Bits & Banter: Unreliable Narrators, ‘Liminal Highway’, Artful Home, HTC Launches ‘Lights Up, Miyatake Digs Deep

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 "Visitation" by Barbara Friedman

‘Unreliable Narrator’ Poses Question to the Viewer

“A work that has an unreliable narrator compels the reader to second-guess the information they are given, to view as suspect any ‘truth’ or claim of veracity on the part of the main storyteller, a work of fiction becoming doubly so.” – Enrico Gomez

Artists Barbara Friedman, Melora Griffis and Judith Simonian all blur the line between abstraction and representation, fantasy and reality, fact and fiction.

It makes them unreliable narrators — though, perhaps, it’s the subject of the work, or each piece as a whole, or even the viewer, that are the unreliable ones.

On Saturday, June 8, the newest exhibition at Sara Nightingale Gallery, “Unreliable Narrators,” will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. in Sag Harbor, located at 26 Main Street.

“The exhibition’s title derives from an ongoing body of work by Barbara Friedman, in which familiar protagonists from children’s literature and popular culture appear in precarious situations,” according to a press release.

Friedman’s treatment of characters such as Gulliver, Pinocchio and Gumby engages them in unexpected activities and settings, often found in supine positions, as if they have given up or been conquered.

“Yet the brightly hued paintings — pink and orange are favorites in Friedman’s underpainting — are too funny and oddball to evoke pessimism,” the release said. “Rather, the viewer empathizes with these malleable figures, while subtle cues from Friedman reveal her worldly concerns.”

Griffis’ airplane paintings, on the other hand, were inspired by a pair of shoes.

“‘Painterella’ questions whether she has been framed by the Prince — seduced by the classic rescue fantasy — while the Prince, alone in his private jet, travels great distances, only to return to her with her missing shoe,” the release said. “While he had been away, she became ‘a woman who knows herself’ by painting her own self portrait. The unreliable tale transforms into reliable fiction, or is this allegory actually true?”

Simonian paints a radiant yet unstable world that often becomes unhinged, transforming before the viewer’s eyes like a theatrical stage set.

“Her interest lies in the unevenness of the subjective eye and the ‘unreliability’ of interior spaces and landscapes, but color and efficient mark making are her priorities,” the release said. “These often take precedence over the depiction of recognizable imagery or concrete narrative.”

The show will remain on view through July 5. For more information, call (631) 793-2256 or visit saranightingale.com.

Tim Munro Performs ‘Liminal Highway,’ A Road Just for Him

On a quest to find comfort in the chaos, Tim Munro begins with five short pieces, like prayers — calm and meditative — preparing for the more dramatic journey down “Liminal Highway.”

The Grammy Award-winning flutist will perform Christopher Cerrone’s newest composition, written specifically for Chicago-based Munro, on Saturday, June 8, at 7 p.m. at Custer Observatory, located at 1115 Main Bayview Road in Southold.

As Munro plays, joined by electronic accompaniment, layer up on layer of flute sounds shimmer, pulse and glow — creating a radiantly beautiful sonic mirage, a press release said.

“Christopher Cerrone conjures sonic environments,” it said. “His magnetic music surrounds listeners, painting landscapes, bringing to the surface raw emotions. This program provides a snapshot of the composer through new and in-progress works.

In the course of one-hour performance, the audience will hear the flute, guitar, beer bottles and song.”

Advance tickets are $25, or $30 at the door, and $10 for students age 13 to 18. Children under age 13 are free. Stargazing will follow, weather permitting. For more information, call (631) 765-2626 or visit custerobservatory.org.

Artful Home Care Continues “Art for Health” Series

Aging is not synonymous with a lower quality of life — and Artful Home Care is seeking to prove it through the “Art for Health” lecture series.

The second installment, “Looking Forward to Aging on the East End” — on Saturday, June 8, at 3 p.m. at Guild Hall in East Hampton— will address how to maintain a healthy state of well-being into elderhood through nutrition, exercise, art, socialization and finding the right kind of in-home support, if needed.

A panel discussion, moderated by Beth McNeill-Muhs, will feature input from art therapist Deborah Adler, Patti Cronin-Hernandez from The Ed & Phyllis Wellness Institute, artist and educator Mare Dianora, regional director of Music & Memory Robin Lombardo, nutritionist Stefanie Sacks, geriatric and palliative care nurse Diane Schade, and Adrienne Wooduck, a senior caregiver and end of life doula.

“The lectures highlight local health care professionals, as well as professionals who use the creative arts and other alternative measures as a means of healing and wellness,” according to a press release. “These discussions are an opportunity to educate community residents and begin a dialogue regarding the topic of aging on the East End.”

Admission is free. For more information, visit artfulhomecare.net.

Hampton Theatre Company Launches ‘Lights Up!’ Campaign

To combat rising production costs, the Hampton Theatre Company is mounting a new effort: the “Lights Up!” Matching Grant campaign for 2019. And for every donation received through July 15, the founding members of the June C. Ewing Producers Circle will match it dollar for dollar, up to $25,000.

“Every year, the cost of producing high-quality, professional live theater continues to rise,” according to board president Andrew Botsford. “As we continue to hold the line on ticket prices to make our shows accessible to the broadest possible audience, box office sales cover only about 50% of what it costs to mount a production.”

A significant portion of the funds raised in this year’s annual appeal will finance the second phase of a three-part LED lighting and sound equipment upgrade, Botsford said, keeping the company current in technical advances to enhance the theatergoing experience.

“Today, some 34 years since its founding, the HTC continues to go far beyond community theater, continually embracing the highest standards of professional productions, on a par with or superior to what is offered on New York City stages,” Botsford said.

Secure donations may be made by check — and mailed to Hampton Theatre Company, PO Box 400, Quogue, NY 11959 — or by visiting hamptontheatre.org.

Aya Miyatake Digs Deep

When Aya Miyatake chooses her raw material from a Manhattan stone yard, the color and character within each 20-pound rough rock is a mystery.

“Not knowing provides me surprise and excitement,” she said, “and I cherish the moment of discovery.”

Inside her East Hampton greenhouse studio, Miyatake chisels and files each coarse boulder into a geode, carving it further on a revolving tripod, observing and balancing the nuances of emerging and color, and fractured veins of minerals.

“Only after she has chiseled away the entire uneven surface does Miyatake begin to find the dormant luminosity within the opaque stone,” a press release said. “Especially surprising is the graphic activity of the veining — streaks of gold, coral and white minerals — that permeate and enliven the interior. This dynamic evidence of the compression caused by the evaporation of seawater over millennia offers an image of motion Miyatake accentuates as she carves.”

While some of her abstract forms seem to hibernating in an ice-white glow, others radiate rich verdant greens, amber yellow and translucent peach hues, now on view through Sunday, June 30, at The Drawing Room Gallery, located at 55 Main Street in East Hampton.

“In this reflective body of work, Miyatake reveals the movement and extracts hidden color of the ancient alabaster,” the release said. “Focused on the stone’s characteristic translucency and glow, Miyatake uncovers new dynamism within each form. The installation will present the sculptures on old farm tables, with individual works elevated on small bases of driftwood and crisp blocks of mahogany.”

Miyatake grew up in Takamatsu, on the island of Shikoku, Japan. Surrounded by the unique traditional forms in Japanese culture, she pursued a degree in art at Kyoto University of Art and Design in 1998.

“Eager to learn English and study abroad, she moved to the East End of Long Island to attend Southampton College,” a press release said. “By chance, she enrolled in a stone carving course and began to make sculpture in alabaster, marble and sandstone. Miyatake acknowledges that stone carving suits her temperament because she respects reduction as an aesthetic principle.”

For more information, visit drawingroom-gallery.com.

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