Joni Sternbach Photographs Artists & Writers

“Olivia” by Joni Sternbach.

Photographer Joni Sternbach — known for photographing surfers and shorelines around the globe — will create a unique art project with her photos at this year’s Artists & Writers Charity Softball Game in Herrick Park in East Hampton.

After an Instagram post suggested she might be done after 12 years, Benito Vila, the new Artists & Writers board president, reached out to the artist to collaborate.

Sternbach is now set to bring a vintage, large-format Graflex camera to the game on Saturday, August 17, and plans to create black-and-white portraits of the players.

“This is a new ‘thing’ for me,” said the artist. “I chose this particular camera for its portability and ease of shooting, in such a fast-paced public arena. I am particularly drawn to vintage lenses. This one in particular will create spherical aberrations that set the subjects apart from their background. The end result will likely have an array of abstract characteristics.”

“The techniques and processes Joni employs are as inventive as the art she creates. Having her trying something ‘different’ on with our players and fans on game-day this year will bring an added experience of ‘the unexpected’ to our event,” Vila said.

Sternbach added, “Should this endeavor be successful, I would like to create a limited-edition artist book of the event with approximately 100 copies.”

Guild Hall in East Hampton has partnered to plan this summer’s game. “Joni is a well-respected portraitist. Her approach to ‘The Game’ fits in well with Guild Hall’s mission to encourage artistic expression and creative experimentation. Also, Joni’s participation is another instance of ‘The Game’ encouraging talented people to come out and ‘play.’ It will be fun to watch her work with the Graflex camera and it will be interesting to see the portraits she creates with it,” said executive director Andrea Grover.

For more info on the Artists & Writers Softball Game, visit

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