Displaying The Natural World

Art by Mary Antczak

On Saturday, September 14, from 5 to 8 PM, will be a reception at Ashawagh Hall in Springs for the exhibit “Six,” which will be on display through the weekend. The showing includes works from six artists. Five local — Mary Antczak, Heather Evans, Pamela Collins Focarino, Ron Focarino, and Mica Marder — and Los Angeles-based Nick Kiriazis. The Independent caught up with Antczak, who is also the curator of the exhibit. The show includes paintings, drawings, mixed media, and sculptures displaying interpretations of the natural world.

How did you decide to mix this group of artists?

Artists often move in and out of each other’s orbits. Five of us live close by in the Springs and Hampton Bays communities, and Nick Kiriazis, an artist and actor living in Los Angeles, has roots here in Springs.

Why choose interpretations of the natural world as the show’s subject?

If you combine the work of six artists, you are bound to come up with some interesting results. Some interpretations are more literal than others, but we are all grounded in or anchored by natural phenomena.

How would you describe each artist’s style?

Heather Evans’s “Yard-work” is a series of spontaneous landscape abstractions rendered in gouache and acrylic on paper. To create an understanding of the world around her, Pamela Collins Focarino uses nature as a vehicle for color and composition. Entomology has always fascinated Ron Focarino, whose life’s work in the design sector informs the insect sculptures he creates. The cosmos, and water in particular, come to mind in the pieces Nick Kiriazis builds using unconventional media and art materials. Mica Marder captures the animals of his region in the form of still images that demonstrate their secret richness of character and range of emotions. Harmony and discord, as related to composition and color, are the focus of my paintings.

What is it like to organize a show you’re also a part of?

Ashawagh Hall is not only an exhibition space, but a community center that serves many needs and functions. Artists who wish to reserve the hall for an exhibition must take their chances by calling the reservation hotline on May 15 to reserve a spot for the following year. Therefore, it can be a long-term commitment.

What is it about the East End that inspires you?

I know it sounds cliché, but the light here on the East End is always changing and often saturated, which gives those of us living here an ever-changing performance.

What should the public expect from the exhibit?

This show will give the community an opportunity to view new work from all the artists. What could be better than a Saturday evening art exhibit in Springs?

Ashawagh Hall is located at 780 Springs Fireplace Road in East Hampton. For more on the artists and the exhibit visit www.ashawagh-hall.org.

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