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Performance Art and Design - How Spectacular!

Originally Posted: July 19, 2006

Nicole B. Brewer

James D'Uria, Eugenia Au Kim, and Jennifer at Design Studio.
Photo by Katrina Lovett

On Wednesday night, Eugenia Au Kim hosted a reception to honor architects James D'Uria and Harry Bates at the Design Studio in Bridgehampton. Guests included Rosemarie and Charles DiSapio, and Paul Masi who wandered around the studio taking in the inviting showcase style furniture, and photographs of design ideas. We could have spent hours chatting it up on the evolution of design and style, especially here on the East End, as Eugenia pointed out the move towards stately farm style houses that invite you in, but maintain their sophistication with careful design and planning.

Miniature cupcakes and champagne set the mood without filling guests up before dinner, and each parted ways with a generous gift bag full of goodies including a wooden business card holder from Pacific Connections, a key ring sponsored by Paulte Homes, and a tasty pack of chocolate covered sunflower seeds from the folks at Countrywide Home Loans.

Speaking of dinner, we headed over to the Southampton Publick House for some quick noshes and a few tasty beers before heading over to Southampton UA for the screening of "You, Me and Dupree". This film by Universal Pictures is absolutely hysterical! It's the story of a loving couple played by Kate Hudson and Matt Dillon who get married in lavish style Hawaii. The bride's father, played by Michael Douglas, tries unsuccessfully to belittle the new groom throughout the movie. He's unknowingly aided by the frustrations caused by the grooms best friend and best man, Dupree, played by Owen Wilson. Dupree is the witless houseguest who more than overstays his welcome. Hilarity ensues throughout and we're given a nice happy ending at the end. A fun summer romp!

Jason Cavallo, Robert Stilin, and Susanna Salk at Ralph Lauren.
Photo by Katrina Lovett

Over in Southampton on Friday evening, Ralph Lauren hosted a reception for the House & Garden Hampton Designer Showhouse designers. The lush greenery welcomed guests back towards the home store set behind the shop on Jobs Lane. Luscious summer linens and décor had us making notes to stop back to help furnish the perfect summer vacation. Two and four legged guests including Mayer Rus, Jason Cavallo, Patrick McMullan, and Sharon Lavin mingled on the outdoor patio. Conversation buzzed about the house that we'd all see unveiled the following evening. Hardly any of the designers were available as they were busy putting the finishing touches on their rooms.

The Parrish Art Museum's lawn was the setting for a most unusual and crowd pleasing performance by the Los Angeles based group, Street Drum Corps, K-N-O-C-K-O-U-T playing internationally acclaimed artist Doug Aitkin's "sonic" table.

Adam Ault, Bobby Ault, and Frank Zummo of K-N-O-C-K- O-U-T
Street Drum Corps at Parrish Art Museum. Photo by Edward

The mohawk sporting, tattooed trio of Bobby and Adam Ault and Corps member Frank Zummo electrified the crowd. They were joined by the two quintessentially "Hamptons" men, sporting button down shirts and reciting commodities bids, "Do I hear 94 ? Do I hear 94 ?" in a hypnotic manner that rose and fell with the gamelan sounds of the trio.

Kudos to Parrish curator Merrill Falkenberg for launching this first in a series of performances to spotlight contemporary artists. It was a real knockout performance that left the audience breathless.

Heading to Sag Harbor, we were in a festive mood as we joined the Whaling Museum for their Annual Luau. Greeted at the entrance with a traditional Hawaiian lei, we couldn't help but catch the infectious enthusiasm as it flowed through the crowd.

Luke Babcock with Margot and Ben Fooshee at the Whaling
Museum Luau. Photo by Katrina Lovett

The luau style food, including a whole roasted pig, and abundant seafood bar had guests lining up as Costa del Sol got the evening warmed up. We spotted a few of the younger guests practicing a few of their hula moves, complete with grass skirts, as well as several arts and even temporary tattoo activities. For a break from the partying, the Whaling Museum let guests take a look at the many exhibits on local whaling inside the museum. With family oriented parties on the rise, the Whaling Museum is on the right track!

The much anticipated Scope Art Festival returned to the Hamptons this weekend, this time setting up shop at East Hampton Studios. The 20,000 square foot space gave the festival ample room for artists as the booths created almost a maze of art. We especially enjoyed spotting several local galleries and owners in the crowd, including Sara Nightingale of Nightingale Gallery and Esperanza Leon of SOLAR as well as Beth McNeill of McNeill Art Group and artist Jeff Muhs.

Jeff Muhs, Sara Nightingale, with Rick and Jane Brickell at Scope
Art Fair. Photo by Katrina Lovett

With so many exhibits in one space, there's sure to be something to suit anyone's taste. A few of our favorites included video footage of translated goldfish 'talking,' and several of the large murals that had our own Mike Goodsell up close to figure out the intricate layers. Even politics found its way into parts of the exhibits, including the tucked away 'Queen Bee Snake Bar and Tea Room,' serving up drinks with a statement on the war in Iraq. Art seems to be one of those universal languages that transcend borders.

Other stand out expressions included fashionable Swarovski crystal skulls by Nicola Bolla of Argo Glickman (Step 1) in New York, the bold large-scale works of Matthais Meyer of Galerie Andreas Binder in Munich, Germany, the 1/30 video stills of Jane Martin depicting a woman running naked through a forest shown by boltax.gallery of Shelter Island, and a stunning black and white print of a woman stepping out of the water from Sandra Hamburg of Gavlak Gallery in West Palm Beach, Florida. (For more on Scope Art check out the feature in The Arts.)

Michael Wind and April Gornik at the Box Art Auction. Photo by
Katrina Lovett

With the abundance of art at Scope perhaps as an inspiration, The Ross School hosted their Annual Box Art Auction on Saturday afternoon to benefit the East End Hospice. Dozens of small cigar boxes were decorated by local artists and put on the auction block. Guests including Edward Albee and April Gornik wound their way around the tables full of pieces, from the simple yet elegant box turned into a jewelry box to the clever toy soldier. Art from ordinary objects helps bring the pieces down to earth as we saw several of the auction sheets quickly filling up.

Heading back to the airy Karin Sanders Gallery in Sag Harbor, we were excited to stop by for the Summer Group Show opening featuring artists Eric Demarchelier, Cecile Brunswick, Angela Beloian, Day Bowman, Marjorie Weiss, and Aja Apa-Soura.

Noel Smith with Susan and Gerry Weinstein at the Karin Sanders
Gallery. Photo by Katrina Lovett

Large colorful paintings filled the walls complimenting the spacious gallery with beach and summer themes throughout. While the heat may make it difficult to forget we are in the midst of summer, the group exhibit cools things off and brings them indoors to remind us of what makes summer memorable. An ample spread of fruits, cheeses, and shrimp cocktail kept the guests pausing as they moved from room to room to enjoy the art as well as the conversation. On display through August 9th, we highly recommend giving this show in the gem of a Main Street gallery a look.

Over at Martha Clara Vineyard in Mattituck on the North Fork the scene was set for two Project Runway contestants - winner Chloe Dao and Emmet McCarthy. Each was showing off frocks from their most recent collections.

Chloe Dao and Emmet McCarthy of Project Runway Season 2.
Photo by John Wegorzewski

We fell in love with the airy summer dresses that Emmet was showing - perfect for any Hamptons Chic occasion. Lest we not forget that this former tailor knows how to cut a line to show a fabulous silhouette. Chloe had gorgeous evening gowns on display. Some were even from her show winning Fashion Week collection - love the lace details. Lucky for us these two were ready to party the evening away in the Hamptons and later headed over to the Showhouse.

In the lush gardens under an elegant silk tent, Toni Fillet, with her sister Jodi and brother-in-law Guilio Martini hosted a lovely early evening reception to toast Alexandra Lebenthal and her father, Jim "Built By Bonds" Lebenthal, on the publication of his new book "Confessions of A Municipal Bond Salesman". Jim is to municipal bonds as Donald Trump is to real estate and Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani to fashion, only with a great sense of humor.

The man whose face is as well known to America as Frank Purdue and Tom Carvel from his witty commercials that have de-mystified the investment in municipal bonds for New York helping to plow revenue into the building of roads, bridges, subways and schools.

Jim and daughter Alexandra Lebenthal at the launch of his book
"Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman". Photo by John

Dining on the tasty treats from Robbins Wolfe Eventuers and sipping blood orange martinis were Ed and Shari Rollins, Lynn Sherr, Gretchen Young, Atoosa and Ari Rubenstein, Carol Seiden, Rita Katz, Patricia and Michael Schatz, Linda Kline, Sam Joffe, and producers Beverly Camhe and Barbara Freitag.

Robert Wilson and The Watermill Center once again threw open their doors to host their annual Summer Benefit. A large digital thermostat let us know it was a balmy 84 degrees that night, but the "Watermill White" recommended attire kept the crowd light as each persons interpretation of the color added perfect conversation starters.

Guests including Donna Karan, Isabella Rossellini, Mary McFadden, Campion and Tatiana Platt, and Dorothy Lichtenstein were invited to look at the exhibits on display in and around the center. Several performance pieces drawing a few curious looks on the lawn, but everyone seemed in great spirits as we spotted a few of the younger guests posing for pictures with the 'art' before being ushered in for dinner.

Donna Karan and Robert Wilson at the Watermill Center. Photo
by PatrickMcMullan.com

With so much art all over the East End, it's hard to say what exhibit was our favorite, we're glad we had the chance to stop and see them all!

Speaking with any local designer in the last month, there's been a buzz surrounding the annual House & Garden Hampton Designer Showhouse designed by Peter Cook and built by Ed Burns. It was a chance to come together and put their best efforts on display for guests and designers turned out in droves to dress the house from top to bottom.

Every inch was put to use in the house as even the hallways and staircase were turned into featured display space. With so many ideas coming together under one roof, one might fear the house would become disjointed, but the ideas seemed to flow from room to room as the guests chatted with designers.

Thom Filicia and Barclay Butera at the Hampton Designer Show-
house Gala. Photo by PatrickMcMullan.com

California boy Barclay Butera had the best assignment, designing the stunning entry way in a Palm Beach meets the Hamptons with a dash of Bel Air. The ebullient Butera was positively floored at the compliments he received from not only old friends but major designers themselves.

On the back lawn, the DJ kept the music hot under the tent as hors d'oeuvres for Robbins Wolfe Eventuers and cocktails, our favorite being the watermelon margarita, kept the conversation going from inside the house to out. Guests including Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Kelsey Grammer, Isaac Mizrahi, Chloe Dao and Emmett McCarthy of Project Runway, Tony Newman, James Frank, Cynthia Frank, Betsy Miller, Brian Frank, Whitney and James Fairchild, Thom Filicia, Elisa Proctor, and Sharon Lavin enjoyed the last rays of a picture perfect Saturday afternoon on the back lawns of the house.

Unfortunately, architect Peter Cook, currently embroiled in "l'affaire", was not around to hear the praise for his artfully shingled residence.

Michael Lorenzini and Patrice Miller at Art For Progress. Photo
by Katrina Lovett

Capping the evening of design excess was the rocking affair "Mesmerize: A Midsummer's Night with Art For Progress" at the home of Vincent Falasco, founder of the interior design firm Falasco & Smith. Art For Progress (AFP) is a nonprofit art organization based in New York City.

AFP founder Frank Jackson is committed to the cultivation and support of visual and performing artists and not only raising the awareness of arts education in public schools but also bringing their artists to the schools. For this fundraising bash Jackson and his crew, transformed four rooms of the elegant mansion into galleries showing their artists work with impromptu performance art pieces popping all over.

The party started in the front lawn and wrapped around the house, where fashion installations of silk scarves and art displays beckoned guests to venture up the hill to the patio in the back. Local wine and even a wine sorbet were big hits as "The Cultures of Rhythms" filled the night with jazz, inspiring even a bit of improv performance art from dancer Patrice Miller.

Thanks to David Catania, of Mae de Ouro, the Brazilian cachaca was flowing copiously loosing up inhibitions so that at lest a dozen guests dove fully clothed into the pool. We remained a bit reserved and only dipped our tootsies as we cheered the others.

Until next week...

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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