The Hamptons Arts Weekend (THAW) Festival Kicks Off March 23

"Untitled" by Willem de Kooning, "B17-22" by Hiroyuki Hamada, "Untitled" by Alice Hope
"Untitled" by Willem de Kooning, "B17-22" by Hiroyuki Hamada, "Untitled" by Alice Hope, Photo: Guild Hall

Let’s be real: We’ve been thawing out on the East End since at least mid-February. But now it’s time to officially celebrate it with help from the Hamptons Arts Network (HAN), a consortium of nonprofit organizations working together to create a unified arts community in the Hamptons.

HAN’s first The Hampton Arts Weekend Festival, or THAW Fest—three days of exhibitions, performances, films, music, tours, workshops, community engagement and family-focused special events—starts Friday, March 23 and runs all weekend.

“The East End has a huge breadth of professional talent it draws upon,” says Tracy Mitchell, Executive Director of Bay Street Theater, one of the 19 different locations from Westhampton to East Hampton participating. “We just needed to put the pieces in place as a group, rather than each of us trying to merely promote our own single institutions or programming. We kept at it, and voila!”

Southampton Arts Center Director of Programs Amy Kirwin and Administrative Assistant at SAC Hannah DiGate pose next to an art piece currently on display for "A Radical Voice: 23 Women"
Southampton Arts Center Director Amy Kirwin and Hannah DiGate pose next to an art piece currently on display for “A Radical Voice: 23 Women,” Photo: Barbara Lassen

THAW Fest weekend will be your last chance to see A Radical Voice: 23 Women, a selection of women artists whose practices have helped shape and transform the language of contemporary art, at the Southampton Arts Center (SAC), including a special curator tour on Sunday starting at noon. The 23 artists included in this exhibition have ferociously defied the status quo within a creative spectrum that ranges from the sublime to the utilitarian, from Expressionism to precision, and from humor to drama.

Also at SAC, on Saturday night, March 24 at 7 p.m., stop by for a 90-minute, unscripted and totally improvised performance by the Upright Citizens Brigade touring company. 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton., 631-283-0967.

Upright Citizens Brigade
Upright Citizens Brigade, Photo: Courtesy Southampton Arts Center

The Hamptons Take 2 Film Festival (HT2FF) will be screening two documentaries at the Fest. The first, on Friday at 8 p.m. at the Southampton Arts Center, will be Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight, in which Glaser’s remarkable artistic output is revealed. Glaser, of course, is the personification of American graphic design best known for co-founding New York magazine with Walter Bernard and for creating the world-renowned “I Love NY” logo.

A Q&A with filmmaker Wendy Keys and Walter Bernard will follow. On Sunday at 2 p.m., Bay Street Theater will screen I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan, the HT2FF 2017 Hector Leonardi Art & Inspiration Award-winning film by Richard Kane. Bryan is an African American author and illustrator of more than 50 children’s books, a painter, puppet maker and all-around inspiration. Admission to these two screenings is free.,

At the Pollock-Krasner House in Springs, there will be free screenings of documentaries and short films, including the Oscar-winning spoof, Day of the Painter; Hans Namuth’s 1951 short film, Jackson Pollock, narrated by Pollock himself; the feature film Pollock—also an Oscar winner, starring Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harden—and more on Saturday. On Sunday, drop in any time for an open house, admission into the studio and family workshops including Pollock-inspired cookie decorating and Krasner-inspired collage. 830 Springs Fireplace Road, East Hampton., 631-624-4929.

This weekend is also your last chance to see the exhibition Mary Heilmann: Painting Pictures at the Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton. The exhibition presents artworks that mark key milestones in Heilmann’s practice, including a selection of early paintings from the 1970s and ’80s, when Heilmann began visiting the East End. She eventually set up a studio in Bridgehampton, where all of her paintings and many of her ceramics have been made since 1999.

Several recently finished works that have not been seen outside of her studio are included in this exhibition as well. 23 Corwith Avenue, Bridgehampton., 212-989-5566

Cast of "Romeo and Juliet"
Cast of “Romeo and Juliet,” Photo: Tom Kochie

Yet more last calls, as Guild Hall’s trio of exhibitions—Alice Hope’s installation of site specific works featuring Minimalist materials and found objects; Hiroyuki Hamada: Sculptures and Prints; and The Artist Curated Collection, 2018, organized by and featuring paintings and works on paper that demonstrate the path an artist takes from representation to abstraction—close out of Sunday. Also closing at Guild Hall: the most epic and iconic of Shakespeare’s great romantic tragedies, Romeo & Juliet. You can catch the final three performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. 158 Main Street, East Hampton., 631-324-0806.

For a full list of events visit

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