Meet SAC Takeover 2020! Artists Isadora Capraro & Erica-Lynn Huberty

Artists Isadora Capraro and Erica-Lynn Huberty,
Artists Isadora Capraro and Erica-Lynn Huberty, Photos: Barbara Lassen

Now in its second year, Southampton Arts Center’s Takeover 2020! brings together 10 talented East End artists under one roof for 10 weeks of collaboration and inspiration. As they look ahead to their exciting residency, artists Isadora Capraro and Erica-Lynn Huberty share their thoughts, plans and goals for this collaborative community-building opportunity. Get to know Michael A. Butler and Dinah Maxwell Smith in next week’s installment.

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Isadora Capraro painting a new yoga-themed piece
Isadora Capraro painting a new piece, Photo: David Taylor

Born in Italy and raised in Buenos Aires, Isadora Capraro has worked for many well-known artists in Argentina, California and New York, developing her own unique style along the way. She had her first solo art show in 2018, and now lives and works in Southampton, where she continues to construct paintings that merge human figures with the serene, subtle world of nature.

What are your plans or goals for your Takeover 2020! residency?
I am Argentinian, and I’ve lived here for one year. I would like to be closer to the community—that is my main goal for this residency. It would also be interesting to get to work with all the things that happen. It’s like a challenge—you can’t be in your own work, you have to be interconnected with the things that are happening around you, which is different than when I’m in my studio by myself with my headphones. That’s the challenge, and the goal is that it will feed my work and that something new will happen from this experience

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How did you select the works to display in your Takeover 2020! gallery space?
You have to be concerned with many things, like the shapes of the walls and the space that I have, which is closed like a square. I like that. I chose the ones that have good dimensions, look nice and combine between them well. It was more of a space thing. I have many artworks, and I chose the ones that go well in this space, here and now.

Isadora Capraro's works on display at Southamptono Arts Center
Two of Isadora Capraro’s works on display at Southampton Arts Center, Photo: David Taylor

How has the East End influenced your work?
If you see my works from before I moved here, I was a completely different person. I grew up a lot here. With the people, the landscapes, the calm—there is a serenity that is around here—and the sea, I feel really inspired by this place…. I think it completely changed my work.

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Erica-Lynn Huberty working on a new mixed media piece
Erica-Lynn Huberty working on a new mixed media piece, Photo: David Taylor

Driven back to her childhood passion for needlepoint by a near-fatal car crash in 2005, Erica-Lynn Huberty has used her fiber-based art not only to reclaim the physical and psychological trauma of the collision, but also to explore the historical tradition of “women’s work” that she’s long felt drawn to. Her embroidery, crochet, knitting and loom-woven pieces have been showcased in numerous East End institutions—including the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum and Guild Hall—and beyond.

What are your plans or goals for your Takeover 2020! residency?
Hopefully, I’ll finish up some work that I started before I got here—some works in progress. Because of the close proximity the museum has to the beach, [I plan] to continue studying and collecting specimens from the beach that I’ll be turning into art. I can probably even walk there and back, so I’m looking forward to that. I’ll be teaching embroidery to people, and I’ll be getting a lot of reading and research done that I do for my work—studying up on different works of art, nature and science.

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How did you select the works to display in your Takeover 2020! gallery space?
This one (pictured below) was made for this. When Amy Kirwin asked me to do this, I started thinking about a piece that I would want to do that was a pretty good size for the space. She had already seen this other one in my studio, and I knew she wanted that, so I wanted a companion piece. This one I actually stretched on the frame the day before the opening, so it’s the most recently finished one…. My work tends to straddle a couple different themes, like women’s work, the environment and history, so I wanted to focus more on the environmental aspect for this particular exhibit, so that’s the work that I decided to bring with me. Vanishing environments and animals and ocean life, that was something I really wanted to focus on.

Erica-Lynn Huberty's recently completed piece for the Southampton Arts Center Takeover 2020!
Erica-Lynn Huberty’s recently completed piece for the Southampton Arts Center Takeover 2020!, Photo: David Taylor

How has the East End influenced your work?
I grew up out here, then I lived in Vermont for awhile. I’ve always been very bonded with the natural environment out here. I’ve seen the really drastic changes that have happened over the last 50 years since I’ve been on the East End and on this planet. I can see the difference even in what washes up on shore, what fish I see swimming in the ocean at different times of year and looking all the development that’s happened. Especially in and around Southampton, it’s been pretty drastic. As everyone gets to be a little bit more conscious about the Earth and how it’s in peril, I think in the Hamptons we’re in a petri dish for both income inequality and what’s happening to the planet.

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Those seem to be the two things that all of us who live here year-round are continually faced with. And women’s role in society, equal pay and all that stuff that, to me, goes back to the beginning and, especially in this area, to colonialism and development. It’s kind of unavoidable. I don’t really see a boundary between those narratives and what I would want the narratives in my work to be. That pretty much automatically seeps into it for me. It’s hard for me to sit here and do needlework and not think that this is what, for hundreds of years, generations of women did out here for a living or self-worth. I’m very hyper aware of all of that, and of the natural environment. I swim all the time, and I hike, so it’s pretty visceral for me.… Often, you’ll hear historians refer to a tapestry or weaving when it comes to our story and how our story relates to the Earth, so that seems to be a natural jumping off point for me.

Takeover 2020! is on view at Southampton Arts Center through April 12, with artist-led workshops each weekend. Bring the whole family to Painting for Kids with Isadora Capraro on Saturday, February 15 at 3 p.m. Visit southamptonartscenter.org for more information. 

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