East Hampton community notes

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East Hampton High School junior Emma Shilowich, 16, daughter of Richard Shilowich and Dr. Terri Rauch of McGuirk Street, attended the inauguration last Tuesday, January 13, of President Obama. She was a member of the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference and heard Gen. Colin Powell, Desmond Tutu, Al Gore, Doris Kearns goodwin, and Eric Weihenmayer speak at conferences she attended. She also attended an inaugural ball.

Acrylic paintings and richly textured collages created by renowned East Hampton artist Helen Hoie now grace the halls of Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, thanks to a donation of her work from the Helen and Claus Hoie Charitable Foundation.

Rescue squad officers

The East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue Squad had its annual elections this past month at the Montauk Playhouse. The squad consists of 36 men and women geared to answer 911 water emergency calls throughout the year, Steve Bierley reported this week.

The new officers are Steve Brierley, captain; Rich Kalbacher, assistant captain; John Ryan Jr., treasurer; Robin Streck, secretary; Squad 1 Leader, Jim Arnold; Squad 2 Leader, Vanessa Edwardes; Squad 3 Leader, Brian Cunningham; and Squad 4 Leader, Jeff Thompson. Steve extended special thanks to Tim Treadwell for his
service as captain for the last two years.

Gift from Hoie estate

The gift of six paintings and 36 collages, which have a combined value of $225,000, coincides with the pending completion of the medical center’s three-phase, $50-million expansion and modernization project.

“With the expansion promising to elevate the medical center to a state-of-the-art facility, we hope the artwork will provide an increased humanistic aura to the surroundings,” said Judith Sneddon of East Hampton, the executrix of the Hoie estate. “The addition of this artwork will contribute to the pleasing aesthetics and ambiance of the patient rooms and public spaces. There’s no need for a health care facility to carry an institutional look.”

Following that philosophy, the design of the hospital’s new emergency center has incorporated French doors on the individual patient rooms, as well as wood-like laminate floors and wainscoting. The medical center’s walls feature several landscapes by acclaimed photographer Jake Raj of Orient.

“We are extremely grateful to the Hoie Foundation for its most generous gift to the Peconic Bay Medical Center and proud to have the works of such a celebrated artist hanging throughout our facility,” said Peconic Bay President and CEO Andrew Mitchell.

Helen Hoie and her husband, Claus, also an artist who worked in watercolors, lived for many years in East Hampton. Helen Hoie died in 2000 and her husband died in 2007.

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University’s Art Institute, Ms. Hoie began her professional career as a fashion designer. She drew upon her extensive knowledge of fabric, its texture and subtleties of shading and color, when she followed her creative drive to the fine arts, particularly collage. Evolving as an artist, she reinterpreted her collages in larger format acrylic paintings. That genre dominated her work throughout her career.

Ms. Hoie’s work has been shown in many galleries and was featured in major retrospectives at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton and at the Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton. Her paintings and collages are featured in collections across the country, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania.

Goings on

It is the end of January already, and East Hampton is still in its hibernating mode, but I do have a few cultural events to mention.

Tonight, Wednesday, January 28, and tomorrow night, there will be performances of the middle school’s musical, “School House Rock.” Show time is at 7 p.m. both nights and the performance will be in the auditorium at the middle school.

This Saturday, Guild Hall will open its doors to the Student Art Festival, an annual event that exhibits the artwork and talent of local students. Currently, more than 2,300 students from participating public and private schools, including the Amagansett, East Hampton, Montauk, Wainscott, and Sag Harbor districts are invited to participate through their art classes and art teachers.

The exhibitions will feature a variety of media, including painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, mobiles, and mixed media. Between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, art from grades kindergarten through the eighth will be on display for the opening reception. The high school students’ exhibit will follow and will remain up until March 1. The opening reception is free and open to the public.

The Student Film Project, now in its sixth year, is being held in conjunction with the Student Art Festival. For the first time, the video/film competition features three age groups: elementary grades 2-4, with 10-minute films; middle school grades 5-8, with 15-minute films; and high school grades 9-12, featuring 20-minute films. Judges are still to be named, but will represent leaders in the film and television community on the East End. The project is sponsored by the Bridgehampton National Bank and the Lewis B. Cullman Education Program, in memory of Joseph F. Cullman III.

At Guild Hall on February 3, the Naked Stage Reading of “The Illusion” by Pierre Corneille, adapted by Tony Kushner, will be performed. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in the Boots Lamb Center.

For more information about Guild Hall activities, you can visit its website at www.guildhall.org.

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