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Local Artists Find Their "Sense Of Place" In New Hamptons Exhibit

Sydney A. Braat

Extinct No. 2 by Michelle Stuart and Untitled by Philippe Cheng.

Southampton Arts Center's first exhibition of 2017, A Sense of Place, will open on Friday, February 24th. A reception for the show, which was organized by Bastienne Schmidt, will take place on Saturday, February 25th from 5 to 7 p.m.

Psychedelic Night Wave by Mary Heilmann.

"We are excited to begin the New Year with this visually stunning and environmentally mindful exhibition," explained Director of Programs, Amy Kirwin. "With a new focus on sustainability, we feel this is the perfect representation of what is sure to be an incredible year of programs and exhibitions at Southampton Arts Center."

The artists of the East End of Long Island are surrounded by geology and geography which easily produces plenty of inspiration. They leave marks to define their spaces physically and emotionally. A Sense of Place focuses on how a place can be interpreted in many ways. It's organized as a dialogue among artists reflecting their own concept of "a sense of place." This place might be physical or conceptual.

Schmidt is a multi-disciplinary artist who explores through photography, painting, and drawing, concepts of identity and place. Born in Munich, Germany, Schmidt then moved to Greece at nine-years-old with her family. Her childhood was spent surrounded by her father's archeological work, which has given her the passion to organize, map, and attempt to understand systems through art. Schmidt's work is included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the International Center of Photography, the Brooklyn Museum, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C., and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, among others.

"I have been interested for many years, as an artist, traveler, and cultural observer, to understand how we shape our own 'sense of place' and how it shapes us," noted Schmidt. "We as artists speak in a language of images, colors, and shapes, responding to concerns and impressions, might they be cultural, social, environmental, emotional, or political."

A Sense of Place includes work by Philippe Cheng, Louise Eastman with Janis Stemmermann, Christopher French, Saskia Friedrich, Mary Heilmann, Toni Ross, Bastienne Schmidt, Michelle Stuart, Edwina von Gal and the Perfect Earth Project, and Almond Zigmund.

"What brings us all together as a human species is to have the safety of a sense of place," added Schmidt.

A Sense of Place will remain on view through Sunday, April 9th.

Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-283-0967 or visit southamptonartscenter.org.

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