Hamptons Artists for Haiti, a benefit for Wings Over Haiti, is returning to the Hamptons on Saturday, June 30 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The non-profit organization was founded by Jonathan Nash Glynn, a Sag Harbor artist and pilot, who transported medical supplies to Haiti in his private plane following the 2010 earthquake there. “I started Wings Over Haiti after the earthquake because of my shock and dismay by the plight of so many injured Haitian people and especially the children,” Glynn reflected.
Upon witnessing the devastation firsthand, he realized in addition to supplies, the country was in desperate need of educational opportunities, leading to Wings Over Haiti raising the funds for and constructing a school that is located near the capital of Port Au Prince, which has 21 faculty members and 137 students.
“The physical injuries may be healed now but there is still so much work to do. The children of Haiti need schools to have a hope for a brighter future. Only 50 percent go to school,” Glynn said.
Last year’s inaugural Hamptons Artists for Haiti event raised over $30,000, which put Wings Over Haiti even closer to its goal of building a second school, which will be located in the remote, agricultural village of Ranquitte, Haiti. The school will serve 160 students from pre-K through 12th grade.
Hamptons Artists for Haiti will feature an art auction curated by Coco Myers’ folioeast, an online gallery, that will boast artwork from over 40 artists, drinks, hors d’oeuvres from Sea Bean, live music by Solar Wind featuring Dee Green, Rick Salter and Matt Ellison, raffles and more. The benefit will once again be held at The Watermill Center in Water Mill.
“The Hamptons community as a whole has been amazing. We asked for help from some of the best East End artists and they’ve really come through for us,” Glynn shared. “The resulting event, Hamptons Artists For Haiti, curated by Coco Myers of Folioeast, has helped put us on the map and raise a lot of money. And people have turned out in numbers to help us year after year. We had a sold out event last year and we’re on track to do it again. We’re also on track to break ground on our school soon. I can’t wait. And neither can the people of Ranquitte.”
2018 participating artists include Shari Abramson, Roisin Bateman, Beth O’Donnell, Deborah Buck, Hans Van de Bovenkamp, Susan Carlo, Philippe Cheng, George Cortez, Jennifer Cross, Michele D’ermo, Mike Drury, Adriana Echavarria, Scott Farrell, Sandi Haber Fifield, Francine Fleischer, Denise Gale, Jonathan Glynn, Donna Green, Melinda Hackett, RJT Haynes, Michael Hastalis, John Haubrich, Sue Heatley, Janet Jennings, Nishan Kazazian, Sarah Jaffe Turnbull, Dennis Leri, Jaime Lopez, Christa Maiwald, Christine Matthäi, Michael McDowell, Lesley Obrock, Beth O’Donnell, William Pagano, Anne Raymond, Ed Ruscha, Michael Ruggerio, Holli Rafkin-Sax, Will Ryan, Jerry Schwabe, Franecsca Schwartz, Carl Scorza, Leslie Sokolow, Barbara Thomas, Aurelio Torres, Walter Us, Matt Vega, Claire Watson, Amy Wickersham, John Wickersham, Mark Webber, and Larry Wolhandler.
“The event will feature a silent auction of 52 pieces by East End artists: photography, painting and sculpture,” Myers, who curated last year’s auction too, explained. “There will be a mix of abstract and representational works.”
Bidding for the featured works will start at half of the value of the art, making this a must attend for art collectors and those interested in starting a collection.
“When I was in Haiti with Jonathan and saw the happy bright, healthy thriving kids at the first school, and then travelled to the site of the second school and met so many children and their families there, the difference was striking,” Arthur Bijur, the Vice President of Wings Over Haiti, added. “The kids of Ranquitte need this more than words can convey.”
And, not only does the school built by Wings Over Haiti offer essential educational opportunities, it also provides two meals a day and medical attention as needed, which the new school will also offer.
“When we built the first school, we realized you can’t educate a hungry child. So we feed their bodies and we feed their minds,” Glynn explained. “The difference we see at the first school now is remarkable. So, we’re raising funds to build a second school up in Ranquitte, a remote town where the kids have no school and they and their parents have zero hope for a better future.”
On Glynn’s most recent trip to Haiti in March, he was accompanied by Bijur and Ted Morency, an 18 year-old student at the Ross School in East Hampton that has single-handedly raised over $20,000 for the new school. Morency was born in Haiti, but had not been back in over ten years.
“I photographed the kids while there and one photo says it all. A girl is peering into an empty well. That’s what the children in Ranquitte have to look forward to right now. But we’re going to change that,” Bijur concluded.
Tickets to Hamptons Artists for Haiti are $150.
The Watermill Center is located at 39 Water Mill Towd Road in Water Mill. For more information, visit wingsoverhaiti.net.