Home as a concept is interesting because it’s so multifaceted and gives rise to all sorts of human emotion. For those of us who reside here, the Springs is the place we call home. Some of us have roots that go deep by many generations. Others of us stumbled onto this special place, perhaps even by accident, and felt taken enough to settle here too, laying down a foundation from which we hope a good life will flourish. Whatever the case, whether by birth or circumstances or conscious decision, a diversified group of people—artists, baymen, professionals, homemakers—all have at least one common bond: the building of a life, in all that it entails, in this small segment of the world.What we call home stretches beyond the confines of our residences to encompass our neighbors, our community, and the surrounding environment, both natural and man-made. When I consider the enormity of the role that home in the larger picture plays in our lives, I am curious to know what it is about a place that attracted individuals to come in the first place, and then compelled them to stay.
I woke up on Sunday morning, not yet having begun my column on the day it is due to be submitted. Usually, there is at least one or two emails or calls from community members that inspire me to begin, but I guess it had been a quiet week and there were none. So, checking Ashawagh Hall’s website for the next event, it posted a show for artist-photographer Michael Cardacino. (It turns out to be a show of ten artists, and will get to those details later.) Looking Michael up on the web, I was struck when reading an interview on Hamptons.com with Eileen Casey in which she asks him, “What is it about the Hamptons that brought you here and enticed you to stay, work, and pursue your art here as opposed to somewhere else?” Now there was the question I’d been longing to explore on a larger scale for years! In his response Michael says, “Springs has always been one of the most relaxing and comfortable places for me. It allowed for play and for spontaneity to emerge …” I imagine that his answer must hold true for the majority of our artists’ population, now and in the past.
With just this concept forming in my head, I decided I would go to church after all. I had the thought of skipping, but then decided I could use a little divine inspiration. Imagine my surprise when our pastor, Reverend Steve Howarth of the First Presbyterian Church of Amagansett, began his sermon with the question, “What is home?” From there ensued a compelling, thoughtful commentary on the subject in relation to two biblical readings exploring the ongoing universal longing of human beings for home. It was one of those happily not-so-rare instances of life showing me a sign that I was on the right track!
Sitting beside me, was my friend, Sarah, so I asked what brought her to buy and settle in the Springs. She responded that it was the affordability of the real estate in Springs, in comparison to the village or other nearby hamlets. Yes, of course. Economics is a huge factor in shaping a population. Our hamlet is fortunate and unique in that our more affordable buying and renting area does not reflect in being less aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Those who have spent any length of time here know the opposite is true.
After church, I popped over to the Big Clam Contest that was going on to say hello to my aunt, Lori Miller Carr, who has been a big part in helping to coordinate this event for many years. One of the clam chowder contest judges this year, I found her cheerfully sampling chowders under a tent. Lori and her husband live in the same Springs’ neighborhood that we grew up in as kids. Without standing on ceremony, I asked her the question. “What do you think made you want to return to settle in more or less the same place in which you grew up?” After a moment’s thought, she smiled and said simply “I came home.” I realized that was true for me, too. For both of us, coming home again was actually a renewal and the perfect place for a fresh beginning.
Now, back to the art show this weekend, Ashawagh Hall presents “Body of Work-X,” a group show showcasing the work of 10 figurative artists who have shown well together over the last decade. This show celebrates the group’s 10th exhibit. As well as the powerful sociopolitical work of Springs’ multimedia artist, Michael Cardacino, on view will be the works of Mary Antczak, Rosalind Brenner, Linda Capello, Ellen Dooley, Anthony Lombardo, Setha Low, Phil Marco, Douglas Reiner and Margaret Weissbach. It promises to be a lively reception on Saturday, October 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. Gallery hours are Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The last Family Art Workshop with Joyce Raimondo at the Pollock-Krasner House for this year is this Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. “Drip Painting” is fun for the whole family and hands-on educational. Registration is required, and can be done by visiting www.imaginearted.com or calling (917) 502-0790.
The setting of the Pollock-Krasner Home and Study Center is indescribably breathtaking and at its most beautiful right now, all shades of gold and crimson over the sweeping wetlands out to the harbor. Please try to visit while you can. The Charlotte Park exhibit is powerful and can be viewed through the end of October. Visit www.pkhouse.org for hours and more details.
I’ll end by thanking everyone for bearing with me as I went off on this latest tangent. Please email me with some news! Also, I’d be interested in your thoughts on why you are here and what makes you stay. I’m happy I’m here. Hope you are, too!