body pieces that were also created by Shields — though they were not specifically created for the dance. In conjunction with the exhibit, on Friday, November 7, the Stephen Petronio Company will be on hand to offer a live 20-minute performance of “Into the Maze” at The Parrish with a Q&A with Petronio to follow. Five more dance performances by the company follow throughout the day on Saturday, November 8.

Viewers of Mr. Shields’ work will find that it defies the notion of traditional painting not only through form, but through his use of non-traditional materials as well — things such as cotton belting, glass beads and wire. A native of rural Harrington, Kansas, Ms. Brienza explains that in his formative years Mr. Shields was exposed to what traditionally would be labeled women’s work — skills like sewing and quilt making. But the domestic arts served him well in his professional life and became an important part of his artistic vision.

“With Alan, his life and art practice weren’t separate. They were totally intertwined,” explains Ms. Brienza. “Quilting was a big part of family tradition… farming was a big part as well and he meshed that into his work. He had a sewing room, a bead room, a separate green house.”

“You would see this big tall guy working at a sewing machine,” adds Ms. Brienza. “Alan didn’t care about what others around him did – he did his own thing.”

This philosophy may help explain why Mr. Shields wasn’t particularly interested in being an active player in the New York art world. Instead, his most productive years were spent on Shelter Island where he settled into a quiet life that allowed him to make art and become an integral part of the local community. Mr. Shields was actively involved on Shelter Island. Ms. Brienza notes he was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, served on a number of committees and helped out at the Shelter Island School by teaching art. He even worked as a ferry captain on the North Ferry, plying the waters between Shelter Island and Greenport.

“People were clamoring for his work, but he wasn’t interested in being in a scene,” says Ms. Brienza. “He moved to Shelter Island when he was quite young – and that surprised people. He didn’t have an interest in hanging out all night networking. He would fish, grow his own vegetables and make art the way he wanted to make it.”

“He cared about the environment and cared about community,” adds Ms. Brienza. “He was very true to he is, and never changed his work to fit into what people might want.”

“Alan Shields: In Motion,” October 26 to January 19, Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. Special members-only opening reception on Saturday, November 1 at 5:30 p.m. (reserve at 283-2118 ext. 181). New members welcome to join that evening.

On Sunday, November 2 at 11 a.m. curator Jill Brienza will talk about Alan Shields’ work in The Curator’s View ($10, free for members, students and children).

“Into the Maze” by the Stephen Petronio Dance Company will be performed live on Friday, November 7 at 6 p.m. (followed by a Q&A with Stephen Petronio and interactive “tours” guided by the dancers) and on Saturday, November 8, the 20-minute dance will sbe performed on the hour from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information visit parrishart.org. 

PechaKucha Vol. 9 at the Parrish Art Museum

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

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

By Tessa Raebeck

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

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

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

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

Latin American Film Festival Returns to the Parrish

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

By Mara Certic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

By Tessa Raebeck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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