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Pop-Up "Water Color Works" Exhibition To Highlight Hamptons-Based Watercolor Artists

Nicole Barylski

Sunny Day by Jerry Schwabe.

Water Color Works, a pop-up art exhibition featuring a group of watercolor artists who paint, show and play together in East Hampton, is coming to Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton. The spring art show will showcase artists Kirsten Benfield, Johanna Caleca, Barbara DiLorenzo, Lesley Obrock, Kate Rabinowitz, Janet Rojas, Gerry Sacks, Jerry Schwabe and Carol Craig Sigler.

"Water Color Works is a group who has been together under the guiding hand of Janet Jennings for the past 10 years; most of the original classmates are now the members," noted Benfield, who focuses on landscapes, abstract, transfers, figures, wild life, sea life and the odd still life.

Ribbons and a Red Moon by Kirsten Benfield.

"Experiencing our East End environment compels me to convey the emotion of color," shared Caleca, whose paintings explore pastoral and coastal landscapes.

DiLorenzo, who spent 45 years as an Art Director and Creative Director in New York City, felt her connection with the natural world deepen once she arrived on the East End. "I paint for the pleasure of it. For the challenge of it," she said. "For a way to communicate what is still left undiscovered in myself and the in the mystery."

Obrock typically begins a piece with only a vague intention of form and color, and lets her intuition guide her.

"I always loved to draw; and it has been a source of connection to my creativity for all my life," Rabinowitz noted.

Rojas, who is inspired by nature's beauty and serenity, was introduced to watercolor painting during an adult education class at East Hampton High School.

Sacks, who worked in the gardening and design fields for 15 years, felt painting was a natural transition. "I always loved watercolor and was attracted to the fluidity, simplicity of brushstroke and its discipline and meditative quality. Because my background in gardening was arranging textures and colors, I found it was very similar to painting," she said. "I primarily paint flowers and landscapes, and abstracts and the painting allow me to express the landscapes I love working in, the one I live in and the ones I create in my mind."

Schwabe's art career began with pottery and has expanded to encompass sculpture, watercolor, oil, acrylic painting and photography. "Even in abstraction, my work shows how deeply I am affected by the light and color of our surroundings: the water, the woods and the open fields and all that nature's beauty has to offer those of us lucky enough to live on Long Island's East End," he said. "My technique spans from a classical approach to the more dramatic, with variations in mood, formed in abstractions of color and shape."

White House by Barbara Dilorenzo.

After school Craig Sigler moved to Europe where she studied painting in Germany. She continued to fine tune her skills with Linda Berger, and more recently with Janet Jennings. "Here on the East End is the perfect place to try to interpret light fractured by water," she noted. "I am confident that I will spend the rest of my days searching for this thing that never stays the same."

The artists of Water Color Works share a special connection. "The reason we became the group, is because we all have grown so much together, when we hold a review at the end of class, there is an exciting co-relation between all our works," explained Benfield.

Water Color Works will be on display Friday, May 19 from 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"This will be our 3rd show, and the first at Ashawagh," Benfield added.

An opening reception for Water Color Works will be held on Saturday, May 20 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Ashawagh Hall is located at 780 Spring Fireplace Road in East Hampton.

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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