Notes from East Hampton


Memorial Day is around the corner and that is when I will come to realize how tough it will be to be the arts administrator for the Springs Improvement Society. This is the first art show that I will be organizing for them and it is their annual Members Show. If you have not already signed up to be a member and want to participate, e-mail me at the above address and I can e-mail you back a registration form. The SIS’s goal is to help keep Ashawagh Hall up and running so it can keep on serving the community.

Speaking of the community, I have talked to several “established” people in the art world over the last several weeks about artists in the Hamptons. We all know, and some shudder to think, that there is a whole other world in the Hamptons besides overpriced cars, Gucci, and plastic surgery. This side is not so blatantly obvious to some of the public: it is the area’s artists.

No, you will not see them driving around in paint-spattered cars or always see them on the side of the road painting a landscape. These are the people who once were (and some still are) a big thriving part of the community. The artists add an interesting flare and substance (in my eyes) to the natural beauty of the Hamptons and, believe or not, most are not painting landscapes, thank goodness.

From my understanding and what I have seen, a lot of artists are leaving because of the booming cost of living, which almost everyone is feeling. In addition, there are very few galleries left this far east on the Island for local artists to participate in. Plus, there are all the building restrictions and codes, which put a damper on artist’s studios. It is tough to try to survive on your art out here.

Speaking of building restrictions and codes, I hope the swans at Town Pond have a building permit for that “McMansion” that they have built. I stopped by the other day to check it out and I heard some of the ducks complaining that the swan abode was blocking their view and they were going to talk to the town about the pyramid law. It does not seem that the setbacks are in code, it may be a little bit to close to the property line, and I am not sure if they have running water. I think someone should get down there and slap a big ol’ fine on them. However, it is a great location for a home: south of the highway, water view, but a little too close to the road for my personal liking.

The Monogram Shop on Newtown Lane is doing something that is just plain silly. They are selling election cups, which are drinking cups with the presidential candidates’ names on the front and they are taking a count. When I last stopped by to get the numbers, Obama was leading by a slight margin in front of Hillary Clinton and McCain was trailing behind by a long shot.

It’s pretty much equivalent to what everyone is reading in the papers. It will be interesting to see what their outcome will be in comparison to the “real” election. I do not really like to talk politics in my column or in the real world. People rarely see eye to eye on the subject and it is just so draining to even try to get your point across. I feel like this is a good spot to introduce my thoughts on Jesus … just kidding.

A fund-raiser is coming up for the family of Thomas Kopka, a lifelong resident of East Hampton, who died of brain cancer on February 23 at the age of 38. Tom grew up in East Hampton, graduated from East Hampton High School and worked for the East Hampton office of Town Housing and Community Development for 10 years. He is survived by his wife, Katie, and five small children. Tom’s children include triplets who are 9 years old, an autistic son who is 7 and a little girl who is 6.

In an effort to help his children, friends and supporters are planning a memorial dinner at the Amagansett American Legion Hall on May 17, from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost of tickets is $25. This benefit will give hope to five children who are struggling with the loss of their dad.

If anyone would like to make a donation, they can send a check to the Kopka Family at P.O. Box 211, Bridgehampton, NY 11932. For further information and event tickets, please call 537-0553.

This Friday, I will be the visiting artist at Springs School, working alongside Colleen McGowan, who, by the way, is a fabulous art teacher. I am going to introduce the kids to the use of text in art. It should make for a fabulous workshop, and a fantastic way to have the kids see the relationship of words and images.

This Saturday, May 10, Guild Hall will be holding the second half of its 70th annual Members Show, featuring artists from A-L, with the opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. The show will be on view through June 7.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, and to all the other moms out there.

Facebook Comments