To own a gallery on the East End is to take part in the rich history of the area’s culture. There are numerous art galleries to choose from on the South and North Forks including two leading ladies: Sara Nightingale of Sara Nightingale Gallery in Water Mill and Caroline Waloski of The Sirens’ Song Gallery in Greenport. Below they share their thoughts on what they like best about having a gallery here and what we can all look forward to seeing from them this summer!
Owner of Sara Nightingale Gallery
What I love:
The Hamptons is a great place to have a gallery—there’s so much art history that has occurred here and great works of art that were produced here. Secondly, there are so many creative people living and working here today, despite obstacles such as the high cost of living for younger artists. I’m in my 16th year in business and I’m constantly amazed by the number of new, local, creative people I continue to meet. The entire community is extremely supportive of the arts. We have fantastic year-round cultural institutions such as The Parrish Art Museum, The Watermill Center, Guild Hall and Bay Street Theater, to name just a few. There are the obvious things, such as the light out here, which is not a myth, the proximity to the ocean and the beautiful landscape that surrounds us and inspires the artists who work here. There’s also the proximity to New York, which is essential for having a gallery here, not only because most of my clients have primary residences there, but also because of the city’s vast cultural treasures.
I really enjoy working with local artists and try to do that as much as possible, but I don’t limit myself to that. I like to be integrated with my artists’ life and work, make frequent studio visits, invite them to the gallery, run into them on the cultural circuit, etc. They are supportive of the other artists in the gallery as well. It’s a lot easier from a logistical standpoint to work with local artists. However, I have an artist from Austin, Texas, whom I will be exhibiting in July. And I’m always on the lookout for new, under-appreciated talent when I travel.
What We’ll See:
This summer I will be showing two Brooklyn artists, Malin Abrahamsson and Glenn Fischer, as well as Michael Butler from Sag Harbor and Gus Yero. I like to mix up the demographic of the artists I show, hopefully having a variety of gender, age and race among my artists. Yuliya Lanina will exhibit her music boxes opening June 27, with works by Dalton Portella of Montauk. Some of the work I exhibit is risky and adventurous, but I also love a good, beautiful abstract painting that will brighten up a client’s home.
Sara Nightingale Gallery, 688 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, 631-793-2256, saranightingale.com
Owner of The Sirens’ Song Gallery
What I love:
I love having a gallery on the North Fork where there’s diversity in the population, lifestyle and industry. The Sirens’ Song Gallery is located in a historic maritime village. Greenport once made its livelihood from the local waters: whaling, oyster harvesting, fishing. Farming later became the North Fork supporting industry. During Prohibition the area was active in supplying hard beverages. The romance of that time can still be felt. A salty, attractive community with lots of history to draw upon. The activity of the vineyards, which have replaced some of the potato and cabbage farms, give a festive flair to the laidback North Fork. Aquaculture and agriculture are alive and well in the resurgence of oyster farming and the ever-growing popularity of local wines. The relaxed quality of life along with the natural beauty have been bringing us visitors who want to spend some low-key time on holiday, but need cultural references as well.
In the last eight years many galleries and artists from all over the world have transplanted themselves into the long established local arts community. There’s so much inspiration to draw from. What I love most is the feeling of romance with the local history, and an eye on the future that preserves the best the North Fork has to offer.
Land, sea, and awesome light offer so much for the artist, viewer, and collector.
What We’ll See:
This summer I will again be focusing on artists who work as printmakers. Many local and international artists will be exhibited. Along with contemporary etching, wood block prints, lithography, mono prints and book arts, there will be one-of-a-kind crafts, usable art, painting, sculpture. As artist-in-residence, my own work will also be on exhibit. Past exhibits have included Beatrice Corona, a world-known artist who creates silhouette images in cut paper, steel and glass. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Art & Design in New York. Mark Moffett, photographer and entomologist, has also shown at the Sirens’ Song. Moffett’s images frequent the National Geographic Magazine and he has had a few exhibits at The Smithsonian. The Sirens’ Song tries to present work that’s personal and universal at the same time.
The Sirens’ Song Gallery, 516 Main Street, Greenport, 631-477-1021, sirensongallery.com