Richard Demato has not let the loss of his Sag Harbor art gallery slow him down from planning several art exhibits both online and at his new Bridgehampton space, located at 2385 Main Street. The biggest of these shows will be the 8th Annual Hamptons Juried Art Show, which will open to the public on April 22.
Despite the recent fire in Sag Harbor, Demato has remained dedicated to his charity work. The upcoming juried art show is intended to raise funds and awareness for The Retreat, a non-profit organization that offers domestic abuse services, such as a 24-hour bilingual crisis hotline, individual or group counseling and residential shelter for adults and their children. He has served as a member of the board for The Retreat since 2005 and continues to devote himself and his gallery to the cause.
For this event, the RJD Gallery will donate 100% of artist submission fees and 25% of the proceeds from works sold. Artists will receive 50% from their works sold, but may choose to donate a portion of that to The Retreat. Demato noted, “Some collectors have purchased art from the gallery and subsequently made substantial donations to the agency to allow them to continue to protect and empower children and women, from families suffering from the darkness of family violence and/or abuse.”
Demato has lived in Sag Harbor since March 2003 and opened the RJD Gallery in 2009, which remained open year-round, even at the end of the traditional Hamptons summer season. The gallery specialized in contemporary art with a focus on narrative portraiture, contemporary landscape and imaginative realism. Sadly, the fire that tore through Sag Harbor in December destroyed the gallery and $1 million worth of artwork.
While the destruction of his gallery was devastating, it pushed him to look for better space. His Sag Harbor location had limited room and very restricted parking. “The move to Bridgehampton was a difficult decision, but we knew the Sag Harbor Village would never grant an independent gallery an exception for change of use as a business,” Demato said. The new space, which is expected to open by March, will be nearly three times the size of the old one, feature four viewing rooms and have better parking.
Once the Bridgehampton gallery opens, the first hanging show will be I Am (IN)Visible, a celebration of African American History Month featuring paintings and sculptures by Margaret Bowland, Phillip Thomas, Kadir Nelson, Arcmanaro Niles, Jules Arthur, Alfred Conteh and others.
In the meantime, RJD Gallery has continued to sell artwork online, which makes up about 70% of the gallery’s total sales. The current show is Earthly Delights and can be viewed on Artsy.
The gallery is requesting artwork from the community that will be displayed during the Hamptons Juried Art Show and put up for sale. Artists should email between 2–5 images of their artwork to both firstname.lastname@example.org and art@RJDgallery.com. Submitted photos should be labelled with the following information: Last name, First name, title, size, medium, year of creation & retail price. A bio, CV and statement should be included with your images.
There is a $50 submission fee per art piece. Checks should be payable to The Retreat and mailed to: RJD Gallery, PO Box 1994 Sag Harbor, NY 11963 with memo: “Art Show Submission.” Or, to submit by credit card, call 631-329-4398 and mention that the payment is for your art show submission.
All works must be original creations by the artist. Accepted works cannot be substituted, and are committed through May 19. The exhibition is open to painters working in oil, acrylic, mixed-media and watercolor, works on paper, photography or sculpture. However, no video art will be accepted.
Chosen works will be announced via email on March 24.
Find more info at rjdgallery.com.