Artist Members Show Turns 76, With A Bang

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Last year, Guild Hall in East Hampton shattered the gallery record books with a never-before-seen 453 pieces in its 75th annual Artist Members Show.

And this year, they are doing it again.

“We are definitely beating that number,” a giddy Michelle Klein, assistant curator and coordinator, said last week during a telephone interview. “It is going to be the biggest show we have ever had at Guild Hall.”

Early Monday morning, Chief Curator Christina Strassfield arrived on site to white walls and hundreds of pieces of every medium imaginable waiting to be installed. It is a familiar scene, she explained, having installed the famous exhibition—the oldest non-juried show on Long Island, and one of the last left—more than 20 times.

She never knows what to expect. Other than that she has four days to deliver. On Saturday, May 3, the exhibit will open with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. after juror Robert Storr has announced the awards. The top honor is a solo show in the museum’s Spiga Gallery at a later date.

“This is the first time I’m seeing all this stuff,” Ms. Strassfield said. “And now I have to put it together with a flow and an energy. It’s not just putting the same colors and imagery together. It has to be a combination of everything. You have to think about all of those things. And then each piece has to get along with the five other pieces surrounding it.”

The curator laughed and continued, “I’ve done these installations year after year. I love doing it. But I have to tell you, there’s a lot of pieces. I’m sure it will take me a little longer than it usually does.”

Admission to the 76th annual Artist Members Show opening on Saturday, May 3, is free. For more information, call 324-0806 or visit guildhallorg.

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