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"East End Realists" Features Nine Notable Local Artists

Nicole Barylski

"Daisies in Celadon" by Ann Lombardo and "Deer Meets Girl" by Jane Kirkwood.

Artist Ann Lombardo has curated her second exhibit of the year at the Levitas Center for the Arts at Southampton Cultural Center. The latest show, East End Realists Fine Art Show and Sale, features paintings from nine distinguished contemporary artists, and includes still-life, flowers, landscape, sea, sky, iconic portrait, interiors and more.

"Two things are on my mind about this show: Really good fine art is here right now, available to all," Lombardo told us. "And, many residents have never even set foot inside their Cultural Center. I'm curating this show, East End Realists, to change the conversation about local art and invite people to their own public art exhibition space."

East End Realists Fine Art Show showcases pieces from Lucille Berrill Paulsen, David Paulsen, Pam Thomson, Peter Beston, Roxanne Panero, Jane Kirkwood, Aubrey Grainger, Keith Mantell and Lombardo.

Lombardo frequently spends time at the art show space during the day, but since the Center is tucked away across from Agawam Park, visitors and locals often miss it. "Families, strolling/dining/shopping residents/Hamptonites are just outside the doors... but they rarely come in. There's no bright marquis, no obvious signage leading up to entry doors," she said. "East End Realists makes it more-than-worth the hunt. Have you ever even been to your own Cultural Center in Southampton?"

The visually robust exhibit features each artist's top works. "I see that art originating in our region is often referred to as 'local art.' It's created by East Enders and is usually affordable," she added. "Not all of it is 'good.' Sadly, the name 'local art' has come to imply that the art is less than the best; not up to what a great art center, like New York, has to offer."

Her hope for the exhibit was to change that false ideology. "To combat that belief, I'm thrilled to mount this exhibit featuring selected fine paintings of a high caliber, exhibiting the well-honed skills, taste and evolved talent of artists who live nearby to exemplify that great fine art is right here, in various gallery spaces and ready to grace the walls of a smart buyer," Lombardo explained. "Yes, it would be smart - ingenious in fact - to see this show and collect this art. Several of these artists have shown their work at upscale galleries before; much of the work in this show is newly created, most is for sale."

The ever-changing art scene can make it difficult to find quality pieces at affordable prices. "Art galleries are closing down, or selling at a rented booth at art shows, and only keeping the gallery space for customers to pick up their purchase," she said. "Art 'consultants' also tell their clients (regular people buying art) which paintings are in their best interest to buy. There is a place for that, and it works for many." With this exhibit, attendees can take their time and find a piece that really speaks to them. "But here is a chance for someone who knows what they like to come see and choose from the best of it," shared Lombardo. "This show is about the excellence of the East End Realists to step out and show their stuff."

By purchasing a piece, not only will patrons own unique artwork, they'll also support Southampton Cultural Center. "Thanks go to the Southampton Cultural Center for making the East End Realists show possible, and 25 percent of the proceeds of sales will return to the Center for its ongoing support," she added.

East End Realists Fine Art Show and Sale will be on display Tuesday, April 12th through Monday, May 23rd.

Southampton Cultural Center is located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-287-4377 or visit www.scc-arts.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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