Local Artists Given Platform for Socially Engaged Work

Rosario Varela, a 2020 Guild Hall Community Artist-in-Residence, installing her show "Red, Gold, and You." Photo by Anthony Madonna.

Known for its year-round roster of internationally renowned artists and performers, Guild Hall of East Hampton also champions the plentiful talent on the East End. During the month of March, Guild Hall welcomes local artists to apply to its new Community Artist-in-Residence (CAIR) program, which was established in 2020 in response to the pandemic and is focused on spotlighting creatives who live and work in the area.

The Community Artist-in-Residence program began last spring in direct response to COVID-19. The pandemic put many artists out of work, and as an institution with a mission to foster civic participation through engagement in the arts, Guild Hall prioritized the need to stimulate both the local creative economy and the cultivation of imagination by commissioning four artists to create participatory and socially engaged work with local community organizations. Projects included “Lindsay Morris: A Small Taste of Freedom” with Guild Hall’s Teen Arts Council, “Monica Banks: Cloud Garden” with the Bridgehampton Childcare & Recreation Center, “Rosario Varela: Red, Gold, and You” with the Teen Arts Council and the New York Blood Center, and Viv Corringham’s series of concerts and workshops with Mandala Yoga Center for Healing Arts.

“As the pandemic continues to affect artists and our East End community’s ability to work and participate in the arts, we have expanded the CAIR from a reactionary program to a pillar of our summer 2021 program at Guild Hall,” said Anthony Madonna, Guild Hall’s Patti Kenner senior associate for learning and public engagement. “We are so excited to welcome and support a new group of artists through this program.”

All artists — visual, literary, performing — are encouraged to apply, particularly interdisciplinary artists with an exhibition/publication/performance history who have completed formal training or equivalent experience and recognition from peers. Artists must live and work on the East End of Long Island in zip codes beginning with “119.”

With the goal of realizing and producing socially engaged projects, the residents will work collaboratively with Madonna and other Guild Hall staff over the summer and early fall months, with project development and workshops during the spring and summer, and exhibitions and performances in the summer and fall. The fruits of their labor will consist of curated exhibitions, staged readings or performances in the John Drew Theater, or outdoor installations on the Guild Hall campus.

The application process, which includes a $25 submission fee, opens on Monday, March 1, and closes on Monday, March 29. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee of celebrated artists, creative professionals, and members of Guild Hall’s staff. Candidates will learn the results of their application the week of April 12. Applications are available at guildhall.org.