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Our New Busy Lives Online: Parrish Art Museum

Lee Fryd

Tomashi Jackson in her studio. (Photo: Christopher Gregory)

Want to know who Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol hung out with in the Hamptons? Where they lived? Those anecdotes and so much more are part of the Parrish Art Museum's online Artist Stories, a database of more than 700 artists who ever had anything to do with the East End, from the late 19th Century to the present.

The Parrish, the Hamptons' gold standard museum, has always had community based programs for everyone — from the art intelligentsia to jazz lovers to kids who color. "We were able immediately to move things online," The Parrish's Award Winning Director of Communications Susan Galardi told us.

That included the highly anticipated show slated for this summer, "Telling Stories: Reframing the Narratives," featuring eight artists of varied heritages, ages, career stages and regions. They include: JooYoung Choi (American, born Korea, 1983), Jeremy Dennis (Shinnecock/American, born 1990), Jeffrey Gibson (Choctaw-Cherokee/American, born 1972), Elliott Hundley (American, born 1975), Candice Lin (American, born 1979), Mary McCleary (American, born 1951), Jim Shaw (American, born 1952), and Devin Troy Strother (American, born 1986).

"Right now, the whole question of storytelling is: what are the stories and who gets to tell them," Galardi said. "Not everyone gets to tell his or her story. We were very excited about the work in this exhibition. Fortunately we had a fully illustrated catalog published that Curatorial Assistant Savannah Petrick produced online. We also have video interviews and essays. So, it really is a full experience. We had the curator of "Telling Stories," David Pagel, interviewing different artists in the exhibition on the live Friday night, 5 p.m. programs, free to the public."

Jeremy Dennis' Wake, 2018. (Courtesy Photo)

One of the highlights of the Parrish Midsummer galas is the Platform exhibition, a site specific installation by an invited artist. This year, it was Tomashi Jackson, whom Corinne Erni, Curator of Special Projects, had finally lured into the museum halls. Jackson's themes include the history and displacement of communities of color. She was to examine those themes in the East End, as she did for New York and Brooklyn at the 2019 Whitney Biennial. This year, Jackson's interviews with and examinations of Black, Latino and Shinnecock communities will be part of the Friday night series. "She looks at things over generations brilliantly and she really digs deep," Galardi said. "She'll have her museum exhibition next summer. So, we'll be blessed with two seasons. On July 10, Jackson will give a Friday Night live stream on historical land rights on the East End."

Other online highlights include the Parrish' online docent, given by museum experts on the collection, which have always had a following.

"We also adapted our open studio program for families, right out of the gate, into how to online guides, and our art classes into virtual, live workshops from the artists studios', with Barbara Thomas, Eric Dever and Laurie Lambrecht," Galardi told us.

"We've always engaged with every aspect of our community, near and far, and we will continue to be an important resource to the East End, for generations to come, no matter what."

For more information, visit parrishart.org.

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