THAW Fest 2022 Canceled, But Hamptons Arts Still Flourish

Verona String Quartet
Verona String Quartet
Courtesy BCMF

THAW Fest 2021 was simultaneously the Hamptons Arts Network’s (HAN) biggest and smallest event yet — as it extended the annual event weekend into a month-long affair, but due to COVID-19, had to scale back many events and make them virtual. This year, the 21 arts organizations that comprise HAN made the difficult decision to cancel an official THAW Fest 2022 altogether.

“This year, as HAN members discussed the possibility of doing THAW Fest again, we were in the midst of the Delta to Omicron resurgence, and everyone agreed we did not want to have a virtual festival again,” The Watermill Center Director Elka Rifkin says. “So, the short answer is, we are not doing THAW Fest as a network this year.”

While this cancelation is certainly sad news, the message of THAW Fest is as alive and well as ever. Held in the early spring each year, THAW Fest challenges the widely held notion that the Hamptons arts scene is entirely seasonal and that there isn’t anything going on outside of the summer months. HAN may not have planned any events specifically for THAW Fest this year, but all of the regular events and ongoing programs are a testament to these organizations’ dedication to the Hamptons arts scene.

“HAN has paused THAW Fest due to COVID, but there’s still a lot happening at our member institutions,” Pollock-Krasner House Director Helen Harrison confirms.

THAW Fest or no, here are the exciting Hamptons events that HAN organizations have planned for this month.

Bay Street Theater

Part theater and part game, The Grift: A Practice in the Art of Deception is an immersive, site-specific experience beginning and ending at Bay Street, with many eccentric characters to meet as the audience explores Sag Harbor. The mystery continues through April 3. Next, Fireside Sessions with beloved East End band The Nancy Atlas Project continue April 8 and 9, 8 p.m. Then on April 16 at 8 p.m., New York comedian Joseph Vecsey continues the 12th annual season of All-Star Comedy with comedians Chris Clarke, Linette Palladino and Mike Feeney. Finally this month, join Garrison Keillor for a night of stand-up, storytelling, audience song and poetry on April 23 at 8 p.m. 1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor. 631-725-9500, baystreet.org

Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival

The Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival is back with three springs concerts at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. The first, on March 26 at 5 p.m., features the Verona String Quartet performing works by Schubert, Gabriela Lena Frank and Beethoven. Next, on April 23 at 5 p.m., Baroque Spring will present works by Biber, Fasch, Vivaldi and others. Looking a little further ahead, French Flourishes will perform on May 14 at 5 p.m. 2429 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton. 212-741-9403, bcmf.org

The Church

The Church’s latest exhibition, Empire of Water, is curated by co-founder Eric Fischl and chief curator Sara Cochran. On view March 27 through May 30, the exhibition showcases works that explore the many incarnations of water by Scott Bluedorn, Jeremy Dennis, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Longo, Paton Miller, Steve Miller, Duke Riley, Andy Warhol and many others. 48 Madison Street, Sag Harbor. 631-919-5342, thechurchsagharbor.org

DIA: Dan Flavin Art institute

DIA’s yearlong installation by artist Maren Hassinger finally reaches its conclusion at the end of May. Spanning five decades, the East Hampton artist’s wide-ranging practice examines the intersections between ecology, humanity and identity. 23 Corwith Avenue, Bridgehampton. 212-989-5566, diaart.org

East Hampton Historical Society

The EHHS 2022 Lecture Series continues this spring with two enlightening events: A discussion about Clinton Academy and the schoolhouses with David Cataletto on March 25, 7 p.m., and about Mulford Farm with Hilary Osborn-Malecki on April 29 at 7 p.m. 151 Main Street, East Hampton. 631-324-6850, easthamptonhistory.org

Guild Hall

In January, Guild Hall launched its first web-exclusive exhibition showcasing the work of the Volunteers of Guild Hall. Part two is on view through April 15. The virtual offerings continue with a recorded conversation between Angélique Kidjo, Naïma Hebrail Kidjo, Cheryl Lynn Bruce and Mary Jane Marcasiano about the exciting world premiere production of Yemandja; and a recording of a book talk with bestselling author Walter Isaacson about The Code Breaker, his book on CRISPR, gene editing and Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna. Both recordings are available online for free through May 15. 158 Main Street, East Hampton. 631-324-0806, guildhall.org

Hamptons Doc Fest

Mark those calendars for Earth Day, the Hamptons Doc Fest’s Docs Equinox 2022 returns in honor of Mother Earth from April 22 through 24. With the festival now in its 15th year, each of this year’s programs is expected to showcase only the very best that the documentary genre has to offer. 631-237-8055, hamptonsdocfest.com

Hamptons International Film Festival

HamptonsFilm, home of Hamptons International Film Festival, presents the 2022 Screenwriters Lab, which will take place April 8–10. The Lab, which will be held in an in-person setting for the first time since 2019, pairs rising screenwriters with established screenwriters, directors and creative-producers for a weekend of one-on-one mentoring sessions. The three selected screenplays for 2022 are “Marilou is Everywhere” by Jimmy Goldblum, “The Leftover Ladies” by Farida Zahran and “In Search of Time” by Jamil McGinnis and Pat Heywood. This year’s mentors include Academy Award winner Mollye Asher, novelist and screenwriter Peter Hedges and Alice Wu, whose most recent film, The Half of It, won the Founders Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. 631-324-4600, hamptonsfilmfest.org

LongHouse Reserve

Nearly a million daffodils will greet LongHouse Reserve visitors when it opens for its 2022 season on April 30 with its annual Rites of Spring celebration. Guests will be treated to new works including special commissions from the Ladd Brothers and Cheng Tsung Feng — shelters from natural materials — an inviting cedar-shingled portal from the Ladds and a magical bamboo pavilion from Feng. New loans for Art in the Garden include nesting monuments from Maren Hassinger, a glowing bronze tree snag from Alexander Polzin, a large lyrical piece from Niki de Saint Phalle and works by Byung-Hoon Choi and Moko Fukuyama. Rites of Spring timed entries are at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., and will be followed by a cocktail reception from 5–7 p.m. 133 Hands Creek Road, East Hampton. 631-329-3568, longhouse.org

Parrish Art Museum

On March 26 at 11 a.m., 10 established artist members of the Parrish Art Museum will share aspects of their artistic process and inspirations through conversation and visual representation. Each artist will showcase some of their recent works and describe or demonstrate the way they engage in their art. Then on April 8 at 6 p.m., the museum will show Alison Klayman’s documentary film The 100 Years Show starring Carmen Herrara. And don’t miss the guided tours of the diverse exhibitions on view scheduled on select Saturdays and Sundays. 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. 631-283-2118, parrishart.org

Pollock-Krasner House

Though the Pollock-Krasner House is closed until May 5, the institution has continued to enrich the community with diverse Zoom programming and a monthly Virtual Art Cafe. Upcoming virtual workshops include The Intersection of Art and Loss with Jody Cukier on Tuesday, March 29, 4:30 p.m. and Paint From Within, a Hilma af Klint art worskshop, on Thursday, March 31 at 2 p.m. The events are free, but online registration is required. 830 Springs-Fireplace Road, Springs. 631-324-4929, stonybrook.edu/commcms/pkhouse

Sag Harbor Cinema

In addition to all the stellar movies on offer at Sag Harbor Cinema, the theater is hosting a celebration of film with its 2022 Oscars watch party on March 27 at 6:30 p.m. Join the community in seeing the live red carpet coverage and the announced winners. 90 Main Street, Sag Harbor. 631-725-0010, sagharborcinema.org

Southampton Arts Center

On view at Southampton Arts Center is OUTCROPPING: Indigenous Art Now, the area’s first major art exhibition showcasing exclusively works by Indigenous artists, including many from the Shinnecock Nation. Curated by Jeremy Dennis, the show is on view through April 9. 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. 631-283-0967, southamptonartscenter.org

Southampton Cultural Center

Just after Southampton Cultural Center’s current photography group exhibition, The Art of the City, ends on April 7, photographer Ron Buchter will debut a show all his own. A member of the East End Photographers Group, Buchter is known for his stunning landscapes, panoramas and painting-like abstract photos. The solo show runs through the third week of May. Also this month is a Rising Stars Piano Series concert with Alexey Pudinov on April 9, 6 p.m. 25 Pond Lane, Southampton. 631-287-4377, scc-arts.org

Southampton History Museum

The Southampton History Museum has continued its enriching Zoom presentations with upcoming topics including Sheridan’s Hard Hitters: The Southampton Men of the 6th New York Calvary in the Civil War on April 7 at 11 a.m. and 20th Century Influencers: Gary Cooper, Hollywood Icon on April 14 at 11 a.m. And, of course, the popular ghost hunting missions continue, as well. 17 Meeting House Lane, Southampton. 631-283-2494, southamptonhistory.org

“Six Breaths Per Minute” by Maria Louizou © Petros Toufexis at the Watermill Center
“Six Breaths Per Minute” by Maria Louizou
© Petros Toufexis
Courtesy the artist and The Watermill Center

The Watermill Center

The Watermill Center will kick off the second of its 2022 In Process series on Friday, April 22, 5:30 p.m., with American sculptor Brian Block, Greek interdisciplinary artist Maria Louizou and Polish choreographer Ola Maciejewska. Through studio visits and open rehearsals, visitors will get an intimate look into the work of these talented international artists. In Process events are free to the public, but do require proof of vaccination. 39 Water Mill Towd Road, Water Mill. 631-726-4628, watermillcenter.org

Jeff LeBlanc

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

WHBPAC has two exciting shows on the horizon this month: The Soul Rebels, eight men whose skills on brass and drums have made them a staple New Orleans band, perform on Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m. And Jeff LeBlanc, a Westhampton Beach singer-songwriter success story, returns for his third headlining appearance on April 30 at 8 p.m. Additionally, while May 14 is still a ways away, fans of comedy icon Tracy Morgan will probably want to grab their tickets to his upcoming show sooner rather than later. 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach. 631-288-1500, whbpac.org

More HAN Organizations

While a few HAN organizations don’t have events announced for the next few weeks, they’re certainly worth supporting and following for updates: Eastville Community Historical Society (631-725-4711, eastvillehistorical.org), Madoo Conservancy (631-537-8200, madoo.org), Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center & Museum (631-287-4923, shinnecockmuseum.com) and Southampton African American Museum (631-353-3299, saamuseum.org).

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