By Dawn Watson
The name sounds local, but Art Hamptons has become an international event.
Now in its ninth year, what started out as a small community art fair has grown into a giant expo, drawing exhibitors from all over the world and attendees numbering into the thousands. Last year’s fair was the biggest ever, with a record-breaking 4,000 guests arriving for the opening night reception and a total of 15,000 participants who showed up during the span of the show’s four day run.
This year’s Art Hamptons, which will be held from Thursday, June 23, through Sunday, June 26, at a private Lumber Lane estate in Bridgehampton, promises more of the same. Exhibitors from as far afield as Paris, Spain, Argentina, Israel, Cuba, South Korea and China are descending upon the East End to show and sell their wares.
The first large-format art fair of its kind here in the Hamptons, which has also seen the more recent additions of Art Market Hamptons (July 7 through 10 this year) and Art Southampton (July 7 through 11 this year), is still a good place for the local arts scene, says Karyn Mannix Contemporary owner Karyn Mannix.
The gallerist, art consultant and artist has just launched her newest venture, The Mannix Studio of Art, a brick-and-mortar gallery and arts space on Gingerbread Lane in East Hampton. This year marks her fourth return to Art Hamptons, where she’ll be exhibiting the works of artists such as Gumshoe, Steve Joester, Lenny Stucker and Jason Poremba in booth 118. Ms. Mannix will also host a book talk with Marcia Resnick on the topic of “Punks, Poets & Provocateurs” on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“Out of all three, this is my favorite fair to participate in and it seems to draw the best, most diverse audience,” says the woman who has become known for her representation of emerging and mid-career artists specializing in cutting-edge minimalism, color field and pop art. “I always do very well in sales and exposure.”
Richard Demato, who owns RJD Gallery in Sag Harbor and specializes in contemporary art with a focus in narrative portraiture, imaginative realism and contemporary landscapes, says that the fair brings with it the distinction of gaining a wider audience.
“We have an opportunity to expose our artists to a new circle of visitors to the Hampton’s community, and they to us, that might otherwise not know of our gallery or the artists we represent,” he says.
He plans to show the work of his stable of artists, including Alexander Klingspor, Igor And Marina, Margaret Bowland and Andrea Kowch, during this year’s event.
Other local galleries that are included on the exhibitors list include: Chase Edwards Gallery in Bridgehampton, The Hooke Sculpture Gallery in Sag Harbor, Lawrence Fine Art in East Hampton and Sara Nightingale Gallery in Water Mill. The recipients of this year’s First Look opening note benefit reception will be LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton and the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, which is based in Manhattan.
LongHouse Founder Jack Lenor Larsen will join event co-chairs Maria and Kenneth Fishel, and co-honorees Marion and Samuel Waxman of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation in kicking off the opening night festivities with a ribbon cutting and opening remarks. A presentation of the LongHouse Awards for Best Artwork and Best Booth will follow.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect, says LongHouse Executive Director Matko Tomicic.
“We are extremely grateful to be on the receiving end of this generosity and awareness of LongHouse,” he says. “Especially as we are now in our 25th Jubilee Year celebration.”
Other featured events during the show’s four-day program include public and private show tours, art talks, public and private receptions, a wine tasting and lots of opportunities to meet and talk with artists and art experts.
On Friday, June 23, activities include talks by Anthony Liggins on his book “Art is Love, Love is an Art” and “Artful Living: Passionate Pursuit or Investment—or Both?” with Glenn Gissler, Suzanne Lovell, Amy Lau, Barbara Toll, Julie Saul and Suzanne Slesin and a Tour of Art Hamptons with Peter Frank.
Saturday’s planned events include a Jadot Wine Tasting; artists’ talks with Jean-Marie Haessle, Michael Alfano and Paul Resika; a discussion on “Cuban Art Today;” book signing by Marcia Resnick on “Punks, Poets & Provocateurs;” and a Young Collectors Reception.
Closing out the slate of art-centric events, on Sunday there will be a panel discussion on “The Allure of the East End” with Helen Harrison, Director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Studio; Christina Strassfield, Museum Director and Chief Curator, Guild Hall; Dawn Watson, journalist and photographer (that’s me, representing The Sag Harbor Express); and moderator Pat Rogers, Publisher and Managing Editor of Hamptons Art Hub.
Art Hamptons will be held from Thursday, June 23, through Sunday, June 26, at a private Lumber Lane estate in Bridgehampton. Learn more at www.arthamptons.com