The Artists Alliance of East Hampton (AAEH) is taking its first step into the digital world with its inaugural virtual show Colors of Hope, opening Saturday, August 1 and remaining on view through Labor Day.
Serving as a replacement for the annual Fourth of July exhibition at Ashawagh Hall, Colors of Hope draws inspiration from the pandemic, with the name of the show clearly stating its intention to be a bright spot in dark times. “We wanted to do something to give people hope, and we gave a lot of the artists hope by doing it,” says AAEH President and virtual show participant Mary Milne. “People having been feeling somewhat isolated, and Colors of Hope will give them a little pleasure, a little joy.”
The exhibition features the works of the alliance’s talented roster of East End artists—comprising masters and up-and-comers working in a wide variety of media—who will each present five of their best works. Unlike past AAEH shows, the virtual nature of Colors of Hope grants participants much more freedom to display the pieces they want, without space limitations. “We have 37 artists, so they can usually only do two pieces tops, and we have to regulate the size. Whereas online, the work that they can show can be any size,” Milne explains, noting that the virtual show gives sculptors like Michael Cardacino a chance to present works that are too large for the annual Ashawagh Hall show.
Among the Colors of Hope participants are several past Dan’s Papers cover artists such as Casey Chalem Anderson, Donna Corvi, Frank Latorre and Frank Sofo. Other participating artists include Mary Ahern, Sheril Antonio, Beth Barry, Donna Bernstein, Barbara Bilotta, Rosalind Brenner, Richard Lance Corey, Nadine Daskaloff, Anna Franklin, Kurt Giehl, Laurie Hall, Laura Hill, Karen Kirshner, Teresa Lawler, Marie Lombardi, Veronica Mahoney, Lynn Martell, Joanna McCarthy, James McGarvey, Karen Mullen, Deborah Palmer, Janet Rojas, Sheila Rotner, Joan Santos, Rosa Hanna Scott, Neva Delihas Setlow, Linda Sirow, Lieve Thiers, Sandra Tyler, Robert Wilson and Mark Zimmerman.
Guests who peruse the virtual show will discover a sample artwork and bio for each of the 37 participating artists, and when they click on an artist’s image, it will reveal their five featured works. “We’re hoping that people will treat it like a gallery show—that they’ll take the time to look individually at the people’s work and consider their bios,” Milne says. “I’ve been looking at a lot of different galleries online, and I enjoy seeing them. Hopefully, people enjoy seeing ours!” All art displayed is for sale, and guests should contact the artists directly to discuss price and purchasing. As a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization, the AAEH does not take a cut of sales and ensures that 100% of the proceeds go to the artist making the sale.
Established in 1984 by the Jimmy Ernst Artists Alliance, the AAEH works to strengthen and support East End artists through exhibitions, art lectures and other events, and it’s always looking for new artist memberships. “You don’t have to be a known artist to join the Artists Alliance of East Hampton,” Milne points out. “People start out in it and stay with it for decades!” The alliance is currently working out safe ways to bring in-person exhibitions to the Hamptons in the coming months.