Last Saturday night Art Southampton kicked off its inaugural show with a cocktail party at Gallery Valentine on Main Street in East Hampton. The reception was held to thank all of the members of the host committee who made the Art Southampton Fair possible, and to make sure all Hamptons art aficionados have the fair on their events calendar. The fair itself will take place from July 26 to 30 in a 75,000 square foot “clear space” pavilion on the 18-acre property directly behind the Elks Lodge (and next to the Southampton Country Club) off of Route 27.
Gallery Valentine, with locations in East Hampton and Bridgehampton, is the Official Host Gallery of Art Southampton. It is owned by the brother and sister team of Ryan and Dara Ross, along with partner, Tommy Mottola, the famous music executive who discovered (and later married and divorced) Mariah Carey. On display at the reception were dozens of notable artists, including Judd, De Kooning, Baker, Joliceur, Saffer, Raue, Chamberlain, Pellizi, Heilmann, Neidich, Bachner, Hutchings, and Koch.
The fair is directed by Nick Korniloff (director of Art Miami and Art Wynwood) along with the help of his wife, Pamela Cohen, who acts as VP of sponsorship and VIP relations.
“We especially want to thank the host committee,” said Korniloff, “and the gathering tonight is just one way we show our appreciation.” The committee is a group of like-minded art enthusiasts whose goal is to welcome and support the visiting artists as well as to reach out to their friends and colleagues on behalf of Art Southampton. The fair will bring together work from over 50 exhibitors from as far away as Amsterdam, London, Munich, and Finland. The focus is on modern and contemporary art, seeking to reflect the level of quality demanded by a sophisticated East End audience.
Beyond its goal to present high-end art from around the world, Art Southampton also has a philanthropic mission. The evening served to advertise the premier of HEAARTBEAT, which will take place on July 26 and 27 at the pavilion. The documentary is devoted to the life, art and process of the sculptor John Chamberlain, and is produced by his stepdaughter, the filmmaker Alexandra Fairweather. According to gallery owner Ryan Ross, “we have highlighted many of Chamberlain’s works tonight to draw attention to Alex’s premier.” Chamberlain passed away in December of 2011. He made his home on Shelter Island for many years.
This is the second film the young filmmaker has made about her late stepfather. “Making the films has been a therapeutic process,” she says, “It helps me celebrate his life.” The beneficiaries are two scholarship funds created by Chamberlain, one supporting art students at the Ross School, and the other residencies at the Watermill Center – both organizations are dear to Fairweather’s heart.
Another important charitable partner of Art Southampton is the Southampton Hospital, and President and CEO Robert Chaloner praised the contemporary art community for stepping up to help address the healthcare needs on the East End. “This fair,” he said, “is bringing together different communities of supporters in an entirely new way.” On Thursday night, July 26, there will be a highly anticipated VIP opening preview to benefit the hospital.
Art Southampton is presented by Art Miami, one of the long-running and most prestigious art fairs in the country. The move to Southampton – with its significant cultural and artistic legacy – was a natural. “We have always had an interest in producing a fair that represented the needs and wants of not only a socially and culturally savvy audience but a fair that was rich in history and representation from many of the local artists past and present from the Hamptons,” says Korniloff. “This inaugural fair is just the beginning.”
Art Southampton, 7/26-30, Inaugural Art Southampton presented by Art Miami. Launch events to benefit Southampton Hospital, Ross School and the Watermill Center. Located in a 75,000 square foot Pavilion on the fairgrounds behind the Southampton Elks Lodge between the Southampton Country Club and Mercedes Benz of Southampton on Route 27A. The fair will commence on Thursday evening, July 26 with a highly anticipated opening night VIP preview benefiting Southampton Hospital. Southampton Office is located at 254 Tuckahoe Lane, or call 631-283-9130 or visit www.art-southampton.com