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Southampton Artists Association Presenting "Endless Summer" - The Organization’s First "Virtual Show"

T.J. Clemente

Michelle Murray's Sailing (Courtesy Photo)

Paul Dempsey, the Vice President and "Webmaster" of the Southampton Artists Association (SAA), is "both very excited and very sad." The SAA Annual Memorial Day Weekend Show cannot be held at its regular location, the Southampton Cultural Center, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but through Dempsey's technical skills the show will go on! Dempsey explains, "We will be presenting our first attempt at a virtual show, Endless Summer, for the SAA, although we have had a web presence for the last ten years." Dempsey further relayed, "We are launching the Show - going live - on Wednesday, May 20th - the day our Memorial Day Show would have opened at the Cultural Center, and we are running it until the day our Labor Day Exhibit opens - September 2nd - at the Cultural Center."

Dempsey explained how important the SCC shows are for the individual artists to sell their artwork. He is hoping this virtual show "helps sell some of the artists' works." He thinks anyone who takes the time to go to southamptonartists.org will be very impressed by this year's presentations.

Paul Dempsey is spearheading Southampton Artists Association's inaugural digital exhibition, Endless Summer. (Courtesy Photo)

As the project came to fruition, Dempsey utilized his expertise to ensure featured artists' works were web-ready. "I helped the painters with some ideas on how to best photograph their work, the photographers of course didn't have that problem. We have 50 artists participating and each is showing five pieces. Each artist gets a web page 'gallery' displaying images of their work along with a bio and contact info. Interested parties can browse the pages and then deal directly with the artist to ask questions and/or make arrangements for a purchase."

Dempsey has been pondering the idea of somehow having a live show with the art on display around the park down the road, but as for now it's the virtual show.

Henry Mangels' Feathers on Blue. (Courtesy Photo)

He shared, "I believe this may be a vehicle to help everyone out. I have worked hard and long to make it a wonderful, easy experience. It's a tough time for artists. A lot of them depend financially on live shows at galleries. This will help."

Southampton Artists Association will host a Zoom Virtual Reception for Endless Summer on Wednesday, May 20th at 7 p.m. To request login credentials, people can email shartists11968@gmail.com.

Dempsey, whose first career was as a computer programmer, was trained "by the NASA folks at Grumman. I have always been very fluid with anything digital. I got into digital photography on the ground floor. I had the first Olympus digital camera back in 1996!" As he speaks, you know he knows his stuff and has a very proactive approach to getting things done. Dempsey's specialty, as he said, "…is taking photographs and fusing them on to metals usually using aluminum. The effect is quite wonderful. They are big sellers." Dempsey has participated in Art Basel twice down in Miami. He now uses a Nikon D7200 with most of the bells and whistles.

Le Brun's NYC in Fog. (Courtesy Photo)

The photographer believes this launch of the first attempt at a virtual show for the SAA will be a success. "We have a lot of terrific artists in SAA and their talent yields prize affordable works," he said.

So, don't miss Southampton Artists Association's Endless Summer at southamptonartists.org. For a sneak peak, check out this preview at YouTube.com.

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