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Student Artists Shine In New East End Stories Exhibition

Originally Posted: December 18, 2008

Nicole B. Brewer

Twins Cailtin and Abigail Hubbell from Tuckahoe School, along with brother Jackson and mom Ali, search for their work in the large seascape installation."It's beautiful, it's amazing, I can't believe how many kids got involved," remarked Ali Hubbell. Photos by Nicole B. Brewer


Southampton - The Parrish Art Museum celebrated the opening of their newest exhibition, "East End Stories: Students Explore Our Creative Heritage" on Saturday, Dec. 13 to a packed house of student artists from across the East End and their parents, families, and friends. The day was the culmination of months of work for students and their art teachers who rose to meet the challenge of creating art that directly related to a piece from the museum's permanent collection.

Catherine McCaffrey and Ella Watts, third grade students from Our Lady of
Mercy Regional School in Southampton, were part of a group project based
on the work of abstract painter Mary Heilman.

"I think these kids are amazing," remarked Terrie Sultan, Executive Director of the Parrish Art Museum, "They are incredibly talented and I hope that someday the students that have made art that is in this room will make art that will become part of the permanent collection."

This was a departure from previous student art shows. First, while each school was invited to participate, instead of splitting up the grades this time students from Pre-K to 12th grade are displaying their art together. And second, and perhaps the most major change, noted Sultan, "This is the first time that we've done [the show] where the kids have taken art from the permanent collection and really responded to it. You can see that they've been very much inspired by what they saw. To me it is very important to make the connection between the youth and the collection. I want them to understand the history of the creativity of this community."

Parrish curator Alicia Longwell agreed and further explained the challenge, "It was fun to think of works in our collection that particularly told the East End story so that the students could relate. They might see a view that they themselves have seen here or learn about artists they have studied." Artists that inspired this East End Stories show included Mary Heilman, Farifield Porter, Herbert Randall, and Thomas Moran, to name a few.

Cara Wingfield, Education Director at the Parrish Art Museum (left),
explains the concept of the show.

"It was a lot of fun and a lot of work," stated Cara Wingfield, Education Director at the Parrish Art Museum with a laugh. "This year in particular the teachers were enthusiastic and the students were enthusiastic. We really appreciate that the teachers did what we asked them to do and the students were really engaged in the artists in the East End. For this show we had it open to all schools from Brookhaven east and we had no limits. It was a shift because we moved the show to December this year. In 2009 we are most likely going to do a show in December based on the collection."

Students in attendance, as well as a few fun-loving adults, had their faces painted as they enjoyed the music of The Cherry Blossoms and Friends and were happy to explain their works of art. Catherine McCaffrey and Ella Watts, third grade students from Our Lady of Mercy Regional School in Southampton, were part of a group project based on the work of abstract painter Mary Heilman. "We made a picture of a quilt and we each made one piece," explained Watts. "We had fun with this project."

As for next year Sultan remarked, "I hope [the show] means a lot and as we move forward to make it more and more evident to the kids that they are part of the creativity of this community."

 • "East End Stories: Students Explore Our Artistic Heritage" is open to the public now through Jan. 4, 2009. The Parrish Art Museum is located at 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, 631-283-2118, www.parrishart.org.


Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com HamptonsOnline NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer


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