Artists talk reverentially about “the light” on the East End—a subtle luminosity permeating sky and land that they attribute to the water all around—a north light that some have tried to engage by angling their studios toward it. Some of those studios repurposed barns, have tried in their design to capture the spirit of region, once an expanse of potato fields and flat storage bins. How appropriate, then, that the new barn-like Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill should capture that iconic, magical light—inside—with north and south-facing skylights everywhere and large window walls. Seen from the road, the skylights signal the major architectural difference between the new Parrish and the late 19th century landmark building on Jobs Lane.
While critical comment will no doubt continue about the 34,4000 square-foot new Parrish by the architects Herzog & de Meuron and the landscape architecture firm of Reed Hilderbrand, visitors will immediately realize that the fabled East End light has indeed been captured…within, augmented by interior lighting—an integration of man-made and natural light that informs everything that goes on in the galleries, lobby and the 2,400 square foot multipurpose room. And do those activities ever constitute a rich line-up of programs for late fall and winter!
In addition to the inaugural exhibit, Malcolm Morley: On Paper, running through January 13, the end-of-the-year schedule promises a diversity of presentations in various media.
On Friday, November 16 at 6 p.m., the museum hosted PechaKucha Night (and attendees learned how to pronounce this Japanese word that means “chit-chat”). An international series that now extends to the Hamptons, PechaKucha consists of rapid-fire, 20-second show and tell presentations delivered in turns by visual artists, musicians, writers, designers, architects, chefs, vintners, farmers and others (10 in all) on how they live “creatively” on the East End. Parrish PR & Marketing Director Mark Segal notes that PechaKucha morphed from the museum’s earlier series, “Lightning Round,” and it will change every three months, Participating artists included Dianne B, John Bjornen, Jess Frost, Adam Green, Emma Walton Hamilton, Alicia G. Longwell, Natalie and Stephen Judelson, James Christopher Tracy and Bruce Wolosoff.
On Saturday, November 17, The Seventh Annual Black Film Festival came to the Lichtenstein Theater and celebrated diverse and provocative films on black culture, past and present. Central in the offerings of classics and indie docu- mentaries that were shown included Hoodwinked by award-winning black filmmaker Janks Morton. He presided over a Q & A following the showing of the film.
Coming off of the success of its opening weeks in Water Mill, the museum held two farewell wrap-ups at 25 Jobs Lane—Parrish Presents: a Preview Cocktail Party and a General Sale the following two days.
Also watch for “East End Stories on Screen” on Thursday, November 29 at 6 p.m, Friday, December 14 at 6 pm and Friday, December 2 at 6 p.m. ($8, members, $10 non-members). This semi-annual series features home movies, newsreels, documentaries, interviews with East End artists and commentary. The series is a “companion” to the museum’s East End Stories website. Started in 2008, the website contains an online database of information on over 600 East End artists.
On Saturday, December 1, 6–10 p.m. and Sunday, December 2, 3–7 p.m., the Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island presents the Ninth Annual OLA Film Festival ($8 members, $10, non-members).
New and most appropriate for this innovative building is the Parrish’s Platform series, organized by Curator of Special Projects Andrea Grover. Consisting of programs four times a year, Platform allows invited artists in residence to per- form or demonstrate in spaces throughout the museum and on the grounds, presenting works that “transcend disciplinary boundaries” (on the opening weekend of November 10–12 “Free Advice” was joyfully on display in the lobby.) The idea is to encourage “new ways to experience art, architecture, and the landscape.” Following her inaugural weekend of Genius Loci, multimedia artist Hope Sandrow will follow up with scheduled screenings in the Lichtenstein Theater of her video Untitled Observations on the night sky. Guided Telescope Viewing on the Southwest Terrace on Fridays and Photo (projection) Portraits will also take place on the terrace, weather permitting.
The new Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Hwy, Water Mill. Call 631-283-2118 or visit www.parrishart.org.