Southampton Art Festival, a new outdoor fine art show is coming to Southampton’s Agawam Park September 16–18 — and this event is created by an artist, for artists.
The show’s founder, Angus Macaulay, is a veteran of juried art festivals and has earned more than a dozen awards at these festivals, including Best of Show on multiple occasions. In recent years, Macaulay has taken part in the Hamptons summer circuit of art shows, including the more intimate affairs hosted by the local artists associations and chambers of commerce. After a particularly successful year, he decided to throw his paint-covered hat into the ring of festival organizing.
Andrew Macaulay Talks Southampton Art Festival
“I just had a phenomenal run. I do large expressionistic pieces, and they just connected so well in the Hamptons at these small, unexpected shows,” he says. “I decided that I wanted to add to the schedule and run my own show for the first time, which is a whole other ballgame.”
When deciding on the location for his inaugural art festival, he couldn’t ignore the draw of Southampton Village, a mecca of summer art shows from Southampton Arts Center to Agawam Park. “I particularly liked the Southampton area. I thought the demographic there was a really stimulating, high-end, sophisticated crowd,” Macaulay says. “And Agawam Park is just an idyllic setting, right off of downtown.”
Like the location, the September 16–18 date was fairly obvious to Macaulay. “You kind of have to be strategic about which weekends artists are going to be available to do shows, and (which weekends) don’t conflict with the other Hamptons shows,” he explains, adding, “It was really the only weekend that made sense.”
The Southampton Art Festival will feature about 40 artists, including Macaulay, hailing from regions near and far — from the Southampton Artists Association to Washington State to Israel. “For a first-year show, that’s a nice little number. And we really didn’t want it to be too big,” he says. “Us artists who have been doing this a lot, we’re always looking for those special little shows that aren’t these huge events where there’s so much competition with the other artists, and that are in the right demographic.”
Featured artist Bruce Reinfeld of Philadelphia will be joined by Yoram Gal, Isack Kousnsky, Jennifer Levine, Dacota Maphis, Christine Adele Moore, John van Orsouw, Andrew Butler, David Margolis, Jonathan Spector, Tracy Booth, Lyn Sedlak-Ford, Sanjib Mallik, Tim Doubrava, Sean Strafford and others. The fine art and fine craft in this juried show include paintings and mixed media, photography, sculpture and more, at prices generally lower than the gallery standard.
“A lot of these artists are friends of mine. We’ve all been doing shows for a long time around the country, and I know all of them personally,” Macaulay shares, noting that a driving force for this festival is his desire to help his friends flourish. While some art festivals make a profit off of charging artists massive booth fees, Macaulay didn’t want to prioritize profits over friendships.
“It’s kind of a rare mentality, to be honest, to have an artist-run event that’s really focused on having the artists do well and not be a money maker,” he says. “All the booth fees were spent on marketing promotions, because I just wanted to get the word out to the best of my abilities, so that we would get people to come to the show so that all my friends would do well. That’s all I care about.”
The inaugural Southampton Art Festival at Agawam Park is open noon–6 p.m. on Friday, September 16; 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on Saturday, September 17; and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on Sunday, September 18. To learn more about the free-admission event and participating artists, visit southamptonartfest.com.