Heat rising from The White Room Gallery in Bridgehampton on Saturday night was enough to melt the snow that had piled up just one day before. The artwork was collectively sultry red hot, as was the space itself—packed to capacity with artists and admirers who came to take part in the 11th Annual Love & Passion exhibition. Senses were further stimulated on opening night by offerings of a fine Venezuelan aged sipping rum, Diplomatico to be precise, and a bright crimson rum punch to boot.
A fitting time of year for such an occasion, the juried show brings together a wide array of East End artists and calls upon public participation, pulling everyone out of temporary hibernation. Presented by both Karyn Mannix Contemporary and The White Room Gallery, this year’s Love & Passion show theme is “Peace, Love and Understanding.” Karyn Mannix and Andrea McCafferty are the Best in Show jurors—everyone else is responsible for voting for Most Original, Most Thought Provoking and Most True to Theme.
The group show comprises artists who submitted their work a month prior—paintings, photography, mixed media and sculpture were allowed—and made it past a final selection. Best in Show winner will have a two-week featured exhibition in a one- to three-person show in summer 2016. It’ll be interesting to see who takes home the awards in all four categories.
Among the 50-plus oft-seen and noteworthy East End artists participating: Abby Abrams, Andrea Gordon, Angela Sinclaire, Ariana Landera, Bobbi Braun, Camille Perrottet, Robert Perez, Corinne Strauss, Diane Marxe, Donna Corvi, Elizabeth Malunowicz, Evan Zatti, Frank Sofo, Gerry Giliberti, Jane Umanoff, Jerry Schwabe, Joel Lefkowitz, Judy Clifford, Kristin Isle, Luciana Pampalone, Lutha Leahy-Miller, Mark Seidenfeld, Martha McAleer Morselli, Melissa Hin, Michele Dragonetti, Pam Foccarino, Rasa Valiene, Rosa Scott, Stephanie Brody-Lederman, Steve Haweeli, Sue Zola, Thyra Hegelson, Ty Strousburg, Allen Parsons, Anne Brandeis, Barbara Bilotta, Beth O’Donnell, Claudia Ward, Cybele Kadagien, Daniel Dubinsky, June Kaplan, Kat O’Neill, Kathleen Bifulco, Lloyd Ziff, Mark Zimmerman, Mary Larson, Mike Reale, Pat Kochie, Ranelle Wolfe, Ruby Jackson, Setha Low, Sue Carlo, Ted Asnis, Tom Kochie, Holly Meeker Rom and Sally Breen.
The exhibition features a mix of interpretations on the “Peace, Love and Understanding” theme, with each piece feeling deeply personal and reflective of the artist’s original style. Eros, while not exclusively so, is certainly prevalent, but is presented in unique ways—at times through photographic and painted narrative and through abstract hearts, flames and shades of red.
Lloyd Ziff’s “Four Lovers/Milan, 1971,” a silver gelatin print, depicts two couples making out on the grass in front of a building, and judging by the architecture, barred windows and embrasures, possibly Castello Sforzesco. It’s a poignant juxtaposition of love and war; openness and protective barriers.
Kathleen Bifulco’s charcoal drawing of a corset on a woman’s torso, from the back, is seductively playful and recalls both Henri Matisse’s economy of line—something that requires mastery and understanding of form—and the lightness of haute couture sketches.
With so many talented artists and works to mention, this year’s Love & Passion exhibition requires more than one visit. The public voting ends on Friday, February 26 at 5 p.m. and winners will be announced on Saturday, February 27 during a closing wine reception from 5–7 p.m.
The White Room Gallery is located at 4515 Main Street in Bridgehampton. For additional information, visit thewhiteroom.gallery and karynmannixcontemporary.com. You can also contact Andrea McCafferty by calling 917-526-2767 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or Karyn Mannix at 516-318-0000 or email@example.com.
Opening night also held a 50/50 raffle to support The Mannix Studio of Art, opening March 19 in East Hampton (38 Gingerbread Lane). The new endeavor is a place where the community can enjoy fine art workshops in drawing, painting and sculpture, as well as sewing, podcasting, guitar, comedy, writing and more. With a design to “nourish and further the creative mind of students of all ages—regardless of experience,” the studio brings together people wanting to learn and those willing to share their talent through instruction. Visit mannix.studio for updates and details.