Springs Community Notes, August 21


It’s been an unusually cool August and feels downright fall-like in the mornings. To me it’s preferable to one that feels like the true “dog days of summer,” unbearably hot and humid. Still, summertime is truly such a fleeting season that I vowed I must get into the water every chance I get, if only for a quick dip. We’ve waited three seasons for the chance, and now it’s nearly the end of August!I may have mentioned before that Maidstone Park Beach is one of my favorite places in the world. I used to love the channel end best of all, but now that it’s become a parking lot for SUVs most of the time, it’s lost its appeal … at least to me. It’s literally about 20 to 50 feet (a short walking distance) from the parking area to where most of these vehicles end up parking right on that narrow section of beach. There’s now barely any soft sand left over there. It’s all compacted like … well, a parking lot, and that makes me sad. I don’t want to ruffle any feathers or deny anyone’s pleasure, but I know I’m not alone in that sentiment.

The long stretch of beach leading down to the pavilion and the channel is oddly and happily sparsely populated most of the time. So, that’s where I’ve been going alone or with friends at the end of each day that’s warm enough for swimming. With unobstructed views along the shoreline, it’s always mesmerizingly lovely, but never constant. The colors of the skyline merging into the seascape alter with the clouds and the sun creating a panorama from the endless shades of blue and green. When I am immersed in the water, a feeling of tranquility washes over me that only a merging and sense of oneness with the universe can bring. I often wonder how others experience the water, so am looking forward to this weekend’s art show at Ashawagh Hall.

Curated by noted East End artist Hector DeCordova, “Convergence” brings together the works of 11 artists showing how each one reacts individually to something in the water and highlights their common vision. As explained by Mr. DeCordova, “The concept of the gathering of these artists is designed to be a communality, sweeping like a wave on the walls. It starts in a line with Alex Ferrone and continues with Gordon Gagliano, myself, Steve Haweeli, Janet Culbertson, and in the middle of the gallery, the work of sculpture by Dwight Trujillo whose works continues the wave and is surrounded by artists like Bryan Lansberg, Creighton Berry, Ellen Nora Goldstein, Barbara Billotta and Ursula Thomas adding a strength and beauty that completes the experience.” After the opening, “it can be seen in peace as a platform in which to meditate” … which to me is the nicest way to experience the water. “Convergence” is on display from August 22 through 25. The opening reception is this Friday, August 23, from 5 to 8 p.m. Part of the sale proceeds will benefit the East Hampton Library. It sounds like a treat you won’t want to miss!

Another exhibit you won’t want to miss is a retrospective: “Judith Leiber—An American Journey: From Artisan to Fashion Icon,” which celebrates the 50th anniversary of Judith Leiber handbags. On display is an extraordinary collection of Ms. Leiber’s unique and beyond beautiful designs from 1963 to 2004, an awe inspiring 1,200 works of art to behold. Tucked away off the beaten path down a long driveway at 446 Old Stone Highway is the Leiber Museum surrounded by one of the many special gardens designed by her husband of 65 years, Gershon Leiber, painter and sculptor, whose sculptures enhance the beauty of the museum’s magnificent grounds. Through Labor Day, the museum is open on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more details call 631-329-3288 or email info@leibercollection.org.

The “Lichtenstein Lecture” series “Sundays at 5” at The Fireplace Project located at 851 Springs-Fireplace Road continues this Sunday with Michael FitzGerald’s lecture “Picasso in the Shadow of Contemporary.” Mr. FitzGerald, a widely acclaimed scholar on Pablo Picasso, is a professor of fine arts at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

It’s not too late to partake of the Summer Art Workshops that have been going on all summer on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Pollock- Krasner House and Study Center located at 830 Springs-Fireplace Road. Each workshop includes a tour of the house and studio, a film featuring Pollock at work, and a hands-on painting session. It’s a wonderful venue and program that introduces your children to the feeling of connectedness to the glorious and proud art heritage of our hamlet. Space is limited, so reservations are necessary. For “Action Painting” with Karyn Mannix on Thursdays and Fridays, call (631) 329-2811 or email karynmannix@optonline.net. For “Family Art Workshops” on Saturdays with Joyce Raimondo call (917) 502-0790 to register. There’s only one more week left until next summer, so don’t delay!

Good news for local jelly makers: I made my rounds and am thrilled to report that it looks like there will be an abundance of beach plums! Just be careful to dress appropriately to guard against the poison ivy that seems to grow near them. So many of us are busy this time of year, and honestly, jelly making is a lot of work. So sadly, I won’t have the time to produce batches and batches of jelly before the summer is done. Then, it occurred to me that I could gather some to freeze and make this gorgeous jelly later on in the year, at my leisure. Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the most elusive…so, when the idea struck me, it came as big relief! Life is too short to forgo even the simplest of pleasures while they are available. Whether a meditative experience in or on our splendid bodies of water or picking our indigenous fruit to make jelly or availing yourself of our rich art culture, I hope you will all get out there and enjoy! Happy week everyone!

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