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Pierson Students Bring Sag Harbor Into Focus In New Art Show

Nicole Barylski

The latest iteration of Sag Harbor in Focus will launch The Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum's 2018 season.

The show, which had previously been held in conjunction with the Sag Harbor Partnership's Big Tent Party, is debuting a little earlier this year. The photography exhibition explores the works of students from Pierson High School who captured their interpretation of what it means to reside on the East End. It will open on Saturday, May 12.

A featured photograph. (Courtesy Photo)

"We're thrilled to be doing it at the Whaling Museum because it's going to be up for over a week," shared artist April Gornik, Vice President of the Sag Harbor Partnership - who is sponsoring Our Town - Sag Harbor in Focus, along with the Whaling and Historical Museum, Cygnet Foundation, Theo Gray, and the Reutershan Educational Trust. "The Whaling Museum is such a beautiful space and they're such great people. The Sag Harbor Partnership's mission statement includes historic preservation so it's fantastic that we're working with them."

Our Town: Sag Harbor In Focus will encompass a multitude of different photographic styles, including portraiture, landscape, architecture, and photojournalism.

"The kids at Pierson are extremely talented; they have an amazing arts department there. One of our self-inflected mandates for the Cinema is to make sure that we have outreach and education extending to all parts of the community. Besides doing film series of say classic Japanese films, we want to do stuff that adolescents will be particularly interested in," Gornik explained. "It could be anime festivals, it could be classes in filmmaking or film history, and, of course, photography and stills and there's a whole history of film stills as well. Being able to involve the kids like that is really important to us. We've been brainstorming regularly about how can we make the cinema a vital part of the community for every age group, including that age group when they're bored and too smart."

For the featured students, not only will this exhibition offer the chance to be exhibited professionally, but the photograph that is deemed the most effective in each of the ten different categories will be celebrated with a $100 prize. Entries that earn an honorable mention will receive $25, and the budding photographer that wins top honors will be awarded $1,000 prize. The competition was open to Pierson students in 8th through 12th grade and Michael Heller, an award-winning photographer, and Theo Gray, who teaches filmmaking at the Ross School, served as judges.

"Every time there's a local election, they usually hold it in the school auditorium and Eric [Fischl] and I end up going there to vote," Gornik noted. "Often times it's around this time, towards the end of the spring, and there's art shows up at the same time. We go through and we're amazed at the level of quality."

Additionally, there will be a panel, Adversity, Diversity, and Change, with some of the featured students on Saturday, May 19 at 4 p.m.

A featured photograph. (Courtesy Photo)

"The panel, I think, is going to be particularly great because people are now listening to kids that age, after Parkland. The theme this year is Adversity, Diversity, and Change. Kids have a lot to say about that and I think people are realizing if they want to reach kids, they have to listen to them," Gornik reflected. "These kids are really super smart and if their work is any indication, they're going to have a great panel because they have a lot of complexity going on in the imagery that I've seen so far. Also, their focus, not to pun on the title of this show, but they're seriously focused kids."

Our Town - Sag Harbor in Focus will remain on view Saturday, May 12 through Sunday, May 20. An opening reception, which will also serve as an Awards Ceremony, will be held on May 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

"Peter Solow and Liz Marchisella, they're both excellent teachers," Gornik added. "They really bring out the best in the students."

Admission to the Museum is $2 to $6.

The Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum is located at 200 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call 631-725-0770 or visit www.sagharborwhalingmuseum.org.

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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