Southampton Arts Center is Clearing the Air

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Emilio Perez "Stone's Throw Away," 2020.

Following a year of unique and unprecedented challenges, Southampton Arts Center’s (SAC), “Clearing The Air” is an exhibition that examines the healing and transformative power of the arts. This thoughtful show offers a much-needed sense of community and strength in the time of a global pandemic, political divide, and racial and social injustice. Curated by Jay Davis, artist and curator of Memorial Sloan Kettering [MSK] Cancer Center’s Ambulatory Care Arts Program, the exhibition is presented by Primary Care and Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian. The who opens Friday, September 17, at noon.

lana Harris-Babou “Library 4,” 2019, will be on view in “Clearing The Air” at SAC. Photo courtesy of SAC.

“Art is a powerful tool in the healing process — for both the artist and the observer,” said SAC executive director Tom Dunn. “The need to create can be extremely compelling for those navigating health or personal challenges, resulting in meaningful work that offers more than meets the eye. Southampton Arts Center has long endeavored to install exhibitions that are thought-provoking, meaningful, and inclusive.

“Complementing and surrounding ‘Clearing The Air’ will be films, talks, workshops and events across all disciplines highlighting art as a means for therapy, escape, distraction, elevation and reflection,” he added. “I feel this is the right show for right now.”

The work on view ranges from site-specific installations to audio and video work, ephemeral and occasionally humorous to meditative, introspective to scientific, and over the top. A quarter of the artists are or have been patients at MSK or other hospitals, with almost all having some experience in exhibiting within Davis’ installations at MSK.

“‘Clearing The Air’ presents a new interpretation of how art can aim to be transformative,” Davis explained. “Never simply a cure, but something that can help strengthen, sustain, provide introspection and growth, this exhibition looks to break the status quo of how art can participate in healing. The work presented in this exhibit explores the different ways art can be a transformative, healing tool, coming from a diverse group of artists — some with experience as patients themselves, and art as a personal tool to recovery, while others have used their art to nurture, elevate and expand what it means to function as ‘healing art.’”

Participating artists include: Hisham Akira Bharoocha, Matteah Baim, Tyler Beard, Sarah Bednarek, Patrick Berran, Robin Cameron, Bridget Caramagna, Amelia Carley, Joseph Cohen, Andy Cross, Jay Davis, Jeremy Dennis, Bill Donovan, Magali Duzant, Kimia Ferdowsi Kline, Karen Flatow, Peter Fox, Chie Fueki, Andrew Guenther, Ilana Harris-Babou, Jonah King, Ryan Kitson, Cara Lynch, Pooneh Maghazehe, Oliver Michaels, Alice Momm, Robert Moore, Kyoshi Otsuka, Glorimer Ovalle (Gloflo), Emilio Perez, Matthew Raynor, Will Ryan, Hope Sandrow, Mark Sengbusch, Jef Sharf, Adam Sultan, Molly Surno, Carmen Teixidor, Alina Tenser and Mitchell Wright.

SAC’s galleries are at 25 Job’s Lane in Southampton. The show will be on view Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. beginning Friday, September 17. For information visit southamptonartscenter.org or call 631-283-0967.

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